Last Updated on November 8, 2022 by Jeremy
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There is no shortage of great haunted houses in Pittsburgh.
But, in a way, many haunts follow a fairly standard blueprint. That is to say, you enter a themed area, walk through a linear path, and get scared at each and every turn.
For those who are looking for something just a bit different (or simply a solid haunt south of the city), Castle Blood, located in a 100-year-old funeral home in Monessen, entertains by being as much of a game as it is a place to be scared silly. To put it bluntly, you'll have to keep your wits about you to survive this one!
Castle Blood is a Haunted House With a Twist
When it comes down to it, there are two reasons why Castle Blood is one of the more unique haunted attractions in Pittsburgh.
First, it is located in a 100-year-old funeral home. Not only is that creepy from the historical element, but also by extension this means that Castle Blood is a permanent facility. This allows the owners far more opportunity for an immersive experience where you visit all castle floors during your walk- including an outdoor graveyard! (Yes, there are stairs inside the Castle, and no it is not accessible.)
While we normally have trouble suspending disbelief at experiences like this, Castle Blood does a rather incredible job of making you feel like you are in a haunted castle- the permanence of the location is one of the reasons why it all works.
Second, beyond simply being a haunt, Castle Blood offers a game-like experience during your visit. While not quite like an escape room, it has comparable escape room vibes in some respects.
As you roam the castle halls, in between the shocks and horrors of a conventional haunted house, you'll visit a dozen or so themed rooms featuring live actors who guide you on a quest. These rooms can include a vampire coven, a fortune teller's room, a mad scientist's laboratory, and more. At each stop, you will interact with these ghouls to perform various tasks tailored to your ultimate goal (while a good bit of Castle Blood stays the same every year, the individual tasks and the overall quest element changes yearly).
Are we going to give away any of the surprises in this one? No, that is on you to find out when you visit. But if an immersive haunt is what you seek, with twists that are just a bit different than other haunted houses in the region, then Castle Blood is sure to deliver.
For all those who don't want the full haunt experience but still want to explore the grounds of this one, they have you covered with their Sunday matinee shows on select days!
Sunday Matinees Offer a Lights On Experience
For those who like all things Halloween but don't necessarily want the full haunt experience, Castle Blood offers a unique experience for a lights-on, scare-free walkthrough of the grounds.
These typically occur on the last two Sundays of October in an aptly named matinee experience complete with trick-or-treating for candy. The lights are on, photos are allowed (partly why we visited), and to quote Boris from the door “the werewolves were given squeaky toys and are locked up in their cages”- that is to say, nothing scary will pop out at you. Yes, this is done to be kid-friendly, but it is also enjoyable for those of all ages.
Visitors here will still get to enjoy the ambiance of Castle Blood at large, will experience an easier version of the year's quest (again, kid-friendly), and will still get to interact with all the main actors who help you along your journey through the castle. So while we didn't get the living daylights scared out of us on our walkthrough, we still felt like we had a full Castle Blood experience all around.
Overall, Castle Blood delivers both for its hauntingly intricate designs and a unique game element that you just don't see at our area's haunted houses.
So if you're looking for something just a bit different for a Halloween experience, you'll do well to make the drive down to Monessen to check out Castle Blood in October!
Castle Blood is located at 100 Schoonmaker Ave in Monessen, PA. Advanced tickets are sold for set timeslots online and are highly recommended to reduce your wait times, even for the matinee show.