I Ain’t Scared: Demon House

In the case of the Demon House, our series name is a bit of a misnomer—I was actually pretty scared. Monongahela’s most haunted attraction, which is open for one final weekend, today through Sunday, is worth the drive if you want one more dose of Halloween thrills before surrendering to the holiday season.

I visited Demon House on Friday, October 11. It was a chilly, clear fall night, and as I drove further away from city and into the darkness of the countryside, I started getting anxious—I hadn’t been to a haunted house in ages, and I wasn’t sure that I was prepared.

My friend Rebecka, who was joining me for the evening, confirmed my lack of preparedness when she took one look at my long, loud floral coat with bright red boots. “You know you will basically have a target on your back in there, right?” she said with a groan.

Turns out, she was correct.

Without giving too much away, here are some points on our experience at the Demon House. Hopefully you will find them useful if you decide to pay the house a visit on its final (and probably most intense) weekend:

  • Demon House parking is not actually on the same property as the attraction. Look for Spartan Health Center in Monongahela on your GPS app, because the Demon House uses their parking lot. Once you get there, a festive shuttle bus picks you up and drives you a short two minutes to the house.
  • After you buy your tickets, Demon House workers will assign you to a group of six. You can hang out in the courtyard and enjoy food trucks, sit by a campfire, peruse the gift shop or watch a scary movie as you wait. Rebecka and I waited about 20 minutes for our group number to be called. Then, a tarot-card-reading witch was leading us into her lair for the start of our Demon House experience.
  • Try to blend in. Due to my choice of wardrobe, I was already at a disadvantage here. Indeed, many of the actors seemed to focus their efforts on me for the first 15 minutes or so of our experience. Luckily, however, two of the ladies in our group were very loud and jumpy, so as we moved through the attraction (and the actors presumably consulted with each other), they became the target of the scariest situations.
  • Since it’s called the Demon House, I expected most of the experience to be loosely demon-themed, but it was actually much more varied. Don’t get me wrong, the vignette that scared me the most looked like it came right out of The Exorcist. But the attraction had a little something to scare everyone—clowns, dismembered bodies, creepy dolls, a trip through an insane asylum, a haunted mine and more.
  • It is not just a collection of scary rooms to walk through. Many of the vignettes were highly interactive—an actor may ask you to play a game, take a seat or make you watch a special presentation. While they can’t touch you, many of the actors do get right up in your face, and unlike many haunted houses where they have to “haunt” a specific area, these actors did not seem to have any qualms about leaving their post if they thought they could get a good scare out of you.
  • You will spend a significant amount of time in complete darkness, walking through strobe lights, fog and experiencing other atmospheric effects. The ground you walk on even changes texture, as you move from the inside of the house to the yard outside, so be sure to wear sensible, comfortable shoes.
  • It took Rebecka and me less than an hour to make it through the haunted house, but that does not count the 20 minutes we spent waiting to enter. The Demon House website recommends that children be age 10 or older to participate. Groups of four or fewer (like Rebecka and me), often get paired up with other groups to reach the maximum of six, and the attraction is not handicap accessible. Tickets are $20 on Friday and Saturday and $15 on Sunday.
The Demon House is open Friday to Sunday, Noveber 1 to 3, from 7 p.m. to midnight. Get more information here.

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