Legendary partners with ScareHouse attraction for Krampus prequel haunt

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Sep 15, 2015, 11:25 AM EDT

Christmas is coming early to Pittsburgh, and it’s primed to be a scary one. 

In news released early, exclusively, to Blastr, we have learned that Legendary is collaborating with Pittsburgh Halloween attraction ScareHouse to unveil more from its upcoming film Krampus.

Directed and co-written by Michael Dougherty (the writer/director of cult favorite Trick ‘r Treat), Krampus will be released this December by Universal Pictures and is described as a “darkly festive tale” about the anti-Claus creature of folklore. And, according to Legendary, the studio, Dougherty and effects company Weta Workshop have worked directly with ScareHouse on an attraction called “Krampus: Come All Ye Fearful.”

The attraction will allow guests the opportunity to check out screen-used props, costumes and creatures from the movie “before entering a highly immersive attraction that follows the legacy of Krampus, the iconic figure of dark folklore as old as Christmas itself.” 

Experiencing something of a backstory to Krampus, visitors “will journey through generations of holiday horror and encounters with demonic minions before a final confrontation with the ancient subversive force of darkness that rises to haunt the naughty, bringing terror and mayhem in his wake.”

The announcement marks an ongoing, and flourishing, relationship between the independent attraction and Legendary. In 2013, Thomas Tull, Legendary CEO and part owner of the Steelers, brought Dougherty and Guillermo del Toro through the haunt. In a 2014 Huffington Post story (written by yours truly), Dougherty said Tull had always been a “huge fan” of ScareHouse and wanted to share the experience. 

It worked, and Dougherty said he immediately fell in love with the venue and came to respect the work of Creative Director Scott Simmons and his team.

"They get it, and they get what we do," he told me then. “It's not a giant, theme-park-style event, and there's something more comfortable and cooler being an independent venue … There is an intimacy and attention to detail with the ScareHouse you just don't get at a lot of other attractions."

That visit resulted in Dougherty’s Sam character from Trick ‘r Treat being “spiced” throughout the haunt last year. At the time, Dougherty told me the partnership was a testing ground for future collaborations, and it was apparently enough of a success that the conversation expanded to include the full Krampus experience this year. 

Sam is also back this year in the “Trick ‘r Treat: Hallowed Grounds” attraction. Described as a tribute to the modern-horror icon, it will follow Sam “as he leads visitors into a giant black and white pop-up book brought to fiendish life,” and “those who break the rules of All Hallows Eve risk facing tragic consequences before midnight.”

In addition to the Legendary attractions, ScareHouse – housed in a supposedly haunted 100-year-old building – also features other elements, including the science-based scare The Basement. Developed by “fear researcher” and sociologist Margee Kerr, Ph.D., The Basement utilizes research on what scares people “from a social, psychological, and physiological perspective” and pushes them outside their comfort zone. Required waivers for the haunt warn of “high voltage effects involving electricity, very low lighting, tight spaces, strong scents, profanity, moments of complete darkness, water, physical contact, violent situations, and high impact scares.”

Since opening in 1999, ScareHouse has been listed as one of America’s best Haunted Houses by Travel Channel and featured on Good Morning America, Late Night With Seth Meyers, USA TODAY and more. The haunt opens Sept. 18; Krampus opens Dec. 4 and stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Allison Tolman and David Koechner.