Watch: Steelers Scare at 'Fright Night'

After Sunday's road win, several Steelers players traded their helmets and jerseys for costumes and make-up and scared the crowd at Hundred Acres Manor's annual haunted house.

Photo by Anthony Madonna

Video: Anthony Madonna   

I’ve always hoped that, one day, I’d be able to interview the Pittsburgh Steelers, but this is not how I thought it would go:

I’m hiding at the end of a narrow hallway, wearing Joker makeup and clutching a rubber head. Steelers kicker Jeff Reed is in an opposite corner, looming, in full circus garb. A cowering trio of teenagers rounds Reed’s corner; he screams and lunges forward. The group squeals and hurries away from the kicker, then it's on to the next one.

So, yeah. Not what I expected from my first Steelers one-on-one.

We obviously weren’t in the Heinz Field locker room; we were in South Park’s Hundred Acres Manor haunted house, a yearly Halloween attraction.

The haunt is entirely volunteer-based, and the proceeds are split between two charities: Animal Friends and the Homeless Children’s Education Fund. A group works on the house year-round (construction for the Halloween season begins in January), and the dedication shows: It’s one of the longest, scariest and most impressive spook-houses in town.

Steelers players have volunteered at the house for five years. On Monday night’s “Steelers Fright Night,” the team arrived straight from practice, which followed a Sunday win and a flight back from Miami.

“I’m a little sore,” Reed says, “but I think everyone else is a little more sore than me. It’s just always good to see a good turnout here.”

The evening began with the players enduring the lengthy attraction themselves. Reed was mostly unwavering throughout, but the house’s signature maze gave him trouble.

“I’d still be in there if I didn’t get help,” he says afterward.

max starks

Max Starks in the make-up room prior to heading into the haunted house.

Photo by Anthony Madonna   


After the team walkthrough, the players head for the makeup and costume room. I ask a makeup artist to explain the disguise he’s preparing for offensive tackle Max Starks.

“I’m going to make [Starks] look like half his face is burned away,” the artist says.

Starks concurs: “I’m going for that crispy look.”

Nearby, tight end Matt Spaeth is made-over into an intimidating zombie and creeps behind unsuspecting teammates and friends, his 6' 7" frame towering above his startled victims.

“It’s all about the spot [in the house,]” he says, giving me a glimpse into his strategy: “Last year I had a chainsaw. I prefer the chainsaws.”

Rookie runningback Isaac Redman.

Photo by Anthony Madonna   

I quickly suit up myself—a thorough application of Heath Ledger-style Joker makeup and a floor-length burlap sack—and find Reed, who’s just about ready to head in. The plan? I’ll be positioned alongside him in the spook-house to observe his unique haunting style. This will, of course, require me to scare the guests, too.

While we wait to be escorted in, I ask Starks for an assessment of Reed’s scare skills. “Jeff has a great track record,” Starks says. “He’s a veteran in the clown room. He’ll definitely catch people off guard.”

Unfortunately, there’s a delay in admitting guests, and the spook-house is empty when we arrive. Wanting to scare as many as he can, Reed calls an audible and heads for “the garden”—a courtyard where the spooks with chainsaws stun guests. Reed positions himself in a dark corner, hoping he won’t be noticed in the fog. I slide down the hallway, waiting for the first crew to pass.

I’m shocked when Reed remains still as the first group passes. I ask him what went wrong. Apparently, they were looking straight at him: He wants to wait for those who aren’t expecting anything.

I see what he means with the next crew: One of the chainsaw assailants chases his target almost to Reed’s feet, and she isn’t looking at him as they round the corner. Just then, Reed lunges forward, clown makeup twisting into a furious scream, inches from the poor soul’s face.

“Oh yeah,” he says. “I’m killing them.”

All in all, it was a fine outing for the Steelers. In the name of charity, the Steelers were all too happy to extend their on-field intensity to the spook-house and performed at an undeniably all-star level.

Though Reed did take it easy on one victim.

“I told her she was lucky. I would’ve scared her, but she was wearing my jersey.”


Hundred Acres Manor, Hundred Acres Manor, South Park. Open nightly through Oct. 31. Info and tickets: 412/851-4286, hundredacresmanor.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Sweet Surprise: Kelly Frey Awarded for ‘Sharing Her Heart‘

Sweet Surprise: Kelly Frey Awarded for ‘Sharing Her Heart‘

The mother of a child with special needs, Frey tirelessly shares what she has learned with other families in similar situations.
Mic'd Up: Did Ben Really Call Antonio ‘Ronald?’

Mic'd Up: Did Ben Really Call Antonio ‘Ronald?’

For reasons only he knows, Antonio Brown wants to be known as Ronald and, with the season he's having, his quarterback is willing to oblige.
Meet Some Steelers, Get Some Autographs, Help Some Kids

Meet Some Steelers, Get Some Autographs, Help Some Kids

Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line and the team's entire rookie class will be signing autographs for charity later this week.
Richard DeShantz Shows You How to Make Pot Roast Like a Pro

Richard DeShantz Shows You How to Make Pot Roast Like a Pro

The owner of Meat & Potatoes shares his delicious techniques with a national TV audience.

Related Articles

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Pittsburgh The Heart of the NFL? Yinz Got that Right

Pittsburgh The Heart of the NFL? Yinz Got that Right

At the NFL Scouting Combine, at the NFL Draft and wherever NFL games are played, there’s often something of a Western Pennsylvania reunion taking place.

Comments

Sweet Surprise: Kelly Frey Awarded for ‘Sharing Her Heart‘

Sweet Surprise: Kelly Frey Awarded for ‘Sharing Her Heart‘

The mother of a child with special needs, Frey tirelessly shares what she has learned with other families in similar situations.

Comments

Miracle on Liberty Pops Up in Pittsburgh

Miracle on Liberty Pops Up in Pittsburgh

The holiday themed cocktail bar is one of around 20 international Miracle popups.

Comments

Mic'd Up: Did Ben Really Call Antonio ‘Ronald?’

Mic'd Up: Did Ben Really Call Antonio ‘Ronald?’

For reasons only he knows, Antonio Brown wants to be known as Ronald and, with the season he's having, his quarterback is willing to oblige.

Comments

2017 Excellence in Nursing Awards

2017 Excellence in Nursing Awards

On Dec. 1 Pittsburgh Magazine hosted the first annual Excellence in Nursing Awards at the Omni William Penn Hotel.

Comments

Edit Module
Advertisement