ETNA (KDKA) — Call it terror in training. For weeks, creepy characters have been perfecting the art of horror.

Before the eerie exhibition on Friday, KDKA was granted backstage access.

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“Welcome to the 2013 season dress rehearsal.”

Scott and Barb Simmons are co-owners of The Scarehouse.

Built in 1915, the former Elks Recreation Center in Etna has a history of real paranormal activity.

The allure of the unknown made it an irresistible investment for the couple, who met working at a haunted house 22 years ago.

“I started back in the ‘80s when haunted houses meant black plastic and spray paint,” Scott, Scarehouse’s creative director, said. “But I fell in love with it, and now all these years later, this haunted house has become this major production.”

KDKA’s Kym Gable: “And somebody who came last year, they’re going to get a whole new experience this year?”

Scott Simmons: “Every year, we’re changing things, tweaking things, adding new characters.”

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Of course, we don’t want to give away all the gory details. In fact, there are some things that are too graphic to show you. Most of that happens… down in the basement.

“This is the actual basement of the building. It’s the real thing,” Scott said. “A lot of our people don’t like to work down here. They get freaked out, hear things, see things.”

Brand new for 2013, The Basement is a much more intimate experience – only one or two visitors at a time.

“You will be touched. You will be restrained. There are handcuffs involved,” Scott said. “Maybe you might be hypothetically locked in a closet with a guy for a very long time. Or he might ask you very personal questions or make you feel uncomfortable. It’s a very extreme kind of experience.”

“The main Scarehouse, recommended for 13 and up,” Scott says. “The basement? Definitely R-rated.”

And it’s definitely not for the delicate-minded.

“If you were to take a camera in the basement, you’d have to do some bleeping and blurring because it’s not family-friendly,” Scott said.

But for this family of fiendish ghouls, zombies and creatures, it’s the perfect place to call home this Halloween.

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