New Stories

Local Business Spotlight: Haunted Hillside

by Audrey Hunker

Haunted Hillside is a locally owned haunted attraction in Mt. Pleasant, open 7p.m.-12a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays now through October 28. Tickets start at $17 per person online and can be purchased on site for $20. Group tickets, available for groups of 10 people or more, are offered at the discounted price of $15.

Established in 2013, the business is owned by brothers Jason and Jeff Pavlocak. A farmers market known as Hillside Orchards during its off-season, it is transformed during September and October to create a scary story visitors get to live out. Over its past four seasons, an ongoing storyline has evolved and this new season sees the story continues.

“The story is the cultists are back at it again trying to bring the farmer back, the killbillies are running amuck, and now there are witches casting spells,” said Julia Smitley, an 18 year old actress who has worked for Haunted Hillside for the past two years. “There is complete and utter havoc.”

An outdoor haunt, visitors will start with a hayride followed by a one-mile hike. There is free parking on site, public restrooms, and food and merchandise for sale. Open rain or shine, visitors are told to dress for the weather.

“A visit to Haunted Hillside entails a lot of scares, and an overall spooky walk through the woods, make sure to bring boots,” said Smitley.

Around 30-40 actors work at the attraction. The owners or the actors provide the costumes, a small team of people help with the make up, and the masks are made by Tom Savini’s SFX makeup program based out of Monessen.

“My favorite thing is when I get people who are really into it and are being a good

sport,” said Smitley. “Getting a good scare can make your entire night.”

Haunted Hillside is a great stop for anyone looking for something to do this weekend. As Smitley said, “If they want scary Halloween fun for the whole family, then bring them here.”

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