Scott Simmons of Scarehouse Halloween Guest DJ
Sound is a huge part of what makes the Scarehouse as terrifying as it is, and Scott Simmons, as creative director, is one of the people in charge of making the soundscape as creepy as possible. “We’re big theme park nerds, audio nerds, and so we put a lot of effort into the sound design of the place. We’ll have multiple audio tracks, and in fact one of the songs I’m going to play today is a big influence on everything we’ve done at Scarehouse, being a kind of cinematic experience.”
The first song on Scott’s playlist is inspired by the old horror movies he watched when he was younger. Dead Man’s Bones’ song by the same name was the pick. “Turns out somebody who was much cooler and hipper than me, Ryan Gosling, has the same kind of passion for that kind of stuff, the old school monster movies and ghosts and things…and he actually formed this band called Dead Man’s Bones, which does a lot of creepy, fun Halloween music.”
The second song Simmon’s picked is “The Mummy” by Bob McFadden. The song was very influenced by old scary movies. “When I grew up in the 70s it used to be great to go to stores and get these long playing records that would be like combinations of spooky stories and Vincent Price stuff and spooky sound effects. I don’t know if they do that kind of stuff anymore…But both of those songs sound like stuff from that era.” These songs all make you feel like it’s Halloween without being the Monster Mash or Ghostbusters.
Third on the list is Alice Cooper’s “Years Ago”. Scott makes the point that not all of Alice Cooper’s music, which had been considered pretty nasty and aggressive in the 70s, was as bad as people thought it was. Looking back, it’s fun. “It’s that thin line between humor and horror, and Alice Cooper was right there. I mean, he was on the Muppet Show!” That said, “Years Ago” is still a very creepy song, and fits the theme quite well.
The final song on Scott Simmon’s playlist is “Grim Grinning Ghosts” from Disney’s Haunted Mansion. “That is the anthem of haunted house and Halloween people everywhere. That’s the song that was designed for the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland…I’m a major Haunted Mansion nerd.” Scott is such a nerd, he has Haunted Mansion bootlegs. His love for creating a cinematic experience is heavily influenced by this song.
The Scarehouse is open Halloween night, and Scott says it’s a great idea to come. “A lot people think that Halloween will be a really busy night at the Scarehouse, and actually it’s a great night to come out. We still have the full cast, we still have the haunt running at full strength, but because of trick or treating, because of other stuff going on, and it being a Thursday night, lines wont actually be that bad.” They’re open the weekend after Halloween also, in case you missed it before the holiday.
Scott says the Scarehouse’s scariest event ever is open this year. The Basement is now open, and unlike the upper floor which is PG-13 rated, the basement is very R rated. “The basement is about as hardcore as we can get.” You have to sign a waiver to get in, and you have to be older than 18, so you know it must be horrifying.
1. "Dead Mans Bones" - Dead Man's Bones
2. "The Mummy" - Bob McFadden
3. "Years Ago" -- Alice Cooper
4. “Grim Grinning Ghosts " - Disney's Haunted Mansion