Rachel Wilkinson at Harper’s Magazine:
In the 1970s and ’80s, Pittsburgh’s haunted-house scene was booming. Simmons remembers perusing long lists of Halloween happenings printed in the local newspaper, then grabbing twenty dollars and spending the whole night hopping between attractions. There were no websites or phone numbers; the haunted houses would stay open until people stopped showing up. The era of big-budget haunted houses didn’t exist yet, and almost all of them were for charity, run by volunteer fire departments, Elks Clubs, Make-A-Wish, and the United States Junior Chamber, also known as the Jaycees. The Jaycees’ haunted-house fundraisers became so successful that they circulated how-to manuals to their chapters nationwide; many experts credit the Jaycees with putting a haunted house in every city in America.