Brian Sittig will scare the shit out of you. He does it for a living.
And if he doesn’t scare the shit out of you, his tattoos might.
Allow me to explain: Sittig is an actor at Pittsburgh’s renowned ScareHouse, a high-end haunted house both loved and loathed for its sphincter-tightening — or loosening — properties. He’s played serial killers and a demon there. He’s also the proud owner of two terrifying ScareHouse-themed tattoos. He got the clown first, the zombie second and is currently eyeing a third — possibly a decrepit baby doll — as part of a leg sleeve that remains a work in progress.
“My wife and kids think it’s pretty cool, they’re big horror fans, too,” Sittig said. “My mom thinks I’m crazy, but oh, well…”
Sittig added, “Last year was my first season working at ScareHouse. I already had a Freddy [Kreuger] and Pinhead on the other leg and I was willing to get a new one and decided to get a horror-themed leg all from ScareHouse.”
Here’s a video of the tattoos:
Sittig said he checked with ScareHouse management before committing their images to ink. He said they were “all for it.” In an email to The Incline, a ScareHouse spokesperson said of the partially finished product, ”This is rather uncommon. […] It’s amazing to see someone so passionate about something that you care [about]. The tattoo studios did a remarkable job!”
The tattoo artist, Kevin Burfield of Wayward Tattoos on West 12th Street in Erie, said Sittig’s ScareHouse pieces took between 8 and 10 hours each to complete. Burfield’s rate is around $100 an hour. (Sittig, 44, is originally from Erie and now lives in Cranberry Township.)
“We started the clown portrait from ScareHouse sometime last year and I think that took about two sessions — on average a single session for color work like that is around five hours — and he drove up two different times,” Burfield said. “A couple of months after that he wanted to start the zombie one which we recently finished.”
“He’s probably got enough room to add at least another one, maybe two more,” Burfield said.
Sittig agrees — *apologies in advance to his mother.
By this point you may be wondering how it got to this, how and why a grown man decided to immortalize the types of frightful images most of us wish we could forget. Without delving into the psychological reasons for humans wanting to be recreationally frightened, Sittig said he’s been a horror fan for as long as he can remember.
He also has a dovetailing affinity for haunted houses, ScareHouse in particular, which he describes as the crème de la crème. He’d wanted to audition to become one of its actors before but said he chickened out. He faced those fears and last year got hired. “Last year I was a serial killer for the Sunset Lodge theme,” he said by phone, audibly brimming with pride. “I also played a demon.”