Haunted House Employees Divulge The Worst Parts Of Their Job
Boo! ...Did I scare you?
Tis the season to be spooky! And it's truly shaping up to be a fun one. But with the season comes the season's idiosyncrasies.
u/FTWmedic31 asked Reddit:
Here were the spoopiest answers.
A Monster Bone Mash
Being in the coffin on your knees for four hours and how much they hurt the next day.
Fight Or Flight
I've worked in a few over the years and I was usually one of the guys in the scary outfits to jump out at people.
There is a significant number of people that attack when they get frightened. A few bloody noses and one woman's ring cut my cheek.
Seems Like A Waste For Ya, Friends
When I helped at my local haunted house for extra cash, it was groups of football players or tough guys. They pay money to come in, and then act like nothing affects them, saying it's all stupid... why even come and pay money?
Be A Serious Acteur
Has to be the silicone masks. Especially the ones of distorted and ugly freaks, so hard to see and breathe.
But also now when I go to a haunted house I have expectations for the actors, like we're told never break character no matter what someone asks you and I've seen this happen at my own haunt when I came as a guest for a bachelorette party, one of the girls kept asking various actors how they were doing and several of them broke character and answered even when a manager was walking through behind the group.
It's A Tough Job
A couple things that are irritating.
- Washing off the make-up at the end of the night.
- Trying to keep the same energy for 6-8 hours of scares.
- Your voice tends to become extremely sore from screaming all night. You have to deal with people who show up to the haunt who don't want to be scared, they just want to tell laugh in your face and call you names.
- When you scare someone who can't control their body when they are afraid, they tend to throw their arms around or throw things at you. Getting hit in the face sucks even if it's from a 80lb person.
- You usually get off work late at night, so finding a decent place to eat can be difficult. It usually is McDonald or Taco Bell.
- You end up doing a lot of physical activity. So if you are wearing a costume (usually rubber) you end up stinking like synthetic sh*t.
Once Upon A Midnight Dreary
I once was a part of a haunted house in school. I was in charge of the props and costumes, along with the Deco. But on the day, someone was sick and I had to take their place. Luckily, I had been to acting camp before, and I had experience.
Apparently, I was so good that when I jump scared someone they freaked out and literally roundhouse kicked me in the face.
I suffered a bloody and broken nose and had to take 12 stitches for where my fake skeleton nose stabbed my cheek from the impact.
So I guess the worse part is the more... Jumpy people.
Still participating in this year's tho. Hopefully I don't get kicked again.
Management: I once volunteered at a local haunt and had a great setup I devised with another girl. During our test runs she would distract the guest by being creepy and, when they thought that was all, they'd pass by me hiding in a nook and I would surprise them with my absolutely blood curdling sonic scream... we made so many people jump with fright! Even people who knew what was coming would still jump outta their skin, including those who had been through already!
We were the talk of the camp. Days before the grand opening, though, the manager/owner decided to split us up and completely ruined our jazz. My new section had nothing that I could reasonably work with. Furthermore, I was all by myself... not an ideal situation for a woman playing a character in a haunted warehouse. The following test run garnered reactions that fall more under the category of annoyance and boredom, rather than fright. I tried reasoning with the owner to change it back to the way it was, but they refused. Being that it was a volunteer position, I quit. That was almost ten years ago and I'm still shaking my head in disapproval. What a shame.
And You're Out
I worked in a haunted house for a famous theme park. I did the jump scares and had an awesome scream that could usually get a jump out of most people. The worst people were the teenage girls actually. I always hear them say "I will punch/hit/kick anyone that scares me". And most actually do it to make the group laugh.
It's not funny. I got hit several times from these kind of people and I actually got a bloody nose and a cut cheek from a ring one girl was wearing. I don't understand people who go into places knowing their reaction would be something like this. It just hurts me and gets you thrown out of the park.
This Is Real Blood
A patron broke my nose. By accident.
Especially towards the end of the night, drunk patrons are an actual threat (I've had a couple slapstick roadhouse moments), but this one was totally my fault. I heard two screaming women (screamers are great because they make things more fun/scary for other patrons, and they're a morale boost for the workers, too). I was roaming a nearby, open room, so I immediately hunted them down. I put them into a small room where I knew another coworker would not be immediately noticed, but scare them after a beat. I tried to time tossing them in, waiting from the other side of the doorway so that it would go down that they enter, jump scare, turn, flanking jump scare. I had them pegged for the deer-in-headlights type -- I was so wrong. When I pivoted into the doorway, I immediately took a forehead to the face as they ran out, gushing real blood over fake as my nose was smashed. Totally stunned, unable to talk, I took a knee, and the two women stopped. "Is that for real? :pause: Let's keep going."
There was supposed to be security only 10 feet behind me, but they had wandered, so as I gathered my wits enough to talk, I spent several minutes calling out the worker's safeword until someone found me and could guide me off to the greenroom area.
This was a non-profit organization with little or no insurance, I was a volunteer, and had signed a waiver indemnifying the organization. I was also broke, so rather than go for medical attention, I spent the next hour or two in the greenroom as people filtered in and out, with people sheepishly commenting that I was probably ok. When I brought up the incident the next year with the guy who found me (coincidentally an EMT), his immediate response was, "yeah, I knew that was broken the moment I saw you." I have a c bit of displaced cartilage that pokes up just beneath the skin. It itched for months.
After that I didn't want to risk incidental contact with patrons, so I spent my remaining days of the season working front of house as the Guy with the Busted Face. During that time I met a returning patron who had crazily enough just gotten out of the hospital the year before. He was a stabbing victim with no sternum, and still had drains in his chest, but he came out anyway. This year that I met him, my coworker recognized him, he showed us his lack of sternum (soon to be replaced, he said), and we again hooked him up with a glow light that signaled to haunted house workers to handle with care.
I was a vampire. Being assaulted and having to stay in character till the room was clear to report them to security. Being hurt physically by a customer just for scaring them. People bringing in infants. Just to be safe I'd refuse to do my act and just smile and wave when there was an infant in the group so no one would get scared and somehow knock over the mother holding the baby. It ruins the experience for the whole group. People would also bring in their small children and tell you off for scaring the small child.
"It wasn't me!"
There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.
Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked: