The Fear Bonus Could Be The Best…Or The Worst
“We used to get a $100 body fluids bonus. Anyone losing control of their functions would be noted and there’d be a bonus. I once slammed open a door as a group of Japanese tourists were coming up into the first room. Made $700 without saying a word. Front desk later said they didn’t really understand what they were getting into. They went back out and asked what was happening because I scared them. The cashier tried to explain that there’d be 30 minutes of that and then realized they’d all peed their pants.
The flip side was I also had the saddest $100 I ever made. Nobody warned me there was a family that had brought in a kid of about 12, 13 maybe, with down syndrome. That kid was so upset, she didn’t understand it wasn’t real and was genuinely afraid. I felt like a dolt but I didn’t know.”
This Big Tough Guy Got A Lot Less Intimidating
“My spot was very simple. As the groups turned a corner, I would reach out of a trap door near the ceiling, wearing a creepy alien hand, and poke them in the head or something. I’d always wait until the first person in the group passed because the scaredy cats always hid behind the brave one. One group came in, three good sized dudes. Dude 2 was clinging to the back of Dude 1. I reached down and pulled off his beanie.
He freaked out and started sobbing, total meltdown. I came out of my spot to show him I’m a high schooler with a glove on, I gave him back his hat, and directed him to the exit.
Turns out, I made the goalie for the local Ontario Hockey League team cry. Oops.”
The House That Could Actually Cause Some Serious Harm…
“I worked at a haunted house one year in high school to earn theater credits. I was dressed up as a crazy mad scientist type (bloody lab coat, etc.) and placed in a scene with a fake body on a surgery table, flayed wide open with its guts coming out. I was also given this little power tool – I actually don’t even know what it was, it resembled a dentist’s drill. It made a loud scary drilling noise and had a little bit right at the end that spun really fast (like a drill, I guess). My job was to scare people just as they were coming around the corner, jump out at them and BZZZZZ BZZZZZ BZZZZZZZ with my drill. I had kinda gotten a feel for where people positioned themselves coming around that corner – they could see there was something coming up so they would all usually be squishing themselves against the opposite wall. Well, this worked well for a couple nights, until one night a man came around the corner holding his probably 4-5-year-old daughter on his hip – so the back of her head was facing me, and was also closer to me than I anticipated. I heard them coming, jumped out and fired up my drill – the end of which went straight into the little girl’s hair and got immediately tangled up. Kind of like getting your hair stuck in the back of the hairdryer. She screamed and cried, I screamed and cried, I hit the emergency button so the lights came on and the rest of the group was ushered out while we tried to get this thing out of her hair. We ended up having to cut some of it.
The dad was very understanding with me (I was only 16 after all, and obviously as traumatized as his daughter), but kinda angry at the haunted house for having a prop that could cause actual damage. We resumed operations shortly after, but I never lept towards people again. I just stood over my blood and guts and made scary noises there.”
He Spooked Way More People Than He Thought
“I worked at an amusement park with a haunted house. I worked in maintenance and my workshop was behind the house. I could hear people going through on the other side of the wall getting scared, screaming all that fun stuff.
I would try to be quiet when I hear someone going through so as not to have people hear, ‘Hey Joe, pass me a screwdriver.’
I also had things like chains and metal gates and industrial supplies, so in an effort to help out with some atmosphere if I had a moment I would rattle some chains, run a bar over the gate, or smack the wall with an extension cord.
After a few years, the manager of the house was in my shop asking for a cord or something and remarked how you can really hear the actors well from back here. I said yes and rattled some chains against the wall.
His eyes went huge and he yelled: ‘It’s been you!!’
Apparently, his young and creative crew working in a dark creepy environment had been certain that the place was really haunted because these ‘inexplicable’ noises happened and freaked them out a bit.
I said, ‘Oops, well now you can let them know.’
He smiled and said, ‘I’m not telling them anything. Keep it up.'”
The Old Woman Couldn’t Handle The House
“I was working chainsaw at a haunted house. We were set up behind a large sliding door. I saw this old lady being led through by another man. She was walking with a cane so I decided to take an easy approach. I started the saw behind the door, dramatically rolling it open and holding the saw one handed to the side and walked toward her. She stiffed up and panic ran across her face. I’m within 3 feet of the woman and she winds up and hits me in the leg with her cane. I stopped dead and slowly looked down at my leg and then looked back up at her. Stumbling with her words due to fear she managed ‘I..I…peed myself.’
I had to hold back so hard on breaking character laughing as the man apologized for her hitting me.”
The Best Prank Yet
“One of the rooms in our guided haunted house was full of vampires feeding on a corpse. The head vampire would yell, ‘Are you still hungry? Then feed!’ The vampires would rush the crowd and drag out someone we planted in each group while the guide freaked out and rushed the rest of the crowd out of the room.
When I was the plant I chatted with people waiting in line to give it more impact when I was dragged away. One guy and I hit it off talking about horror movies, and why isn’t there a movie about a haunted house where the attendees are really getting killed off. We made a pact right then that if something crazy happened in this haunted house we would have each other’s backs. We’d be like, ‘Bro, we are so pumped and ready for this haunted house, bro!’
We got to the vampire room. The vampires rushed forward, grabbed me, and started to drag me away. I was on the ground kicking and screaming and selling this moment with all my heart, and I was looking straight at my bro the whole time begging him to help me. This poor, poor guy froze in panic. He was staring at me with horror and guilt warring on his face as he was forcibly pushed out of the room by the fleeing crowd.
I probably should have let him go on with his life always wondering if what just happened was real. Instead, I went outside and caught him on the way to the parking lot. He was pale and shaking and staring off into the distance while his concerned friends pulled him along. He saw me and nearly collapsed in relief. Then he started apologizing profusely for panicking and not trying to save me. We had a good laugh, but he was clearly shaken by the ordeal. It was an awesome and humbling experience.”
He Terrified Some Teens
“I’ve actually built several haunted houses over the years, starting with dinky ones in a friend’s garage to an actual one in an old department store we rented out. So I’ve had a LOT of experience and I have too many stories to count.
My favorite was one year we designed and built a maze in my brother’s backyard as the finale to the rest of the haunted house. This maze had two fake walls that we could swing to the other side so people would go down the hall and turn, run into a dead end, turn back, and realize the straight hall they’d come from now turned left. If we played it right, we could keep people in there for hours.
So these three young teenagers came through, acting all tough. We get them to jump a few times but no big reactions. I hid at the end of the maze in the shadows and launched out at them right as they passed by me. That freaked them out, so they started running down the connecting hallway that was lined with a tarp. That led them into a giant room (black tarp again) that was pitch black. Other actors would hide in there and jump at people, which always got a good scare. So back to the boys. They were running down the hall and kept looking back at me and were freaking out that I was still running after them. They got to the black room but couldn’t back away like they wanted since I was right behind them, so they powered through and screamed a few times. Then they made it out and saw it was over so they started acting all tough again. Of course, they said they weren’t scared… right.
I heard a new group coming into the maze so I went back. Just for kicks, I followed them out, too, and the three teens were still near the exit on side of the house. Without warning, I BOLTED at them, shrieking, and their eyes widened in absolute horror. One of them shoved his friend to the ground as a sacrifice, who, I kid you not, curled into a ball and screamed for his mother. One of them ran off successfully, but the third literally ran into a parked car and fell flat on his back.
I couldn’t stop crying for the next hour. I nearly peed myself laughing.”
At Least One Couple Survived This Horrific House
“My first year working I managed to cause a break-up. A young teen couple came into my room already a little freaked out. I came out from behind my door, slamming it against the wall, and screamed bloody murder at them. The guy picked up his girlfriend, threw her at me, and ran out of the room. The girl was SUPER mad and completely ignored me laughing as she went after him.
Then there was another time when an older couple out on their anniversary night. They walked into a room where one girl was serving as a distraction. She got their attention just long enough for another actor to sneak up behind and scare them. The couple both pooped their pants at the same time and waddled out together, hand in hand.”
“I got beat with a shovel…and I thought it was hilarious.
The shovel was a prop in a creepy campsite scene. Bloody clothes on a line, we had a real fire (since we were outdoors)…and I was the maniac with a chainsaw.
Anyway, my character came out and scared a group of people. One of the two girls bolted to what was essentially a dead end, so of course, I targeted her for more ‘stalking’ by slowly plodding towards her with the chainsaw wide open.
I was walking towards her and I ended up getting caught up in the clothes hanging on the line. Wasn’t intentional…but I couldn’t see her for a second or two.
I didn’t flinch, stayed in character…I just kept my slow plod towards her…knowing I’d come out of the sheet momentarily.
And the second I did ‘CLANG!’ She had grabbed the shovel and decided she was Babe Ruth.
I got it upside the face with the shovel. Thankfully it was a small, lightweight, aluminum snow shovel…and the girl swinging it wasn’t very strong either. It didn’t hurt at all.
I legitimately started laughing, which made it worse (for her) and revving the chainsaw up even more, and ended up basically having a ‘sword fight’ with her. She’s be stabbing at me with the shovel and I was deflecting it with the chainsaw bar.
We secured the shovel for the future.”
The Type Of Creep That Doesn’t Belong In A Haunted House
“The headless horseman decided it would be really scary to grope the young teens/teens in the haunted house. After a particularly young girl (prob 11, tops) came out crying and had a panic attack, I went in and punched him in the face, leaving him with a nasty black eye. Cops came along and ended up putting me in cuffs. During this scene, about five additional parents came in and said the headless horseman (who was about 27, I was 18) had touched their daughters too, and the cops put him in cuffs as well.
After about 20 mins of sitting in the cop car in cuffs and running background checks, they said he had a bunch of priors and let me go.”
“HANDS OFF MY CORN!!!!!!”
“I worked at a Maize Maze during a summer at University and at Halloween, they changed it into being a Halloween themed place. It was really good and they had several attractions so, being a poor student, I signed up for some extra money over Halloween. It was awesome. The main attraction was a walk through the cornfield where stuff would jump out at you. A tractor would drop you off at the start of a path and you’d make your own way through. They made me up to look like some kind of demon/reaper with a cloak and massive head wound. As people came down this first path I’d emerge from the corn and scare some of them then. However, the tractor dropped off fifty people at a time so I was positioned a little way along the path to hold people in a queue, split people up and stagger them as they go through for maximum effect. On busy nights people would be standing around for a while so I’d have to entertain people a bit. Each group I’d do something different. For one group I pretended to be mute and just made rasping sounds, which would freak a few people out. This time the line was quite long and so I had to prowl up and down to stop people from getting bored. Towards the back, I noticed a bit of a commotion and realized that a guy had gone into the field and was pulling off some of the cobs. As he got back in line he hadn’t noticed me so I got behind him and bellowed ‘GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY CORN!!!!!!’ in a crazy voice I conjured up from somewhere.
He screamed, jumped two feet in the air and threw the cob he was holding over his shoulder and hit his mate in the face.
I had to try so hard not to break character and laugh in his face.”
It Wasn’t The House That Scared This Group
“The last year I worked at an attraction I was in a massive puppet that was a mix between mechanical and beast. It was my personal nightmare because it was plaster and fake fur on wheels, it just retained the heat so I wore the bare minimum possible. My constant outfit was a pair of black short shorts, a dark colored tank top, and a pair of steel toe Wolverine boots to stop the wheels from crushing my toes. Rarely did I have to leave the puppet because it spooked people enough and made them leave my area but sometimes people really make dumb decisions. Such as one group, it was a middle-aged group with like 3 couples and they were tipsy because getting hammered and then going to a haunted house is great entertainment. These losers would just not leave my area, I was getting so frustrated but wasn’t mad yet then they made the mistake… they touched the puppet I was in and tore the foam off his jaws damaging an item that is worth more than one of their ugly pickup trucks I assume they drive. I came tearing out from behind the puppet, a chubby, angry 19-year-old female in the above outfit, just cursing a storm and throwing a hissy fit. Apparently, that was a terrifying sight because they all bolted, cannon baling and smacking into the walls while some woman in the group screamed how she peed herself.
The next night I was congratulated by my bosses and the whole haunt family because they caught it all on tape, it’s now been saved forever and used to show everyone that you don’t have to be dressed like a monster to scare people.”
He Was The Only One Happy About Her Tears
“This is the only time I’ve felt good making someone cry. One night I was posted in a new spot right before one of those inflatable tunnels that you have to squeeze yourself through. A lot of people hesitated to go through so it was basically my job at this post to funnel them towards it with a good scare. It usually worked, except for one girl. I jumped out and the group, of course, screamed and started running through the tunnel. I guess the last girl in the group was a little claustrophobic though because even as I slowly stumbled closer behind her, she saw the tunnel and stopped dead in her tracks. So I had to get her to go through without breaking character. So, I got right up behind her and just as I do she turned and started screaming. I put both my hands against the inflatable tunnel on either side of her and continued to laugh maniacally right in her face. At this point, she started to cry (still screaming) and slid down the side of the tunnel until she was almost resting on her haunches. She had all but given up and I was starting to wonder if I’d have to break character to get her through.
But just then a hand popped out from the tunnel, grabbed her by the shoulder, and pulled her through still screaming and crying. Needless to say, I was proud of my work.”