The other side of the scare
As the fall sets in, days get shorter, temperatures get colder, and wherever you go, there’s an eerie feeling in the air that lets you know it’s almost Halloween.
For centuries, humans have loved to scare themselves, and each other, with ghost stories. We have a fascination with the macabre that became even more prevalent in the 19th century thanks to frighteningly lifelike waxworks, gory theatrical spectacles, freak shows, and “ghost houses.”
Over the last century, these attractions gave way to our modern Halloween traditions, including trick-or-treating and haunted houses. In fact, Smithsonian reports that such customs evolved during the Great Depression when parents and neighbors decided to designate specific thrills for their kids around Halloween in order to prevent them from vandalizing abandoned properties. Who knew?
Now, haunted houses and hayrides are among the most popular of Halloween traditions, and every year, you hear more news stories and online rankings of the most terrifying haunted attraction in the United States. You probably know what it’s like to walk (or run) through one, but have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in one?
I was a talking head on a table. A group of five people led by a girl comes into my room and when the get close to me I say “Hello” fairly nonchalantly. The girl in front screams and falls backwards with a domino effect taking everyone else in her group with her. (VikingRabies)
I had a VERY creepy costume that was making some people uncomfortable. One girl wouldn’t even look at me. I happened to be passing by when she was being introduced to someone, and overheard her name. Made a note of it, and an hour or so later I noticed she was trying to work up the courage to look at my costume. I looked directly at her and whispered her name slowly. She FREAKED OUT. Even pulling off the mask didn’t help, because I was still face painted and we didn’t know each other. Her friends took her outside, and eventually they let her come back in so I could apologize.
We’re still casual friends, and when I see her at the bar, I always make a point to walk up behind her and whisper her name. I still get a reaction. 😀 (NorthwestGiraffe)
I worked the last couple years volunteering at a haunted barn. Last year I was a nurse in charge of the insane asylum room. I wore scrubs and had my hair in weird pigtails. Lots of white makeup with dark circles under my eyes. I stood right where people walked in and I just stood still, no blinking, no head turning. I’d just follow them with my eyes. Many people thought I was one of the anamatronic. While people were focused on me trying to figure out if I was real or not, another guy would jump out of the coffin in a straight jacket and scare the crap out of people.
One night he scared a girl so bad she fell in the coffin with him and had her crotch in his face. He couldnt get her out because he was in a straight jacket so I had to go help lift her out, but I was laughing so hard it took longer than it should have.
One of the other nights a group of guys came through and assumed I was an anamatronic and he grabbed my boob. I just asked him if he was into f**king dead people. He felt so bad when he figured out I was real. It scared the s**t out of him though. (eternaladdictions)
More frighteningly scary haunted house stories this way…