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Haunted house workers, what is something that a guest had said or done that made you break character?

not me, but my friends and I were walking through and there was this girl with make up to look like she had a slit throat and just sat there and said “do you wanna play” and he responded with “nah I‘m not ticklish“ she said it again and he said with quite a bit of force and said “Look woman… I AM NOT IN THE MOOD FOR KICKBALL!” and she broke out laughing.

Former monster clown. Whenever someone mentioned the word “phobia” or approached me to tell me that someone in their group was too scared of me to go through, I’d introduce myself and turn my back to that group.

I didn’t want anyone to get hurt, and I wanted them to GTFO my room so people would keep moving through and not get all bunched up. Huge groups of people were no fun for the guests or the actors.

I was in very well one of the best spots in the house. We call this one “mineshaft,” where the only light comes from the night sky or sparks, other effects we have in the house, and it is themed around a (you guessed it) mineshaft. Well, in this particular instance I was the first scare as the people came through. I enjoyed the spot where I was because it was pretty much pitch black, and having dark clothes on I blended right in. There is this long corridor that at my end, where the light is completely pitch black, they turned to another section in the house, and at the other end is this corridor that makes up the entrance, so I can see the light and the people coming but they couldn’t see me. It was such a great spot because I would be right in front of them as well, and because of this I was able to scare them head on. Some people jumped back, some people almost tripped and fell, groups of girls screamed, people laughed hysterically because they were so high, and other people just stared. But what made me break character was this boyfriend and girlfriend, looked to be in high school, and I saw that the girlfriend was grabbing her boyfriend very closely and looked to be unnerved by the whole house. Boyfriend kept telling her that it was alright and reassuring her. By this time they were walking down this corridor that I’m facing down, and comes my turn to scare. I can make a really good sort of “zombie screech” and it’s exactly what I did. To my surprise the boyfriend jumped back but the girlfriend just stood still for about 5 seconds. She then slowly started walking back and collapsed to the floor, sobbing hysterically and wouldn’t move. The boyfriend went up to her and tried to reassure her but she kept crying. At this point I broke character and asked if she was okay and if I could help. It took about two minutes of reassurance before we both helped her out of the house, still sobbing. It definitely looked to be a panic attack and I was glad I was able to help, but also a bit bummed about ruining their night and causing that distress to the girl. It all comes with the territory for sure though.

TL;DR – When our group of 4 in the final room scared a guy so bad he ran straight into a cement wall. Busted up his head something fierce. I definitely broke character to take him out of the “haunted house” and get him some medical treatment.

This was Highschool and a haunted house opening up was trying to get workers. They asked our theatre troop to work, so of course I said yes. The “haunted house” was 4 separate buildings with courtyards connecting each one. The buildings were actually Japanese internment camps/jails used during World War 2. Myself and three others took up residence in the final building. Our setup was awesome and got voted the best part of the whole experience.

  1. Disorientation – removed all light sources to make our area as dark as possible. Set up multiple strobe lights some were motion activated (these were put inside the jail cells, so when you step in you get blasted by bright light flashing in your face) some ran constant (these were placed at the end of the hall towards the exit. Moving towards a strobe light is rough. So most people would enter and turn away from it to walk the opposite direction. Leading them to a dead end. Also loud constant noises. Once the entire group of “visitors” were trapped inside, the four of us would make loud obnoxious noises (think sirens not ghost sounds; intermingled with laughter and barking) to add to the disorientation.

  2. Jump scares – to raise the heart rate, get those fear juices flowing and make them more susceptible to future scares. I stood behind the main entrance door and would pop out spouting some old world prayers “now I lay me down to sleep…”. One of our members hid on the roof and once all visitors had entered the building she’d jump down and block the doorway. Another member was in the last cell with stage pyrotechnics (fireballs that shoot from your hand and creating trails of fire on the cement walls)…it also helped she was an opera singer and could shriek like a true Siren. The final member was a wild beast that charged groups on all fours and “threw big bones in their general direction”.

  3. Abandonment Fear – we couldn’t do this with everyone, but if one or two people came in, got disoriented and found themselves in one of the last jail cells (no strobe light, just darkness) we’d shut them in and lock it. As soon as this happens we go quiet and slink off back to our starting positions to get ready for the next group of visitors. We’d leave these people locked in the cell for usually one or two groups and then release them. But only when the current group was disoriented and trapped at the dead end…creeeeeaaaak CLANG! The jail door opens and these people come running out, terror ensues from both parties, running scrambling and tripping over each other, while the four of us sit back and enjoy the show!

Building details…it was basically a big U shaped building and you entered about half way up on one side (so when you enter you can go left or right). Curve in the U led towards the exit but was also where the strobe lights were setup. There were maybe 10 or 12 jail cells on each side, sooo the building was about 100m in length?

So this is how things would typically go…
A group of visitors tentatively come in the door. Down the hall to their right is a bright strobe light flashing and out pops me giving my creepy final prayers to these unfortunate souls. At the same time, down drops girl 1 from the roof, Thud! She blocks the entrance with her machete. The visitors turn and run away from the light and towards the dead end. Realizing they are trapped they turn around to see the shadows of myself and girl 1 walking towards them. Queue loud disorienting noises and beast guy. From behind us feral beast man rushes past us straight for the visitors. Clack! A bone bounces off the wall next to these people who in their terror move into one of the jail cells. Whoosh!!!! Fireballs are launched and the wall is ignited to create burning scratch marks on the walls and girl 2 shrieks adding to the existing din. In runs beast guy causing the visitors to rush out of the cell and back into the hallway where they end up running towards the strobe light and around the corner. Girl 1 is already getting back on the roof and I have climbed into the ceiling so when these people come running around the corner, and see the gift shop noting the end of the haunted house, I can drop down in front of them for one last scare. Reset and repeat.

In the case of the guy who smashed his head….he was locked up in the cell for a couple turns. People thought he was part of the act or didn’t believe him when he said he was trapped. When we finally let him out he flipping booked it. Unfortunately, he went the wrong way (away from strobe instead of into it) and face planted into the wall. I can still hear the smacking sound of him hitting it. He was pretty bloody. Got him out safely and to a medical professional. The “owner” of the haunted house was so worried about a lawsuit, but the guy kept saying it was the most fun he’d had in years. He came back three more days and brought his family, friends and coworkers to experience it. It was great to see him each time. On the return trips he’d write a note and put it and $40 in an envelope and ask someone to take it to the last group (us). He’d tell us who he had in his party, who to single out and what the group in front of him looked like so we knew when he was going to come through.

Honestly, working that Haunted House is still in my top 10 for life experiences. So much fun and so many good memories.

Mine from a previous post;.

In my high school haunting years there was a fairgrounds haunt with three separate attractions/houses, mine being a called The Mineshaft I do believe. I was positioned at the end of a hallway, proceeding a maze, with a 180 degree corner/turn the patrons had to make to continue thru the haunt. A light above, in the corner, gave me a great hiding place. Pair this with some black clothes, black trench coat (cause I was an edgy teen), a black leather mask and now I’m a cross between Bane & the gimp (a la Pulp Fiction).

Now my job was a simple jump scare with a twist, or more a shovel. Per instructions, I was to strike the shovel on the ground as patrons approached, yielding a nice reaction 70% of the time. Nothing too dramatic, just gasps, jumps and some screams. As time went on in this post I also discover that the shovel blade plus concrete could produce a spark when struck right.

Enter the couple in grey sweats.

I hope, as long as I live, that I never forget the couple in grey sweats. In haunts it’s easy to hear if there’s a lively group approaching and they were no exceptions.

In ~15 seconds this all unfolds; a VERY heavyset couple leaves the maze and begins to approach, wearing matching light grey sweats pants and sweatshirts. I spark my shovel. She screams bloody murder. Takes off like a startled baby rhino. I dodge her like the matrix. She slams full speed into and takes out the wall behind me, not the best construction as it was a temporary event, completely missing the 180 degree turn that was mentioned earlier. Hangs a right and hauls off down the employee access tunnel towards the exit door.

Leaving a very dumbfounded me and her significant other in the aftermath. In the end, lights had to be turned on. Traffic had to be temporarily stopped. The wall was patched back together. Her suitor was escorted to the back exit where he was reunited with his bonny lass as she was being menaced by a clown with a chainsaw.

Now I’m no spring chicken myself, but if that teacup hippo would have been going a tad faster, she’d have left a Wiley Coyote style hole in that plywood wall.