Hey reddit! This years marks my seventhyear working at Haunted Hunt Club Farm in Virginia Beach, VA! Ask me anything about the job, the people, myself, I’m off work from my day job today, so I’ll be around to answer any questions!!
Me in my scene: http://imgur.com/MyihNL1
and of course: http://www.hauntedhuntclubfarm.com/
Are you allowed to touch the people walking through? Also has anyone every touched/hit you while acting?
aha and we start with my favorite question. a lot of haunted houses don’t allow the actors to touch the customers. but not us. We are allowed to touch you, as long as it couldn’t be considered sexual or violent. typically, I brush the back of someones head gently
Has anyone thrown a punch in fear yet?
oh yes, I’ve been hit a number of times. pushed once, and I tripped over a tree root (we are an outdoor attraction) and twisted my ankle REALLY badly
What’s the most memorable “scare” you’ve gotten someone with? Like who reacted the most hilariously?
this one time, a small boy was walking through holding his grandpas hand. He was giving everyone a thumbs up and saying “cool costume! cool costume!” When he was turned around, I snuck up on him, so when he turned back, I was in his face and I said “What did you say?” and he said whimpered “cool costume… please don’t hurt me..”
definitely the most hilarious. I laughed out loud, and his grandparents heard me and laughed.
What’s the worst thing that’s happened? As in you were like “Oh crap I/someone else messed up”
hmm. Anytime I make someone hurt themself, I feel bad. But they’re usually so scared that they take off before I’m able to see if they’re okay
What are your wages? How many hrs do you work? Do you feel slighted if people are like, “pshh, that’s not very scary, more like a 6ft. turkey..”?
I think we get paid minimum wage. All I know is at the end of the month, I get a ~$500 check. It’s only during October.
When you’ve done the job for a while, you realize that there are 3 types of people. People who are really scared, people who are grumpy or they aren’t having fun, and people who are laughing and have a good time, mostly laughing at the first type of person.
I enjoy scaring the scared people, making the laughing people laugh, and ignoring the grumpy people. They’ve wasted their money, they’re bitter for some reason and they aren’t going to have a good time no matter what I do, they’ve made up their mind. So no, I don’t mind people saying stuff like that, because in the end, I’m having fun and they aren’t, so I win
How much “training” or “preparation” do you do to get ready? Not so much the props/set… but is this done like a play, where you have tech rehearsals and walk thru? Do you have “lines” to memorize? How critical is the timing in your section of the attraction, and have you ever messed that up?
sometimes our boss will give us actual lines, but most of the time we’re just given a character and told to run with it. for example, this year, I’m a crazy barber from the 20’s. I speak with a trans-atlantic accent, ask people if they want a little off the top, sometimes I repeat the same speech over to different groups if it flowed well. Basically, throughout the season, we get really really good at doing our character.
Our show is much more interactive than a lot of places. We really strive to have the customers suspend their disbelief. we never break character, we talk to them personally, make a lot of remarks about specific customers.
And no, no tech rehearsals. We do costuming a week before opening night though
Have you ever hooked up with anyone in the haunted house?
What’s something that people do that aggravates you as a haunted house actor?
It sucks to get punched and threatened, but the worst of all is when someone is just complaining, and angry. Why even bother? Who forced you to come here? Just go home. There are people here that just want to have a good time, and you’re being an ass
Do you get many awkward people that try to annoy you on purpose or make you break out of character or maybe ask you questions about your job whilst you’re doing it?
haha. so, we open at 7:15 pm, and a line begins to form at around 6:30. During that time, if im in costume and ready, I’ll go and talk to the people in line, fully in character. A lot of the times they ask things like “how much do you get paid?” “how old do you have to be to work here?” “are there any clowns/monsters/animals in there?”
I won’t ever break character, but sometimes I answer their questions, like last night someone asked me how old, and I said “Well, when ya get in there and see all the children we have running around, you’ll have yer answer.”
Have you ever made someone shit themselves? If so what did you do afterwards?
haha, I don’t know, man. The other night I smelled something awful. They would never admit to it
Do you as actors ever accidentally scare each other?
I’m actually a huge scaredy cat. So they do it on accident to me all the time!
Do all the actors hang out in costumes after?
not in costume, but sometimes we go out for drinks. we’re usually too tired though
How do you manage to keep the energy up through out the season without getting bored of the character ? Do you switch characters?
I don’t struggle with that, I greatly enjoy it, and a lot of candy helps with the energy.
Have you ever scared someone so badly that they needed special escort out of the haunted house? This happened to a friend of mine years ago, and he is still pretty traumatized.
actually, just the other night, a girl started to have a panic attack. I had the other girl working in the scene with me escort her straight to the exit
Do you have a preferred customer you’re just naturally geared towards scaring? Old people, women, men, little boys, little girls, punk teens, etc? lol If so, why is it that you get excited to scare them more than others?
well, this year my character is less scary, more just crazy, so I like to make people laugh
How many times have you been punched in the face?
Have you ever had to stop being in character because someone had a physical/visceral reaction? What’s the protocol you follow?
we give them room to get up, if we aren’t, we send for help, and to stop the flow of people inside
Have any of the guests ever scared YOU? I remember as a kid I’d try to get real low and sneak up behind the spookers and spook them instead. Some laughed, some were immensely annoyed. One guy got so pissed that I spooked him that I decided to never do it anymore.
yeah, it happens, and it’s annoying and embarrassing.
How do you feel if guests casually walk through and don’t react to the scares? I’ve been that person.. I can be very boring.
it doesn’t bother me. I get paid either way
Do you try to scare women more so you can see their boobies bounce?
good question though.
How often are people too out of it (under the influence of something) to react to the performers? Any funny stories?
yeah, we get some drunk people. most of the time, there’s a 1-2 second gap between scaring them and then reacting, which is always funny to watch.