1. I sent a woman into a full blown seizure
I gave a girl a seizure one time. That night, I was standing in a hallway dressed like an insane asylum inmate with gouged out eyes, and I had a little buzzer in my hand I could press to make the hall’s strobe lights buzz and a long sound go off. I pressed the buzzer as a woman entered with her boyfriend, and at first I thought she was shaking with fear. Nope, seizure. I broke character and escorted them out the secret door and flagged down a manager. I’m sure seeing a creepy chick with gouged out eyes trying to lead you somewhere was alarming for the couple. I’m not sure what happened after the ambulance came but I heard she was on drugs, and the company I was working for didn’t get sued, so I assume/hope she’s fine.
2. An actor accidentally hung himself
When I was training for my EMT I had to do a shift in the emergency room, just watching, maybe helping do some simple stuff. I picked the night before Halloween. It turned out to be a sad night. I was 18 years old and they brought in a 16 or 17 year old kid that they had stabilized in the ambulance. He was working at one of the local scare place posing as someone who was being hanged. He fell with a rope around his neck and actually hung himself. I remember seeing the x-rays and you could see where there was a gap between vertebra. The doctor just pointed to it and said he could not tell how bad it was but he might have become a paraplegic that night. I hope to God he got better.
3. My coworker set his arm on fire
I worked at a haunted trail in high school. The worst thing that happened was actually to a fellow worker and not a guest. His chain saw had run out of gas and instead of using a flashlight to see where he was pouring the gas, he decided to use a lighter. I was in the next stop on the trail and when I heard blood curdling screams I ran over to see him rolling on the ground with his arm on fire trying to put it out.
4. A violent group of teenagers showed up with actual knives
I worked one in High School my Junior year.
I wore a black skin suit so that I was basically invisible in the low light of the house. I was told that I wasn’t to physically touch any of the visitors to the haunted house. The organizer placed me at the end of the house in a hallway with open rafters above me. I hung onto the rafters and waited for someone to show up.
About an hour into my shift a group of teenagers showed up, and as I had many times before I dropped from rafters and howled at them.
The fun part about this group of teenagers is that they were packing knives. Every last fucking one of them. They all pulled them and one shouted at me “Who’s scared now??” To which I promptly said “That would be me.” I backed against the wall and the group walked past me. THANK GOD.
A few minutes later the on duty police officer came by and asked how I was, and I told him what happened. When my shift ended 30 minutes later I found the officer helping the kids that pulled the knives on me into his and another police car.
5. I ripped out a man’s stitches and ignored his screaming
Once a year there is a Fair in town with all sorts of attractions and roller coasters and of course a Haunted House. Its one of those rides where you get into this cart type thingy on a track and along the way stuff pops out at you, probably know what I’m talking about. After like 9pm they would put real people into the attraction. I applied for a job for the holiday there so I got to scare people and get paid, seemed like a pretty good deal to me right. When the carts went up to the second floor they turned around I had to jump at them and make some weird noises. The other guys had like a chainsaw or something else but I couldn’t do that. One time this couple came up with their cart and the dude had his hand hanging out of the cart. I jumped out at them and accidentally bumped against his hand. No biggy, happens all the time although this time it was a little bit rough. The dude was screaming something but it’s a freaking Haunted House… everyone screams. The ride just kept going like normal. After like 5 minutes the emergency lights went on and the track stopped. They called us down and shut down the ride for the day. When I was working my way down to the entrance I noticed I had some blood on my suit which was odd because that’s not part of the costume (I was wearing one of those crazy clown suits which was freaking hot on the inside). At the entrance I saw some paramedics and in the back of my mind I kinda knew what was going on, but like not really until I saw the guy sitting in the back of the ambulance with his hand covered in bandages. Apparently the guy had old stitches that had come loose when I jumped against him. I got fired, which I still think is bullshit, but yea… they didn’t give me my paycheck either… said it was to clean the suit.
6. A woman got a concussion and spent the night in a hospital
The worst thing I’ve seen at my haunt didn’t actually have anything to do with us being a haunted house. We had rain, wind, and hail one night and didn’t get the message out fast enough to get everyone to safety. A metal sign came loose and hit a woman (a customer, not a worker) over the head at what we believed to be 40mph. She had a concussion and spent the night in the hospital, but she was fine in the end and didn’t take legal action. Other than that I’ve seen people cry, have panic attacks, I saw a guy get scared and bite his (presumed) girlfriends shoulder, one of our actor was kicked in the head by another actor who was swinging from a rope, workers who’ve cut themselves while preparing sets, customers who’ve gone out of their way to get into actor-only areas who’ve gotten hurt, I’ve been kicked, actors are pretty frequently punched, and frequently (almost once a night) people corner smaller or younger actors and comment that they’re sexy, ask for dates/sex, try to touch, and breath their beer breath on you. Somehow the job is still fun and I keep going back!
7. A man shot himself in the head on our property
It was cleaned up by the time I got to work, but someone had jumped the fence to the property one night and shot himself in the head with a revolver from the 20’s.
As far as ghosts go, I had a door continually slam in my face every time I opened it (3-4 times) and when I finally said “Stop it”, the door remained opened.
This is an actual haunted house. Not one of the Halloween ones.
8. A man thought I was a woman and tried to grope me
One year (long story short) I was working in a gypsy camp in the forest, and I dressed in drag–full makeup, long hair, stuffed bra, I was actually a little too passable as a woman (when my mother saw me, she said she wished I’d been born a girl), so I kept a 5:00 shadow to make it clear I was a guy. I would hide my lower face behind my hair and the two women I was working with would proposition men coming through to see if they wanted to buy their sister (me.) When they would get close or show interest, I would let the hair away from my face. [This was my idea, as I thought the gypsy camp was boring as is and spiced it up a bit. It went well.]
We had a drunk group of frat boys come through one night, and one of them was a bit intoxicated and VERY interested in the prospect of purchasing their sister. He very aggressively grabbed me and began rubbing up on me. He grabbed my ass, hand a hand moving towards my fake breasts, when he brushed up against a surprise. He jumped back and screamed, “FUCK THAT! That’s a fucking man!!!! I felt his dick!!!! That’s a man!!!!” I let my hair down right then. His friends immediately began making fun of him. “You grabbed that guys dick??” I said, “That’s not all he grabbed…”
The guy was clearly a bit homophobic and a bit upset and his friends were really giving him hell. Security saw it happen and offered to throw him out. I said, “Nah… I think he learned his lesson, but if he gives anyone else any shit, toss him.” I really wish I had a video of that happening.
9. A girl got so scared that she busted her head open
Teen aged black female apparently had an immense fear of clowns. She wasn’t aware we had clowns in our house. They sort of resembled the clowns from Killer Clowns from Outer Space. They’re job is to basically jump out from blind spot and startle people. She was so scared she shit and pissed herself, then passed out and busted her head open.
10. The owner tricked people into thinking they had a serious respiratory disease
In one haunted house I know of, the owner wasn’t getting enough visits. So he hired a young business consultant who had recently graduated from a top business school in Canada.
The advice? Convince people who were visiting that they had contracted a serious respiratory disease. This meant, in part, having a fake biohazard team in bubble suits come in and escort them away. It was very convincing and somewhat horrifying.
The idea was to upset someone so badly that they would then sue the haunted house. It would become a news story, (“Haunted house sued for being too scary!”), assuring the business a lot of visits.
I’m not sure how it ended, though, of if the plan worked.
11. A girl broke her boyfriend’s nose on accident
I helped a guy who was walking through with his arms around his girlfriend in front of him, and she got startled and threw her head back and broke his nose. Well, that sure wasn’t our fault. We warn people against walking like that due to that danger.
12. A girl ran straight into a brick wall
Once a girl got startled and took off running – all the way to the exit where she ran through the curtain right into a brick wall. They brought her to me with blood streaming down her face and at first I thought it was a great makeup job. Again – not our fault. After that we started planning ahead, and now we use foam to wrap every hard surface the public might come into contact with – just in case.
13. My coworker drugged my girlfriend
I worked at a haunted house in high school with all my friends and I witnessed my best friend (at the time) with his hands down my girlfriends pants. Come to find out he had drugged her, and she was very obviously drugged. I am very thankful that the chain was not attached to the chainsaw that night.
14. They had to check a customer for a concussion
At the end of the forest, there were guys in hockey masks with chainsaws who chased you out of the forest. When they burst out, a father grabs his six or seven year old son and holds on to him and yells, “Get this one!!! It’s his birthday!!” and begins pushing his young son towards the chainsaw guys. We sold these glow sticks that were about as big around as a baseball bat handle an probably half a foot long… and this kid had one. He spun around, clocked his dad square in the temple with it and dad goes down… hard. Lights out. The chainsaw guys come running toward the dad and the kid (partly because it’s their job and partly to check on the dad, so the kid screams, “You can’t catch me!!!!! Get him!!!!” and throws the glow stick at the chainsaw guys and runs like a mad man out of the forest, dad still unconscious on the floor. Paramedics came in, checked him out… He was ok, but they took him in to check for a concussion. It wasn’t funny when it happened, but looking back on it I laugh my ass off when I run into one of the other guys who were there and ask them if they remember that.
15. Some of the customers refused to leave
Some guy grabbed a girl’s boob as he laughed at her and then proceeded to punch a guy dressed as a clown.
14-year-olds trying to beat up our “prowlers” (people who chase you to your car) in the parking lot.
Some dude gave a zombie a wet willy once. He didn’t get into the house yet and was thrown out with no refund; he’d already had the rules explained to him by that point.
There was one time I smashed a metal fireplace shovel in half. I’d been doing it all night. When I hit it on the ground for one tour, the thing finally snapped and they all damn near shat themselves because it made me look like a small girl with beastly strength.
There was another time when I was telling this group of girls to exit my room. They were in a corner, on the floor, crying their eyes out and screaming. Every time I told them to leave, they’d flip out more. It was to the point that multiple tours were about to run into each other because THEY WOULDN’T LEAVE. Thankfully, they eventually calmed down enough to get the hint that they had to go and finally exited the room, but god damn.
Girls get hit on by preteens and older men all the time. I was a creepy doll once, but the creepiest thing was having an older man tell me how much he wanted to play with me.
16. A customer threatened the workers
I helped out at a Haunted Jail once. (I was working the electric chair dude) Right next to me was a cell that three girls (ages 10-13ish) were hiding in to scream at people walking by. It was pretty amusing, until they scared this one macho dude. He rushed at the bars and started swinging at the little girls, shouting “IM GONA KILL YOU BITCHES!!” The girls were terrified and huddling in the back of the cell. Security threw that asshole out, I don’t know if cops were called. I hope so.
17. Customers said disgusting sexual things to the actresses
One incident I will always remember is when a huge group of men came round, maybe about 30-35 years old, definitely drunk, saying things to me like, “You’re disgusting and you deserve to be punished.” “We’re gonna bend you over and brutally fuck you up the arse.” “You’re so fit, I’m definitely gonna bang you.” “You little slag, look at you. I am going to fuck you right here, right now.” “Filthy whore.” “I bet she loves it up the arse, let’s give it a go.” I was on my own and I was terrified, I felt sick, and I didn’t know what to do. Thankfully one of the other actors came round so nothing happened but it shook me up for a long time -if the other actor didn’t then who knows what might have happened. Things like this not only ruin it for the actors, but it’s not exactly a great experience for the customers either.
18. A man threw his daughter down a hill
I worked at a haunted forest some years back. It had been raining pretty steadily that October, so the trails were pretty muddy and slick. At one point along the trail, a dude with a chainsaw surprised people as they came around a bend before a relatively steep descent. Watched a man throw his daughter to the side of the trail at that point and take off running, then sliding, then rolling.
Seriously, kids. Get a job at a scare place if you have the chance. Getting paid to scare people is fantastic.
19. A worker followed a woman to her car
I was part of a drama class in high school and we did an annual haunted house in October. One of the idiotic kids who was only in the class for credit helped out and went crazy in our maze. He would not leave this one girl alone who was obviously scared out of her mind. He got way too close, she freaked and ran out, and he followed her to her car. She filed something with the principal and the haunted house was cancelled the next year.
20. I made a little girl throw up
It was a few days before Halloween and I was working on the 3D side doing a “magic trick”. A little girl was there with her parents and she was freaked out, but they were almost done and her parents didn’t want to leave early. She got to my trick and peed herself. She cried and cried and was getting herself really worked up, they got to the next scare and she threw up. We closed early last night.
21. I collapsed and skinned my hands
I was in 8th grade and Six Flags just began putting on Fright Fest. In one of the haunted houses, there were a bunch of black lights and a spinning vortex thing… and clowns. Clowns everywhere.
None of my friends wanted to go in, but I spent my hard earned babysitting money to get access to all the houses, so I ventured in alone.
Anyways, I was in this hallway with a vortex and black lights when suddenly this clown runs at me beeping this little horn and begins to chase me. So I start running and the combination of clowns and lights and clowns and vortexes was overpowering and I ended up collapsing and skinning my hands and legs up really bad.
The clown chasing me saw what happened and ran over to help me, which made me scream more. I started crying and screaming/kicking at him until they had to turn all the lights on in the house and escort me out with a golf cart. They took me to first aid, bandaged me up, gave me a free season pass for the following year and implemented a rule that the performers could no longer chase patrons.
22. One of the props moved on its own
Class 3 Poltergeist. I was laying in a bed playing the teen kid role when this little clown puppet is just staring at me. Totally freaky so I threw a coat over it and lay back down. I hear this noise and look back up and then its fucking gone.
23. I made a group of children shit themselves
Our middle school was having a fun haunted house but because our school was suddenly split (from Grade 7 and 8 to Grade 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 for some reason) we had to make everything not too scary so the monsters handed out candy and only for the older kids, it could be scary.
When some Grade 1 kids were walking through, I didn’t hand out candy, I stood up and screamed like a banshee. All the kids screamed really loudly. All of a sudden, all 5 or so of them started making worried faces. They had shit themselves. Because this was my fault, I was lucky I didn’t have to change them.
24. The children were replaced by little people
I knew a guy who worked at one in New Jersey in the 80s. its almost too good to be true but he said they had a dwarf who worked with them and while a family was in complete darkness they would replace their child with the dwarf. and when the lights were turned on the parent would look down and see they are holding the hand of a dwarf and would freak out.
25. I made a little kid wet his pants
I worked in one of those Amusement Park halloween-fest haunted houses as a teenager.
A bunch of redneck parents dragged their son who was maybe seven years old into the Haunted House, despite him being terrified. I jumped out all zombified, not realizing the next group included a small child, (we were alerted by motion sensors), and found myself face-to-face with a terrified little boy, frozen in place, tears running down his cheeks and piss running down his pant-legs. His parents just laughed. I doubt they took him home to change pants.
26. A customer broke an actor’s nose
I helped out at one last year. This macho strong dude came in with a babe of a girlfriend. He was huge like 6’4″ all muscle, but she was smaller, fit, and gorgeous. It was kinda obvious that she dragged him here. He looked reluctant to go in. Once they got in there this guy was screaming like a little girl. She was enjoying the hell out of it but he was terrified. At one point, a guy jumps out from around the corner with a ‘bloody’ fake chainsaw. He was not expecting this. When the guy jumped out he instinctively punched the guy right in the face. He broke the guys nose. Real blood was everywhere. The macho dude was actually kinda a nice guy though. He helped the guy he just hurt out and made sure he was okay before he left. Hands down funniest thing I’ve witnessed while working there. Everyone was ok in the end.
27. Customers had seizures from the lights
I’ve worked in a couple different haunted attractions but the worst was probably someone that had a seizure because of the strobe lights.
28. Strangers were kicking my broken foo
I got a job at a haunted house a few years ago. The day before my first day of work I fractured my foot. I wore a boot on my leg and they still let me work. Well, some people thought my boot was a prop and I had several people kick my broken foot. Eventually they had to put me up in the controls because I was a liability problem.
That, and I also made 3 people pee themselves and one person shit themselves. It was a fun job.
29. A customer beat the shit out of a clown
We used to have a haunted house every year in the fall in my city, but too many lawsuits forced it to shut down. My dad, who works for the city and saw a lot of the cases, told me about one in particular where this one guy went into the haunted house, but was terrified of clowns. There was this one room where these clowns come out at you with chainsaws (original, right?) And the guy got so scared he grabbed one of the clowns and beat the shit out of him, then proceeded to run away through the tarp walls of the haunted house, causing it to collapse. The poor clown then sued the haunted house for physical and emotional damage and had to be put on Prozac. Everyone who dealt with the case called him Prozac the Clown.