Answers found on Ask Reddit
1. Worked at a haunted house when I was younger as a youth job, it was a lot of fun. I had to sit in this narrow hallway in a doll costume and sit perfectly still, then when people passed me I would suddenly move, making it look like I was trying to grab them, and do my best creepy voice saying stuff like “come play with me” or “stay with me, FOREVER”. I got some great reactions, though some stand out more in my memory.
The dude that tried to scootch by the opposed wall while muttering “nope, nope, noPE, NOPE” and when I reached for him, he did this weird jump thing, the kind you see cats doing in videos while yelling “FUCK NO ANNABELLE LOOKING BITCH”.
Then there was this group of dude bro looking guys that were one hundred percent sure I was a human sized doll, spending the whole walk down the hallway saying stuff like “that shit isnt that scary, it doesnt even look very life-like”, werent they surprised!
God being a scarer was fun, 10/10 would do again.
2. All-volunteer haunted house and one year we have like 10 teen guys show up dressed as the Grim Reaper. OK, well, hm… the organizers decide to put them all together in a corridor and make people walk a gauntlet through menacing scythes.
This one young woman is really freaked out as she edges through the rooms; senses on high alert, visibly shaking. As a living mannequin, I decide to just say a quiet “good eeevening” which sends her scrambling away from me into the Reapers’ corridor. They all converge eagerly, scythes flashing-
-and she shrieks and drops like her strings got cut. She’s passed out cold.
All the Grim Reapers are standing over her uncertainly, shocked. Then from one skull comes a wavering, really worried: “Oh, shit. We killed her.”
3. I worked as a generic scarer where my creepy makeup was having one of my eyes blown out. So I had mountains of goo on my face every night. A guy got freaked out and basically face-palmed me right in my fake non-eye. He then looked down at his hand covered in sticky fake blood and gore, gagged, and said “Oh God.” Ran out of the exit.
4. The coolest room I ever worked in was very innocent-seeming at first. It was the last room in a “fairy tale” themed house. It looked like the inside of a little storybook cottage. Cutesy music was playing, there was a fake window with a meadow painted outside it. On a wall was a chalkboard and pieces of chalk available. The chalkboard was split down the middle by a line, said “Were you scared?” at the top and gave you the option to mark yes or no on one side of the line. That’s where I came in. The chalkboard was actually a drop panel (essentially a hidden window that loudly slams open to reveal a cast member on the other side). I was painted up like a horrible, gory Snow White. When I’d drop the panel, it also triggered all the lights in the room to go out except for blacklights which revealed hidden evil drawings all over the walls and an air cannon would blast people from behind, making them feel like something was touching them.
It was just the best room because people felt safe, they finally let their guard down when they saw this cheerful space and when they went to put a mark on the chalkboard, often bragging to their friends “That wasn’t scary”, that’s when BANG! Black out, satanic scrawlings everywhere, air cannon smacking their heads and Evil Snow White was cackling in their faces all in the span of 1 second. They always ran out shrieking bloody murder. Never trust the last room.
5. Maybe 5-6 years ago I worked at an amusement park that converts much of the park into multiple haunted houses. I worked in the area that was a haunted butcher shop, I was in a room that was supposed to be where everything got gutted and the wall had this thick fake gore with a person shaped outline. I wore a suit that had the same fake gore on the front. In the dark light I was practically invisible.
One girl was on her phone and totally not paying attention, but her friends saw right through my camouflage and motioned for me to hop in line behind their friend. I followed them for a little ways and finally this chick looks up from her phone and starts to turn to talk to her friend, not realizing that I was mere inches behind her. She turns and were close enough that I can see her pupils as they widen. She jumped probably a foot in the air and sprinted through the rest of the maze. Her friends couldn’t stop laughing on the way out.
6. Had a dude once come through, jumped a bloody mile in the air when I scared him. He just stopped with this far off look and said “I just shit myself.” I stayed in character till the smell hit me. I broke and asked if he wanted an escort, dude seemed to snap out of it and said “nah, I pinched the rest back” and off he marched.
7. Not a haunted house, but a zombie run. I was the last zombie before you could escape.
I’m 4ft 11. I look pretty weak and I wear glasses (which I had fixed with tape as part of my costume – I was supposed to have been a medic before I became a zombie). Despite how I look, I have a very loud voice, am good at screaming and I’m a good runner.
My job was to mill about near the end of the course, and catch (and tag as infected) anyone I felt like. I used to approach or look distracted as people crept towards me – not all zombies attacked, so people weren’t sure how to deal with me (plus there were some who had acquired ‘zombie repellent’ and were quite confident – spoiler: zombie repellent doesn’t work). I’d wait until they had just passed me before unleashing an unholy scream and sprinting after them.
I caught quite a few, but the best reactions were a fully grown man who cried actual tears and asked for his mum, and a girl who pissed herself, then threw her water bottle at me.
It was a lot of fun, and all the screaming was quite a good core workout. My abs were agony for days after.
8. So I worked as a scare actor at a haunt on an old aircraft carrier from WWII for a couple of years. There were two parts to the haunt, one below deck in what was called ‘sick bay’ which was mainly the ship itself being old and creepy. Up top was the more traditional halloween haunt maze with themed rooms and chainsaw guys. Normally I worked in sick bay, but that night I was put in the maze. I was in the bathroom themed room and was the victim of the deranged plumber actor. So I’m sprawled out on the floor and when people walk by, I lunge and groan and beg for help. It worked pretty well.
Then this one woman came in wearing high heels. I don’t know who wears high heels to a haunted house on an aircraft carrier but hey, you do you. Anyways she doesn’t see me on the ground and manages to step on my arm with her heels. I know we had strict rules about not touching the patrons, but due to the pain/surprise, I wasn’t thinking, and I grabbed her ankle in hopes to get her off me. This lady screamed and bolted for the emergency exit hallway that would take her out of the haunt, leaving her friend behind and dumbfounded. I felt terrible at the time that she missed out on the rest of the haunt but now I laugh about it because I really scared her.
9. I worked for a rather popular haunted house/hayride/corn field. It’s made the Travel Channel shows a few times.
So my now-husband and I were supposed to be dead cowfolk in a wild west scene. The way it was set up is the ppl walk in through a big opening in the front, there are two “buildings” on either side where two actors should set off the scene. After that, the ppl walk around a stable-like fenced off enclosure which put them in this narrow-ish corridor where I and my husband were. I was on a barrel, he was lying under the fence. From there, the area would open up just a little with a blacksmith (the dude was actually a blacksmith, he’d spend the night making cool shit and we’d warm up by the fire while we waited for groups) there was an emergency exit that was part of the scenery, the firing thing (I can’t remember what it’s called lol sorry) and then the entrance to the “Mine shaft”. The entire walk through was maybe 40ft. Oh, and it was always really dark. Our main source of light was the fire from the blacksmith and nearby hayride. Other than that, we had a few very dimly lit light bulbs.
So one night, we were doing our thing, scaring people and what not, when this kid comes BOOKING it through the scene. He’s all alone and just fucking terrified. I mentioned the emergency exit bc if someone ever said “I can’t do this, I want out” we’d have to exit character (the only time we were allowed to) and escort them out. So this kid is hauling ass, idk if he got separated from his group and was trying to find them or if he said fuck this and wanted to just hurry out or what but he gave us about a second to try to scare him as he flashed past us. Well, the ground was uneven and I think a little damp and he slipped and fell and slid to a stop against a barrell right by the exit door.
My husband and I are like oh shit. We walk over to him and he’s lying on the ground, panting hard, staring up at us with sheer terror in his eyes. I’m like “for real, dude, not playing. Are you ok?” And he quickly nods, eyes still bugging out and looking between us. I’m like “you sure? Do you need to leave?” He takes a second, looks at us again and shakes his head. I look at my husband and then back at this kid and scream “THEN GET UP AND GET THE HELL OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OOOOOOOOUTTT!!!!!” that kid jumped up like he had rockets strapped to his back and fucking hauled ass into the mine shaft, leaving me and my husband rolling.
10. I did a bit of time as a scarer when I was 15 and a decade later it’s still my favourite job I’ve had despite it being a fully costumed 6+ hours in near darkness with no break.
A good 20% of the time I had punters fully convinced i was animatronic and the moment where you moved suddenly times just with them shit talking was absolutely the best.
In particular I remember a guy who was poking stuff and laughing whilst his girlfriend was kind of scared in general trying to poke through a cage I was in at me. Reacted like a robot for long enough that he got bored and just as he went to go I grabbed his fingers, started waving a knife around like mad and pressed a foot pedal for some sounds.
6 foot plus guy ran out back towards the entrance screaming and my manager came back in to have a laugh, we actually shut down for 20 minutes or so because the guys raving in the lobby caused so much fuss, some thought he was a paid actor, kids started crying and the line doubled up.
11. I was a “scarer” at HHN in Universal Orlando in 2015. I was in the Asylum in Wonderland house. The thing about those houses is that if you walk at a faster pace than you’re supposed to, you can kinda beat the scarers to the punch and pass them before they can jump out at you. One time some teen kid figured this out and stepped into entrance to the space i was hiding to jump out. He was like “ay what’s up” and it caught me so off guard i was like “AAH! hey! woah!” It was he who scared me and not the other way around. I got fired for unrelated weed-related reasons a few hours after that.
12. Back in I think 2006 or 2007 I was working at a haunted house playing Freddy Krueger in one of the first rooms in the haunt. We had radios in all the rooms we would use to call out when we had a guest that screamed more than normal. Now I had the room set up so that the Elm Street sign was maybe 3 feet away from the door, and an old boiler I could hide behind and pop out of combined with an actual metal (but dulled) prop glove. This lady and her kids walk in and I popped out but I hit the glove on the boiler at just the right angle so some sparks popped from the metal on metal contact. The lady freaked out, fainted and hit her head in the pole holding the street sign. The lights in the building had to be cut on, ambulance called, the whole nine yards. She was bleeding but wasn’t seriously hurt and somehow didn’t sue the ever loving fuck out of us. They did take away my metal glove and replaced it with a plastic one that broke within 10 minutes of doing my bit though. Absolute funniest thing that ever happened to me while I was there.
13. I worked at a local haunted house every Halloween a few years ago. The last bit of the house was outside and it was always pitch black. I would dress in a black suit that had eyes that would glow intermittently and hide outside the barrier. To scare people I would slip under the barrier into their path and shriek with my eyes glowing, so it would look like I was there all along. One time I did this to a couple of girls going through and one of them screamed bloody murder and ran away. I noticed something on the floor after they left and picked it up. It was her tampon.