For this edition of Blue Hawk of the Week, The Talon spoke to Ross, a junior who volunteers as a scareactor at Haunted Overload.
How did you first start working at Haunted Overload?
2017 will be my second year at Haunted Overload. I had emailed the owner of the haunt about starting to volunteer there, and I then set up a tour/interview for the haunt and attended a few meetings. I have a general love for scary things and Halloween so it interested me.
What’s your average night working there like?
An average night there starts as soon as I get home from school, when I start getting ready. I get there around 5:30pm and I’m in my place at 6pm. Then comes the fun part, waiting quietly to scare people once they come through, it makes me happy when I get a reaction from somebody, because it’s all for the sake of having a good time. An hour or so in, it starts to get cold, and if it’s raining it makes it seem longer. At the end of the night I’m tired, cold, my back hurts, I have no voice left, and I’m usually hungry, it’s worth it though, even on the busy nights where I don’t leave the haunt until 1am. I’m usually home and out of makeup around 2am or 3 am.
How much work goes into creating the haunt each year?
Haunted Overload is worked on all year long. When there is snow it’s more prep work but when that melts, there is construction, prop making, and costume and character designing up until the first show of the next haunt season. We’re always adding more things on and making it better so each year patrons can come through and experience something new.
What sort of acting and character development work do you do?
Within the haunt you can find me in the Voodoo section, where last year I played a voodoo doll. I’ll be there again this year but I’m changing up my character’s appearance this year, because my prosthetic from last year fell apart. I act in different ways, I pretend to be one of our mannequins and either jump out at you at the last second or follow you a few yards down that path (or at least until I’m noticed). I growl a lot at people, shriek, or stick my tongue out at people, and pretend I’m trying to lick them. If I get tired of standing still I wander around my area in an awkward plastic-y way doing similar things. I also help other actors with their makeup, and I help build props for the haunt before the haunt opens in October.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We’re opening on Friday the 13th this year and we’re running every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Thursday the 19th and Monday the 30th are Fright Lite Night, with little to no actors in the haunt, and the 31st is a special lights out event.