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Gingersnap
10-06-2010, 09:07 PM
Behind the Screams: The Weird World of Haunted House Operators
Updated: 5 hours 15 minutes ago

Tony Deconinck Contributor
AOL News

(Oct. 6) -- They plan this all year, you know. They stay up at night, staring at the ceiling, dreaming up new and more diabolical ways to give you nightmares.

What they crave is this time of year -- when the darkness comes sooner and the chill of night creeps into your bones -- because that's when they finally get to unleash their horrors upon you.

Their reward is your terrified scream.

Their faces and names are relatively unknown; most people only know the darkened, terrifying worlds they have created with names like Erebus, Netherworld, The Beast, and The ScareHouse.

They are members of America Haunts, a brotherhood of 18 of the most elite haunted houses in the nation.

Though they are billed as some the scariest people in the country, most members of America Haunts don't consider themselves particularly odd.

"I think that's hilarious; people are so disappointed when they meet me and my wife," said Scott Simmons of The ScareHouse in Pittsburgh. "They're expecting Marilyn Manson and the get this dorky suburbanite, instead."

Still, many admit that being in the business for as long as they have has left them a little twisted -- not surprising considering they're constantly trying to find new and novel ways to freak people out.

"We've been thinking about it for 30 years," said Ed Terebus, who runs the famed Erebus haunted house in Pontiac, Mich. "How can you not be a scary person if you live, eat, sleep and drink haunted houses?"

All of them arrived in their current profession from different starting points. Thirty years ago, Amber Arnett-Bequeaith's mother and grandmother performed plays for tourists at an outdoor theater on their family property. Today, everybody who wants to be a performer at the The Beast and Edge of Hell -- two horrifying destinations operated by Arnett-Bequeaith -- has to audition for their part.

"They have to show grit, determination, and stamina," said Arnett-Bequeaith, a quiet mother of four. "I tell them that the screams are their applause."

Read more - if you dare!

AOL News (http://www.aolnews.com/article/behind-the-screams-the-weird-world-of-haunted-house-operators/19657747)

NJCardFan
10-06-2010, 11:33 PM
Every Halloween, Eastern State Penitentiary(it's not an active prison, it's a museum) in Philadelphia does it's "Terror Behind The Wall" haunted prison show. Everyone who went to it told me how scary and how great it was so one year, my wife and I shelled out the $50 a piece, drove to Philly, spent 45 minutes trying to find a place to park, the waited the 2 hours it took to go from the entrance to actually get into the structure only to find out it was the worst haunted house I've ever been in. It was boring, had nothing to do with prison, and it flat out sucked.

Ranger Rick
10-06-2010, 11:36 PM
I was a monster in 1991 to 1994. Then made mazes for another three years. It is hard work, and does not pay well. You have to love it.

noonwitch
10-07-2010, 09:30 AM
We had a place south of Grand Rapids called The House of Dark Shadows. The guy who ran it (Mr. Jim) also had an animal sanctuary on the property-the township shut down the haunted house at some point, but the animal sanctuary continued for a little while.

The house was awesome. It was an old stagecoach stop, and even by 70s standards of schlock, it was pretty cool. Not that scary, but fun.

When I was just out of college and slumming by working at a convenience store until something better came along, I met some of the guys who lived/worked out there, because they hung out at a convenience store until I would kick them out. They were all loser drop-outs from the local "alternative" high school. They hung out there with Mr. Jim, who had left all the haunted house stuff up even though he hadn't operated it in years, and smoked weed and took hallucinogens most of the time. It was all guys, too. They invited me out there, but somehow I didn't think a place full of chains and weird things, and men on hallucinogens sounded like a very safe place to be the only woman.


Unless I was wrong about their orientation-in that case, it was probably the safest place in town to be the only woman.

Gingersnap
10-07-2010, 10:43 AM
I want to go the Anderson Corn Maze this year. It's turned out to be a hard sell to Mr. Snaps. He sees little point in paying for an experience he happened on often enough as a child. :(

Rebel Yell
10-07-2010, 11:16 AM
We went to this one year before last. It was very well worth the price.

http://www.fearworld.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4x0WFLRBH0

The little bald headed child in the back was one of the creepiest things I've ever seen.

NJCardFan
10-07-2010, 11:53 AM
We went to this one year before last. It was very well worth the price.

http://www.fearworld.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4x0WFLRBH0

The little bald headed child in the back was one of the creepiest things I've ever seen.

Looks like Tommy at the end of Friday the 13th Part IV.



The House of Dark Shadows.

Please tell me Barnabas Collins was involved.

Rebel Yell
10-07-2010, 12:26 PM
Looks like Tommy at the end of Friday the 13th Part IV.

She just roams the parking lot where the lines are, not paying any attention to anyone. All of a sudden, she'll just take off running. Call me racist or whatever, but watching all the "thugs" scream like little girls and run is a good way to pass time waiting in line. FACT: Black people are really scary when it comes to things like that.

djones520
10-07-2010, 12:43 PM
My mother is the General Manager of a retired great lakes steam ship. Every year she puts together Ghost Ship. It runs all of October. She spends months planning it, and it's a frantic rush to put it all together. She has just a couple weeks between the tour season, and October to decorate a 330' 5 deck ship. It's a frantic experience, but it brings in more money in that month then the entire spring and summer tour season.

I've only had the oppurtunity to visit it once, last year. I helped out one night as one of the actors, and it's so easy to freak the hell out of people on a ship. There are so many dark corners that it's incredibly easy to hide. There was a ton of dummies around, so a friend and I just threw some masks on, stood in the shadows very still when a group came by, acting like one of the dummies.

They'd be about halfway through the tour when they got to us, so they were already pretty spooked. They were so busy looking for people hiding behind doorways to jump out at them, that they never suspected us just standing dead still like a dummy. When they walked right by you and you jerked at them and yelled, they just about shit themselves. :D

Bailey
10-07-2010, 01:29 PM
Every Halloween, Eastern State Penitentiary(it's not an active prison, it's a museum) in Philadelphia does it's "Terror Behind The Wall" haunted prison show. Everyone who went to it told me how scary and how great it was so one year, my wife and I shelled out the $50 a piece, drove to Philly, spent 45 minutes trying to find a place to park, the waited the 2 hours it took to go from the entrance to actually get into the structure only to find out it was the worst haunted house I've ever been in. It was boring, had nothing to do with prison, and it flat out sucked.


I agree with you, I spent an hour in line for that place and it sucked ass. Though me and my brother scared the shit out of my niece in line cause she was worried the place was to scary and we played on that fear :D

CueSi
10-07-2010, 05:05 PM
She just roams the parking lot where the lines are, not paying any attention to anyone. All of a sudden, she'll just take off running. Call me racist or whatever, but watching all the "thugs" scream like little girls and run is a good way to pass time waiting in line. FACT: Black people are really scary when it comes to things like that.

I worked at Halloween Horror nights.... It was fun as hell, but I doubt I'll do it again. That's how I learned that less is more. You don't have to be too scary, just have one foot in the Uncanny Valley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley), and you can fuck some people up for life.

That reminds me, maybe I should put on my red contacts and go to work and act like nothing's wrong, lol.

~QC