It’s finally Halloween, where fear is brought out when the sun sinks behind the horizon and the moon rises. That can only mean one thing: Halloween Haunt.
Beginning on September 23 and ending on October 29 at Kings Dominion, Halloween Haunt is a special occasion where creatures that are only ever seen on tv and read in books come alive. Over 400 monsters spread themselves all over the park. Situated in either one of the eight mazes or one of the five scarezones, they are likely at every corner.
Most have seen the scarefest in its entirety, but not many know exactly how it all works and unfolds unless they are a part of it. There’s a lot that has to be set up and gone over before it starts. Everyone must be on the same page and in check.
“I love it. I think it’s incredibly fun and I go all the time with my friends, but I’ve never known how it’s all put together,” sophomore Taylor McGrew expressed.
Haley Parrish, a former Hanover student, just so happens to be a talent coach at Haunt.
Considering her four years of experience, she knows a lot about the process, stating, “We go through multiple rehearsals and scare 101, a four hour long powerpoint that goes over all rules, policies, safety guidelines, etc.”
The monsters will not and are not allowed to touch you, which is why Parrish urges people to stop assaulting them.
Besides that, makeup artists have approximately fifteen minutes to do every monster before they are released to their assigned areas. Prosthetics and airbrush machines help the artists stay within the time limit. However, sometimes it can take a bit longer depending on what’s needed for the character.
Most monsters write a backstory for their characters. All of the mazes and zones have backstories, which helps with inspiration. So, not only do the monsters prepare and get into their character, but they also have to remain in character.
“We can’t break character unless someone is freaking out and needs to exit the maze or there’s an emergency,” Parrish informed.
Despite all of the rules and hard work, working at Halloween Haunt is enjoyable, and so is the scaring factor.