Spookers scream this Halloween

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Hribar

 

Nothing says Halloween like being a “spooker” at a haunted house.

Two UW-Whitewater students, junior Kelsy Hribar and senior Kyle Higgins, are spookers at Dr. Scary’s Haunted House in Fort Atkinson.

Spookers are actors that work in a haunted house and are hired to scare guests at different points in the house.

This semester is Hribar’s first time working in a haunted house.

“I am a spooker in the ‘spill your guts’ attraction,” Hribar said. “For my costume, I wear a shredded jacket covered in fake blood.”

Hribar said she stands behind a mirror to create the illusion that she has no legs.

Higgins has four years of experience in spooking at Dr. Scary’s. For the past four seasons, Higgins’ costume has been a scary clown mask.

“I am a theatre major, so I quickly adapted into character,” Higgins said.

Higgins is a roamer, which means he wanders around the house and maze, and he scares guests waiting in line.

Every night, there are about 30 to 40 spookers on duty at Dr. Scary’s who either work in themed rooms or serve as roamers.

The main part of training is learning the rules of the haunted house. This includes behavior towards guests and spookers learning the structure of the house.

Training entails a tour of the haunted house. Spookers are able to see every room in the attraction. Spookers then choose which attraction they would like to work.

The spookers are also shown the different costume options that correlate with the different room themes.

It takes about an hour for spookers to prepare for their shifts. Spookers first apply make-up and then dress in their costumes. Before customers arrive, spookers perform a run-through to ensure all spookers are in position and all equipment is working properly.

Both Higgins and Hribar said the worst part of their job is the hours. Not only do they work late Friday and Saturday nights, but they also miss events such as Halloween and Homecoming.

After an hour of make-up and an average five-hour shift, Hribar and Higgins said the job of a spooker can be exhausting. Although tickets stop being sold at 11 p.m., spookers work until the last guest in line walks through the house.

Hribar also said she often loses her voice from non-stop screaming throughout her shift.

“The best part is when I recognize someone I know, because they can’t recognize me. Then I start screaming their name to freak them out,” Hribar said.

The best part of the job for Higgins is simply the thrill of scaring people.

Higgins said, “It’s just so fun.”

What distinguishes Dr. Scary’s haunted house from other haunted attractions is the enthusiasm of the spookers.

Hribar said most spookers are experienced with their specific attraction, and each year they keep improving details of their themed room to heighten guests’ fears.

“We have all these kids who are so excited to scare people, and they have so much energy,” Hribar said.

Higgins

The spookers’ passion for scaring people heightens the  guest’s experience.

Both Hribar and Higgins said they highly encourage students to visit Dr. Scary’s this season.

“There’s always something new. It’s not your typical haunted house,” Hribar said.

If you enjoy the thrill of fear, Dr. Scary’s is a nearby and inexpensive way to celebrate the Halloween season.

“Anybody can have a good time with it. We have 80-year-old grandmas to 4-year-old children walk through,” Higgins said.

Dr. Scary’s, in Jellystone Park, houses more than 30 rooms in the main attraction. This year there are 10 new rooms and 10 re-themed rooms.

There is a new maze attraction called Pandemonium, equipped with 10 emergency exits for guests who cannot handle the terror.

Dr. Scary’s Haunted House is located at N551 Wishing Well Lane in Fort Atkinson. Dr. Scary’s is open Friday and Saturday nights from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

Only two more nights remain to experience fear and terror at Dr. Scary’s for this Halloween season.

For further information, visit www.drscaryshauntedhouse.com.

 

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