Scarers Share Experiences Working At Haunt

Students Work In Haunted Houses

Fallyn Kowalski, Editor-In-Chief, Writer

     While teenagers often see their part-time jobs as mundane or boring, some students get to spook and scare people at their job. Every fall season, Worlds of Fun hosts a well-known event called Halloween Haunt. The theme park is transformed into all things Halloween, haunted mazes, scare zones and other spooky festivities, as well as the typical rides. 

     This Haunt season was senior Malary Scaggs’ second, and she worked in “Zombie High” in the film room wearing a purple dress and purple flannel jacket. She said she wanted to work at Haunt because of nostalgic memories she had from her childhood.

Photos courtesy of Malary Scaggs, Christina McLaws, and Camden Gardner

     “Growing up, my family has always gone there and visited,” Scaggs said. “It just always looks like so much fun, and Halloween is my favorite.”  

     Scaggs enjoyed the family dynamic she experienced with her coworkers and said the group was really close.

     “My first year I didn’t know anyone else who did it,” Scaggs said. “I just signed up for it because it pays really good, and I thought it would be fun. But then, immediately, everyone just surrounds you, and it’s like a family.”

     Senior Camden Gardner worked in “Ripper Alley” as Jack the Ripper. “Ripper Alley” is based on the story of the serial killer Jack the Ripper from London in 1888.  Gardner’s character wore black and gray face makeup as well as a black costume. He said he worked at Haunt because he liked scaring people.

     “I am really into scary movies and giving people a good scare,” Gardner said.

     Senior Christina McLaws worked in “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater,” an outdoor house in one of the scare zones which featured a town cursed by a witch.

     “People at the front kind of greet you, try to warn you,” McLaws said. “Some of us are more deceiving than others, and the farther you get in, the more twisted the people become and the more they’re screaming and yelling at you to get out and run before the curse takes hold.”  

      McLaws said being a haunt character required a lot of preparation. Characters got their makeup and hair done by professionals, so while Haunt started at 7:45 p.m., characters often arrived at 4:30 p.m. for preparation. 

       McLaws said people would be surprised how intense being a Haunt character was. Characters had rules to not touch guests, but sometimes guests didn’t reciprocate that courtesy.

     “They think it’s OK to touch us, shake us, scream at us, to try and scare us,”  McLaws said. “It can get really intense.”

     Although there can be some difficult times, McLaws said Haunt is a fun experience overall.

     “You get to know the people in your house and the ones from the other houses, and you all just grow to become really good friends,” McLaws said.

     The event began in mid-September and continued through Oct. 29 on select nights.