EDIT: I am headed out to go get the makeup started for tonight's haunt. I'll continue answering as I find time, and will try to get to anything I missed tomorrow. Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!

I have worked in the Minnesota/Wisconsin haunt scene for close to fifteen years, scaring at some of the largest events in the nation. I have been featured in newspapers around the globe, been interviewed by several local news stations, and even had a short interview by NBC New York.

I am best known for playing Leatherface at Screamtown in Chaska, MN, and Village of Terror in Chippewa Falls, WI, where my chainsaw Fred (yes, I named it) and I have caused people to visibly wet themselves, lose bowel control, and in two cases, suffer from non-fatal heart attacks. After a badly sprained ankle several years back when I chased some girls through the woods, I have been in semi-retirement only haunting a few nights a year since.

You can see photos of me in action here: https://imgur.com/gallery/BsAUSKo

Tonight, I am coming out of my semi-retirement to work at a small mom and pop free event (donations accepted for charity) in small farming community just SW of the Twin Cities of MN.

I will answer any questions I can throughout my workday, and other haunters are invited to chime in and answer questions. Ask Me Anything!

Edit: Here's one of my good scares from last year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnJWjnIZXnQ

I stuffed a Wyze cam and a battery pack up in the corner with a SD card. The green boxes are motion detection. I had forgotten to turn that off.

Additionally, here's the "hair drag" video demonstration... https://youtu.be/_4LqnZ_x2AA

Comments: 1401 • Responses: 83  • Date: 

TheWastelandWizard2612 karma

Former Haunt actor as well, what's the little trick you've learned to catch people off kilter?

I volunteered in a Corn Maze for about 4 years, and I always managed to incorporate Chains into my outfit. There was a local dog that also had a chain around his neck who was super friendly and would play with visitors. 3/4 of the time they were expecting the dog and not an actor with a chainsaw, so it allowed me to get really, really close to folks.

Nothing better than a perfectly timed Chainsaw rev.

Synssins1541 karma

Agreed! There really is nothing better than a perfectly timed chainsaw rev. I have my saw tuned well, and it starts on the first pull every time once it is warmed up.

Unfortunately, I'm a massive dude, so I can't really be sneaky in most of the environments I've been in, unless it's to step out in front of or immediately behind a group when they don't know I'm there. Since I don't have anything that gives away my location when I'm moving around between groups, I get most of my solid scares this way. The saw gets most of the scares, my size and costume get the rest.

Nasorean1337 karma

Lmao there's this picture in your proof link of the woman screaming her head off and then there's this kid just smiling at the camera. Absolutely priceless. Do you remember that moment?

Synssins859 karma

There are certain ones I remember well, the pictures tend to help the recall a lot. This is one of them. That was a fun year. There's a picture of my own daughter coming through where she looks startled, but not terrified. She knew exactly what to expect when she came in though.

SweetPockets511073 karma

Have you ever tried to scare someone and they just laughed and never got scared? How do you handle those types of people that don’t get scared?

Synssins2213 karma

If you can't scare them, entertain them. I'll toss out the "scary voice" and be a smartass, or say something to get them to laugh... Then I'll ask them for a scream, and most of them will oblige and move on. I've heard from maze supervisors that people come through and remember me cause I made them laugh.

Sirduckerton520 karma

I'm one of those people. I walked into a really dark room and a guy dressed as the grim reaper snuck up behind me. He tried to scare me, but I just turned around and said that I couldn't see and don't know where to go next.

He said, "You have nerves of steel while facing death?! I direct people to hell, not the exit!" I laughed and he pointed creepily at the door to the next room. I will never forget that moment out of everything that happened.

Synssins251 karma

I like that guy. He did things right.

happy_bluebird25 karma

What do you do to make them laugh?

Synssins67 karma

Depends on the situation. Once in a while I'll get lucky and toss a witty quip at them when I see they aren't afraid. They'll laugh, and then I'll ask for the scream and they'll usually give it.

Zedbrains739 karma

Ever been gut-reaction punched?

Synssins1376 karma

Yes. More times than I can count. I had one young lady about 1/3rd my size (I'm almost 6'5" and a big dude) punch me square in the forehead. The foam latex prosthetic I was wearing at the time prevented be from being injured... She got hounded through the rest of the maze by the other actors/actresses. It was fun!


"That girl hit me in the face! I probably deserved it, with the chainsaw and whatnot, but she hit me in the face!'

Synssins766 karma

I actually broke character for her and said "If you're going to hit because you're afraid, you probably shouldn't be here..." and she responded "I couldn't help it."

I told her the people in the maze could help solve that problem. She left before she got to the front of the line.

[deleted]-38 karma


Synssins36 karma

Oh no... I'll answer anything I can when I can. Work comes first of course.

goober3636 karma

Horror movies and video games fascinate me, but it's difficult for me to finish them and I close my eyes before jump scares. Is going to a haunted house for me?

Synssins706 karma

.... Yes. Muahahahahaha!

TheReinsofFullnight528 karma

What are your views on McKamey Manor?

MC_AnselAdams929 karma

Not OP but a scare actor for 19 years. It gives haunted houses a bad name. The guy gets off on torture, and if you need to pull people's teeth out (or even just threaten it) to scare somebody, you're probably just not scary and just a psycho.

Synssins886 karma

I endorse your comment for President. It gives haunts a bad name. It's not even in the same category, and it's low-class in my opinion.

stevecostello50 karma

Fantastic question... hoping he responds to this...

Meezy98244 karma

His answer to u/thelastbraun's comment which said: what do you think of those extreme scares where they straight up torture people?

OP: "I strongly dislike them. That's not scary, that's disgusting to me... It doesn't take talent to do things like smear something on someone. Scaring someone without touching them, without being disgusting or causing pain is an art form."

Synssins107 karma

Thanks for the copy/pasta. As /u/MC_AnselAdams stated, it's just "not good", to put it succinctly.

carltheawesome499 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one ever asks about?

Synssins952 karma

Yes, actors/actresses have had sex on-set before/after (and in one case I witnessed, during) haunt.

plznobamboozle296 karma

did they get fired

Synssins746 karma

I know a couple of them that did, and a couple that weren't caught by a supervisor. I'm not a snitch.

blibbertibs157 karma

You saw them doing the dirty and you didn't scared them?

Synssins325 karma

Nope... They were scary enough looking, I didn't need to add to it. Besides, I didn't want the dilemma of being invited to join, while being in a committed relationship myself. :P

WhipWing131 karma

You and Fred are in that kinda relationship?

Synssins246 karma

Fred is love. Fred is life.

IamROCKAS469 karma

Being in the hounted house acting business - do you ever try to scare each other there? I imagine it being a good platform for pranks.

Edit: spelling.

Synssins685 karma

We do! I had one maze supervisor when I was at ValleyScare (Valley Fair in Shakopee, MN) who would wander through. All of us actors/actresses made it our primary goal to scare her. She knew we were there, knew who was in what position, and we'd still get her pretty good on occasion. Getting your fellow actor/actress is pretty difficult, so you learn to sneak around.

Badoit1778409 karma

No pant shitting story yet? So what happens when one shits their pants?

Synssins855 karma

As /u/dnteatyellwsnw says, it smells bad... I don't know about the ridicule. Usually I'll escort them out. In some bad cases, we've had to shut down for twenty minutes to clean the floor. Don't wear shorts/dresses if you are going to shit yourself.

Kitchner303 karma

Don't wear shorts/dresses if you are going to shit yourself

Disagree, if you're going to shit yourself you're either going to end up with shit on you or shit on the floor, and a dress sounds perfect to make sure it ends up on the floor and not on me. I'm a guy and if I ever plan on shitting myself I'll 100% do it in a dress.

Synssins142 karma

Can confirm, shitting yourself in a dress is the right way to go.

saramon123372 karma

As a fellow haunted house actor, for three years, my favorite scare ended in a broken nose. I was playing Uncle Frank, and popped out of a closet and said "Come to daddy" she grabbed on to her boyfriend who had a slick jacket and slipped, hitting her nose on a stair well. She got up and ran like hell into Pinhead, got scared again, and kept running the next scene was Texas Chainsaw, and you can imagine what your fellow Leatherfaces did. I got actor of the night, and was proud of myself.

What scare are you most proud of?

Synssins525 karma

I have so many to choose from... But I'd have to say the two that I really enjoyed the most were:

Father with little boy walking next to him, about six years old. (Stupid dad. Children don't belong in a scare zone.) I walked up behind them and leaned forward next to the little boys ear and whispered "I'm right behind you."

He didn't make a noise, not even a squeak. Instead, his reaction was so violent, it looked like his skeleton was trying to rip its way out of his skin. I'm responsible for years of therapy for that kid, and I hope his father learned a lesson.

The same night was another dad with a little boy, only he was carrying the boy. The kid was about the same age. He was looking back over his father's shoulder when he saw me pop out. He said to his dad "He's right behind us", and then turned to me with a great big smile. I gave him a high five.

BloodKingX345 karma

Alright, so I gotta ask, who were the heart attacks?

Synssins912 karma

One was a younger guy who had an unknown heart condition.

I had been following him through the haunt, and then ducked into one of the back passthrough tunnels that are hidden from the patrons. When I popped out in front of him, he pretty much just collapsed and became non-responsive. We did an all-stop, which is where we shut the maze down, kick the lights on, and first responders (the staff outside of the actors) got to him. He survived and made a full recovery last I checked.

One was a much older guy who had a known heart condition and still came through. I was in my robe getup as Patchwork at the Insane Asylum in Eau Claire, WI at the time, and had been dragging an axe across the concrete floor behind him for part of the maze. He freaked out, turned around to yell at me and did a full chest grabber. He also survived.

pizzabyAlfredo522 karma

One was a younger guy who had an unknown heart condition.

and thanks to you, its now known!

Synssins531 karma


I last spoke with him about five years ago by email and he was doing pretty good. I should follow up with him again and see how he is doing. Thanks for the reminder!

ISpyStrangers94 karma

I say this as an amateur, but perhaps following him is not a good idea.

Synssins257 karma

I only followed him in the haunted house... And maybe when he was at the mall. And once when he was visiting his mom... (I kid, of course).

BloodKingX136 karma

Goddamn that must be one hell of a resume! badumtiss

Although yeah, people with heart conditions really shouldn’t be at these types of places.

Synssins192 karma

Agreed. The adrenaline spike as someone collapses might just give me a heart attack.

spiritualgorila307 karma

What's the best type of body paint that goes on evenly and easily, and doesn't rub or flake right off throughout the night, but won't stain your skin for days?

Synssins243 karma

I like the alcohol activated paints for stuff like this. Grease paint with a good set powder will smear with enough contact, but normal touches once in a while are fine.

spiritualgorila86 karma

Thanks! My wife recently tried this 'water activated' body paint that worked pretty damn well too.

Synssins137 karma

There's a product called Watermelon by Michael Davy that I really enjoy. It's a water-based gelatin appliance that is activated using pure isopropyl alcohol. It gets super sticky, and when adhered to skin with alcohol, takes on the skin tone as it comes through the now clear gelatin. Then you paint it up with alcohol or water based paints.

MagesticLlama1214 karma

Unless you're exaggerating, you seem proud that you gave several people heart attacks...why?

Synssins303 karma

I feel horrible that they had heart attacks, but yes I am a bit proud as well. I would be devastated if someone actually died because of me... But, since they survived, it's not a bad thing.

potato1756139 karma

Are you CPR certified? I think it’d be a good idea

Synssins250 karma

I was for a long time, but we had true first-responders on hand that were much better prepared, and an ambulance with EMTs outside. They were all in good hands.

kellythebarber187 karma

Do you think screaming in someone's ear is scary?

Synssins482 karma

Absolutely not. You can get that from your wife at home when you tell her about the pregnant girlfriend if that's what you want to experience. The goal is to be entertaining, not obnoxious.

Low effort scares have their place, but don't abuse the patrons by screaming at them. Become a character, even if you're just a regular haunter, and use that to scare and entertain.

KamehameBoom238 karma

I experienced an "Actor" on a haunted hayride that would legit just go "RAAAAAA" in your face as loud as he could. It was so fucking stupid and really annoying

Synssins295 karma

This shit pisses me off. Put some effort into your scaring or GTFO of the haunt.

aelephant183 karma

Is the company putting the haunted house on protected for liability in the case of someone getting injured or having a heart attack? I would imagine that you have to sign some kind of legal waiver before entering. Do people ever try to sue anyway?

Synssins252 karma

That's a solid question. I think there is a level of responsibility for the haunt in an environment where someone can be injured due to the set, props, personnel... But, uncontrollable issues like heart problems, etc? That's not on the haunt or the actor/actress.

Most locations have the disclaimer up front. If you pay to enter, you accept responsibility.

KamehameBoom153 karma

What is something you would add to where you work that you think would really enhance the experience, regardless of cost and whatnot?

Synssins322 karma

Honestly? More actors/actresses with better makeup and a penchant for acting a role. It doesn't have to be a themed haunt for those roles, but if you're wearing a torn wedding dress with a cut throat, popping out in front of someone and screaming isn't a role. That's just obnoxious... Play the blushing bride who doesn't realize she's (he's?) dead... Make it count, THEN do the scary stuff.

von_Roland153 karma

What makes people scared, like where is the line between scary and ridiculous?

Synssins260 karma

It's subjective... Some people get scared easily and will reflect that by the typical scream and cower, or in some cases, laughter. Others don't get scared, but come through to enjoy the scenery, and other people getting scared. Ridiculousness is whatever the beholder determines, and how good the actor/actress is.

Nuka-Cole119 karma

Can you usually differentiate between scared and startled? Like I tend to startle fairly easily but I dont know a haunted house could be too scary to me if I know its all just people and animatronics in costumes. You’d get quite the involuntary jump from me though.

Synssins406 karma

I'm actually on the autism spectrum and I have prosopagnosia. The haunt scene is how I get outside of my comfort zone, and also how I am able to let go of some of the pent up stress of having to "wear a mask" all day every day in my normal social/work life.

To answer your question with the above information in mind, I have difficulty determining the difference between truly scared/terrified, and merely startled. Body language is pretty obvious in most scenarios, as in terrified people will cower/curl up, startled people will jump, then move on once the startle is past. Every once in a while, someone will come through who is terrified, but they don't show it as you would normally expect. They'll stay in line, stare straight ahead, and just try to move past... I've heard people like this whimpering as I would get close, even without going out of my way to scare them. I do my best to recognize this and back off if I can.

dcade_4280 karma

I spent a single season working as Hannibal Lecter in a Six Flags Haunted House. I never touched, yelled at, or even moved quickly toward anyone. I can't say I never startled anyone, but that's because some people go through almost with blinders on, they are so scared. It startles them when they notice something they should have noticed sooner.

I'd say more than 90% of the people were scared to some degree rather than startled, counting people who were not screaming but visibly on high alert and trying to just get through my room. I found eye contact and body language were what got people best.

Some people were scared of me before I even turned my head toward them. Most though would take quick and cautious steps through with their group until I could catch one with some eye contact. That would usually lock that person up in fear, holding up the whole group who would all instantly look at my face. Just a second or so each, darting between the group members' eyes, and they would be nearly helpless until I turned away.

That worked for me. I know others had great success with just creepy movements. It was a ton of fun, and I'm one of the 10% or so who doesn't get scared in haunted houses.

Synssins41 karma

Oh man, I bet this was such a great and creepy scare experience! I wish I could have experienced this myself.

ratatine150 karma

Like you I'm a very experienced monster and I know your haunts. I too have made people pee themselves back in my day. However dark sets, dark clothes, and the fact that you only see people for a short period of time before you're moving on to the next targets make it nearly impossible to identify all but the most obvious pant-wetters. Those are usually known because they themselves say that they just wet themselves.

How exactly have you been able to identify so many distinct victims over the years given the environments in which we employ our crafts?

Synssins263 karma

My most obvious wetters happened when I was at Village of Terror in Chippewa Falls, WI. The exit door to my building would actually latch when it closed. You would have to turn the handle to get it to open. The building where I am leatherface inside with the wood walls. This is where people would run for the exit as I stepped out behind them, and when it wouldn't open at a push, they'd curl up on the floor at the door. I'd run the saw over the top of their heads (about 12 inches+ above them), and then turn the handle myself and they'd tumble outside. One of the guys watching the exit would keep a tally of people who had visibly wet themselves.

For the bowel movements... You can tell. Seriously.

chrisandhisgoat135 karma

I caused 372 people to visibly wet themselves, I caused five people to lose bowel control, and I have caused a total of two heart attacks in the last year

Which was your proudest moment?

Synssins282 karma

I have so many... But the one that sticks out the most, was a guy about 6'6" and built like a linebacker (I think he was actually one of the MN Vikings players) came through and acted tough... And then I came out beside him in a dark corner of a haunt at ValleyScare. He went over backwards, broke the mirror on the wall, and wet himself.

TheWastelandWizard193 karma

You never forget making someone brown themselves. Generally you don't know until they're walking away and you catch a whiff, but every now and then someone goes full mudslide and it's a surreal moment.

Synssins172 karma

You've obviously worked haunt before. This is so accurate.

PTguy777116 karma

Do you have any intention of playing in movies?

Synssins189 karma

I haven't received any offers at this time... Are you offering?

I've been in the Screamtown commercials, including this one where I dragged someone into the corn.

You can see it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocflh2IfvHo

coitusavenue105 karma

How much do you get paid to do this? If you don’t mind me asking. Also, Do you get paid even more on halloween than on any regular days? Do you get tips and such? Thank you and have a good day!

Synssins177 karma

This year I am volunteering for free, I just love it so much and want to see this small charity event grow.

Usually it's between 25-40 a night, with top tier actors/actresses pulling in as much as 50+.

ForzaShadow55 karma

25$ a night. ?

Synssins97 karma

Pays for the gas money, and the scaring is fun.

Caustic-Echo69 karma

Have you ever worked at one of the 21+ extreme events or heard about them?

Synssins158 karma

I have heard of them, I have never worked them. Not a fan of the torture chamber type haunts. They don't do anything that requires talent, in my opinion.

InevitableRisk59 karma

Are you a fan of David S. Pumpkins?

Synssins71 karma

I am. Any questions?

Lynx_Snow44 karma

My very small town didn’t have any haunted houses, so this year my family business is hosting one. We’ve got the set up all done, and we’ve done a few nights of this. We aren’t really making money yet, but that’s not the point right now.

My question is this: what advice would you give to the scare-actors we’ve hired? Most of them have acting experience, but being scary is different from stage acting. What’s your best tip?

Synssins75 karma

Play a role. Develop a character... Make it entertaining! It's not about being the scariest. It's about the patrons having fun. If you are acting it out, be a smartass when people don't jump at the scare. Talk to them in character. If you can't scare them, send them away laughing.

ellaphante443 karma

Haunt actor for 3 years here! Have you ever been to any of the haunted house conventions like TransWorld or anything?

Synssins38 karma

Unfortunately no. Budget and time constraints have kept me away. But I REALLY want to go!

ServetusM42 karma

Have you ever gotten pushed or hit by someone who was startled and freaked out to the point they just wanted to get you away from them? If so, how does something like that get handled?

Synssins77 karma

Yes I have. Here's an answer from above.

If it is fight or flight, I let it go and chase them off. If it is more than that, I let them pass, then signal to the other actors/actresses nearby that I am heading out to report them.

enkiloki40 karma

Do you think haunted houses have become popular in our day because we have largely eliminated real fear from everyday lives? In times past real life events like the plague, starvation, invading armies, unchecked murder, no lights at night, superstition, unchecked fire, the inquisition, (just to name a few things) kept us all in a high state of anxiety and fear.

Synssins66 karma

There's definitely an interesting question about human psychology in there. I think it's a distraction from normal mundane life. You get up, you go to work, you come home. You do things with friends. But everything is under your control. When does the adrenaline spike? When do you get into a situation you know you'll come out of just fine, but you aren't in control anymore?

I think this is what drives people to haunts. It's the spike of adrenaline from a good scare, the dopamine of completing the haunt without harm. We're all just bags of chemicals, right?

forever_erratic38 karma

Hey neighbor! I live in Minneapolis.

My favorite haunted house, the only one that ever scared me, was one that didn't use actors. It was just an almost pitch black, muffled feel- your- way with great use of occasional sound, cold air, and props. It was either in the dells or Branson 25 years ago. It only let a small trickle of people through, so groups never met, and a group was two people max. I've never found a similar one since.

I imagine actors don't scare you either. Where do you go for scares? Know of any haunted houses with no actors around?

Synssins30 karma

I don't know of any haunts without actors nearby, but Screamtown had a place last year where one of the rooms was completely empty other than obstacles, pitch black, and convoluted turns. At one point you had to crawl to get through.

Watrchick34 karma

When someone brings a kid that is way to young into the house do you guys change up your tactic to be more child friendly or is it the same regardless?

Synssins142 karma

It's a case by case basis. I try not to scare the little ones that are terrified. I'll stay in character, but it will be small whispers, or just the sight of me standing there, more than me trying to whip a saw at them or chase them. True terror is not a good thing in a child that young. I'd rather them see me, and leave the haunt scared of me, but knowing they saw me and nothing happened.

Monsters are all too real in today's world... No need to for my fake monster to become real to them.

b3bblebrox32 karma

What's with picture 16 where you're in the ER?

Synssins82 karma

The one picture that is very "blue" of me in full gear in the midst of a bunch of industrial equipment is where I was located one year in the woods of a haunt.

You walk into that location from one side, and hang a left after a ten foot hallway. The left turn takes you into the area I was located, along a path next to the equipment. There is no roof here. This is about twenty feet long. Take a right turn at the wall into another hard right turn into a dark hallway (a full 180 degree turn out of my area).

It had been raining for a week solid, and the path was littered in leaves and mud.

I had a group of teenage girls come through, and as they made the first left turn into my area, I stepped out behind them and ripped the cord on the saw. They took off running, and the girl in front did not see the hard right turn into the dark hallway at the exit. She hit the wall head first and went down. Her friends all tripped and piled on top of her, and I had to hit the brakes hard, cause REAL CHAINSAW with no chain, and it had a clutch in it. If that caught hair, it would severely injure whoever it grabbed, possibly ripping scalp. I sprained my ankle quite badly that night.

When my wife got me to the ER, the nurses asked to see me in full costume, so I obliged. Coincidentally, I discovered that I have an adverse reaction to opiate based painkillers, and lose all short term memory, so I remember nothing from my trip to the ER.


What is the procedure if someone shits themselves? They don't have to complete the rest of the house, do they?

Synssins42 karma

Send them on their way, try not to gag at the stench, etc. If someone asks to leave, I will escort them out without trying to scare them any further. If it's really messy, we shut down and clean/sanitize.

AmAttorneyPleaseHire28 karma

Do you have any advice for someone that would like to try to become an actor at one of these? I’m a bigger guy, 6’4”, hefty, and I feel like my body and frame would lend itself extremely well to playing one of those characters. I just don’t know how you break into it or where to even inquire. I’m not looking for pay or anything - I’d love to be able to do what you do, I just don’t know where to start.

Also, phenomenal photo of you in full costume in the hospital bed, lmao.

Synssins50 karma

Find a local haunt and contact them. Usually there's an email address or contact form on their site. Costumes are provided by the actor/actress, so you'll need to put something together. With your size, you would do well in a Michael Myers, Jason, or Leatherface role. Something that is well known, and big.

I did see a guy my size wander around as a giant baby in a diaper with autopsy openings on his chest (big Y cut). He played the role to the hilt, and it was HILARIOUS.

dnteatyellwsnw27 karma

Have you ever had to comfort someone because you feel bad for sharing them so badly (or well I guess)?

Synssins53 karma

Yes. I scared one lady so badly she backed up hard. Her son was behind her, and she smashed his head into the corner of a wall. I immediately broke character and worked with her to get them up to the medical tent.

TikkiTakiTomtom27 karma

Contact scares or no?

Synssins53 karma

Depends. Light contact, not in an inappropriate way, can heighten the fear factor. Little brushes of the hair, the sleeve, etc. Anything more is just contact that doesn't require talent to give a fright.

MmM92125 karma

what are you scared of the most?

Synssins78 karma

Getting old and dying without finishing my business here.

JoWubb24 karma

Did you work at a full contact (touch) haunt? What are your thoughts on places like Blackout and McKamey Manor? Happy Halloween!!

Synssins45 karma

I have not. I dislike Blackout and McKamey Manor (especially McKamey Manor. Ugh.) I have thoughts on these elsewhere above... There's no talent. You are a psychopath if you enjoy doing those types of things to someone.

paceted5 karma

I've been to dozens but none where the actors touch you. How does that work? Do you have to sign something agreeing to the contact?

Synssins5 karma

Usually there is a waiver that agrees to the contact.

flaskman24 karma

On the resume do you list the heart attack skill or shit your pants skill first which one do you think is a more powerful skill to a recruiter?

Synssins23 karma

I have used those when applying at haunts when I change locations. :)

Everybodyslonely23 karma

What was your favorite character to play?

Synssins51 karma

Leatherface. All the way.

vilipendio23 karma

Did you ever scare someone while they are high? Either from weed or shrooms/LSD. What was it like? Is it common for people to use acid as a way to enhance the experience?

Synssins72 karma

I have smelled weed when people come through, and have seen people obviously high. The only ones that clearly stand out are the ones so high they don't even realize they are in a haunt.

hamster_of_war22 karma

Have you had customers turned violent, by reflex or some other way?

Synssins31 karma

Yes. If it is fight or flight, I let it go and chase them off. If it is more than that, I let them pass, then signal to the other actors/actresses nearby that I am heading out to report them.

DobbyDun22 karma

How often do you make people soil their pants? Is pressing down on their bladder a good technique?

Synssins51 karma

When they fall down, you're supposed to put full body weight on their stomach... Just kidding. This kills the patron.

I'd say about 20% of the really nervous ones get the wet pants. So, about 5% each night.

Mevil18720 karma

Emma watson vs Nancy Pelosi, who has a better resting bitch face?

Synssins87 karma

Emma Watson has that RBF that makes you go "She's hot, but I don't stand a chance and I don't want to get shot down, so... I'll admire from afar." and Nancy Pelosi has that RBF that makes you wonder where her cauldron and broom are. Both would make me cower if they ever turned it on me.

Allittle197010 karma

Have you purified yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka? Do you still call Macy’s Dayton?

Synssins12 karma

I have, and I do.

Twelve-Pound19 karma

What is the best way to signal to haunt actors that the person behind me is way better to scare than me, and that they should focus their energy on them instead?

Synssins20 karma

Just a quick nod and glance is all it usually takes.

FPLBlade15 karma

Why are you celebrating heart attacks caused like a trophy? Who has the highest heart attack to scare ratio in the game?

Synssins41 karma

I am not sure who has the highest ratio, though I know other actors/actresses that have scared people so badly they fainted/collapsed... I know that the ones I caused were definitive heart attacks that included ambulance rides and everything because those people came back to tell us about it.

shuboni6 karma

My fight or flight reflex has been dampened beyond belief by apathy, so I challenge myself to meet certain unconventional (but wholesome) goals whenever invited to haunted houses. Things like see how many actors I can get to break character by telling jokes to make them laugh, how many actors will agree to give me a hug or hand shake, how many I can get to tell me about their day, etc. I've had many reactions to this behavior. How do you personally deal with patrons that don't want to follow the norm but also don't break any rules?

Synssins10 karma

I'll usually respond to some of these actions in character, but have to note that while you (or others) may not react in the normal way, others around you may. I need to focus on the group, and target the ones who react to the norm. If I can find the time to trade quips, I usually will. The goal as a patron is to enjoy the haunt... If your enjoyment doesn't break rules, then you do you!

thelastbraun5 karma

What do you think of those extreme haunts where they straight up torcher people?

Synssins79 karma

I strongly dislike them. That's not scary, that's disgusting to me... It doesn't take talent to do things like smear something on someone. Scaring someone without touching them, without being disgusting or causing pain is an art form.

jeffislouie3 karma

Has anyone ever punched you? Because I can't go to haunted houses for that reason.

Synssins12 karma

Yes. You should come visit me. We can solve that punching problem with my saw, Fred.

izthepuzz2 karma

How do I work as an actress in a haunted house. Do you have advice for my audition?

Synssins4 karma

Show up. Literally. A lot of haunts are constantly looking for staff. Practice scaring your cat/dog at home. Wait around a corner, call them so they come running (your cat will ignore you, probably), then scare them. Your dog will be traumatized for life, but eventually learns to look out around corners... So change it up.

Then, use those skills at the audition.

fashpuma2 karma

What are people generally more afraid of - pop culture/well known horror characters or original/generic scares?

Synssins3 karma

I don't know if I can answer that accurately. The pop culture characters give you a frame of reference on what to expect. So, if you see a bloody apron and a chainsaw, you know a Leatherface-like character is around, and know to be scared... I guess it depends on personal experience.

berry19thecat2 karma

What was your first time trying to scare someone like on the job? Did you succeed?

Synssins3 karma

I scared them, mostly because of my size... Otherwise, excitement and nervousness, mostly.

An_Old_IT_Guy2 karma

How does your company deal with actors being assaulted by customers?

Synssins5 karma

The police are on hand. Incidental fight or flights are nothing. Deliberate actions are something else entirely.

thesourceandthesound2 karma

How do you feel about jump scares and their role in haunts? I hate sudden surprises (esp with loud noise) but love haunts otherwise.

Synssins3 karma

Jump scares serve their purpose. Many of my saw scares are jump scares. You may not realize I'm there until I rip the cord on the saw. Not everything is about the character jumping out at you or interacting with you. The jump scare can serve as a solid distraction while the big guy with the saw lines up behind you.