This year was my tenth year acting helping build and coaching new actors I play a very offensive creepy old man in a wheelchair called Festus woodson ask me anything

Comments: 735 • Responses: 123  • Date: 

kingacesuited461 karma

How often do you get people who cry/panic/etc and don't want to move forward or backward?

rhog588 karma

Every single weekend it is really really entertaining the the more you fear us the more we're going to come after you

DB_OG458 karma

i get it now, all haunted house hosts are psychos fo sho

rhog299 karma

Not really we go buy a rating system there are PG haunted houses PG-13 haunted houses Rated-R haunted houses and NC-17 haunted houses the one I reside at is a Rated-R haunted house

TyronLee13205 karma

Could you explain what makes “Rated-R” houses and “NC-17” houses different ?

rhog450 karma

A rated R haunted house is like a rated R horror movie cussing disturbing scenes just general overall unadulterated uncensored horror NC-17 is more like the actors being naked grabbing you no safe word some of them even torture you like McKinley Manor that place is a disgrace to the haunted house industry

Pedro_el_panda115 karma

Are there any "good" NC-17 haunted houses or you believe all of them go too far?

rhog306 karma

All of them go too far in my opinion

iamtehryan74 karma

Do you mean mckamey? I tried looking it up and this is the only one I could find.

rhog114 karma

Sorry I'm using my voice to text it doesn't understand me sometime yes

Jollydancer30 karma

Seriously, naked? In a haunted house? In the US of all places? Why though? How is nudity scary?

rhog52 karma

Exactly I think it's just fucking cringe

Tammy_Tangerine28 karma

i know a bunch about mckaney manor, but i’d love to hear your take on why other horror folks dislike him.

rhog176 karma

He is very disliked in the haunt industry he gives other haunted houses a bad name because we are there to scare you and entertain you we are not there to torture you until you break down having mental psychotic episode or something worse

TryingHappy20 karma

Where on earth are those rankings? I used to research houses for fun and have never seen that.

rhog44 karma

Usually at the front of a haunt it'll say it's a rated R haunted house stuff like that but a lot of haunted houses don't have that but a lot of them do

delta181013 karma

Interesting. Do you work in the US? I’ve been to so many haunts in the past 15 or so years, and can’t recall seeing any “rating” signs. Pretty cool and straight forward way of marketing to your audience though!

rhog9 karma

In the us

Disastrous-Ad-235747 karma

There was one ghost that was basically an adult dressed as a baby and his fear tactic was... To say "I want to play with you, come play" like in an Elmo voice.

I was waiting for him to pull off his mask and reveal something scary... But no, it was just a large baby wanting to play.

Everyone else was terrified, and I was like "but he's so friendly, what the heck!"

rhog26 karma

That sounds like an awesome experience

definetly_ahuman40 karma

Oh my gosh. I had a nightmare experience at a haunted house with this. I made the mistake of jumping and kind of running away from an actor dressed as a zombie and for the rest of my time inside he popped up everywhere. He followed me around the house and even chased me into another section right into the waiting arms of another zombie at one point. God, I love haunted houses.

rhog29 karma

Thank you for coming to a haunted house your fear and enjoyment makes it all worthwhile for us

definetly_ahuman34 karma

My mom used to be an actor in a haunted house every year until she had knee surgery and just couldn’t keep up with the demand. Her role was to play as a plague victim and crawl around an infected hospital scene begging people for help and coughing on them. I spent so much time in haunted houses as a kid, this post brought back some happy memories for me, actually. Thanks for posting!

rhog18 karma

Tell your mom I think she's awesome and thank you

FeelDeAssTyson370 karma

What's your next 11 months look like?

rhog362 karma

Planning and Building

rafie97120 karma

Planning and building the horror show for next year?

rhog166 karma

We have a couple ideas but we're having a planning meeting in January

sameerski32123 karma

Halloween in January! Make sure there isn't a hole in your floor

rhog70 karma

We have to plan that early because it takes 9 and a half months to build

FemaleKwH261 karma

Has anyone ever assaulted you out of fear?

rhog285 karma

Many many times too many to count

Feanors_Scribe89 karma

Are you allowed pummel them back?

rhog263 karma

I mean if they punch you one time not really but if they keep assaulting you yes because sometimes people punch out of fear

Feanors_Scribe78 karma

Yeah I’d hate to see that. Hope you have never suffered a bad injury!

rhog191 karma

The worst that ever happened is I've lost two teeth a couple years apart

RedBullDonut121 karma


rhog124 karma

It happens but I'm not upset over it

iWant_To_Play_A_Game41 karma

Does your employer pay medical fees?

rhog84 karma

Not really we're more like independent contractors I am sure there are some that do but it's kind of rare

Muthafuckaaaaa59 karma

TIL I can punch you guys one time and get away with it! See you next Halloween! lol

rhog71 karma

We can tell when you do it on purpose and when you're just scared

qpazza4 karma

So what you're saying is we all get one free shot. Good to know!

rhog7 karma

We know when it's on purpose and when it's intentional trust me you do it on purpose you're out of there

picnic-boy211 karma

  1. How difficult is it to get into?
  2. Does it pay well?
  3. What's the hardest part.

rhog332 karma

If you are a horror Junkie you can get into it pretty good it gives you a feeling of you are God when you scare someone because that gives you power over them for your second question we used to not get paid it started a couple years ago when we actually got paid and I don't do it for the money I Do It For the Love of the Game and for your third question it's just very taxing on your body you have to worry about getting dehydrated and getting punched and kicked and a lot of other things but in the end it is very worth it

PuddingRnbowExtreme185 karma

WTF are you doing on reddit right now, 8pm PST on Halloween night?! Shouldn't you be haunting right now?

rhog202 karma

Yesterday was the last night of the season we're only open every Friday and Saturday

DoctorRoxxo80 karma

your company must hate money to not be open on halloween night?

rhog188 karma

From my experience doing this for 10 years it's usually never busy on a Halloween because people are partying and going trick or treating we will do it on Halloween if it's a Friday or Saturday

SweetEmbraceableYou172 karma

Hi Festus. Thanks for sharing!

Have you ever worried that you might kill someone with a heart attack?

rhog326 karma

I have given someone a heart attack before but they were in poor health to begin with and had a heart condition but they were okay later on my real name is not really Festus

Look_to_the_Stars157 karma

You’re a real card, Festus

rhog140 karma

I am the ace of diamonds

TiddySpanks149 karma

Has a guest ever made you break character?

rhog184 karma

A couple times not much I'm very dedicated to my craft

Muthafuckaaaaa80 karma

What's the most memorable experience that you have broken character?

rhog464 karma

Probably the best experience I've ever had breaking character I don't have many of them because I don't break character that much probably the time some drunk guy decided to lick my nipple I was like whoa whoa whoa you have to take me out to dinner first that got a good laugh

hullowurld139 karma

What kind of people make the best haunted house actors?

rhog200 karma

People that usually don't fit into everyday life that's why I love the Haunted House season because I get to be with other Freaks Like Me

bananagoo75 karma

You're not a freak!

rhog67 karma

Thank you

jhftop110 karma

What are the different types of reactions that you generally get to your performance?

rhog133 karma

Some of them laugh some of them are disgusted and some of them just cower in fear

way2manychickens91 karma

I giggle the entire time in a good haunted house. The more they jump scare me or creep me out, the more I shrink and giggle. I love it. Thanks for what you do.

rhog78 karma

No thank you for giving us the chance to do what we love

jhftop37 karma

What do you do when they laugh? Do you laugh along with them or double down on your efforts to scare them???

rhog85 karma

I just start mock laughing at them until it becomes really uncomfortable and they stop and then I pull out some lines

jhftop68 karma

....oh, lines as in script. Okay, my mind went somewhere else for a second.

rhog42 karma

Yes lines as in script

DashingSands105 karma

Deleted my last question because the answer to it was right in your post. My bad. Next question:

How often do you have “tough guys” come through who try to fight you?

rhog166 karma

Believe it or not the tough guys are the biggest chickens we have some that do but most of them cower in fear

DashingSands46 karma

Haha that’s great. Do you guys all hang out after a shift or do you just head home and unwind?

rhog89 karma

We hang out a couple hours after the shift we eat food hangout tell jokes we are a haunted house family after all

Oldjamesdean84 karma

Has anyone ever scared you while you were working the haunted house?

rhog235 karma

A couple times the thing that really scared me a couple years ago was someone pulling a fake gun on me scared the shit out of me he was immediately escorted out of the premises

bk15dcx136 karma

I've had real ones pulled on me. We had "push out" zones... essentially the nearest exit. Anyone who caused trouble got bounced out the nearest door by a gang of zombies.

rhog103 karma

Good Lord you had a real one pulled on you

bk15dcx56 karma

Detroit in the 80s


rhog51 karma

God Almighty I'm sorry that happened to you

bk15dcx30 karma

Thanks. No biggie.

There was more danger in the parking lot.

After high school they stopped doing it. Too many incidents. Always outside in line or parking lot. We couldn't hire enough security.

rhog31 karma

Security and parking staff is always a difficulty

rhog29 karma

A couple times this year not as bad as it usually is

wintercast25 karma

How is security provided in the house? They always seemed dark and maze like to me. I'm sure to you know know how to get around.

rhog53 karma

You may not see the security but they are through out the house

theburdenofproof77 karma

What things have forced you to break out of your role, if any?

rhog146 karma

When a lady hopped over a table in my room and face-planted if both was hilarious and horrifying

Muthafuckaaaaa34 karma

Hilarious for you, horrifying for her. You have a great job! lmao

rhog42 karma

It's not really a job I Do It For the Love of it. getting paid is just like a little extra

Plantparty2058 karma

Do you have any set boundaries? Like at what point do you back off someone who’s too scared.

rhog94 karma

What I tend to do is when I have someone scared afraid to move is I Will Wait 7 to 11 seconds and then back off

Plantparty2089 karma

That’s good to know. I had a bad experience where I froze and started crying and the chainsaw guy wouldn’t leave me alone until my friend came and dragged me out and it honestly ruined it for me. I can’t get myself to ever go back.

rhog121 karma

I'm sorry you had a bad experience that chainsaw guy was being an asshole normally chainsaw people are the coolest people ever the guy you interacted with just seems like a scumbag give another Haunted House a chance and I'm sure you will have a much better experience also you may not know this but those chainsaws don't have a blade on them

itisjafar109 karma

Your responses here are wild and I'm loving them. I just love the sentence, "normally chainsaw people are the coolest people ever." I'm imagining a whole social hierarchy of haunted house workers now and it's fantastic.

rhog57 karma

Working at a haunted house is like having another family we protect one another we love one another we help each other when one feels down or sad we're completely normal everyday people weirdos yes we all are but we are still normal people

Kraftykodo57 karma

Do you have breaks during your shift? Also how long is a typical shift?

rhog66 karma

A typical shift could be anywhere from three to five hours

ellenehs54 karma

Do any of these little fuckers ever pop out of the fucking wall and say “fuck there's a horse cock in my room or a donkey dick?

rhog51 karma

I am confused by your question

ProgressiveCannibal47 karma

What are some tricks of the trade that you teach others, e.g., how to get the best scare, etiquette for different interactions, etc.?

rhog66 karma

It's based on their character like if someone is assigned a clown I'll tell them to act like a creepy clown laughing maniacally asking the customers if they want to honk their horn that kind of stuff it would take me a really long time to tell you what I tell the new actors because 10 years of experience doing so I have a lot of tips and tricks

sophiaquestions8 karma

A follow up question if I may? I've always wondered how do you time a scare? It seems like it takes a lot of concentration to read each person's best time to go "boo!"

rhog11 karma

It depends person to person and group to group but mostly you want to go after them when they're not looking

sexylassy43 karma

Hi! Scary! How did you start?

rhog122 karma

My mom suggested I do it because I was kind of in a funk when I was in my twenties I am 35 now I've been doing it for 10 years it's great therapy because you get your anger out for the year it really helped me


Have people tried to scare you while walking through the haunted house?

rhog86 karma

Several several times and I just say in my creepy old man voice is that the best you got motherfuker

Jekkelstein37 karma

What’s the best reaction you’ve gotten out of somebody?

What’s your favorite role? Ghost, goblin, ghoul, killer, etc?

rhog130 karma

The funniest thing that ever happened is it was the last group of the night and these girls were too scared to come in because I'm the first room they wouldn't come in so I came after them I chased them all the way to the damn parking lot and they got in their car and lock the door funniest thing ever

rhog81 karma

Definitely the creepy old man I played for a long time I'll go up in my wheelchair pretending not to walk and when they pass me after I said my lines I'll stand up real quick and that usually gets a good scare

aslfingerspell35 karma

What kinds of roles have the hardest acting jobs in a haunted house? Which ones have the easiest?

rhog63 karma

The hardest would have to be the people who use silicone masks because it gets really really hot and the easiest I would say is using a puppet

Etaleo30 karma

What's the strangest reaction someone's had when you scared them?

rhog75 karma

Gave me an open-mouth kiss it was disgusting it smelled like alcohol an ashtray and a bunch of other things

jzpqzkl22 karma

How did it go? Did he run away? Did you punch him? Did you kiss him back?

rhog44 karma

I just said you're going to have to take me out on a couple of dinners before you do that and after they left the room I started gagging

Fantomwon18 karma

Damn, way to be committed. Still tough, that sucks that they did that to you, sorry to hear that bro!

rhog17 karma

It's okay

re00328 karma

I went to a haunted house for the first time a few weeks ago and took the approach to say a friendly hello to all the actors and even attempted to jump scare some of them…purely so they wouldn’t scare me first and give me a panic attack.

Everybody seemed to just kind of not care and go scare the shit out of obviously afraid people. Did I totally annoy everybody there?

rhog50 karma

Well the way I see things we deal with a lot of people throughout the night so they probably didn't even remember you two seconds later after you left they're on to the next customers

rhog29 karma

Also if they seemed to not care and do their job that must have been a horrible haunted house you went to

charliemuffin26 karma

Do you ever get scared in real life, have nightmares, or paranormal experiences from being a scary actor?

rhog58 karma

I mean yeah I have nightmares but I wouldn't say they're strictly normal I have dreams of Nemesis chasing me from Resident Evil 3 the original game not the remake various people in my life dying thanking I lost my opossum putter people breaking into my house stuff like that

cflash01510 karma

Can you tell us more about this opossum??

rhog13 karma

It's a big ass stick I use and it's my prop that I had specially made to hit the wall and make a loud noise I can take a picture of it and send you a link if you wish

cflash0155 karma

That sounds awesome!!! And scary!

rhog14 karma

This is possum putter

rhog12 karma

It made out of one hundred percent Locust wood so I don't have to worry about it ever breaking

rhog8 karma

You're welcome have a lovely day

bk15dcx23 karma

Hi Festus, thanks for sharing.

I worked for 4 years in high school at one of the biggest and busiest haunts in my area.

The most grueling part was going from 4pm to 2am without a break. Especially on weekends and Halloween.

How often do you get to take a break?

rhog27 karma

I really don't need to take a break during the night I can do it for several hours without going to the bathroom it's not I need to go I just there's no reason to I go at the end of the night when I'm done I'm very dedicated to my craft

rhog12 karma

Another thing is they are supposed to give you bathroom breaks and whatnot the people who ran that must have been assholes

dota2botmaster21 karma

Are there any instances that some couple just used the darkness or the corners of the haunted house just to "Haunted House & Chill"?

rhog30 karma

We've had a couple customers hide inside the haunt when we were operational but that's only been like once or twice

dota2botmaster12 karma

Ohhh. How'd you make them get out?

rhog30 karma

To tell you the truth we didn't discover them until the end of the night when we turned the lights on lol

dota2botmaster11 karma

Lmao haha. What were they doing tho and what was your reaction

rhog49 karma

They actually started acting with us the next night and been with us ever since

dota2botmaster20 karma

"Hey how'd you got hired?"

"Oh we just snuck in there for nothing and actually gave us a job."

rhog32 karma

We just thought it was funny as hell and we just asked them if they wanted to be with us and act

Redwood67120 karma

Is it common for some actors to leave early when it gets really late? My wife and I went with friends to a big name haunted asylum in Ohio last year and after waiting 7 hours, we got inside at about 2 AM. By that time there were several locations that looked like they had an actor there at one time but no longer did. Large portions of each section felt underutilized and without any actors to cause any frights. My buddy had spent all night hyping this place up since he had been to it in years past and at the end he apologized for the experience. After tha, I won't go back to that haunted asylum and I am put off from going to another such haunted house without paying the upfront cost for a fast pass.

rhog25 karma

Normally it's not normal for people to be out of their spots until closing time I'm sorry you had a bad experience from the sound of things the actors were very unprofessional and just left

Pepsi-Bear16 karma

Do you feel a sense of embarrassment or shame when you try to scare someone and it doesn’t work? I know I would.

rhog62 karma

Not really if you can't scare nobody make them laugh one of my favorite lines to say if no one is scared is I will look at a woman and say all that money for plastic surgery and you're still fucking ugly or I will ask two guys if they are dating and ask one what the other guy's ass hole tastes like because I'm going to taste it later tonight that usually creeps them out or makes them burst out laughing

Gilly52615 karma

When training other people or when you are acting yourself, do you define any specific lines that you shouldn't cross while scaring or, in the case of your character, while being creepy? What would be an example of an actor taking it too far?

rhog49 karma

Do not say the c-word do not call a girl a whore do not call them a prostitute do not make any racist or homophobic remarks now you can imply this like if someone comes in with a cowboy hat you can say nice cowboy hat we got broke Back Mountain up in this motherfucker but you cannot directly say it

Gilly52628 karma

Thanks for the quick answer! Glad to see there are some things you never say. You're killing it with this AMA btw well done!

rhog19 karma

Thank you my friend

Bringthegato6 karma

Lmao at that example. You seem like a funny dude

rhog6 karma

Thank you

jeromebettis1114 karma

What are some tips to spook a haunted house patron?

rhog38 karma

Just getting very close a lot of people have problems with personal space another thing I like to do is go up and sniff them and tell them they smell like a bucket of fried chicken finger licking good I have so many tips and tricks it would take me a long time to tell you

WoodenMango0713 karma

  1. When you go to other hunated houses (assuming you have been to other huanted houses), do you still get scared or do you sorta just know and expect when the actor will jump out?
  2. What did you do during your countries lockdown?

rhog21 karma

No I don't get scared going to other haunted houses. back then before I started acting yes and during the lockdown we were still opened while a lot of them were not but we had to follow a lot of rules for that to happen every actor had to wear a mask every actor had to get a temperature check so many things

delta181013 karma

Love your AMA so far, I’ve read all your responses! I have two questions:

  1. I noticed you said you guys are only open on fridays and saturdays, so you guys do anything extra special when Halloween falls on one of the days you’re open?

  2. What’s the most satisfying reaction you get from visitors? Like, how do they react that makes you think, “nice, I did my job well”

rhog12 karma

If Halloween falls on a Friday or Saturday yes we do something special.

For your second question it's when either they run out the front door because I'm the first room and refused to Come Back In and if they do they run past me and I chase them down

sephstorm12 karma

Who decides the overall setup? Me and a buddy spent all night thinking they could have done some things better. Don't know who we send feedback to.

rhog13 karma

It's a team effort it's just not one person

bandito21011 karma

How do you like your coffee?

rhog27 karma

I don't drink coffee


Hello Festus. Have you frightened anyone out of their wheelchair?

rhog23 karma

A lot of haunted houses are not wheelchair accessible I am sure there are some that exist but at mine I'm the only one in the wheelchair

sisko49 karma

Are there night vision security cameras watching the whole thing (for safety or insurance purposes)..? Just wondering how you guys keep the peace if customers get out of control.

rhog11 karma

Some haunted houses do but a lot of them do not we do it's just very sporadic throughout the house

u9Nails9 karma

What's more fun for you to scare and why:

Group of girls,

Group of guys,

Mixed group of both

Also, ever get a date or party invitation to go out with people?

rhog17 karma

That's a really hard question to answer really because it just depends and How brave they are and what their fears are some people are going to be afraid of one thing and not the other but if I had the choice it would be a mix

rhog5 karma

And yes I have been asked out on a date and party invitation before

cinemagnitude8 karma

Has anyone tried to act macho and unafraid? If so, what did you try to scare them differently?

rhog25 karma

If it's a big macho guy I know how to handle these people I'll look at them and start flirting with them getting close telling them they look sexy and stuff like that that creeps them out so bad that they start running away from me

therealsix8 karma

It Netherworld in Atlanta really the top of the line when it somes to Haunted Houses? Have heard about it for years and still have never gone. Are you familiar with it?

rhog16 karma

I am familiar with it I would say it's one of the best I wouldn't say it is the best

SwansonHOPS7 karma

Are there any hard rules that haunted house actors must abide by?

rhog9 karma

It really does depend from Haunted House to haunted house and what they are rated

bioluminescent-bean6 karma

Cool! Do you ever get scared or do you think you're numb to it?

rhog15 karma

When I started doing this I would would you call a chickenshit but the more and more I learned throughout the years I can watch a horror movie and be like that's how they're doing this that's how they did that it's kind of like a magic trick that's ruined because you know all of the tips and tricks to do it

WhistlerDan6 karma

How do you guys deal with people that get aggressively punchy when they’re scared?

rhog13 karma

One punch to an actor is acceptable more than that they're going to have a problem and might be asked to leave

Morsemouse4 karma

What’s been your funniest encounter?

rhog17 karma

Probably a full grown woman so terrified of me she tossed one of her kids at me and just ran away

blatterbeast3 karma

What's the ADA stance on accessibility for wheelchairs and whatnot in haunted attractions? I feel like this is an industry that gets away with breaking laws regarding the ADA.

rhog6 karma

A lot of haunted houses are not wheelchair accessible because you have to crawl under things sometimes and go outside sometimes I am pretty sure there is a lot of haunted houses that have wheelchair accessibility

yourenotmymom692 karma

What in your opinion is the best haunted house you’ve ever seen?

rhog5 karma

I would say mine but since I can't choose that I would say Woods of Terror

abusivecommentator2 karma

Like most theatres, is the place actually haunted?

rhog3 karma

No this is not a theater is a large ass building in the middle of nowhere

CorsairVI1 karma

Your antics have probably given nightmares to more than a few people.

My question for you is this: What nightmares does a nightmare-maker like yourself have?

rhog2 karma

Usually have nightmares like nemesis from Resident Evil 3 chasing me my mom dying she is still alive just stuff like that like any normal person would have

[deleted]0 karma


rhog3 karma

Do you know how bad it smells at the end of the night with some of those costumes so no

kconnors-1 karma

Do you grope hot women?

rhog1 karma

No I do not and never have

sleeper78-10 karma

Do you wipe front-to-back, or back-to-front? Standing or sitting?

Thank you.

rhog17 karma

I don't I'm confused

Story-Large-10 karma

Do you ever use punctuation?

rhog9 karma

Not when I have autism and fetal alcohol syndrome I apologize