I’ve never personally worked in a haunted house, but some of my friends did at the really big ones in Kansas City and they always had hilarious and ridiculous stories to tell us about how the paying customers responded to being terrified by them and other workers.
Sometimes, my friends even got punched in the face for their hard work. How’s that for being thanked for a good scare…?
We’re about to read some stories about great reactions from haunted house patrons.
Let’s get freaky with folks on AskReddit!
1. That was close.
“I got one of those really big buff men to let out the highest pitched scream I’ve ever heard.
He almost punched me but stopped himself.”
2. Here we go.
“I have several stories. Done it for years.
I was once knocked out. Worked in a house with a “scare room” where you peak behind blacked out curtains. You’re not supposed to lean farther than the window sill but sometimes you’re just in the moment. A guy turned a corner and was looking at the black light work on the wall and didn’t notice me right beside him.
I leaned as close as I could to him and just whispered to him. He collapsed to the ground and reached for anything he could grab. Grabbed the back of my head and I slammed my head into the sill.
Next thing I know I’m on the ground of the scare room. A co-worker steps over me and hands me a bottle of ibuprofen lol.
I was once Nosferatu and scared a guy so bad he tried to clear the corner of rocks and props instead of run around it. He fell and tumbled down the other side breaking three fingers.
Another time I was part of a blacklight clown maze. The walls were fence. We kept jumping back and forth on the fences and this woman became so exhausted from screaming she passed out.
We had to shut it down for a while until paramedics could arrive and get her out. She was terrified of clowns so we couldn’t be around her when she was waking up. We had to get our management out there for her while we waited outside.”
3. This sounds like a fun place.
“I was part of a hillbilly haunted house, my role is to hide near the entrance and jump out with a bloody spade to scare the visitors as they enter the house. I will then call out for my ‘little brother’ whom i call ‘baby’.
The line goes: “Hey babeh! We got more play things!”
One time, a customer was unscathed by my scare and was laughing and mocking me, and when i called out for my ‘baby’, he was like “oh no, wow, a baby”
Little did they know, ‘baby’ is a huge guy covered in blood and intestines wearing butcher apron with a pig mask and armed with an axe.
The moment the guy mocked me for calling for baby, baby immediately rushed out from a secret door next to him with a creepy child-like laughter. The guy got so scared he stumbled backwards and crashed into our prop haystacks.”
4. It’s Freddy!
“Former worker, i worked at probably half dozen over the years. I’ve had a few people pass out and a few yell “I just peed my pants!” etc which is always funny/satisfying but my favorite one is easily this.
I was working in a boiler room scene and dressed as Freddy Krueger. The set up was a large boiler that made you look to your left while I came out behind them on the right side. The door was straight ahead in the direction people were already walking, so they usually walked/ran towards it.
Someone designed the hallway to take a 90 degree left turn as soon as you went through the door, so many people ran into the wall, lol. Cue four or five large high school footballers (all in their jerseys) in a single file line looking pretty scared. I jumped out behind the last guy.
They all screamed at the top of their lungs, booked it towards the door single file pushing each other, and the first guy went right through the plywood wall. The rest of them piled onto each other at the hole in the wall.
I guess all that mass coupled with speed and football strength pushing all at once was too much. I started laughing and so did they. They got up, apologized, and continued down the correct hallway.”
5. The long-short scare.
“I worked as a Scarer in NZ.
I really liked the place and it was fun to work at. They also made sure that we were always safe and people got kicked out if they didn’t follow the rules. My best reaction was a from a big guy who dropped backwards on the floor and screamed his lungs out after I did a “long-short” scare.
“Long-short” is a scare were you shine a light on yourself from far way and then sneak up to the person and flash yourself again. On of my favourite ones.”
6. Zombie ship.
“Worked a zombie ship in Tampa.
I have a thin hallway that leads outside. I normally jump from a room that is tucked away but I can kinda do whatever I want.
I decided I wanted to have some fun so I decided to stand in the middle of the hallway with my fake leg in my hand and just start rocking back and forth. I’m a zombie so I’m supposed to be groaning in agony but I was completely silent and letting the ambiance do my job.
My mark rounded the corner and he saw me just rocking there. He turned around and just said “NOPE!” and ran the other direction.
I took this time to slide back into my room and the mark came back and his friends were like “What’s your problem? There is nothing here!”
“He was here! There was somebody here!” my target exclaimed.
My original mark led the group so I decided to attack the middle. They all slammed into each other and fell down laughing.
It’s things like this that make me keep working haunted houses. I’m skipping this year because of the whole covid thing, but maybe next…
I got ton of stories. Good times all around.”
7. Movie magic.
“I volunteered at one in Vancouver that was run by a guy who used to be in the movie business. He had the most amazing stuff and I suspect a lot of it was former movie props or costumes.
The best thing was this giant like 10-12ft tall ring wraith that he’d prop up in the front yard, and it was so big that people assumed it was a stationary prop, like part of the setting but the arms could be moved by levers from someone hiding under the robes.
The MO was to stay very still, wait for people to meander through the graveyard and then suddenly swoop at them. That FREAKED people out.
My best scare was with the ring wraith – a big buff guy, at least 6”3, clearly a bodybuilder, who yelped and then immediately grabbed his girlfriend/date (who was this tiny asian woman and weighed all of 100 lbs probably) and used her as a human shield. Not just like pulled her in front of him, but actually picked her up a bit while doing it
The house was really great, free to enter, donations all went to charity but being a scarer is a thankless business. I don’t know how many times I’ve been punched by kids and teenage boys because their reaction to fear is aggression.
Oftentimes it was a delayed reaction too, like you’d scare them, they’d yelp or jump back and then like 3 seconds later because they embarrassed themselves in front of their little buddies, they’d run back or run up and give you a quick punch and run away.”
8. My eyes!
“A friend of mine got pepper sprayed twice.
That was fun for him.”
9. My legs are giving out.
“I worked for one for a few seasons, the best reaction I saw (but unfortunately I wasn’t the one to cause) was a lady who’s legs kept giving out from fear, she kept getting up quickly though and the rest of the people in her party thought she kept dropping her keys, but she was dropping her whole self, the keys were in her pocket the whole time.
Other than that I just had a lot of edgy kids screaming random things when they got startled. Nothing like popping out at a teenage boy and and they just outright scream “YOUR MOM GAY” on reflex.”
10. The Clown Room.
“Worked at one haunted house, years ago, for precisely two days. I’ll never work another because there is no way that I can ever top this scare, ever.
Night one, I was assigned to “The Clown Room,” where we had life-sized statues of some clowns from the movie ‘Killer Klowns From Outer Space.’ I had a mask, clown suit, and chubby three-fingered gloves so I blended right in, looking just like one of the statues. I went through the night scaring folks and having a great time.
On night two, a former co-worker whom I had not seen in years showed up with her boyfriend. She squealed and squirmed with displeasure as they entered, saying ‘No no no, I hate clowns I hate CLOWNS!’
As they moved passed me, I remained standing still and blending in with the statues but made eye contact with her and followed her with my eyes. She freaked out and said ‘That one’s WATCHING me!’
Her boyfriend said ‘Honey it’s just a statue.’ She had passed me at this point, but her boyfriend walked up to me to inspect and make sure I was just a statue. I winked at him and slowly brought my finger to my lips in a ‘SSHHH!’ gesture then pointed up ahead toward his girlfriend.
He grinned and nodded, staying back while I snuck up behind my former coworker. I put a comforting arm around her, hoping she would think I was her boyfriend…She did. At least until she reached up to hold my hand and felt my ridiculously oversized fingers.
Everything went in slow motion and I could feel her terror kicking in as she realized I was definitely not her boyfriend. I leaned down to look her in the eyes and grumbled “Hi, Molly!” She screamed “HOLY SH*T IT KNOWS MY NAAAMMMEE!!!!” and ran off into the next room. I told the show-runner that I would not be coming back the next night as I had just completed my mission of permanent psychological damage.
Best. Halloween. Ever.”
11. This sounds like a blast.
“I was a haunted house actor for about 6 years and it was some of the best times of my life. My “scare” was a faulty elevator, really a box on a pulley that mimicked a falling elevator, so I heard many more scares than I saw in person.
Few things are as satisfying as hearing a big burly guy shriek like a nine-year-old girl once the special effects kick in.
At the end of the attraction a man (really the nicest guy in the world, but he looks like a crazed redneck) chased people out with a chainsaw. I remember one guy didn’t stop running until he was across the parking lot and in the bed of a pickup truck.
It was so much fun. I really miss working there.”
12. Made her cry.
“This was a student event, so not an actual ‘job’ – I was just helping run it.
But basically I had this great costume that had a black veil over the front of a hood, which meant no-one could see my face and so I stood very still in slightly awkward positions, lulling people into thinking I was a statue.
I’d bide my time, too – a few of the students would nervously prod me and I’d ‘wobble’ like a statue but do nothing else. Then every so often, usually with someone coming in after a prodding one, I’d leap at them and go “RAWRHGHG!!!”
The best response (which I still feel guilty about) was this Chinese girl who literally fell onto her *ss in shock and started bawling her eyes out, such was the fright I gave her.”
13. Horror business.
“I had this really big muscular guy scream once who punched the wind out of me and run away crying.
I found out by the chainsaw clown at the end of the maze that the dude had wet himself before he had reached that section. They escorted the guy out through an employee section so the guy could quietly
get to the parking lot.”
14. Run for it!
“A friend of mine went to a haunted house and the crazy chainsaw guy at the very end recognized her (they were coworkers at another job).
But she didn’t recognize him in costume so when he was just supposed to chase people out of the building he chased her all the way down the street.
It was extra funny because she started to slow down outside the building and then looked back and realized he wasn’t stopping before running the rest of the way down the street.”
How about you?
What’s the funniest or weirdest thing that ever happened to you in a haunted house?
Tell us in the comments!