Most parks have their visitors when the sun is shining bright but some have their visitors in the dead of night. Scream Park is a haunted attraction in Arizona that sends their customers running for the exit, but how exactly do they do this?
The park started out with just one floor and ten actors but has now been going for 16 years, according to one of the parks managers, who goes by the stage name Alice.
“Currently we have four separate haunted houses,” said Alice. “…We have, each night, over 80 actors just in the houses.”
She continued by saying that they have additional staff for things such as parking, ticket sales, and first aid.
“We’ve been recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the ten scariest attractions in America,” said Alice.
In building a haunted attraction, she explained that their are two main haunted house shows that sell their retail, such as costumes, props, and makeup artists, to haunted houses across the nation.
“A small prop…typically runs about three to five hundred dollars,” said Alice. “The larger props cost anywhere from five to fifteen thousand dollars each.”
She went on to say that you have to be careful about what exactly is going to be put in the haunted houses because some of the retailers want their money up front.
“We still get the safety department from the tribe who comes in and inspects,” said Alice. “The fire department comes in and inspects and an overall inspector comes in and inspects.”
Alice went on to say that the walls in the haunted houses are all fireproof.
“We design a house to include the flow…how many people are going to go through [and] how often, what’s the flow pattern of the people…and how they are going to be scared,” said Alice.
There are seven types of scares, according to Alice.
“You have to vary it…,” said Alice. “There’s different ways that you can build a person up.”
Scaring from the front, the back and the middle are different ways to scare people, explained Alice.
In coming up with ideas for the haunted attraction Alice explains several ways they keep the attraction fresh.
“At these conventions that we go to…we get together…and we share ideas,” said Alice.
Once the idea is there, the attraction’s staff come together and tries to figure out how they can make it work.
“This season we already have some cool new ideas,” said Alice.
Hiring the actors for the attraction is a lot of work within itself.
“When we bring people in we do an interview…we have applications they [have too] fill out,” said Alice.
She went on to explain that people applying don’t always know what the job entails.
“We have to narrow it down to, ‘can you scare?’…it’s more than jumping out and yelling boo,” said Alice. “These actors tonight are gonna work about seven hours…we don’t give any breaks.”
Alice continues by explaining that by the fourth night the actors typically realize that the job is a lot of work and not just running around scaring people.
“We do an evaluation of every actor in the week,” said Alice. “At some point in there they will be evaluated by a manager.”
Alice explained that they have been working now for eleven days straight and how that can be difficult.
She continued to explain what really makes an actor stand out to them.
“Somebody who can understand when they put on their makeup, when they put on their costume and they walk out that door, they are that character,” said Alice.
Alice went on to explain that the actors have to know how far to push the scare because they are a family-oriented attraction.
“We also take them through training on what do you do if there’s an accident,” said Alice. “We have asthma attacks, we have heart attacks, we have anxiety attacks…”
She explained that each of the actors is trained on how to handle an emergency.
Opening the haunted attraction is just one other process the haunted attraction has to go through.
“Typically we open at 7 p.m for the houses,” said Alice. “Actors have to be in full makeup and costume by six-thirty.”
The managers then do a walk-through in each of the haunted houses to check for safety, operation, lighting, music, and to make sure the actors are in place.
“What we focus on here is that the actor is the central part of the scare,” said Alice.
The haunted attraction costs about thirty dollars for each person, according to Alice.
“They deserve the absolute best quality that we can give them and we won’t except anything less than that,” said Alice.
She went on to say what she thinks make their haunted house stand out from all the others.
“We are the oldest haunt in Arizona, we are the largest haunt in Arizona…about 25 acres,” said Alice. “We are sponsors for the Scottsdale’s Boys and Girls Club…we let all the Scottsdale’s Boys and Girls Club in for free.”
Alice continued to say that they make several donations to the club and how being apart of the community is important to them.
The haunted attraction also holds special events for blind and deaf children to come through the haunted attraction.
For more information on Scream Park click HERE.