Students by Day, "Screamsters" by Night


Story by Christine Betts

As Halloween rolls around, so do the haunted houses and crazy characters of Worlds of Fun.

The Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun includes an array spooky locations to walk through, from an asylum to a zombie-filled high school to a wax museum. The varying barns that make up the different haunted houses are filled with smoke and loud industrial sounds.

Workers at the different houses paint on heavy makeup to look the part of their character.

Senior Savannah Lewis, who works at Worlds of Fun, is in charge of the people who take tickets at the gates. She said that around this time of year with more and more people coming through the ticket line, “my bosses yell at me more.”

“It’s definitely more structured because of the rush,” said Lewis, “we have more than 30,000 people come in the gates during haunt weekends. On a normal weekend we might have around 20,000.”

Victoria Schmidt works as a “screamster” at the park. “I work in one of the haunted houses called Zombie high” said Schmidt.

Schmidt said this is her first year working at haunt, “It sounds bad that I enjoy scaring people. Our goal is to scare them.”

Working as a zombie means a lot of makeup, “Getting ready is quite a process. You have to pick up your costume from the costume department and then obviously get it one. After that you get in line to get your makeup done. This wait can take up to two hours” said Schmidt.

Schmidt also said that there is a mental aspect to the job. “You have to mentally prepare yourself for your character.”

Senior Hannah Ogden, who visited the park, said she was impressed by the haunted houses. “It was awesome. The houses were freaky but I was always the first one in so I saw all the people before they could scare me.”

Schmidt said that the job takes a lot out of her. “I’d like to say that to anyone who wants to work there that it takes a lot of effort as a job. Physically and mentally. If you aren’t sore or hurt in some way at the end of the night, you didn’t do your job right.”

Working together to scare others is a good bonding experience according to Schmidt. “Haunt is like a family. Everyone usually gets along” said Schmidt.

Photo by Lilly Mather