I’ve been fascinated by horror for as long as I can remember. And for 13 consecutive years, I’ve been attending Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.
So it’s no surprise that I’ve long dreamed of what it would be like to become what are, in my opinion, the heroes of the event: a scareactor. Getting to make first-timers feel their first scare? Or cracking the most seasoned Halloween Horror Nights veteran? I had to do it.
And this year, I got my chance. Check it out:
Here are my 5 favorite parts of my once-in-a-lifetime night of becoming a scareactor in this year’s “Hive” house.
5. Getting Into Character
Charles Gray, Show Director for Entertainment, informed me that the giant, old house that serves as the setting for “Hive” is infested with vampires…a lot of vampires! He also let me know that I’d be playing a “rat-like” vampire and my role would require—like every scareactor in the Hive, male or female—a cleanly shorn head.
4. Wardrobe & Prosthetics
To my amazement, former “Face-Off” contestant Eric Garcia was the man who would turn me into a member of The Hive! The process was easy, fun, and really helped me gain an appreciation for the men and women who go through it night after night. Upon completion, I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize myself—it was time to join my brethren in The Hive!
What impressed me most during my scareactor experience was the camaraderie between everyone working the event. From the creative teams to the artists, to the coordinators who round everyone up and direct them where to go, this team works flawlessly! Once you become a scareactor, you become a member of the family. Looking at another person in similar vampire makeup created an instant understanding and camaraderie that is difficult to put into words.
If only I had known how much fun it is to be a scareactor, I would have been doing it my entire adult life! Standing in the dark hallway, surrounded by black curtains, I was extremely nervous. Would I be able to scare people walking through? Was I capable of recreating the adrenaline rush I’ve been addicted to for 13 years? All of my doubts and insecurities vanished the second my first “victim” screamed, jumped, and then laughed. Group after group, each scare became more satisfying and my addiction for being scared changed into one of being the one doing the scaring!
1. Realizing a Dream
Thanks to the amazing team at Universal Orlando Resort, I was able to bring my own Halloween Horror Nights experience full circle. My addiction for adrenaline pumping scares is stronger than ever—but which side of the scare do I want to be on? Halloween Horror Nights will answer that question for us all!
Have you had a favorite scare this year? Let me know in the comments!
Haven’t been yet? What are you waiting for!? Grab a ticket and get your scare on!
WARNING: Event may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children under the age of 13. No costumes or masks allowed.