Haunted House Employees Share The Most Hilarious Scare Reactions They Got From People
As far as we’re concerned, it’s Halloween season–and we’re excited. For the whole month of October (and, admittedly, the end of September), most of us partake in spooky activities, like watching scary movies, eating candy, and wearing freaky and funny costumes.
But if there’s one thing that everyone should strive to do each Halloween, it’s going to a haunted house.
Why? Because nothing beats going out for the evening with your friends to get the bejesus scared out of you by complete strangers. Even though you may know everything is completely fake in a haunted house, that doesn’t mean the experiences aren’t real and scary.
According to a few haunted house employees, some of their best jobs were being scare-actors. Not only did they get to dress up in head-to-toe costumes, but they also had the opportunity to scare some of the biggest and baddest visitors, even if they ended up being punched in the face, pooped on, or hit with a shovel (yes, all these things actually happened).
Thankfully, these haunted house actors and employees decided to spill the beans via a Reddit thread, and of course, we had to read every last one. From a woman pushing her children aside to a grown man fleeing through a haunted house, here are the funniest haunted house stories.
1. A scare-actor got hit with a shovel.
“I was playing a chainsaw-wielding maniac…and I came out to a group of three people; two girls and a guy. I fired up the chainsaw and they freaked out. [The] guy and [one of the girls] girls (I assume [they were] a couple) bolted one way, [the other girl] bolted to what would be a dead-end part of the area. She’s FREAKING out, big time.”
“Meanwhile, I decide to carry on with a slow plod towards her.”
“[I was] revving the chainsaw and swinging in around like a madman. The area where I was was outside, which was set up like a camping scene. There were a tent and picnic table and, more importantly, bloody clothes hanging on a makeshift clothesline.”
This is when things hit the fan.
“As I’m walking towards her, the wind blows a sheet into me and I literally get tangled up. Not breaking character, I decided to continue my plod towards her. I knew the sheet would eventually come off me. And as soon as it did, BOOOOONNNNNGGG!”
“She clocked me right upside the head with a shovel.”
“It was a small, aluminum snow shovel, very lightweight and she wasn’t a very big girl; it was hilarious because it was so completely unexpected. She then started ‘fencing’ at me and the chainsaw with it, trying to get away. I broke character, but she didn’t know. I was literally laughing like a maniac.”
“I finally ‘let her go’ and she took off around the corner screaming and cursing at me [and] her friends for abandoning her. We literally had to stop [and] regroup ourselves afterward.”
2. A haunted house guest accidentally pooped on an employee and they became BFFs.
“[I] worked at Fear Farm in Arizona. Customers signed waivers to come into my haunt because physical contact was allowed. The theme was UFO breakout or something like that. A group of [guys] strolled in complaining about their J’s getting dirty (as they willingly entered the haunt with dirt floors) so my crew and I knew exactly what to do.”
“Being a haunter got old from time to time so we’d improvise and mess with customers instead of just scaring them.”
“We each took handfuls of dirt and charged them, threatening to throw it on their J’s. Worked like a charm, as they were much more scared by the dirt than a jump-scare.”
“One guy actually punched me in the face on accident, so I picked him up over my shoulders and ran away with him.”
“He started screaming bloody murder and [my] shoulder and back [started to] get really hot for some reason. We reached the safe zone and I [sat] him down, broke character made sure he was okay. [I then] discovered that [he pooped on me].”
“It was an embarrassing night getting us both cleaned up. He came through a few nights later, asking for ‘sh*t guy.’ Once he found me, he apologized. 10 years later, we’re best friends to this day. [Poop] on your friends’, kids.”
3. A Woman was so freaked out she abandoned her kids.
“I used to volunteer at a haunted house that was in a really old and abandoned building (now legally condemned, sadly). I was always tasked with being the reaper, standing in a graveyard with a fog machine, and [I] had a habit of standing so still some people thought I was a mannequin until they got too close. I had all around about a handful of people pee themselves.”
“My favorite story though was a lady [who] I will call Karen.”
Karen came in with a group of small children (WTF, Karen!), so everyone was going really easy on the children and basically, just motioning towards the next room so they knew where to go. Normally when I hear children are coming, I will kneel so I don’t look threatening and sit completely still so they don’t get spooked or try to run. Then there was Karen.”
But they couldn’t pass this scare opportunity up.
“She was very upset and I could hear her complaining in the room before mine as nobody was scaring her or the kids. She walks past me saying something about how they didn’t even try to make me look real, and I was clearly just a stick or something with the mask and cloak draped over me (thank you, Karen, I miss being a stick).”
“When I hugged Karen, rubbed her back, and told her I had been waiting for her all night, I saw fear I had never imagined possible. Karen shoved her children out of her way, trampled my tombstones, and screamed her way through the next three rooms until I heard the exit doors slam open. [H]er kids were still in my graveyard confused, and I was playing statue again so they had no idea what happened.”
4. This guest almost lost it after refusing to use the safe word.
“I was once playing a prisoner in a sort of scary game experience here in the Netherlands, known as Prison Escape. Not wearing scary makeup, just a prison jumpsuit, and slightly exaggerated bad-female-hooker makeup. I was mostly supposed to blend into the [participants], who all got the same jumpsuit. Only my behavior and weird hooker makeup made me stand out as an actor.”
“It’s sort of role-playing-live action gameplay for adults only with some haunted house mixed in.”
“Participants had to sign waivers up the wazoo to get in and got a safe word for if you wanted the game to stop and get out of the prison immediately. It was set inside an actual former prison that closed, so it was huge in there and 100% realistic.”
Yeah, we’ll pass.
“It’s a three-hour experience where up to a hundred people at one time can participate. Some of the prisoners and all of the guards are actors. It’s a huge production. Participants get booked in, locked in a cell for a bit, then get let loose in the prison itself.”
“There were various ways to escape including through winning the prison soccer match with a team, answering a question for a corrupt guard, bribing a fellow prisoner (another role I sometimes played). You could also get out by going into the doctor’s office and if you did it right he smuggled you out in a body bag and into an actual old-fashioned ambulance.”
“I myself was assigned to go out through the church.”
I [followed] the insane preacher (a fellow actor of course) when he rang the bell for mass. There [was] only a handful out of the hundred participants who came to the church room with me and the preacher actor. The preacher opened a trap door under the altar and led us into the tunnels underneath the prison to get outside but in those [tunnels] were cages where they kept the supposed ‘insane’ prisoners; like extreme isolation basically.”
“There were more special actors in there who were playing prisoners in cages in torn up uniforms, screaming to be let out, rattling the bars. Some had makeup to make them look emaciated, but mostly the shouting and the ambiance made them scary.”
One participant was a younger guy who was in our little group following the preacher and he got super freaked out and just sat down at the entrance of the tunnel crying. Going ‘no, no, no, hell no.’ The preacher stopped walking, came back and asked the guy if he wanted to use the safeword. Guy said, ‘No.'”
Then the preacher just picked him up and started dragging the guy to an empty cage.
“[He] opened the cage and nearly pushed the guy in but instead, basically lifted the dude off the ground against the bars and whispered: ‘If you pull a weak stunt like that again, I will lock you in a cage with one of these lunatics.’ The prisoner actors in the cages started hollering for the guy’s blood and the poor dude looked so freaked out and nearly ready to wet himself but powered through.”
“We kept walking through the tunnels for a few minutes until we got outside and then we had to run from the big searchlight and go under a fence to escape the grounds. It was insane every night.”
5. A guy accidentally punched his girlfriend in her face.
“Wasn’t me, but my old friend and roommate used to work in a haunted house every year. One year, he was a scarecrow propped up on a pole and would climb off it to be a chaser after the group walked by him.”
She had no idea what he was about to do.
“One group had a big alpha talking sh*t the entire tour, but when they passed my friend, he snuck up on the group and startled the guy. The alpha then spun ninety degrees, sucker-punched his girlfriend in the face, and ran screaming like a little girl. Apparently, their relationship didn’t survive the experience.”
6. A young kid scared the bejesus out of a family.
“At the local state park/camping area, my family would go camping every year for Halloween. Everyone decorated their campsites and the kids went around trick-or-treating. One year I took a large pumpkin and carved it hallowing it out through the bottom. I covered my hair in an orange bag and painted my face the same color as the inside of the pumpkin.”
“I put the pumpkin on my head and I dressed in over-sized clothes stuffing them with leaves.”
“[I] put on a pair of red gloves that I attached fake claws to. Everything was topped off with a nice black cloak and then I taped a pair of monster-hand gloves to my wrists to hide my actual hands and make me look like I was a scarecrow, and a real — though very dull— sword.”
The dad couldn’t stop laughing.
“I then took my place in the field with the other decorations but I made sure I was reasonably close to the edge where people would walk by. My first [scare] was the best. A family walks up with two kids. The kids are telling the mom that I am real. The mom is telling the kids I am not real and she decides to show them by coming up and touching me. She comes close and looks back at the kids saying, ‘See, it’s not real.'”
“At which point I raise the sword in my left hand, reach for her raised hand with my right as I step forward and the kids [lose] their [minds]. She turns around and sees me and tries to walk back but just falls on her [butt] screaming. The kids run.”
“The dad was doubled over in laughter, literally in tears.”
“Once the mom got herself under control, I offered her a hand and [helped] her up. The kids, who had stopped about 15 feet away are yelling, “We told you so!” And the mom is fake hitting me as she half laughs and curses at me. The dad could still hardly breathe.
The best part, though, was the fact that I was 14 and that night I also unknowingly frightened a little girl of 11 years of age, who around 15 years later, I would marry.”
7. A guest had the sh*t scared out of them.
“It’s been 20 years, but I’ll never forget working in the haunted house at this major amusement park. I was wearing a full-body, fuzzy monster suit. I sat on some stairs right as you entered. One bro came in and said, ‘There’s a guy in that suit,’ and pushed me, and I fell over.”
“‘Oh, guess not,’ he said.”
“As he turned to walk away, I slowly reached out and tapped his shoulder. He turned around expecting to see one of his friends and found the monster’s face right [next to] his own.
He literally [pooped] his pants, turned and shuffled out the entrance.
I could hear his friends laughing [for] the rest of the time they were in the attraction.”
8. A woman passed out from fright.
“[I am a part of an] all-volunteer haunted house and one year, we had, like, 10 teen guys show up, dressed as the Grim Reaper. [T]he organizers decided to put them all together in a corridor and made people walk a gauntlet through menacing scythes.”
But this woman was in full panic mode.
“This one young woman [was] really freaked out as she edged through the rooms; senses on high alert, visibly shaking. As a living mannequin, I decided to just say a quiet ‘good eeevening’ which sent her scrambling away from me into the Reapers’ corridor. They all converge eagerly, scythes flashing, and she shrieked and [dropped] like her strings got cut. She’s passed out cold.
All the Grim Reapers [were] standing over her uncertainly, shocked.
Then from one skull comes a wavering, really worried: “Oh, sh*t. We killed her.”
The good news is the woman was not actually deceased, but she was truly scared half to death!
9. A grown man got scared by a doll costume.
“[I] Worked at a haunted house when I was younger as a youth job; it was a lot of fun. I had to sit in this narrow hallway in a doll costume and sit perfectly still, then when people passed me, I would suddenly move, making it look like I was trying to grab them, and do my best creepy voice saying stuff like, “come play with me,” or “stay with me, FOREVER.”
“I got some great reactions, though, some stand out more in my memory.”
“The dude that tried to scootch by the opposed wall, while muttering, “Nope, nope, nope, NOPE.” And when I reached for him, he did this weird jump thing — the kind you see cats doing in videos — while yelling, “F*CK NO, ANNABELLE-LOOKING B*TCH.”
A group of guys had no clue what they were in for.
“Then there was this group of bro-looking guys [who] was one-hundred percent sure I was a human-sized doll, spending the whole walk down the hallway saying stuff like, “That [stuff] isn’t that scary, it doesn’t even look very life-like.” [Well,] weren’t they surprised! God being a scarer was fun, 10/10 would do again.”
10. Another reason to look up from your phone
“Maybe five or six years ago, I worked at an amusement park that converts much of the park into multiple haunted houses. I worked in the area that was a haunted butcher shop, and I was in a room that was supposed to be where everything got gutted and the wall had this thick fake gore with a person-shaped outline. I wore a suit that had the same fake gore on the front. In the dark light, I was practically invisible.”
This is what you get when you don’t pay attention.
“One girl was on her phone and totally not paying attention, but her friends saw right through my camouflage and motioned for me to hop in line behind their friend. I followed them for a little [while] and finally, this chick looks up from her phone and starts to turn to talk to her “friend,” not realizing that I was mere inches behind her.
She turns and we’re close enough that I can see her pupils as they widen. She jumped probably a foot in the air and sprinted through the rest of the maze. Her friends couldn’t stop laughing on [their] way out.”
11. This haunted house employee got punched in the ear.
“I was a scary clown at a different haunt. Had a very loud horn rigged to a power drill. Think of a cartoon ‘Ah-oogah’-type thing. A few rooms back, we had a first-night volunteer who, [in my opinion], was kind of a [rude person] to do this because you’re interfering with the enjoyment of other people going through the house, since you’re not in your place/are rushing them through where they’re going to run into others, but whatever. He has a person in this group freaked out and decides to chase them out of the rest of the house with his chainsaw.”
Thankfully, they apologized.
“They come into my room. I go to hop out with my horn, essentially trapping them between a scary clown and a maniac with a chainsaw. It all happened in a split second, and the end result was that I got full-on decked right in the ear. Fighto-r-flight is no joke. They felt really bad about it and apologized a ton. Most people who hit you, do.”
12. A woman accidentally stepped on a scare-actor with sharp heels.
“So I worked as a scare actor at a haunt on an old aircraft carrier from WWII for a couple of years. There were two parts to the haunt, one below deck in what was called ‘sick bay’ which was mainly the ship itself being old and creepy.”
“Up top was the more traditional [H]alloween haunt maze with themed rooms and chainsaw guys.”
“Normally I worked in sick bay, but that night I was put in the maze.”
I was in the bathroom-themed room and was the victim of the deranged plumber actor. So I’m sprawled out on the floor and when people walk by, [I’d] lunge and groan and beg for help. It worked pretty well.”
Too bad she didn’t get to enjoy the rest of the haunted house.
“Then this one woman came in wearing high heels. I don’t know who wears high heels to a haunted house on an aircraft carrier but hey, you do you. Anyways, she doesn’t see me on the ground and manages to step on my arm with her heels.I know we had strict rules about not touching the patrons, but due to the pain/surprise, I wasn’t thinking, and I grabbed her ankle in hopes to get her off [of] me.”
“This lady screamed and bolted for the emergency exit hallway that would take her out of the haunt, leaving her friend behind and dumbfounded. I felt terrible at the time that she missed out on the rest of the haunt but now I laugh about it because I really scared her.”
13. This haunted house guest was honest about his surprise bowel movement.
“[I] had a dude once come through, jumped a bloody mile in the air when I scared him. He just stopped with this far-off look and said, “I just sh*t myself.” I stayed in character [till] the smell hit me.”
Thankfully, the actor tried to help.
“I broke and asked if he wanted an escort. [D]ude seemed to snap out of it and said, “[N]ah, I pinched the rest back,” and off he marched.”
14. A guy thought an actor wasn’t real and got his finger grabbed.
“I did a bit of time as a scarer when I was 15 and a decade later, it’s still my favorite job I’ve had despite it being a fully costumed [six-plus] hours in near darkness with no break. A good 20% of the time I had punters fully convinced I was animatronic, and the moment where you moved, suddenly times just with them sh*t-talking was absolutely the best.”
“I remember a guy who was poking stuff and laughing whilst his girlfriend was kind of scared in general trying to poke through a cage I was in.”
“[I] reacted like a robot for long enough that he got bored and just as he went to [leave], I grabbed his fingers, started waving a knife around like [a] mad [person] and pressed a foot pedal for some sounds.”
“Six-foot-plus guy ran out back towards the entrance screaming and my manager came back in to have a laugh. [W]e actually shut down for 20 minutes or so because the guy [was] raving in the lobby [and] caused so much fuss. [S]ome thought he was a paid actor. [The] kids started crying and the line doubled up.”
15. The worst type of flash
“This wasn’t my best scare, but it was the funniest scare. I worked as a clown street performer at [a] well-known amusement park. Part of my costume was a clown jacket, but I didn’t have a shirt underneath it, so I had bloody makeup all over my bare chest.
One evening, I walked up to a couple who was minding their own business.
I was holding my jacket closed so that they couldn’t see my chest. I asked them what their favorite superhero was. I think they both agreed on Batman. At that moment, I screamed, ‘Mine’s THE FLASH!’ as I pulled open my jacket and exposed my bloody chest makeup right up in their faces.”
They definitely weren’t expecting that.
“It’s incredibly difficult trying to scare someone if you’re already in plain [sight], but I managed to pull it off this time. It also gave them a good laugh.”
16. Even tough jock-types have peed themselves.
“[A] big, tough guy [who was a] high school jock type; nothing scares him. He says, “Why am I even here? This is so fake. How are you guys even scared? Blah, blah, blah.”
“[I] caught him in a foggy area with a strobe light.”
My double and I coordinated it perfectly; I was hiding under a strobe light. Now the thing to know is: strobe lights blind you. You can’t see what is directly under them because your eyes never adjust, especially with the fog.”
“So he goes fumbling down the hall and finally feels me.”
“I step in front of the light, let out a shriek ([I tried] screaming while breathing in; it hurts your throat but it sounds awesome).”
Things got worse.
“He freaks and runs the other direction. [When] I say run, he took three steps before slamming into my double, who had the chainsaw and just revved the [crap] out of it as the guy was on the ground. He pissed himself. The best was listening to his friends rip on him mercilessly.”
17. Two very visceral reactions.
“I volunteered as a zombie in a haunt one year. The haunt only lasts for a weekend each year so there were a lot of people coming through at the height of it. They are escorted through by guides in security costumes. The guides carried guns that had red laser lights on the end, which was great because we could watch for the lights and know exactly where each group was.”
“We have a puker!”
“My best reaction was a very tough-looking woman who actually ended up in the fetal position, crying, and finally screaming that she just peed herself so please leave her alone. My friend was dressed in [a] ragged prom gown and actually scared a guy so bad she made him puke. That was the highlight that year.
“The rest of us were wondering why, all of a sudden, there were no guests coming through?”
“Then we heard, “Clean-up in aisle seven” announced over the audio system, followed by, “We have a puker!!!” We all figured that was the closest thing possible to a zombie academy award nomination.”
18. A guest screamed like Curly from the Three Stooges.
“I worked a position in my haunt called ‘statue’ where I was on a raised platform wearing a bungee harness under my costume. As patrons walked by I fell forward towards them to scare them, and the harness pulled me back. All my best scares (save one) were at that position.
Hopefully, this guy had a good time.
My favorite scare was [when] a guy jumped three feet into the air and sprinted into the haunt, waving his arms over his head and yelling, “WOOWOOWOOWOOWOO!” like Curly from the Three Stooges.
19. Someone paid a scare-actor to scare her sister who was in a porta-potty.
“I was working as a lot monster — actors who interacted with people in line — and a girl came running up to me, slipped a $20 in my hand, and pointed to a row of [porta-potties] we had just outside the haunt saying, ‘My sister is in one of them, please scare her.'”
“This poor girl opened the [porta-potty] to see a dead bride with red eyes staring at her and making an unearthly shrieking sound. It was good that she just finished in the toilet because otherwise, I’m sure she would have peed or sh*t her pants.”
It doesn’t get better than this.
“She jumped in the air and took off running across the parking lot screaming and eventually, collapsed on the ground. She was okay, we saw her laughing. That’s when another lot monster came up behind her and scared her back over towards me. Best $20 I ever made.”
20. A guy almost got hurt while he hopped over someone’s face.
“I did quite a few stints over a few years as a zombie at an event called ‘2.8 Hours Later’ in the UK. It was a blast. [I have] loads and loads of stories.”
This guy should have known this wasn’t a good idea.
“One was where we chased participants towards a gate in some security fencing. One of the guys decided he couldn’t wait and decided to try and leap the fence (it was about eight-feet high). He almost got all his torso over before properly landing on the fence, at which point, it folded in two around him. [It was] impressive and stupid.”
21. This haunted house actor almost broke character because she was laughing so hard.
“I was suspended via harness up in the air on a track. Basically, I would crawl on the ceiling and walls screaming and making [a] lot of noise. Most people jumped at this because they didn’t expect me at all to be there.”
This young woman must have been scared out of her mind.
“My best though was a group of teenagers walking through my hallway. I jumped off my little platform and proceeded to do my thing of crawling on the walls. One teenage girl screamed so loud, “OH MY GOD THERE IS A WHITE GIRL ON THE [CEILING]!” I about broke character laughing.
22. A group of people left one of their own behind after being scared.
“I’m very tiny and very flexible, even compared to my coworkers. [O]ne of my favorite rooms was this bedroom that only had a mattress and a bed/mattress combo, and a coworker had the hallway leading to the room who would warn me when people were coming.”
This sounds awful!
“I basically would do this trick where I’m lying on the mattress dead, and as they come in, I would drag myself up and forward, standing without my hands a la Exorcist-style and then fall limp to the ground and chase them into the next room. The best reaction was a group of people who were so bent on escaping me that they ran into a wall repeatedly and left behind a person who cried.”
23. A haunted house visitor decided to show his crucifix.
“On the set I worked on, there was a chain attached to a post on the house. I wore pretty typical gory zombie makeup but I would hold onto the chain pretending to be tied by the wrist. When I saw people approaching the house I would start grunting and barking like a rabid animal.”
Was this guy a priest?
“As they got closer, I started tugging on the chain trying to get ‘loose.’ At [that] point, people would notice that I was ‘locked’ to the chain and start teasing like, ‘Ha, you can’t get me.’ That was when hell broke loose. I tore out of the chain and ran towards them on all fours. Top reactions include the lady who tripped backward and tumbled down a hill and the guy who brought out his crucifix.”
24. A scare-actor set a woman into a fetal position.
“I was switching from a guide to scarer for a bit. I had given my girlfriend (at the time) my cloak to wear to keep warm. I went back in through the main entrance and as I was trying to decide what room and how to hide with my arms now exposed, I heard the next group come in. I was in the first room where the guides would cover the rules of the house.”
“I put myself up against the wall with my arms sticking out and head hanging down.”
“I still had my black hood on so they couldn’t see my face, but my arms have always been fairly hairy so I figured that would be a dead giveaway to being a real person.”
Unfortunately, no one knew who he was.
“The guide saw me and looked a little confused but went on with her speech. As she ended it, I was just going to let them move on and follow from a distance for a bit, but the lady at the front of the line looked right over at me and said: ‘I suppose he is going to jump out at me?’ I took that as my cue and in a deep voice yelled, ‘Like this?’ as I leaped forward at her with my arms going towards her.”
“She hit the corner of the wall and went to the fetal position screaming. Her friend was dying laughing and the guide had to take her mask off to wipe away tears she was laughing so hard.”
25. A person lost their mind over seeing a fake spider.
“[My friend] worked as a scarer in Ireland and [one time, it was his job to drop] a spider on a string from overhead. One evening this particular woman must have really hated spiders, coz she lost her shit as soon as the spider landed on her.”
Nope. Nope. Nope.
“She hit the deck and curled up in the fetal position until her partner reassured her, as they were leaving the clearing all they heard from the bushes was a really timid ‘sorry.'”