It takes a lot to be in the business of scaring.
And the hours leading up to the opening of Fort Worth’s Cutting Edge Haunted House are organized chaos.
“There’s a lot that happens in the background that no one knows it’s happening,” said Caron Crumbie.
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Her job is to organize the actors and she says her day job as a nurse makes her uniquely prepared for the task.
“For that job and this job, as far as being in here, you have to have a level head,” said Crumbie.
Make-up artist Delena Williams transforms ordinary people into nightmares.
“The one that most people get scared of is the clowns,” said Williams.
She prefers being behind the scenes.
“I enjoy watching people getting scared, but my thing is not going in there scaring people, oh no,” said Williams.
Actor Kellen Siney makes it his mission to scare people so badly they leave the haunted house early.
“It’s called a ‘scare out.’ We’ve got a count. A number of scare outs that we have to beat from the last year,” said Siney. “We take a lot of pride in that. Knowing that we scared somebody so bad that they just had to leave. We take a lot of pride in that.
The creepy costumes created by Lori Wisakowsky are a big part of the fear factor.
“It’s a lot of fun to just be something else for a while and create that emotion in people,” said Wisakowsky.
The experience is far from what most of the employees experience in their regular jobs.
Sophia Livingston spends most of the year organizing shipping at Amazon, but during Halloween she spends her nights organizing the actors and getting a few scares in, too.
“When you scare you definitely want to pop in, pop out and get that psychological aspect,” said Livingston. “You really get into people’s heads and that’s fun for me.”
That thrill is what’s kept her and others coming back year after year to scare and be scared.