Watching scary movies is a thrill, especially because we can turn the lights on when they’re over and know that none of it was real (phew!). But some of our worst fears aren’t just Halloween costumes that are worn once a year and then stored away. They’re actually real-life situations faced by professionals every day. From slimy bugs to bloody crime scenes, your worst phobias are lurking around every corner if you’re gutsy enough to take on a scary job! This Halloween, join us for a countdown of the four scariest careers.
4. Pest Exterminator
Does seeing an insect, or even the picture of an insect, make your skin crawl? Being an exterminator or fumigator would be a hundred times creepier! Not only will your job require you to look for the bugs in a building, but you’ll have to dispose of many dead bug bodies afterwards (and they definitely looked a lot cuter in A Bug’s Life)!
Your only requirement is to be trained and licensed. However, since you’ll also be working with larger pests such as rats, you’ll need a strong stomach as well to handle the sight of dead rodents. We’ve all watched our fair share of insect horror movies involving giant, mutated bugs dominating the world, but this job will make you realize just how easy it is for creepy crawlers to invade and take over!
Scared of zombies or ghosts? Being a mortician, a funeral director who prepares deceased bodies and carries out burials, is not for those who are easily spooked! It might not seem like a demanding profession, but in order to become one, you have to study science, restorative art, business management, law and ethics and bereavement counseling.
You’ll need at least an associate’s degree in funeral service and mortuary science education; the American Board of Funeral Service Education gives a list of all the colleges in each state that offer the program. A one- or two-year apprenticeship is common before you become licensed and officially run your own practice. It’s not most people’s first choice of a dream job, but it’s a fitting career for collegiettes who care about helping others (especially those who are grieving) and love Edgar Allan Poe.
2. Asylum Psychiatrist
If you freaked out at any point during the second season of American Horror Story, can you imagine actually handling the pressure of working in an asylum? You might find yourself sitting in the same room as someone who committed atrocious murders, listening to his or her motives and trying to understand his or her thought process. At any moment, your patient could act violently toward you, so you have to be prepared. Psychiatrists are bound to keep the secrets of their patients, but it’s not easy going home full of all those dark, twisted thoughts!
To qualify for psychiatry, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in psychology or another subject in the sciences, and you’ll also need to attend medical school and become certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Try to find jobs in counseling and therapy beforehand. You’ll want to become comfortable using your skills before you decide to jump into more extreme patient situations. It’s also helpful to talk to others who work in the field to get an idea of the challenges you’ll be facing and how to handle the stress (and scariness) of the job!
1. Crime-Scene Cleaner
Ever thought about what happens after the police discover that bloody corpse in the middle of the woods? Someone has to clean up the mess, right? A crime-scene cleaner is left to remove the blood. To become one, you’ll need a degree related to biology, as well as technical training in law-enforcement procedures and bio recovery.
According to The Atlantic, crime-scene cleaners often try to avoid knowing as much as possible about the victims, making it easier to do the job on a daily basis and see the situations more objectively.
If you’re dressing up this Halloween, keep an eye out for scary costumes that actually relate to people’s jobs in the real world! You might not have realized just how many scary careers we’re surrounded by every day — and a lot of the ones we see in horror movies aren’t half as frightening as they are in real life.