Scary Tales: Answering Your Spookiest Questions

What goes on behind the scenes of Halloween Horror Nights is not often disclosed. However, I reached out to my fellow writers at Her Campus at UCF to answer their spooky questions about the entire process. 

What made you want to audition?

I began attending Halloween Horror Nights in 2014 and I instantly fell in love with the event. It made me have a sense of belonging because everyone was so “weird,” and they used it to their advantage. A lot of the cast of The Walking Dead were amputees and I thought that was awesome. 

What’s the audition process like?

All Halloween Horror Nights auditions, with the exception of stunt performers and stilt walkers, are typecast auditions. You make a profile on the Universal audition website and apply to audition for a listed opportunity. Within the next few days, you will receive an email either stating you’ve been invited to an audition or they’ve chosen not to consider you. You then respond back with the audition date that works best for you and, obviously, attend the audition.

In this case, you simply sign in, enter a room in a group, state your name and answer a basic question. They ask questions such as your favorite candy or horror movie so they aren’t just staring at you in judgmental silence. After that, everyone leaves the room and the casting team asks for specific people to come back in the room for questions. They’ll ask about things such as your availability, if you’re willing to grow a beard, etc. After a bit of waiting, you will know if you’re cast by that night. 

How does the casting team choose where you are placed?

The casting team has photos of face characters from IPs (intellectual properties, which are preexisting TV shows and movies) for comparison. They tend to focus on facial structure and height because most cast members wear wigs for the event. 

How do you pick who to scare?

My first priority goes to people I know, whether it’s friends, family, old classmates or my management team. However, I don't see many people I know come through, so my next choice is guests wearing Us merchandise. Most guests that come through the house have not seen the movie so I enjoy hearing the fans geek out over the details. I also aim to do my scare for those who are explaining the movie to others. Whenever I hear something along the lines of “that’s her twin who’s trying to kill her,” I take that as my cue to act out the scene for them. Because I’m not always able to see all the guests in the queue, sometimes I’ll just listen for screams. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’ve always found key ways to decide who not to scare. Many people come in smelling like marijuana or liquor, which is an automatic red flag. Intoxicated guests can really step out of line. It’s also not always fun when middle school kids come through. The boys try to prove they aren’t afraid by making gross comments and are generally rude. 

Have you had any crazy unexpected experiences with guests?

Absolutely. Like I previously mentioned, many guests get very drunk at the event. Most problems I deal with are people coming into my “boo hole.” I stand in a very narrow hall all night and guests like to invite themselves into my small space. Some times its boys messing with their scared girlfriends, but other times its drunk girls thinking they’re being cute. I’ve also had a number of people try to reach out to “help” me by grabbing me since my role has been changed to a victim. 

Does it ever feel repetitive to do the same scares?

Honestly, it does get a bit repetitive. Monkeypaw Productions has been incredibly strict so we can’t even really play with our show direction. However, most of us just zone out. Some times I like to think about what it would be like to work at Publix and make subs. 

Hopefully, you've gained some insight from hearing the other side of the event and quite possibly use some of this information to join the Halloween Horror Nights family in 2020. Have a fantastically spooky week! 

Images: All images provided by Nicole Wills.