View Full Version : Too old to Scare???
01-29-2008, 10:06 PM
I have been involved in one way or the other with a Haunt since the late 70's.
About the time I hit 30...I decided I was too old to be chasing teenagers around and became more of a management level since.
I was curious if there are 40 and over years of age that still have the energy to chase the patrons around?
01-29-2008, 10:33 PM
I am 58 , I do the majority of the house tours here at Ravens Grin Inn which has me traveling almost half a mile up, down and around and under this house(seven physical levels!)
I got smarter long ago I don't "chase" I may have to hustle once and awhile from point "A" to pointless "B", but I designed in shortcuts for my path and lengthend the customers foot travel. Once and a while some punk who hasd been here more recently will decide to make it a race but I still usually win because of the path-thing and I am still quick for short distances.(especially in bed!)(poor wife!)
There is my one very popular shortcut , a fireman's pole, it gets me through real quick and they just can't se how I could be here and then there!?
Of course this pole is hidden from normal view.
As I get older I rely upon my natural gift of looking 58 years old to help me to unnerve many of them, yes I might drop dead and fall on you! SCARY!
I use storytelling and acting and no make up or actual costume, then when I get goofy they can't tell, "Is it real? Or Memorex?"
01-30-2008, 05:02 PM
Yeah Jim...but we already know that you are not normal...hehehehehe
01-30-2008, 05:55 PM
well I am low 30's and am in management with an acting roll. I don't see the urge to "act" ever leaving anytime soon.
01-30-2008, 11:51 PM
When I was a small child (last week?) I was told that certain habits were detrimental to one's health, so I did not do those things because I wanted to be as healthy as possible to have as much fun in life as possible. In the 20 years I have now lived behind two taverns I have seen numerous people 50-52-55 years old drop dead from a combination of those habits, along with accidents caused by losing concentration due to foggy mental processes.
Maybe I am "different"?
01-31-2008, 05:57 AM
I've been acting in haunts since the mid-70's (I'm 46) and I'll admit that if I even attempted to reprise my portrayal of the Wolfman from back then, I'd propbably end up being wheeled out on one of the old gurneys we have on hand. (It's terrible what age and extra poundage will do to one's agility, let me tell ya...)
In my current role as "owner" and host of The Baxter Avenue Morgue, I'll either walk into our funeral parlor or stand in the shadows of our front hallway, and give our guests an introduction and go down the list of rules they'll need to follow. And interestingly enough, I've been told that the fact that I'm just standing there in the dark, talking in a vaguely menacing manner to the customers, is one of the things that they've felt was TRULY scary, mainly because I'm not lunging around or making any sudden movements. It's the uncertainty, the not knowing what I might do, that's proven to be a very, very effective scare...
01-31-2008, 06:47 AM
I am in my mid 40s and still get after em! To me its more about what shape I am in when the season starts - some years I train more, some years the build is tougher and I am not as "ready" for very physical acting. Last year I didn't slide as much as normal, I just hadn't trained for it.
The great thing about Haunted House acting is however, you can shift your performance to your abilities. I think as long as you have the love of terrifying people, a certain level of talent, and a work ethic to keep going all night long, you can still be very effective with minimal exertion.
It just not as fun!
01-31-2008, 09:33 AM
Like one old guy here used to always say:" It's a great life, if you don't weaken!"
01-31-2008, 09:38 AM
Of course he always also used to say:"When you get to be 65 they should send a guy around to ring your doorbell, when you answer the door he hits you alongside the head with a brick, putting you out of everyone's misery."
One day when he was 84 I asked him about that? He just grumbled.
Another time I was with him a local restaurant as the old woman waiting tables smiled and asked him, "How are you, Abie?"
Without hesitation he said, "As if you give a dam!", with not a smile or a hint of a smile upon his face.
Look in the Dictionary , find the word "Groutch" and there was Abie's picture.
Heather Mc Addams cartoonist fir the Chicago Reader who did the cartoon of what it is like to go through my house (seen on my web site) Said, "The older and uglier you get, it just fits the haunted house better!". No other job where this happens , I guess?
02-02-2008, 10:12 PM
At Kings Island I worked with a man who was 74! Believe it or not, he was terrorfying! He stood about 6'3", thin and had a beard to his belly-button... we're talking ZZTOP!!! Basically, he stood totally stiff like a statue (and HUNDREDS of people thought he was fake) and while people are looking on him, another actor opposite of this guy would jump out and scare the sh*t out of people!
Age, nothing to do with haunting... anyone and everyone CAN be scary! HAHAHA... -Tyler
02-03-2008, 11:36 AM
Here is what happened to me....
As I got older, I felt more like clobbering some of these teenagers and their smart mouthed remarks rather than stay in character.
We have these 31/2 foot walls I used to jump over repeatedly that today, as we have these same little walls...I see pain in my future if I attempted it now.
I used to be real quick at being in the scare, then out of reach....not sure if I can move that quick anymore.
I think the first thing I mentioned is what made me stop more so than any other as I am getting more surley as I age. Nobody likes a Grumpy Monster....aside of Oscar the Grouch
02-03-2008, 12:32 PM
After all of the customers attention was drawn to the 74 yr. old , then another actor scared them, I hope when the customer settled down is when the 74 yr. old came to life and finished the scare. The old "one-Two" punch!
My brother and I did this once in the wine cellar having the customer get scared from one of us first , them point away, they look away, look back we scare them again, then the other one made himself known on the other side of them and scared them again!
I guess you could compare it to ping-pong?
02-24-2008, 02:05 PM
I've just been doing this for about 10 years now and I'm 38. Last year I did alot of floor/ground crawling and paid for it dearly when the season was over. I don't feel like I'm getting too old but I can definately tell that I don't get around like I use to even at my age. More than acting, I believe that my greatest joy is building and decorating so as to creating a more believable environment. Some nights I just take a side seat, watch the show, and take care of all the technical crap.
........and I agree, my patience for smartass's aren't as tolerable as it use to be either. Oh well.
02-25-2008, 03:31 AM
Scare, I was 38 when I got this house! 58 now!
I was working in the heating and ac business , my Dad's business, lifting, yanking, crawling, climbing, using all sorts of tools all the time, getting this house and doing all the work on it was like taking a vacation for me!
One summer , when it wasn't raining, I was digging a trench through the yard which I cemented into an underground exit tunnel, doing all of the work by hand.
Making the forms to make a round-topped , curving tunnels was tricky, "Grunt! Grunt!"
Lucky for me, the times my body hurts is after I have been doing almost nothing , which tells me one thing, I must get back to work!
Many life-situations might be either a blessing or a curse, depending upon how you see it or what you make of it.
02-25-2008, 12:23 PM
Your as old as you feel. If you dont worry about your age it isnt a factor. Its all mental. Im almost 40 and I love scaring the hell out of people. Its what keeps you young. Ben is right you have to keep in shape and you need to train more to keep up with the younger guys.
02-27-2008, 09:22 AM
"only as old as you feel"
Always made me ask, "So how old is the one that you are curently feeling?"
Is they protesting your touch? Too much?
Too old? Out of shape?
I see people do run up scares, and loud screaming scares, and crawling and whatever scares.
I've never been too out of shape to scare--if I can't do it one way, I'll do it another
And too old? I plan on scaring even after I'm a corpse. I'm leaving my skeleton to a haunt.
03-27-2008, 09:30 AM
Jim You are awesome!!! I still remember our first trip to your haunt, you were amazing! You are the reason we are working so hard to keep doing this haunting thing! Your my hero!!!!
We recently had a movie filmed at our haunt SCREAM FARM and some of the
camera crew and the director and I were talking about how awesome and unique
your haunt is!!!!!
I hope you will keep haunting forever!
Huggs and Screams
03-27-2008, 01:19 PM
So, have any of them been here? Been here in the camera/producer capacity?
If the guy with the camera was that one guy from England, I'm sorry .
04-05-2008, 02:49 PM
My oldest actor last year was 82. Lol
04-15-2008, 08:26 AM
At 37 and a mother of 4, my energy level and physical abilities are dependent upon how my family's life is going. I have definitely had to adapt my acting style and characters to meet my life's needs. Overall, though, this is a good thing because I'm now even more creative than I was in my 20's.
04-15-2008, 06:17 PM
Haunt Acting is fueled by desire in many of us. Sort of like the guys I saw in high school on the football squad who were not fast runners but let the fastest guy in the conference get around end and this chunky, slow linebacker would find the needed speed to run that guy down from behind!?
04-21-2008, 06:02 PM
45 and still at it. I also manage it, but I'm up front introducing everyone and getting them going. Good actors are hard to find, so until I get enough people who feel comfortable creeping out the people and getting in their face, I'll chime in myself. But then again, I run every other day and walk the 12,000 square feet of the haunt on a regular basis, so all this could change if the body starts to give out. Still, I suspect is it less likely to give out if I keep using it on a regular basis. (I hope so, anyway.)
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