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The Patriot

Working at Legends of the Fog: One heck of a (hay)ride

Several students who volunteered at Legends of the Fog this Halloween season reveal their horror stories.

Legends+of+the+Fog+manager+Glenn+Holloway%2C+gets+a+gory+makeover+for+his+shift.+Holloway+volunteers+in+the+Farewell+Hotel%2C+Legends+of+the+Fog%27s+newest+attraction.
Legends of the Fog manager Glenn Holloway, gets a gory makeover for his shift. Holloway volunteers in the Farewell Hotel, Legends of the Fog's newest attraction.

Legends of the Fog manager Glenn Holloway, gets a gory makeover for his shift. Holloway volunteers in the Farewell Hotel, Legends of the Fog's newest attraction.

Photo courtesy of Matt Stoots

Photo courtesy of Matt Stoots

Legends of the Fog manager Glenn Holloway, gets a gory makeover for his shift. Holloway volunteers in the Farewell Hotel, Legends of the Fog's newest attraction.

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Junior Adam Lukas lurks in a cornfield late at night, watching through his mask as the Haunted Hayride is about to pass by. Everyone on the wagon is dead silent, they anxiously search left and right for the next band of masked haunters to come after them. Lukas gets a running start before launching himself onto the edge of the wagon.

At that exact moment, a girl scurries through the hay to the opposite side. Lukas follows behind her in a rush to find the girl curled up in a ball. Despite her friends’ protests, Lukas yells in the girl’s ear, terrifying each witness on the wagon. After overhearing someone say her name, he terrorizes the girl more by yelling it out relentlessly.

Lukas later discovered that he scared the girl to such a degree that she had a panic attack, which subsequently caused an asthma attack. “I never really felt bad, honestly. That tells me I’m doing my job,” Lukas said.

This is Lukas’ second year volunteering in the Haunted Hayride at Legends of the Fog, a haunted attraction located in Aberdeen. Lukas said that he has always loved to go to haunted houses and “being a part one just seemed like the next logical evolution.”

Senior Taylor Dorris poses after getting her makeup done at Legends of the Fog. Dorris volunteers there every weekend and plays the role of a dead bartender in the Farewell Hotel.

Photo courtesy of Matt Stoots
Senior Taylor Dorris poses after getting her makeup done at Legends of the Fog. Dorris volunteers there every weekend and plays the role of a dead bartender in the Farewell Hotel.

For volunteers at Legends of the Fog, terrifying customers to extreme ends is a common occurrence. Junior Reece Falter, who has volunteered for two years, admits, “I made a girl break down and cry on my set because I was ‘too scary’ in her words. I’ve also made a man pee himself, and I made a grown man cry once.”

Everyone has their own reasons to volunteer at Legends of the Fog year after year. Senior Taylor Dorris, who is in her third year of volunteering, said, “it’s kind of a get away from stress and school and life.”

Lukas also sees it as a relief from everyday life. “I love being able to go there and totally let all the crazy out that’s been bottling up all week,” he said. “When somebody starts yelling or screaming at me, I just scream back louder regardless of age or any other social factors.”

Falter started volunteering at Legends of the Fog last year after hearing about it from Lukas. “[He] got me interested over the summer by working with our boss, Mike, in a video shoot,” Falter said.

Actors must complete a safety training program two to three months prior to volunteering. This can be completed either in person or online and teaches actors essential information about volunteering such as rules to follow and how to handle customers.

After safety training is completed, actors can prepare for their roles and are given a generous amount of creative freedom. “We don’t have a script. One of our managers, Glenn, will give us some lines to say or some comebacks to say, but we’re usually on our own,” Dorris said.

Falter enjoys the freedom that he is given as a dead guest in the Farewell Hotel, Legends of the Fog’s newest attraction where volunteers dress up in the spooky attire of either hotel workers or guests. “I float around the building I really don’t have a set spot,” he said.

I’ve also made a man pee himself, and I made a grown man cry once”

— Junior Reece Falter

Lukas often gets to Legends of the Fog nearly three hours before doors open to the public in order to help managers set up the attractions. He typically gets ready with makeup that camouflages any skin that his mask doesn’t cover around 6:30 p.m. and heads to set around 7:00. During busier nights, the Haunted Hayride takes place until 12 a.m.

He prepares for long nights by drinking Monster Energy Drinks. “Many of us actors are fueled by caffeine every night, so I’ll have a Monster or two to last me the whole show,” Lukas said.

This year, Falter plays a dead guest in the Farewell Hotel. “My costume is basically just makeup to make me look dead and some blood smeared all over me,” Falter said. “I wear a suit to make me look like I’m from the 40s.”

Dorris also volunteers in the Farewell Hotel, playing a dead bartender in the Winchester Bar. “The make up for one person will take between 10 minutes and 25 minutes,” Dorris said. For the role, she wears a long black dress with an apron that’s “bloodied and torn.”

The most important rule at Legends of the Fog is that the customers can’t touch the actors, and the actors can’t touch them. However, this rule is often broken by customers when they become caught up in fright. “Quite often I get punched or slapped on accident from scaring people. It’s a pretty common occurrence,” Falter said.

Dorris agrees. “That’s happened plenty of times before. Sometimes they get scared and they swing at you. Sometimes they’re super drunk and they’ll touch your shoulder or something. So in character you say, ‘Hey, you can’t touch us.’”

Some workers, such as Lukas, see not being able to touch the customers as a negative, because if they had the chance to touch people, “it would take away the comfort they have of knowing they’re safe.”

This seldom stops volunteers from returning to Legends of the Fog every year. “Volunteering at Legends is the best. We’re all like one big happy family,” Falter said. “It’s absolutely awesome.”

Lukas agrees that Legends of the Fog has a family aspect to it and attributes it to his return. “I stay there because I feel like I’ve found my second family. I haven’t met anybody that works at Legends of the Fog that I can’t get along with. I also love being able to completely let go of sanity and release all of the pent-up energy that accumulates throughout the week,” he said.

Pia Scotto and Christina Giovanazi are Community Editors for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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Working at Legends of the Fog: One heck of a (hay)ride