A few years ago as I was standing beside the front door watching the next group enter the house one young man mumbled under his breath,"I'm gunna Kill one of those SOB's!"
He had been arguing in the parking lot with some people who happened to also be included in the group coming in the house.
I never took my eyes from him for the first two rooms. He never smiled , never talked to anyone else , looked very serious and never took his one hand out of his pocket.
The Police surrounded him and handled that situation rather well. I think he was surprised we were paying that much attention to him too.
When surounded by uniforms he really still had to work at faking a smile, he resisted emptying his pockets but eventually did.
The frightfull trick here is to seem as if you are right in their face yet not be availble for those quick dental adjustments or a painfull nose-flattening.
I do this many different ways, mixing it up so the customer/victim is off balance and will not be anticipating the next upcoming scary confrontation.
This is not really so hard to do when a tour here almost always runs 90 minutes.
Plenty of time between such events to lull almost anyone. And of course this also usually allows me to spread the fun around from front to back, middle, newbie, returning patron who even though they have seen the scare before might not know I have more than one way to effect it in a given location.
I love it when the returning patron acts so smug then is the first one genuinely screaming!
One of my fellow actor friends had a big problem with a group of people one night.
it was the week before halloween, and attendance shot up, so of course this meant our doors stay open longer. one night, somehow a group of drunks were let into the house, as some of the workers couldnt detect wether they had anything to drink or not.
a few rooms before me, a friend of mine was an actress in our "saw" room. she's an actual amputee, and wore a prostetic leg. when customers entered, she began to saw off her chained leg and crawled towards em. this honestly was a disturbing effect, and she did a great job.
anywho, when the drunks walked in, before she could even begin her act, one of the drunks remembered the room (i guess he had been in before) and PULLED OFF HER LEG. She immediantly broke character and tried to get help, but the pushers didnt see it happen. they were way to far ahead to see. The pushers didnt even know it happened till we had a break.
When they entered my room, I knew to stay back from these guys, as they may try to swing or do something. I was freddy kruger, and was behind a wire fence on a stage to lunge at people from. one of em even tried to climb the fence but I hit his fingers. he didnt say anything actually, and kept on moving.
amazingly the drunks still lingered around and were arrested for disturbing property. whats worse was I could hear the entire thing happen since we share the same wall, but the back door to get to her was too far and I couldnt leave my spot.
needless to say, both me and amy (saw girl) jumped the pushers butt on not protecting us, and not making sure that we are safe.
"Larry" a man older than even me vanished from the backyard after a tour one night, quite a mystery, this wasn't like him at all?
Maybe 45 minutes later he regained consciouness, crawled up and out of a grave where he landed when someone punched him as he wore a mask.
He never saw it coming, or at least couldn't remember seeing it arrive?
One large haunt had catwalks above everything for the guards to walk on watching everyone and even yanking an actor up and out of harm's way when a group became too aggressive toward the actor.
It was his only escape path, straight up!
(But at least he had a place to escape to!)
So are you blaming the actor? It's definitely not his fault. Yes your not suppose to get close to people but they have no right to punch or do any physical abuse to the actors. Where i work, they don't take kind to this stuff and they prosecute the customer if the actor decides to press charges. But thats pretty bad. I feel bad for the actor more than i feel bad for the customer. Actor was just trying to do his job.
I'd say the most bizzare thing I've had happen to me was last season when I was in the first room of the haunt, before becoming Lillian. I'm sitting on the floor, chained to a laundry cart, pretending to be a prop and minding my own business. Some guy who had obviously had a few comes in with three other people and I guess thinking it would be funny decided to shove both of his hands under the skirt of my dress. He must have honestly thought I was fake (I hadn't had the chance to move yet), because when I started talking, he looked terrified. Now, we pride ourselves on the "in your face" scares at the morgue, and we are all prepared to deal with rowdy customers and dodging blows from them. But this? I don't think anything could have prepared me for it.
If you are male and don't want some customers touching your butt, then give the bachelorette party over to someone else!
Plan ahead, decide what you want or don't want and act accordingly.
what worries me is that in the house i am at, they have volunteers from local high schools to come and help. its not all teens though. theres still 3/4 of the workers who have done acting before and understand the possibilites of being struck, but i'd hate to have a teen actor strike back if attacked. ive explained to them that theres a possibility that i can happen, and i try to show them diffrent ways of getting close without being hurt.
even without being punched, i was very sore when we finished up the 07 haunt i was at. my arm was in pain due to my stupidity of using wood blocks to cause noise startles. after so many time of hitting wall with a brick sized peice of wood, you tend to get some pain in the arm. not only that, but countless times of almost tripping and getting splinters.
I know this is a stereotype, but honestly most of our problems don't come from the drunks ... they come from the overly-testosteroned teenage boys in ball caps.
They'll get startled or scared - which offends their thin-skinned machismo - so they feel the need to retaliate by confronting the actors ... or they think it would be fun to try and smash as much stuff as possible ... or they will yell all kinds of profanity at the actors (with no regard for anyone else in their group)
I've had friends who were/are bouncers at local bars and they have all said that you'll see much more fights, agression, and destruction at the non-alcoholic "under 21" nights and clubs than at most adult bars.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to buy a infra-red video surveillance system. Before people even buy a ticket, they see the monitor showing 13 camera views through-out the entire attraction (and have likely seen our police and security presence outside) and it greatly reduces the amount of incidents.
Just last night I had to tell too wild teenage boys to "Settle down" and they did.
You can tell a drunk something but there might be nothing inside their head comprehending anything. Sort of similar to the "Father Jack" character on the TV show "Father Ted", who sat in a stupor with a very limited vocabulary of "Fek!" "Drink!" Women!" Nunns!""Arse!" ("Nunns" was always spoken with extreme fear in his voice)
Jim head this warning! Never leave home without your pumpkin jack knee pads and nutcup! Or eat sleep and whatever else you do in them. Ha!