Scare School: 500 Train to be Monsters For Great America's Halloween Haunt - NBC Bay Area
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Scare School: 500 Train to be Monsters For Great America's Halloween Haunt

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    Scare School: 500 Train to be Monsters For Halloween Haunt

    California's Great America is getting ready for it’s annual Halloween Haunt, and it's not just about building sets and mazes. A crucial part of the preparation is training 500 people to be monsters. Ian Cull reports. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019)

    California's Great America is getting ready for it’s annual Halloween Haunt, and it's not just about building sets and mazes. A crucial part of the preparation is training 500 people to be monsters.

    Before the Halloween Haunt opens Sept. 27, hundreds of seasonal employees are trained to be monsters at Scare School.

    It begins in a classroom, where the pupils learn how to scare the living daylights out of park visitors.

    After class, it's into costume and makeup for about 30 minutes.

    Majesty Scott is an actress playing "Cryer" in the Tooth Fairy Maze. She's a return player at Halloween Haunt.

    "I was Marie Antoniette my last season," Scott said. "So, I come here to enhance my chops, and Scare School just heightens you up to another level of improvisation and interacting with the audience."

    Others are joining the Haunt for the first time.

    "Winterfest was my first [event], and it was a happy momentous occasion," actor Sean Gilvary said. "So, coming back in a scary form was an ideal situation."

    Kyle Burgess added: "I told him he has to come back. I told him he has to do this."

    This year's event has eight mazes like the creepy Tooth Fairy one.

    "Tooth fairy right here. Your fear is here," said a chuckling Nanette Lavogue, who is playing the tooth fairy.

    Lavogue actually works as a security guard at Great America during the year, but she has been scaring since 1995.

    "It's the biggest thrill, scaring people," she said. "The way they jump, the adrenaline."

    Before they hop into the Haunt, the monsters must go through rehearsals with Creative Director Clayton Lawrence.

    "Tooth fairy, you're looking for your next victim, you're laughing," Lawrence says during a rehearsal scene. "Lunge for me, lunge for the guests."

    Lawrence says it takes one year to design and build the story.

    While many of those hired are aspiring actors, some are teachers and dentists.

    The park is still looking to hire monsters up to the start of the event next Friday. The Halloween Haunt runs until Nov. 2.

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