As you hesitantly enter a dim lit room, a man coaxes you to near him. He splatters cold blood down your face almost entering your nose and mouth and you feel someone grasping and pulling your hair rather firmly, styling it.
The blood stains your already tainted clothing from the night before and excitement takes over your body thinking of who you might terrify tonight. As everyone takes their places, you feel your face darken and contort into something inhumane mimicking those seen in numerous horror movies.
This is a normal night at work for senior Larsyn Vandermast at Boone Hall’s famous “Fright Night”.
Working in “The Clearing” section of the haunting attraction, hours of preparation are required for her demanding role as a twin from the shining.
In fact, every actor and actress at Fright Night goes through hours upon hours of rehearsals and critiques perfecting their strategies. Managers give them constructive criticism as they walk through their haunted pathways.
“You have to be able to take critiques into account and incorporate them into your scaring,” Vandermast said.
She and her partner begin and end everynight banging on fences with croquet mallets, glaring at visitors and Vandermast performs with contortion.
“I love theater and acting,” she said. “It’s beneficial for me to step outside of my comfort zone, and this is definitely outside of my comfort zone.”
Vandermast and her “twin” jump up on the fence for their playground setting and yell in perfect unison, “Do you like to play with dolls?” When answered with yes or no, they introduce their almost 6-foot Raggedy Ann doll while saying, “You can play with ours.”
Once the audience is already scared, Vandermast and her partner have to keep the fear boiling. Vandermast turns away from the audience, bends her back and walks toward them in a rapid pace.
As contortion is an important part of her disturbing performance, it’s necessary for her to take precaution and rest her back causing her to think of other tactics to frighten visitors.
“I had to scream in my audition.” Vandermast said. “To work here, you have to be able to scream bloody murder basically on command.”
She ices and heats her back everyday before stretching the muscles in hopes that she can keep up with her ability and in the meantime, she uses her ear blistering scream.
Due to that unspoken rule for this year, rumors have spread across Mt. Pleasant about a bigger, better, and more terrifying Fright Night than ever before.
“It gives you a huge rush when you’re successful in scaring the pee out of someone.” said Vandermast. “It motivates you to do better.”