COLORADO SPRINGS — COVID-19 can’t stop the scare this haunt season.
“I usually play the Voodoo Queen, but the Voodoo Queen gets too close and wants to smell your soul,” said Natasha Laster, an actor for HellScream Haunted House.
Per CDC guidelines, soul smelling is out.
All HellScream actors must stay at least six feet away from those walking through the haunted house, and all actors must wear a face mask.
“I’m very facial, a lot of facial expressions acting. So, this is a big change for me as far as wearing a mask and not showing a lot of the emotion that usually gets my character out,” said Eric Schulz, and actor for HellScream.
“You have to be big and you have to be bold. You cannot be tiny and small, and scare people. You have to show yourself,” Laster said.
“I’m going to be moving a lot of space, so you’re not going to know where I’m at, ever. I’m going to come at with you with everything I got, as far away from you as possible,” Schulz said.
Actors say it’s been a fun challenge, forcing them to think outside the box.
“People of our culture, when we die we like to dress up just like we would go to church. So, we wear our Sunday best. But then, I was a burn victim, so obviously my face is burned and I have you know, worms and everything crawling out. So, this is what I would look like after death,” Laster said.
It’s just one of several changes the scare company made, including cutting down on staff by nearly half and keeping groups separate.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s two people, it doesn’t matter if it’s one person, it doesn’t if it’s six people. You’re going in as that one group,” said Erica Leonis, media relations liaison for HellScream and Haunted Mines.
Actors will do more than just scare.
They’ll be in charge of multiple rooms and will clean high contact spots in their area.
“A couple times a night, we do have a manager for each floor, and they go through and they clean pretty much everything as we’re running. So it’s a constant go. You will never see us because we’ve gotten really good at doing this. We are constantly cleaning throughout the night,” Leonis said.
And these actors say this year’s scare is just as good as ever.
“We just our rehearsal walk through ma last weekend and it made jump a little bit here and there. And if it can make me jump, and I’ve been working in the industry for two years, I’m pretty sure that the customers are going to have a good time too,” Schulz said.
HellScream opens Friday at 7 p.m. and Haunted Mines opens Saturday at 7 p.m.