Professional Scare Actor Restrained By Ex-Soldier During Zombie Experience
If, like me, you’ve ever wondered whether the ‘scare actors’ at haunted houses face backlash from the people they’re trying to scare, the answer is yes.
Of course, customers at haunted houses, zombie experiences and Halloween events go there expecting to be scared, so thankfully it seems the reactions are never too dramatic. Sometimes, though, you can’t help your reflexes.
One person who is all too familiar with the reactions of scared people is 48-year-old Andrew Lindfield, who has worked as a scare actor for years after first taking on a job at a Chessington World of Adventures Halloween night in 1995. You might wonder what would make someone want to spend their time scaring others, but for Andrew, it was simply a ‘convenient’ job at the time.
In the years since, he has ‘fallen in love with scare acting because of how fun it is’, though Andrew does find himself getting scared sometimes, too.
He told UNILAD:
Working as a zombie was actually scary… waiting in the dark to jump people is scary in itself – especially when you don’t know your surroundings and you’re alone! I definitely didn’t expect that, I thought I’d be making everyone else nervous – myself not included!
During jobs at an old research laboratory, a manor house, theme parks and now an underground ex-government bunker named The Bunker Below, the actor has taken on roles including ‘a dentist, a soldier, a zombie, a hillbilly, a chainsaw wielding man, a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-style person, a Shaman… almost everything!’.
The manner in which Andrew can interact with customers varies depending on the rules of the event, though he has been allowed to physically touch guests at some of the more extreme events, allowing him to add a whole new element to the horror.
A lack of contact doesn’t always go both ways, though, and on one occasion Andrew found himself being held up against a wall by a man who was a ‘very tall ex-soldier’ – proving even the most stereotypically tough people can’t help but get swept up by the experiences.
Admitting the situation was ‘a bit scary’, Andrew explained he was dressed as a zombie when the former soldier decided to be the hero and restrain him in order to allow his friends to escape.
The actor recalled, ‘I just obliged by pretending to be a very angry zombie and then fell to the ground.’
While being held up against a wall is one of the more extreme reactions Andrew has seen while on the job, he’s no stranger to hearing the words ‘I think I’ve wee’d myself’ as customers make their way through experiences.
He’s also had people attempt to scare him back, as well as being baffled by those who have paid for a scare experience only to present themselves as someone who is ‘determined not to be scared’. We all know those people, who try their hardest to appear calm and collected on the outside, only to have the words ‘I think I’ve wee’d myself’ on repeat in their mind.
For the ones who spend the whole time trying not to give away their fear, Andrew has some ‘sure-fire’ ways of scaring people, including ‘finding a good hiding spot’ and ‘making a distraction’.
He explained, ‘If you’re working with another scare actor it’s always great to do a set-up where one distracts the visitor and the other jumps out. Works every time!’
Though it takes a lot of ‘good energy’, ‘commitment’ and ‘focus’ to be a good scare actor, as well as having quick reactions to secure the jump scares, it’s worth it for Andrew to see the reactions of his customers, with people ‘screaming, running, hiding or even pushing others to go first’, as well as the ‘laugh they inevitably have after the scare has happened’.
‘That’s what we’re there for, to create joy through being scared,’ he said.
If you want to see Andrew in action, you can do so at The Bunker Below, Essex’s brand-new Halloween attraction based in a genuine ex-government bunker.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
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