OPINION: I was a scarer in Legends of the Dark. I would definitely do it again.
This year, I volunteered to be a scarer for Legends of the Dark. I was placed at the beginning of the tour; I had a scary outfit, gory makeup and I created a creepy character to help me truly terrify the tourists.
Legends of the Dark is a haunted campus tour hosted by the Office of Student Activities and Involvement at Central Michigan University. This year, tours took place at Oct. 28-30 starting at the University Center. Tour guides lead tourists around campus while telling them ghost stories. Along the path, scarers jump out from the shadows to terrify the tourists.
I decided to be a scarer because Halloween is my favorite holiday, and one of my favorite things to do on Halloween is go to haunted forests. I wanted to give others the same spooky experiences that I’ve had at my favorite forests.
Walking to my place in the tour, I was nervous at first. I didn’t know how to be scary! This was my first time participating in a haunted house, I didn’t know if I could keep a straight face. But, once I realized that none of these people knew me and would never recognize me, I started to relax and get into my creepy persona.
I had bought a sweatshirt and sweatpants from goodwill beforehand and tore them up and painted them with fake blood at home. Volunteers did my makeup once I got to the production room. The artists gave me fake cuts, scars, and bruises on my face to go with my costume. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror afterward and almost scared myself. I looked like a bloody corpse!
I was placed at the start of the tour, the back entrance to Bovee University Center. We were the first jump scare of the night, which was a lot of pressure, especially as a first-time scarer.
In the scene, my job was to hide behind a pillar, and once the fake safari leader shouted “Who’s ready for Legends of the Dark?” another scarer and I jumped out, grabbed the leader and dragged her out of sight. After that, the tour guide came out of the shadows and announced that the haunted tour had begun.
One of the tour guides gave me tips to find more opportunities to scare the tourists, like quietly lingering behind them.
I felt like I was perfecting my performance more and more each time I did it. Groups left every 10-20 minutes, so I ended up doing my routine about a dozen times.
My favorite part of the night was hearing the nervous laughter from the tourists as they first walked outside, not really knowing that the scares were about to start, then seeing them jump in fear as I leapt out of the darkness and screamed. I gave them their first scare of the night.
It takes a lot of volunteers to put on a production like this. Scarers, makeup artists, tour guides, and even security guards, all of which were students who took time out of their night. It made me appreciate all of the haunted houses that I’ve ever been to and everyone who helped put them on.
Being in Legends of the Dark was an amazing experience, it was really fun being on the other side of a haunted tour. I will definitely be signing up again next year.