- Associated Press - Sunday, October 22, 2017

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - The actors walk into the trailer as themselves, but in less than five minutes, they’re transformed. Many of them start to contort their bodies, change their voices and ease into character as they leave the makeup chair.

While the general public is just now starting to think about Halloween, costume season is already well underway for the crew at Indy Scream Park, 5211 S. New Columbus Road.

This year’s attraction features food, drinks, ghouls and bonfires at the Monster Midway and five haunted houses: Zombieland Unchained, Pandemic Mutation, Rage 3D, Back Woods and Brickmore Asylum.

Zombieland and Pandemic are interactive, meaning those 18 years and older have the option of “marking” themselves to be grabbed, held back, sent to hidden rooms or be removed from their group.

“We started with one a couple years ago to see how the market would like it and people really, really got into it so we decided to add a second one,” Marketing Director Jon Pianki said. “We have people now asking why we don’t make all of them interactive.”

But the courses are just one piece of the haunted puzzle. To make the horrors come to life, a six-person team of makeup artists transforms 140 to 150 actors to murderous villains.

“I like the story that each house has and how the makeup contributes to telling that story,” makeup artist Katherine Gering said.

Actors shuffle through the makeup trailer 6 to 8:30 p.m., organized by house. It’s organized chaos - actors hop in the first available seat, and their makeup may change a bit from night to night.

But it’s a well-oiled machine, and most creations take less than five minutes.

Makeup manager Jodi Morgan switches between the various colors, which have names like fresh scab, death flesh and cadaver gray. She buys fake blood by the gallons at party stores and stores it in a cabinet.

“I’m always scared to death I’m gonna get in some sort of car situation and they’ll be going, ‘But there’s all this blood. What’s happening?” she said.

Morgan studied makeup during her years at Purdue University and she’s always been involved with theater and dance. She works for a real estate company by day and has been involved with Indy Scream Park since it opened eight seasons ago.

Even as the haunted houses’ themes have changed, some things remain constant.

“Clowns are creepy and will always be creepy,” she said. “They don’t have to be a scary clown. They’re all scary.”

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Source: The (Anderson) Herald Bulletin

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Information from: The Herald Bulletin, https://www.theheraldbulletin.com


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