The People Behind The Mask (And 4 Places To Be Scared By Them)

We talked to two of Westchester’s top scarers to see just how they induce those piercing screams of terror.

Are you already in the Halloween spirit, but don’t want to wait until the end of the month to celebrate? You’re in luck: with Halloween just under a month away, several haunted house attractions across the county are gearing up to give you the spookiest night of your life. From haunting decorations to terrifying actors, these places are bound to give the whole family a fright.  

Haunted houses aren’t just fun for those who visit them—those who work at them have a terrific time as well. From getting kissed on their Jason Vorhees hockey mask, to getting called some not-so-nice names, the actors and actresses who work at these attractions have all had their fair share of strange moments on the job. But that’s what makes it all the more fun, they say. Especially when they strike an enthusiastic reaction from the audience.

But, most importantly, what’s their strategy to scaring? Actors Jon Laguer and Jane DeBiasse,  from The Haunt at Rocky Ledge in North White Plainsshare some of their secrets. For Laguer, timing is everything.

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“I let them walk past me just a little bit so they can’t run back, then I pop out with a loud noise,” Laguer said. Keeping the audience on edge is key to creating a tense situation that will really scare them.

For DeBiasse, her approach tends to vary.

“Some people respond to aggression and in-your-face scare tactics,” she said. “Some respond better to a creepier, more calculated approach.”

Though the tactics may vary from actor to actor, one thing is for sure: they definitely want to scare you.

If you’re looking to get scared this season, or if you’d like to have a fun-filled night out with the family without all the gore of a typical Halloween attraction, here are some vendors you’ll want to check out:

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The Haunt at Rocky Ledge

North White Plains, NY

This October will mark The Haunt at Rocky Ledge’s 6th season scaring families and keeping the spirit of Halloween alive.  The Haunt includes a long, spooky walk through the woods, a terrifying tour of a haunted house, and Westchester’s only haunted cornfield.

Jay Ghoul’s House of Curiosities

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Tarrytown, NY

If you’re looking for a spooky, fun night without the blood and gore that typically plagues haunted houses, check out Jay Ghoul’s House of Curiosities. Perfect for the whole family, Jay Ghoul’s features a wide variety of beautiful decorations that set the perfect eerie tone for both the rides and House of Curiosities at night and the daytime house tours.

Scared by the Sound

Rye, NY

Located at Playland Amusement Park in Rye, Scared by the Sound is a walk-through style haunted house that is bound to frighten the whole family. The main part of the event is featured under covered pavilions so the attraction can be enjoyed in rain or shine.

Horseman’s Hollow

Sleepy Hollow, NY

Inspired by the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Horseman’s Hollow transforms its landscape into a terrifying village ruled by the “undead, evil, and insane.” Visitors can walk a haunted trail, enter the ruins of Ichabod’s Schoolhouse, and enter the lair of the Horseman. 

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