Many students will be drawn to Kings Island’s annual Fearfest by its eerie atmosphere, adrenaline-filled roller coasters, and themed mazes and haunted houses. During its six weekends, McNicholas students will not only be filing into the packed event as attendees, but also as ‘roamers’ and ‘zone scarers.’
Juniors Max Bartel, Matt DeLuca, and Katie Farr had to prove that they could keep a straight face and stay in character before they were hired. “We were asked to say ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ in a scary voice, pop out from behind a wall like a werewolf, and do an evil laugh,” Bartel said.
Each one passed the test and was hired. After safety training and a dress rehearsal, they were ready for Fearfest’s opening weekend.
DeLuca was impressed by the distinct difference in his appearance after five minutes with one of the makeup artists. “Professionals globbed red stuff on my face and blotched it, and then they sprinkled dirt on me,” DeLuca said. “Somehow I looked dead when they were done.”
Bartel admits that his first day working at Fearfest was intimidating, but he adjusted quickly. “After your first few scares, you get used to it and it’s fun,” he said. “Being in theater class helped. I’m so used to being in the open and on the spot. My supervisor said I was really good at the speaking part and he even let me talk on the microphone at the front of our ‘Freak Street’ to greet people.”
While working at Fearfest can be entertaining, workers must weigh the advantages and disadvantages. DeLuca and Farr resigned a few weekends into the season. “You’re staying out until 2 a.m. and driving home alone,” DeLuca said. “It’s fun, but there’s the consequence of losing your voice and being tired the next day.”
Regardless, DeLuca said he will never forget the funny memories, like when he yelled at someone attending Fearfest and they told him he needed a breath mint.
While Bartel does not enjoy driving home late at night, he does not regret applying. “It’s a huge time commitment,” Bartel said. “I work every Friday and Saturday that Fearfest is open. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.”
Fearfest attractions are open 6 p.m. – 1 a.m. on every Friday and Saturday until Oct. 26. Tickets are $39.99 at the gate and $27.99 online.