115 Amesbury Line Road
Haverhill, MA 01830
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
Whittier Tech Students Double As Monsters During Haunting Hours at Canobie Lake Park
HAVERHILL — During the day, Whittier Tech seniors Jada Wood and Brittany Chaput are engaged in classroom and shop activities, but at night, they are monsters who will gleefully terrify you in the dark.
For the second year in a row, the two have seasonal jobs as actors at Canobie Lake Park’s Halloween attraction, Screemfest.
About 100 actors, most of them in high school, work in the park’s five haunted houses, which are linked together with a walking path and attract thousands of patrons each year. The house sets are built among the amusement park rides, which are open during the haunted event.
Chaput, of Haverhill, is stationed in one of five houses known as Facility 235, where she wears a lab coat and others are in Hazmat suits and gas masks suffering from the fallout of a nuclear explosion. The unluckier ones have chemical burns, their mottled skin melting down their faces.
“The best part is when you scare someone so badly they run out of the complex and you have this great feeling like you did your job well,” Chaput said. “It’s so much fun.”
Wood, of Haverhill, is part of The Culling. Her creepy character has joined the cult and she enjoys staring at people with monstrous, dark eyes.
“If guests talk to me, I speak in a slow, monotone voice as if I don’t have a soul,” she said. “Sometimes I giggle because I’m unstable. I freak them out.”
Guests also walk through the Carnivus House, the carnival that came to town and never left, and the clowns ate the customers; The Canobie Lake Hotel, which has been abandoned since the early 1900s because its guests were never seen nor heard from again; and The Village, where horrific mining accidents have occurred.
During dress rehearsals, the actors are given some direction by house leaders, but much of their character interpretation is up to them. Both Wood and Chaput have performed in school plays at Whittier and have fond memories of attending Screemfest as children.
“We make a lot of great friends among our eccentric personalities,” Wood said. “We’re all creatively morbid.”
Screemfest actors report to a makeup trailer 15 to 30 minutes before the show to have fake blood, gelatin, latex, and even horns applied to their faces. Their appearances are so creepy, sometimes, they scare each other. During a dress rehearsal, Wood freaked when she saw girl lying in a pool of blood in a bathtub.
“It takes something special to excel at this kind of work,” Chaput said. “We’re all a little weird. We love Halloween.”
Screemfest runs Friday through Sunday through Oct. 27. Admission is $35 on Fridays, $42 on Saturdays and $34 on Sundays and includes all rides and shows by tribute bands. The houses are open from 6-11p.m. on Friday and Saturdays, and Sunday from 6-9 p.m. Outdoor haunts open at nightfall.