Behind the Paint: Life as a Haunt Actor

I don’t remember what first drew me to it, but I barely remember a Halloween without sporting a painted face and an oversized bow tie. I was fully equipped with a clown horn, power tools, and various other accessories.

Ginger theClown [Photo by Joe Negron]
I’ve been a haunt actor for about 13 years now. My name is Ginger theClown.

The lifestyle of a haunt actor is unique, to be put lightly. Many times, I’ve strolled into work the following Monday with a blood-stained beard (FX, of course) and bruises from being punched, kicked, and overall throttled by our guests. The pain was and still is worth it.

We started our clown family on a little farm-based haunt in Northern New Jersey. The personas we developed just felt so natural that with every new haunt we worked, we brought them with us. We even attempted to make a short film that we never finished, regrettably.

One of my favorite things to hear at a haunt is when guests ask, “Are there are going to be any clowns?” It sends us into overdrive—more jokes, more laughs. There were so many of us that we would flip rooms constantly to give our guests the overall feeling of being completely overrun. It was a spectacle, to say the least. The parents made it even better. If I had a nickel for every time a father cackled, “Scare the shit out of my kid,” I’d be a much richer man. We’d often be scolded by the owner for breaking his sets during our antics.

Family portrait [Photo by Joe Negron]
As I got older the style of scaring changed, but that was to the benefit of the reoccurring characters we played as they evolved, and aged, just as we did. The guests remembered us even through our ever-changing venues. The style of what was popular in haunts too has changed, and so we have changed with it. It’s been a ride, and I don’t think it’s halfway over for Ginger theClown.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

Marko Pergola

The weird guy the editor met in a bar.

One thought on “Behind the Paint: Life as a Haunt Actor

  • October 22, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Now come out of retirement ye b b bastard


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *