If you ask a Marian girl where she works, she will probably respond with something like a pool, a daycare, or a coffee shop. However, this is not the case for junior Sam Schueler. Unlike most teen girls, she doesn’t work with kids or impatient customers, instead she works with mangled porcelain baby parts and fog machines.
Schueler works at Carnival of Terror on 12th and Jackson located in the underbelly of Hollywood Candy, the popular tourist hot spot in downtown Omaha.
“I’ve worked there for two years, and it is the best job ever,” Schueler said. After tedious hours of hair, makeup, and costume preparation, she is ready for the show to begin.
“I dress up as a cracked porcelain doll, and I am stationed in the room with all the baby parts hanging from the ceiling. Last year, people told me that with full makeup and costume, I look a lot like Annabelle. It’s very cool.”
Every night, Schueler has different “victims” and that is what makes it so exciting for her. She never knows if the next person to walk through the door will be calm and collected or about to wet their pants.
“The reactions are by far the best part of my job. You can always tell when the group is going to be fun to scare because you can hear them screaming before they even walk in,” Schueler said.
There are many pictures on the Internet that depict haunted-house-goers scared out of their minds, obviously questioning their decision to enter the building. Schueler encounters these types of people all the time.
“You would think that the best reaction would come from little kids, but it was actually a group of grown women. I could hear them screaming very loudly in the room before mine, so I knew I had to be good. I silently waited in anticipation for them to come in, then I jumped out and gave my best creepy giggle. They took off running, but they ran so fast that they fell into the pile of baby parts on the floor and screamed even louder. I couldn’t stop laughing,” Schueler said.
Haunted houses aren’t for every- one, but if a person is peer pressured into entering, Schueler has some tips for the scaredy cats of the world.
“If you look scared, you’re going to get scared, plain and simple. The one hiding in the middle that is whimper- ing profusely is always the target. It’s just more fun that way…maybe not for them, but it’s fun for me,” Schueler said.
Attractions like Carnival of Terror are very popular during the Hallow- een season. However, it is important for visitors to realize what they’re get- ting themselves into. Everything isn’t always what it seems to be, especially at a haunted house. A lingering pres- ence might be mistaken for a friend. Think again.