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Behind the scare at Forest of Screams

BY ARI KASER

The squeals of the pigs are loud and high pitched, but it does not cover the rev of the chainsaw in her hands. Her ears have been ringing from the constant, low grind of the chainsaw, but the adrenaline tells her to ignore it. 

The excitement starts to build in her chest when she hears the tractor pull around the corner. She looks up at the limbs and animal carcass hanging down, blood covering the part where it was severed, making sure she was ready for the next part. 

Earlier, when the blood was still wet on her face, the man with the raspy voice came around and told her to get ready because people were coming. She goes and hides behind the old tree and the hut basked in red orange lights, preparing herself for what she was going to have to do next. 

Celia Lambert, WHS senior, looks back at the camera. Lambert wears bloody overalls, a ripped flannel, a straw hat and puts on makeup in order to achieve an older look. She recently bought white contacts to complete her idea of looking creepy. PHOTO BY ARI KASER.

The smell of dead leaves huddles around her, and the look of death hangs above her. 

She can hear the rustling of their clothes, and their nervous laughter, but little do they know what they are about to run into next.

Celia Lambert, a Wadsworth senior, is in the line of work that deals with scares, makeup and screams. Her official job title is a scare actress and makeup artist for Forest of Screams.

“Ever since I was about nine or ten, I always wanted to be a scare actress,” Lambert said. “I went there when I was about thirteen and ever since I have gone every year they have been open. They said that their hiring age was sixteen, so I have just wanted to work there ever since I turned sixteen.”

She has worked at Forest of Screams since fall of 2020. Lambert has been to multiple haunted houses, most in the surrounding area, but being on the other side of the scare has been a different type of fun for her.

“You get a lot of different people,” Lambert said. “You get some people who come in to look at the facades, and then you get some people who just get scared and it’s fun watching different people react. It’s definitely the most fun watching people get scared.”

Lambert has also had to deal with the fight or flight reaction from people when she scares them.

Celia Lambert focuses down while doing the finishing touches to her face before donning the rest of her costume. All the actors and actresses have their own chair in front of a large mirror that stretches across multiple tables. PHOTO BY ARI KASER

“I was on a hayride and doing my normal thing and I saw a flying object coming at me,” Lambert said. “When I could look, it was a shoe. Someone threw their shoe at me. It did not hit me, but it came very close.”

Lambert’s main role stays in Hillbilly Corner as a hillbilly with a chainsaw, but it can change week to week for the workers at Forest of Screams. Hillbilly corner is part of the hayride and is the only sectioned out area that Forest of Screams has on the hayride.

“I throw on a pair of bloody overalls and a bloody flannel and I throw my hair up in pigtails and I wield around a chainsaw at the spot, which is a makeshift, hillbilly looking slaughterhouse,” said Lambert.

According to Lambert, the makeup artists get to Forest of Screams at about 5:00 to set up their air brushes and paints. The other scare actors and actresses arrive around 6:00. 

“Once everyone’s costumes and makeup is on, we get on a wagon at around 6:30,” said Lambert. 

The trail and haunted house is open from 7:00 to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, the hours are from 7:00 to 10:00.

“We are basically out there from 7:00 to midnight no matter how bad the weather is,” said Lambert. “I can remember one day it was pouring down rain and they still would not take us in.”

Despite having to work in bad weather, Lambert still enjoys the job and the friends she has made there.

“I got introduced to the other people in Hillbilly Corner, which is what we call it, and I got introduced to Luke and Josh,” Lambert said. “They are now two of my best friends.”

Forest of Screams opened on September 24 and will run until November 6 and then close for the season.

Look below for more pictures of Lambert before, during, and after getting ready for her night at work.

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