Inside The Haunt At Rocky Ledge

A look behind the masks and make up that will send you screaming through the woods.


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Photos By Sara Strauss

The first thing ahead is darkness. Leaving the comfort of the crowded line and the light of the building is disconcerting, especially when you’re greeted by a madman in an orange prison jumpsuit with a blue smeared face. He hollers at you in a crazy Joker-like voice to “Stay together! Follow the path! And don’t touch anything!” Then your journey into The Haunt at Rocky Ledge begins.

But let’s go back an hour to before I got scared when I got to see behind-the-scenes at The Haunt at Rocky Ledge, now in it’s 6th year. The team behind the fear (Marc Mancini, Mat Tuffarelli, Mike Mancini, and Rich LaMance) relies on actors instead of animatronics to get the biggest screams out of people, so before the fun begins the actors get ready inside a small shipping container. The costumes hang on the wall, terrifying masks lay piled in the back, and there's a table filled with makeup and fake blood.

The two makeup artists (also made up themselves) have their routine down pat. They work side-by-side dabbing on fake blood, spraying hair white, or creating torn flesh. The actors put on their bloodied costumes and practice their scary faces in the large mirror before making their way to their spot for the night. Then the show begins.

And let me tell you seeing the actors getting ready beforehand didn’t take away from the fact that I knew they were going to jump out and scare me later. Sure, I knew what the actors looked like in their costumes, but darkness has a way of warping what you see and these guys are very good at popping out at the last minute. I won’t spoil the fun for you, but be prepared to scream and run.

The Haunt at Rocky Ledge
1446 Old Orchard Street
West Harrison
http://www.hauntatrockyledge.com/

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