Professional Haunted House Actor Admits He Has Caused Heart Attacks
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'Tis the season to scare the s*** out of people, but few have scared more s*** out of more people than Christopher Kliewer.
In fact, literally scaring the s*** out of people is only the tip of the iceberg for the professional haunted house actor. As well as making numerous people lose control of their bowels and bladders (372 was his official count back in 2012), Mr Kliewer, from Minnesota, USA, has even caused two people to have heart attacks.
It feels odd to celebrate this really, but when your job is to scare the life out of people, then this could almost be commended as a very professional outcome. Besides, neither of the heart attacks were fatal, so we're not applauding actual manslaughter here.
Fortunately for the cardiovascular health of the general population, Mr Kliewer was forced into semi-retirement a few years back after sustaining a badly sprained ankle while chasing some girls through a forest. Honestly.
Mr Kliewer does still don his creepy costumes a couple of nights a year though, and before heading out for the big one yesterday (31 October), he took the time to open up about his 15 years in the industry in a Reddit Ask Me Anything Q&A.
So, given the opportunity, what do you ask a professional scarer (other than 'what is the most amount of s*** you have scared out of one orifice')? That's right, you ask them to identify the best way of scaring someone.
Well, according to Mr Kliewer, you have to use whatever weapons you have in your arsenal. As a bloke who weights in at 350lb, and is 6ft 4in tall, hiding in little crevices isn't really his thing - he's more of a come-at-you-with-a-chainsaw kind of guy.
He said: "There really is nothing better than a perfectly timed chainsaw rev. I have my saw tuned well, and it starts on the first pull every time once it is warmed up.
"Unfortunately, I'm a massive dude, so I can't really be sneaky in most of the environments I've been in, unless it's to step out in front of or immediately behind a group when they don't know I'm there. Since I don't have anything that gives away my location when I'm moving around between groups, I get most of my solid scares this way.
"The saw gets most of the scares, my size and costume get the rest."
As you might expect though, nailing this role has resulted in him being nailed on many occasions.
When asked if he had ever been punched by a customer/victim, he said: "More times than I can count. I had one young lady about a third of my size punch me square in the forehead. The foam latex prosthetic I was wearing at the time prevented me from being injured... She got hounded through the rest of the maze by the other actors. It was fun.
"I actually broke character for her and said, 'If you're going to hit because you're afraid, you probably shouldn't be here.' She responded, 'I couldn't help it.'"
I suppose if you've caused two people to have heart attacks, the odd smack in the prosthetic face might well be considered an occupational hazard.