Welcome to Crystal Lake

Confessions of a Haunter: James Amaral

Welcome to the very first installment of “Confessions of a Haunter”. With the Halloween season 5 months away, I’d figure I would start a new spotlight for actors who work at Haunted Attractions “Haunters”.
If you are a Haunter or know someone who is and would like to be featured on a future spotlight please reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram or send me an email at SouthJerseyJason@gmail.com

This weeks haunter I do know through Social Media. James is the man behind Slasher.Graphics He not only designs horror specific clothing and apparel he is also the man behind not only Camp Blood Radio show shirts, 13 Gallow Lanes shirts, South Jersey Jason shirts and just recently announced J3 Jason Costume shirts. You can also find Slasher Graphics on FaceBook and Instagram.

Photo by Andrew Klokow
Haunters Against Hate

What is your first memory of watching a horror movie?
I was about 5 or 6. I remember going over to a relatives house for a Halloween party and staying up all night to watch Halloween and NOES on AMC. We had planned to stay the night. Everyone went to bed and I continued glued to the TV all night. My mom woke up and I was still watching.

What was your first haunted attraction you attended?
I was absolutely traumatized at a haunt in Florida as a child. I don’t remember the name of the haunt but it was in Pinellas County Florida. There was a homecoming dance or something going on in the same building. I was about 8 years old and the actors could tell I was afraid and kept piling on. I didn’t return to a haunt after that until I was 18 and started working at them. That’s why I am really big on making sure little kids have fun in haunts so they can grow up enjoying them; not being traumatized by them so they’ll never go back. Now I’m obsessed with haunts and I go to all the haunts I can every season.

What made you get into the art of the haunt (how old were you)?
I was 18 and was asked to help out with a zombie paintball event down in Georgia with a friend. I helped out a night or 2 and I enjoyed it. A year or so later I started helping at Old Colony Fall River Haunted Rail Yard which was a charity haunt put on by a train museum in Fall River, MA. Helping plan and build that haunt really gave me the bug. To me it’s about the design of the haunt. It prepares you physically and psychologically to already be scared before the actor even comes into play; the lights, the sounds the theme and set design.

Do you showcase 1 specific character or do you have more? What inspired your character(s) Do you design the clothing/make up yourself or do you utilize others to help you?
Currently I use GigGLɘS the clown. He was designed out of necessity and opportunity during my first year at Fear Town Haunted house. I was given a specific costume to use and one of our talented makeup artists did a makeup art to match. Over the season the character continued to evolve and progress. I purchased more items for the character from contact lenses to a bowling pin that I painted and customized. During the off season I enlisted the help of some of the AMAZING creators in the haunt community to help bring GigGLɘS to the next level by revamping the costume and getting a custom mask. I’m currently working on a new character from scratch who may or may not end up causing GiGgLeS to retire.

What attraction do you currently work at? Can you tell us about it? What other attractions have you worked at?
Currently I am lucky enough to work at Fear Town Haunted House in Seekonk, Massachusetts. I am entering my 3rd season with them and I wouldn’t want to work with any other group of people. I’m lucky enough to be on the creative team and focus on the tech aspect of the haunt; from lights and sounds to automation.
Fear Town is a 45 minute haunted trail through the woods. The last 2 seasons we’ve offered an interactive experience as well which is a really fun way to get up close and personal with guests and tell a much more cohesive and exciting story. We also have offered an event called “Extreme Fears” at the end of past seasons which is a hands on extreme haunt experience for those patrons that are looking for a little extra. I’ve also haunted at Factory of Terror in Fall River, MA and the Haunted Rail Yard formerly in Fall River, but has since closed. As well as a farm haunt or 2 down in GA.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a haunter?
Have fun and stay safe. Never stop learning from those around you and never stop trying to better yourself as a Haunter and as a character. Also, “haunt families” are a real thing. You will grow to love and care about the people you work with on a level that almost no other job can offer.

Who are some of your favorite haunters that you follow on social media or personally know?
Other than my haunt family from Fear Town there’s a lot. I really look up to Shar Mayer from Knotts Scary Farm. She’s a legend in this industry going back the the Jaycee haunts of the past. I also follow Pongo Joe formally of Nashville Nightmare (he is now a traveling haunter) who I am a big fan of and draw a lot of inspiration from. Finally Tony Campagna who owns Spellbound FX and Art and makes beautiful silicone body part creations that are just really fun to look at and own.

Do you have any social media accounts that you would like to promote for your character(s) and the current haunted attraction you work at?
Fear Town Haunted House can be found on Instagram @FearTown on the web at
Fear-Town.com and on Facebook at “Fear Town Haunted House”

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