POSTED: Monday, October 22, 2012 - 9:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 22, 2012 - 9:34pm
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO) — It takes a small army to run the 22,000 square foot haunted house that hosts thousands of terrified guests each and every Halloween. When the house of shock started 20 years ago, the cast and crew were smaller, but the focus was the same. Founder Ross Karpelman says, "What kinda remained constant throughout the haunted house from year one to now year 20 is the performance. It's always about pulling off some kind of believable, you know, making you feel like you're in a horror movie!"
Today, House of Shock uses 400 volunteers to create your worst nightmare! Each of the haunt's 17 areas has its own team and captain. House of Shock provides the makeup, but the actors create their own costumes and donate their time. Founder Jay Cianette says they're "Great volunteers, great cast members and everybody's passionate and that's the thing that separates us. It's all volunteers, the passion. They believe in this place and they're not just doing it because, oh we get a check at the end of the day."
So, I try it out for myself.  Head makeup artist Lauren Fuqua swears she can turn me into a walking zombie and assembles an arsenal of products to create the look. She explains, "I'll be using some airbrush paint and I'll also be using some cream makeup and also some latex to give you some nasty effects."
It's a long process molding latex and paper towels into open, festering wounds. Fuqua airbrushes my skin green for a smooth and lifeless finish and then accentuates my wounds and paints on veins with red and black cream makeup. My favorite trick is the goopy gelatin that she globs onto my face! The entire look is finished off with dirt, blood and an acting lesson. I'm still working on my zombie crawl and there's no guarantee I'll acutally make the cut. Cianette says, "Our actors seek us out. They find us. You have to be approved by one of our cast members or a veteran cast member to even be a part of House of Shock."
Maybe I'll stick to news reporting and leave the House of Shock horror to the pros.
Open: 8:00-11:30 pm, October 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 30th and 31st
General Admission: $25, VIP Fast Pass Admission: $50 or $40 online
More information: http://www.houseofshock.com/