A haunted career for actors?

Credit: Unsplash

Jordan Hunter

A dive into the world of horror acting and how it may be the highest form of performance. 

Often, we tend to view those who do horror acting, acting in things like ghost tours, haunted mazes or houses, etc., as an outlet for failed actors to try to earn money until they make it big. Really, we fail to recognise their true acting prowess. 

First and foremost, these are real actors; some might say it might be the highest form of acting. The last true form of organic theatre perhaps. The purpose of theatre is to portray something you’re not to invoke an emotional response from your audience. When we look at horror acting, we see the actor try to make the audience have true fear as they drag you down to their dungeon or jump out from behind a wall. In my case I have seen this been done really, really, well as I hid behind my date on a first date to a horror maze. They interlace this with a demonic sense of humour or information in ghost tours. This fine line of comedy and fear is perhaps the hardest line an actor can draw. Now imagine having to walk this line this hour after hour with no stop. The sheer monotony is enough to push any actor to their wit’s end. 

The beauty of interactive performance is a dying breed separate from the traditional methods of acting. We see fewer street performers like we used to or traveling performances that have an intimate feeling with their audience. Horror acting seems to be the closest thing we get to going on a ride with the performer rather than enjoying it simply from our seat. They seek to draw us into their imaginary world and instil a sense of unease. The glorious effect of their form is even more memorable and impactful the younger we are, children and young teenagers being the prime audience of haunted houses/Edinburgh Dungeons, yet as adults we can still appreciate the unbeatable immersion they offer. 

Next time you see a horror actor do not judge them as someone who didn’t make it big, but rather look at them as someone keeping alive a difficult art form.  


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