Grinning clowns, decaying zombies and other horrors await in an attempt to scare unsuspecting visitors at Indy Scream Park in Anderson, Indiana, which is now open to the public until Nov. 4.

This year marks the park’s 18th season open, and Mark Bremer, Indy Scream Park creative director, always looks forward to watching people experience the haunted houses.

“They come out and they get such a rush,” Bremer said. “For me, watching people have that is amazing.”

Bremer is in charge of building the haunted houses and creating the story behind each attraction at the park.

When he was 15, Bremer set his sights on becoming a professional haunted house builder after creating his first, which he said attracted almost 2,400 people in a three-hour period.

After holding several jobs at places like a bank, pet shop and paper printing company, Bremer worked in set design and camera work in the film industry. Eventually, however, he began working at Indy Scream Park as the talent director, and later became the creative director.

Tori Breeding
Makeup Manager Jodie Morgan and her team of five have only two hours to finish 150 actors' makeup before Indy Scream Park opens its doors to the public. Tori Breeding, DN

“This has always been a dream of mine,” Bremer said. “This is freakin’ awesome.”

While there are not any new attractions opening this season, returning visitors can expect a completely new experience at several places throughout the park. 

“Zombieland: Unchained and Pandemic: Mutation got a complete overhaul, pretty much the only thing that’s not new is the walls,” Bremer said.

Everything from the lighting to the soundtrack of the attractions has changed. A new scare called "actor-matronics" is present in a few of the haunted houses, where actors operate giant mechanical beasts that bite and grab at people as they walk by. 

Bremer also works with the actors on their scripts and presentation to ensure everything runs smoothly at the park. Despite occasional bouts of stage fright and forgotten lines, Bremer said many actors enjoy their time acting at Indy Scream Park.

“There’s a lot of veteran actors out there who go, ‘I can’t wait to go back, I wish we could do this all year ‘round,’” Bremer said.

Michael Wable, an actor at Indy Scream Park, has been acting at the park for six years. 

“I love to mess with people,” Wable said. “That’s one of my hobbies, and [Indy Scream Park] pays me to do it to everyone else. Where else can I chase someone with an axe in my hand and threaten their life?”

Like most of the actors, Wable takes his job seriously, even though he is able to have fun with it. In fact, he is determined to scare anyone who claims to be unfazed by the park’s attractions.

“I take it to heart when someone comes at me and says, ‘Oh, that wasn’t scary,’” Bremer said. “You’re my new goal, what do I have to do to scare you?”

Contact Adam Pannel with comments at arpannel@bsu.edu