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A Day in the Life of a Halloween Haunt Monster

Jenae Mims

As a San Jose State University graduate with a Journalism degree, I enjoy being able to use my creativity to tell unique behind the scenes stories in a new perspective!

Behind all the makeup, masks and costumes of Halloween Haunt lies regular people who have a passion for scaring the daylights out of others. Clifford Winokan is one of those people. During the nighttime, he lurks in the paths of the Backwoods maze, but during the day, he’s just a regular guy. Clifford has been a monster at Halloween Haunt for the past three years—one year working in the Wax Museum maze and two years working in the Backwoods maze.

What does a typical night at Halloween Haunt look like?

5:15 p.m.

A day in the life of a Haunt monster changes every night. There are different guests to scare and different experiences that Clifford helps make. But a typical night begins with him heading straight to the makeup room. The makeup room is located inside of Mass Effect--not where the ride operates, but inside the same building. 5:15 p.m. is when his call time for makeup is, and he must also check in with the supervisor at this time. Luckily for him, his makeup doesn’t take too long. His character only requires wearing a prosthetic and a little bit of face makeup to cover his neck, which takes about 20-30 minutes to apply. 

5:45 p.m.

After makeup is complete, he is able to relax, eat or hang out with his friends until it’s time to get into costume. One of his favorite things to do during his down time is to go into the employee break room and practice scare tactics with his friends. They like to bounce ideas off of each other and find new ways to scare guests. Clifford says that the people who work in the same maze as you become like family, and it makes work fun.

6:15 p.m.

At this time, Clifford heads over to his maze to put on his costume and complete his final monster look. 

7 p.m.

It’s showtime! From now until Haunt closes, Clifford is constantly scaring hundreds of guests. He says that he is able to get water and rest breaks whenever he feels he needs one, plus a lunch break.

After his shift

Clifford says that sometimes he and his friends from Haunt will go out to eat at a local restaurant or fast food spot after Haunt. Most of the time, though, he is pretty tired and is ready to get some sleep.

What’s your favorite part about working at Halloween Haunt? 

“Aside from all the cool people,” Clifford says, “I like to be a performer and see people laughing and having a good time.”

What is one of your favorite scare moments?

“I tried scaring a guest and he didn’t get scared at all, but we both interacted after it and just laughed. It ended up being a really good and funny moment.” Clifford says. Another of his favorite memories scaring a guest was when he and another monster both jumped out at the same time and scared a girl so much that she sprinted out of the maze. 

What do you look forward to for the next year at Haunt?

“I’m always excited to come back the next year to see what friends are back and to work with them again in the maze,” Clifford says.

Have Fun at Work!

Interested in becoming a seasonal character like Clifford? Whether it’s for a monster at Halloween Haunt or as one of Santa’s helpers at WinterFest, you can apply online now at

Halloween Haunt is open through Nov. 2, including Halloween night! Purchase your tickets online to get the best deals and discounts.

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Jenae Mims

As a San Jose State University graduate with a Journalism degree, I enjoy being able to use my creativity to tell unique behind the scenes stories in a new perspective!

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