Wearing a green and blue scaled dress with matching theatrical makeup, Erin Griffin, playing Serena the sea siren, makes her way to the front of the crowd, passing a werewolf, clown and a butcher. Freshly applied fake blood dripping from their clothes and appendages.
“There are no Sunday scaries, we are the Sunday scaries,” Griffin speaks softly into the microphone, before leading the 100-plus group of actors into a chant.
“Maim, kill, pillage and burn, we’re gonna maim, kill, pillage and burn. Eat the babies,” the crowd chants louder and louder, repeating the chant, until ending with triumphant screams.
The Corpse Crew is ready to scare.
Frightmare Farms Haunted Scream Park in Palermo, N.Y., is a labor of love. A love of fear.
But what does it take to scare someone? Is it the loud rev of a chainsaw from behind you getting closer in your ear? Is it the ultra-realistic makeup of a benevolent clown, screaming inches from your face? Or is it a werewolf, with teeth dripping with blood, jumping out from a dark corner when you least expect it?
Turns out, it takes these scares and more to leave people terrified to their core. And the actors feed on it.
“It’s just so fun and exciting to get a reaction out of people you know,” said Frightmare Forest Hayride Manager Carly Trivisonno.
“They jump, they laugh, they run,” said Trivisonno, who also fills in as an actor.
“It’s really fun.”
The professionally trained actors, nicknamed the “Corpse Crew,” blur the line between horror and reality every weekend for guests wanting to be spooked.
Frightmare Farms production director Nicole Ginsburg is a long-time pro when it comes to orchestrating fear within the 48-acre property.
According to her, this haunt season will go down as one to remember, thanks to Frightmare’s talent.
“This year has been an incredible one, and we are so fortunate to be working with one of the most talented crews in all of our 11 seasons,” Ginsburg said.
“From our immersive themes, creative backstories, movie quality sets, detailed costumes and carefully crafted makeup, it’s our Corpse Crew of characters that bring our park to life,” she said.
“Our talented team works hard every year to prepare for our seasonal show,” Ginsburg said.
Frightmare Farms consists of four haunted attractions, including The Haunted Estate, Twisted Labyrinth, Condemned Mine Trail and Frightmare Forest Hayride. This season, Frightmare introduced two new Adrenaline Rooms to their entertainment lineup.
Guests can also grab food at one of the multiple food stands, watch a feature horror movie on the big screen, shop at the Frightmare Farms merch store, and pose in one of the many photo opportunities set up throughout the haunt.
But don’t get too comfortable, there are many monstrous creatures and characters who roam the grounds looking for their next victim.
People looking to test their limits of fear can do so during the park’s final weekend from 6:30-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday by purchasing tickets at the site or Frightmare Farm’s website.