Behind the Screams: Heart of Darkness - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Behind the Screams: Heart of Darkness

by Sunny Layne

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Halloween is almost here. Many people like to visit haunted houses. How do so many people come together to put on a successful scare? Dare to look "behind the screams."

Mere mortals run for their lives: from the chainsaw operator to the questionable cabin dweller, to the bloody nurse and more at the Heart of Darkness in Waterloo.

But a look behind the screams reveals dedicated volunteers carefully preparing.

"We're going to rock this house! Say what?"

Founder Kevin Schults calls this group the "Boo Crew," and says members share a fascination with frightening others.

"Reason why we love to scare? It's an addiction," he said. "It's a power over people. Whether they laugh, cry, scream, whether they crawl."

"We are the nightmares in the night," he told his Boo Crew, "We are the things that go bump."

This monster-junkie started the Heart of Darkness eight years ago, and today it scares the socks off of 10,000 patrons a year.

"Celebrate Halloween," Schults said. "Bring it back into life and keep it functioning where it should be."

Another draw for volunteers: escaping into a character.

"It's an adrenaline rush," volunteer Brian Harris said. "Getting into character, put a mask on and become whatever you want, you can be anything."

Harris transforms from a mortgage worker into something entirely different.

"I am Papa Voodoo!!!" he shouts in character. "I summon the dead."

Believe it or not, in the end, these volunteer actors say they've become frightfully close, practically family.

"We all want to fit in somewhere," volunteer William Zobel said. "This for us is a good place to fit in at."

Just don't count on them to show you their soft side.

For more information on Waterloo's Heart of Darkness, click here.

Reporter: Sunny Layne

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