‘Frightening’ full-time job: ‘Woods of Terror’ owner discusses the show

By Corinna Workman
Times-News correspondent 

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Woods Of Terror is located at 5601 N. Church St., Greensboro, now through Nov. 2. [Photo submitted

   Eddie “Bone Daddy” McLaurin is the owner and operator of Woods of Terror, a popular haunted theme park in Greensboro.
He has almost 30 years of experience running haunted houses, having premiered his first show only one year after graduating high school.
In his first year, he made $2,180, just enough to break even with $80 profit.
This year, Woods of Terror is expecting to draw in as many as 36,000 people.
“For me, it’s all about my actors. We train them for 26 to 32 hours and I bring in a guy from Texas, probably the best haunted house teacher in the world,” McLaurin said.
Woods of Terror is equipped with a staff of 11 makeup artists.
“We start training for makeup in January because at the end of October and November, it’s just as cold, and you’ve got to know how the paint is going to work in the cold weather and be used to working with it,” he said.
The artists are prepared in their training to work under stressful and unpredictable circumstances.
“They only have 6 to 7 minutes per actor to get a hundred actors ready and you really need to do it in an hour,” he said.
McLaurin often participates in the show, dressing up as “Bone Daddy,” to perform the nightly rendition of Madison Rising’s version of the National Anthem during the nightly parade.
The character features skeleton makeup on exactly half his face, rendering his right side nearly unrecognizable from his left.
   Bone Daddy’s signature feature is his larger-than-life, flaming red mohawk.
“Every year, I’ll cut about an inch or two off for the dead ends and then I’ll pretty much just let it grow all year,” he explained. “I used to bleach it blonde so I could put the red on it and now we just put the red straight on it because bleaching it was destroying my hair.”
McLaurin also is known for his pet python of six years, Spawn. When they aren’t posing for pictures or relaxing at home together, Spawn curls up in a large suitcase.
“The suitcase is the best way for me to take care of her,” he said. “She’s very comfortable in there. I know like you wouldn’t enjoy it, but she does.”
He used to have a second Burmese python, Dawn, which he kept for 10 years before her death.
“I went to get Dawn three years ago on Halloween night and she was dead. I have no idea what happened,” McLaurin said. “Right now I don’t have a spare snake, and you have to have two of everything in the haunting business.”
He also is excited to announce that Woods of Terror will be opening a new attraction in 2020.
“The insane asylum is going to be another attraction next year. I had to work this year, probably 500 hours on the insane asylum that’s not even up until next year,” he said. “I’m going to order the building in December. We’ll probably put it up in February and March and then it’s gotta be decorated and such, so it’ll take all year to get that new attraction up. It’s a full-time job and I don’t people realize that.”

Corinna Workman is a sophomore at Western Alamance High School and a Teens & 20s writer.

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