Scaring up fun: Horror Show co-creator talks about county’s haunt

By Nick Chester
Times-News correspondent 

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The Original Hollywood Horror Show will open to the public on Friday, Sept. 28. [Logan Andrews / Special to the Times-News

Dean Jones, one of the creators of the Original Hollywood Horror Show and an Alamance County native, took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Teens & 20s.
Dean and his brother, Starr, are award-winning makeup artists and have been scaring up business at the Horror Show in Snow Camp since the fall of 1989. The show will open to the public on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.
Teens & 20s: How often do you change attractions?
Dean Jones: There is always a new attraction every year at the Hollywood Horror Show. During the off-season while we are in film production, we are often inspired by what we are doing on set. So when haunt pre-production time schedule comes around, we incorporate these new ideas into our show. Occasionally, themes and ideas are reinvented.
Teens & 20s: You are originally from Alamance County. Where did you learn to do this kind of thing?
Jones: We both grew up in Alamance County so our inspiration along with the cultivation of our imagination came from our roots here in Alamance County. We were active locally in the Boy Scouts organizations (and still are to this day as adult leaders), and we both earned Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in drama from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Our ultimate goal, of course, was making it to Hollywood, winning awards and working with Oscar-winning actors and directors, which came to fruition.
Teens & 20s: What things have you done on Hollywood that we would know?
Jones: Seven years at Paramount Studios on the “Star Trek” franchise, “Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine” and three of the feature films, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, 3, and 4; “Jarhead” with Jamie Fox and Jake Gyllenhaal; “Home of the Brave” with 50 Cent, Jessica Beale and Samuel Jackson; “Day of the Dead” with Ving Rhames and Nick Cannon, dozens of Hallmark and Lifetime movies and about 80 other feature films.
Teens & 20s: Do you have a different theme each year such as clowns or zombies?
Jones: As a well-rounded haunt, we incorporate the current trends in horror movie characters as well as the old school horror movies. Indeed, we have Twisty the Clown from “American Horror Story” and the “New Pennywise” along with your favorite replica makeups from “Walking Dead.”
Teens & 20s: What do you enjoy most about doing this?
Jones: We enjoy the community involvement, sharing a bit of the “Hollywood movie experience” that we have been fortunate to have been a part of for over 30 years. We enjoy teaching aspects of our craft to our young adults and even the older ones. We have taken most of crew along on some our feature films, music videos and commercials. So we are now a training ground for filmmakers.
Teens & 20s: What made you want to get into horror?
Jones: Growing up, we were heavily influenced by watching the Universal Monster Movies such as Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula and the Mummy. As kids, we experimented in recreating our favorite characters, often for Halloween and to garner attention, but mostly for our own amusement. But our dark sense of humor eventually lead us down the path to Hollywood.
Teens & 20s: Do you ever get scared from the show?
 Jones: Never have we been scared from our own show, but there have been strange occurrences at the site. Apparently, an apparition of a little girl has been seen numerous times by members of our staff and even our patrons. Although I have never seen her, for reasons unknown, I can attest after being there late at night I occasionally feel the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. This only occurs when I’m there alone. I just get creeped out. There could be something to it.
Teens & 20s: Do you ever act in the show?
Jones: We have upgraded our stage show once again this year with “the Spirit of Houdini” magic show and the “Beetlejuice review” — so the answer is yes. We like to entertain our guest during the wait in line.
Teens & 20s: I have been doing community theater since I was 8. What do you want people to know about the performing arts in Alamance County?
 Jones:I’ve been in Los Angeles for over 30 years where the entire city is the mecca and a true culture for the entertainment business. The revenue Los Angeles county generates and realizes is around $35 billion. In order to make a living, I had to move to Los Angeles to practice my craft. There seems to be a disconnect with regards to our local support of the arts. There is support for the arts, but not the artists. Let’s create and foster a genuine entertainment business for our artists. Earning a full-time living as an artist would be incredibly gratifying, instead of just being a dream. To quote Albert Einstein, “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”

Nick Chester is a freshman at Williams High School and a Teens & 20s writer.

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