When people think haunted houses, or haunted attractions, the thoughts automatically go to Halloween. Sure, Halloween is when the collective public becomes masters of horror, and decides that they need a good scare. What about the rest of the year? Why does Halloween have to be the one time of year that you can get a good scare? You know exactly what I’m talking about. After all, (as the song goes) life’s no fun without a good scare. Legends:A Haunting at Old Town takes that thought and runs with it. It is Central Florida’s only year round haunted attraction, and it is run by a group of dedicated people who not only think that everyone needs a good scare every once in a while, but that it’s extremely fun to give that good scare. We had a chance to not only experience that scare, but to be the ones who did the scaring as we were transformed into the Legends brand of zombie-The Twitchling.
How do you celebrate your birthday? Most people, over the age of 21, decide to do things like go to dinner, a concert or some kind of fancy vacation. Sometimes a night of drinking and debauchery are in order. It IS your birthday, after all. I decided that my time would be best spent scaring people. Debauchery minus the debauchery…and the drinking. The good folks at Legends-A Haunting in Old Town were more than happy to let me come out and not only let me scare, but take us through the ropes of what it’s like to be a Twitchling.
The first thing I’ll say, scaring people is a lot of work. In this day and age of hot and cold running chills at our fingertips, people don’t scare very easy. Theme parks, internet, and movies on demand make us a little more numb to the old fashioned scare. Fortunately, Legends mixes those old fashioned scares with new interactive ways, and very high tech ways to get under your skin and make you squirm.
The first step to scaring at Legends-A Haunting in Old Town, is the transformation into a Twitchling. Yes, I’ve used that word several times, and haven’t really told you what it is. A Twitchling is like a zombie. It’s fairly accurate to say that it’s Legends version of a zombie. Where a zombie is a dead thing, with only the minimal brain function needed to eat flesh, a Twitchling is something more.
Sure they’re dead. Sure they like to feast on flesh…but there’s still a bit left in that brain. Twitchlings have no disease, they are just rotting corpses brought back to life to feast on the souls of the living, because they are cursed to do so. They still have a glimmer of their humanity left in their brains, but it’s taken over by that need to feed. You’ll see Twitchlings do things like growl, snarl, scream, and even laugh…a deep sadistic, demented laughter. Twitchlings will recognize certain people, they also remember their favorite type of people to eat….and most importantly, they can move…as fast as they need to in order to catch their prey.
The first step is of course getting make up. Tim Hays and Lia Malamo are some of the make up specialists at Legends, and they are great at their job. Make up is just one of the many things that they do in the haunt, as Lia was also the greeter that night as well. The type of make up you get depends on how long you’ve been dead. We weren’t dead too terribly long, so our make up was done using simple airbrush techniques, and lots of blood. We were dressed in our “funeral best”, which the crew took and distressed…in other words, they tore the hell out of it, making it look like we had dug ourselves out of graves. After a general spattering of blood, we were ready.
It was one thing to look the part, but you also needed to act the part. There were several different ways to do things, and the type of Twitchling you are depends on the type of person you were. I was a very loud person, extremely social, and very curious. As a Twitchling, all of those traits carried over, and I am loud (big gutteral screams and growls),very social (getting in your faces) and very curious (as to what you taste like). Other bloggers joined us and they also made for very interesting Twitchlings. Ricky from Inside the Magic is reserved, and at first very quiet….as a Twitchling he has a voracious appetite that causes him to come unhinged. Robert from Mickey Updates is extremely nice and proffesional…as a Twitchling he is the nastiest thing you’ll ever want to encounter.
We can’t give away all the secrets, but we were shown the many different passages. The Twitchlings are free to roam the house at will, and you may see one…or all… of them again. Safety of the guests, and of course the Twitchlings are of the utmost concern, and there are “no scare zones” that we were instructed not to attack guests…while eating them is fine, making them trip and fall or run into an area where they could get hurt isn’t. We won’t tell you where those “no scare zones” are, we don’t want you to get a false sense of security…because you will not be surviving.
So what is it like to be a Twitchling? In a word, theraputic. I have a very stressful life with the various roles I play. Being a Twitchling allows you to come out of your shell and leave your life behind. Where it may be frowned upon to scream and get loud with your family, it’s not at Legends. It feels good to scream, and have that adrenaline rush as you’re scared…imagine being on the other end and being the one who does the scaring. I saw grown men scream like girls, saw girls become babies and begin crawling on the floor. Children came through, and it was a blast watching them hide behind mommy or daddy…all the while, daddy screaming his head off. There were runners, or people so scared that they flat out ran throughout the entirety of the house. Of course there were also those so scared they didn’t move, those people needed a little…motivation. We can’t confirm that bodily functions were lost control of, but we did notice some wet pants leaving the haunt.
The favorite moment of the night was waiting in a particular area of the house, and hearing the shuffling of feet going through. While there were some muffled surprises before, as I jumped out from my hiding spot I saw two big guys holding each other as they screamed for dear life. No matter how tough you may be, everyone has a breaking point!
Slideshow-Check out even more pictures from our time as Twitchlings at Legends-A haunting at Old Town
Overall, scaring is not only the most fun one could have on a Saturday night (besides getting scared) but it is the best theraputic workout one could ever get. By the end of the night we were tired, sore and hoarse…but the size of the smile on our faces was unmatchable. The cast of Legends does this on a nightly basis, and could only offer a smile when we complained about our various aches and pains. These guys and gals are absolute horror machines, and amazing at what they do.
Special thanks again to Legends-A Haunting in Old Town, Jim Shackleford, and Dan Carro for letting us come out. If you haven’t been to Legends-A Haunting in Old Town, it’s a must see for all haunt fans. If you haven’t been in a while, it’s always going through subtle changes. Why wait until Halloween?
Stay tuned as we bring you even more haunted goodness year round, and be sure to follow along with us on Twitter @BehindThrills for the latest updates!
Legends-A Haunting in Old Town is open year round, not just at Halloween. They are Central Florida’s ONLY year round haunted attraction. On select nights, the Twitchlings go to bed, and Ghost Tours are given, telling the haunted history of Old Town, Orlando, and the haunted attraction itself. (Click here for more information). They are located at the Old Town Entertainment district in Kissimmee Florida, just East of Walt Disney World on 192.