by Kirsten Kraus | Staff Writer
She lurks in the darkness, undetectable to the guests, awaiting her first victim of the night. Senior Courtney
Mason prepares to strike as she hears the faint footsteps getting closer to the room. A piercing scream echoes throughout the house, followed by a series of thumps and rumbles. A darkened silhouette sits atop a crushed piano as the phantom retreats into the darkness, a smug smirk present on her face.
“When I was working one time, I scared a girl so badly that she fell backwards and broke the piano in my room,” senior Courtney Mason said.
Courtney doesn’t have the average job for a teenager in high school. Instead of the typical fast food restaurant, she works in a haunted house. Where every night she puts her blood, sweat, and tears into scaring kids who visit the floor.
“I work at the 13th Floor Haunted House. I’m an actor and I get to dress up in a zombie outfit and jump out of a closet. I love working at the haunted house. It’s a lot of fun and very entertaining,” senior Courtney Mason said. “I just wanted a fun job, not one where I would have to work at Subway like every other Johnson student and have to wear a dumb outfit. Halloween is my favorite holiday and I love horror movies, so I thought this would be really fun.”
People from all over go to see the zombies and monsters in their natural habitats, but among those people, a majority of the haunted house visitors are students from Johnson and other high schools around San Antonio.
“A lot of high school kids and young adults come to the haunted house,” senior Courtney Mason said. “I see a lot of high school kids, and a lot of Johnson kids. Darian Chin was the first person to come see me, and the Johnson tennis team came as well.”
They knew she was trouble when they walked in, and knew what was on the other side of the door, but their faces turned red and screams escaped their lips at the mere sight of Courtney, the zombie Taylor Swift doppelganger. By the end of the night, the guests knew they shouldve said no to visiting the house, and told themselves they were never ever getting back together with the fright that escaped them that night, at least not until next Halloween.
“Some people think I’m the ghost of Taylor Swift,” senior Courtney Mason said. “I wear a red dress and I have blonde curly hair. Half of my face is normal, and the other half is covered in makeup that looks bloody.”
The process of applying for the zombie acting job wasn’t as easy as she thought, though. Courtney patiently endured a series of steps to ensure she scored the job that she worked so hard for.
“I filled out an application online, and I thought they would just say you’re hired or no you’re not hired, but they emailed me saying I had to audition,” senior Courtney Mason said. “I had no idea what that meant, so I just showed up and they put me in a really long line of people and I was at the very end. I went to audition, and I feel like they thought I wasn’t going to make it because I was too preppy or young, while everyone else there was old and scary looking. I just started screaming in my audition room, and they really liked my scream, so they hired me.”