This is the last Haunt topic I'll post! I promise!
BUENA PARK – Hundreds of wannabe monsters lined up in front of Knott's Berry Farm's employment office Monday – some having camped there for as long as two days – for jobs during this year's Halloween Haunt.
Lawn chairs, blankets – and even an inflatable sofa – lined the sidewalk for days while new candidates and veteran ghosts, zombies and monsters waited their turn to be interviewed and hired for the annual scare fest.
Monsters and line-control staffers will work in 13 mazes and seven live shows during the park's Halloween season. The park must fill more than 1,000 positions, with hourly rates starting at $8, for the 36th annual event.
Rookies Nico Schmelter, 18, of Tustin and Jacob Sorensen, 19, of Buena Park can't wait to start their monster careers. The two friends met on a Web site dedicated to Knott's Scary Farm, the name the park takes on during the Halloween Haunt: themeparkadventure.com.
"I've been coming to Knott's Scary Farm since I was 7 years old," Schmelter said. "The first time I got scared, I knew I wanted to be a monster."
He was told during his interview that he would be a zombie for a maze based on a yet-released movie, "Quarantine."
Some repeat goblins camp out days ahead of time.
Shalamar Callender, 20, of La Habra had already been hired after receiving a rehire card in the mail. But she wanted to ensure that she was dressed in makeup this year and not a mask.
"It's amazing, there are so many great people here," said Callender, who camped outside the employment office for two days. She shared a makeshift bed of oversized blankets on the sidewalk with two friends.
"We hang out, talk about old times; people bring DVD players; playing cards – it's fun," said Callender of how the three passed the time.
Other long-time Knott's monsters said they were at the job fair to support the rookies.
"Most of us haven't seen each other since last year," said Zelmy Santos, 29, of Riverside. "It's such a big family here."
Santos has been on the Halloween Haunt staff for nine years.
Now she's known by fellow monsters as "Doll" and plays a porcelain Kabuki doll that pops out of a box at the Doll Factory maze.
Most of the year, people will find Santos with a smile on her face at Disneyland in the guest-relations department. But during the Halloween season, she said she gets immersed in her role as Doll.
"She's a little crazy, but cute – and she's got a lot of anger too," Santos said. "You're basically acting. It's so much fun to see peoples' reactions."
Another job fair is scheduled for September.