Monster makeover adds to scares at House of Horrors & Haunted Catacombs

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It takes a big crew of people to make all the monster magic happen at the House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs every Halloween season. From the builders to the actors to the makeup artists, everyone is focused on the details to bring the scares to Western New York.

News 4’s Katie Alexander had the chance to see the magic in the making for herself, sitting down for a monster makeover with Bryce Bielanin and Stephanie Austin, the head makeup artists and cast managers at the House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs.

MORE | Watch the full makeover here.

“We turned you from beauty into the beast,” Bielanin said after the transformation was finished. “We gave like a zombie alien infection look on it.”

It takes a lot of work to do a makeover like this, and a lot of imagination.

Bielanin and Austin have spent years perfecting their craft.

Austin even went to school for this kind of makeup, recently receiving her degree.

“I just love making people look gross,” she said. “The more realistic I can do, the better.”

When it came to Katie’s makeover, the gross mission was certainly accomplished. Her look included prosthetic wounds and bumps, oozing pus, blood, and more.

It took a couple hours to complete the makeover during News 4 Wake Up Thursday morning.

On an average night, the team of makeup artists only has about one hour to transform the whole cast.

“The average night’s very hectic, for sure, but it’s a lot of fun,” Austin said.

It’s especially fun for the crowds of people who make their way through the five huge haunted houses during the Halloween season. Each one is uniquely themed, from the diseased alien zombies of Infection to the horror movie favorite characters in the Killer Theater haunted house.

Builders work year round to improve each house.

“When people think they’ve seen it all, believe me, there’s things in these houses you haven’t seen yet, so it grabs attention in any way shape or form. It really does hit on all your senses,” said Chris Conlon, the production manager for the House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs.

If you’re not scared out of your mind by the experience, you can also put your mind to work, enjoying the mini escape room challenges that complement the facility’s three escape rooms that are open year round.

“The escape rooms are super fun, super scary, you have to work together, but they can be challenging, for sure,” said Samantha Cousineau, the game master.

To learn more about everything the House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs has to offer, click here.

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