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From the eyes of the monster


Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Thirteenth Floor is a very popular haunted house attraction that opens every year the weekend before October. They actually have a brand-new building, with a brand-new set up, and brand-new scares.

With animatronics, puppets, and real-life actors, this place has it all. The scares are real, the atmosphere is spooky, and the acting is fantastic. The actors that work in the building have a unique perspective on the whole situation. They get to be the monster; they get to be on the side of the attraction that very few get to see. One such actor is living on CU Denver’s campus,.

Vincent Siravo, a first-year communications student at CU Denver, gets to be the monster. He describes the experience from the selection of the actors during the hiring process, to getting to pretend to be in a hangman’s noose dropping towards the ground, and running at people with a chainsaw.

Siravo described what the selection process was like when he was attempting to get hired. “Well, I’ve wanted to work at a haunted house for a long time,” Siravo said. “Then I saw something on Facebook advertising for 13th Floor, and I went and auditioned. The audition process consisted of various scenarios where I had to act like a certain character. It was difficult because I don’t have acting experience, but I’ve learned a lot on the job. One such scenario was where I had to act like a zombie. Another was an asylum patient, a crazy person.”

The experience at 13th Floor is a family environment for the actors there. They all have their own techniques and stretches before going in. It is an environment with a lot of constructive criticism, because most of these actors have never done anything like this job before. It creates a strong environment that can only get scarier with time. The people entering 13th Floor truly get scared. “Reactions from customers range from startled screams followed by laughter to anger and to genuine fear,” Siravo said. “We really try to create something absolutely terrifying and exciting.”

Walking through the building before the show, participants see gory props, lifelike animatronics, and actors transforming into monsters. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to play a zombie, a deranged clown, and a ghoul,” Siravo said. “They put me in a harness, in a hangman’s noose. The first thing I would do was drop down and pretend that I was dead and hanging, fake like a prop. Then I would jump out unexpectedly.”

This experience truly is a terrifying one, and 13th Floor is truly an attraction worth seeing this Halloween.

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