They Work Among Us

Ever wondered what some of the best Spook Masters in the Ville do for a living when they’re not scaring the pants off of haunt fans during the spooky season? Join us and find out!


Greetings, Boils & Ghouls, it’s your old fiend, The Phantom of the Ville, shaking off the long, cold winter and looking ahead to Derby weekend. We’re exactly one week away from Walpurgis Night 2014, which is also exactly halfway to Halloween. Right now we’re about as far from our favorite holiday as we can get, but many of the owners and operators of our favorite haunted attractions are already working on their haunts for the 2014 Halloween season.

Summer is the teardown and new build season for many haunters who work on their attractions year round, but unlike the characters in “Monsters, Inc.,” they don’t generate everything they need to power their operation from the screams of customers in September and October. Just like the rest of us, most of our favorite haunt owners also have day jobs.

We thought some of our readers might find the wide range of occupations that Louisville’s best haunters toil in month in and month out when they’re not engaged in their love of terrorizing the population in the spooky season.

There’s wild work to be done. Let’s get to it.

Literally a Haunted House at Culbertson Mansion: Chairman of the Board and Art Director, Holly Crisler-Johnson, is a graphic designer for a local printing company. “Your business cards, your company’s logo, your son’s basketball program, your church’s newsletter… Yeah, I’m designing those,” says Crisler. Chew on that.

The 7th Street Haunt: Owner and operator, Travis Boling, works at the Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana. “For the past five years I have been working the graveyard shift at the local casino as a security officer,” says Boling. “For the last two years, the 7th Street Haunt has filled any and all free time I’ve had, but I wouldn’t change that for anything. I have been offered other jobs with better hours and pay but have turned them down because of the love I have for the haunt industry.”

Fear Fair: Seymour, Indiana’s resident Spook Master, Brett Hays, is a man of the law when he is not building his nightmare wonderland for characters who break them all. “When not applying my skills to entertaining and terrifying the masses at Fear Fair, I am an attorney in solo private practice,” says Hays. “I primarily do criminal defense and family law.  I am a public defender in three courts in addition to my private practice.” If you need a lawyer, call the Hays Law Office at (812)522-8780.

The Haunted Hotel: Owner, Kevin Stich, owns Siggy’s Pizza Pub on Barrett Lane ( while General Manager, Kristen Warf says “During the day I am a receptionist for a law firm. I am also an artist at Sinister FX.” They both run Sinister FX (See:

The Devil’s Attic: Creator and owner, Jason Besemann, has been a sales representative for the healthcare industry for the last thirteen years, which he says “helped launch the haunt and continues to help fund new additions to the haunt.” Besemann was also a professional magician from age 12 to 22 years old. “I paid for a part of my college education through performing magic shows,” says Besemann, “and I still do a couple of magic shows a year. I try to integrate misdirection into all of our scares.”

Grim Trails: Imagineer, Andrew Coombs and his son/haunt partner, Michael, owns a landscaping business that keeps the Ville beautiful in the summer and provides snow removal in the winter. They also run Crocodile Creek Gem & Fossil Mining (, a portable mining operation for kids.

Industrial Terrorplex: Owner, Terry Campbell, is a partner in a business that inspects auto factories for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He also runs Trip Sixx Studios (See:

Nightmare Forest: Evil park ranger and haunt owner, Jason Weber, is a partner in a number of fireworks businesses and he also works as a freelance painter among other side jobs.

Asylum Haunted Screampark: Asylum owner, Kenny Schell, runs the complex during the rest of the year as a paintball wonderland ( He also owns Asylum Xtreme Sports and Hobbies in Clarksville, IN that deals in paintball and airsoft guns and equipment, skateboards and remote control cars and airplanes. If that weren’t enough, he also runs a landscaping business. Screampark Creative Director, Richard Teachout, is a computer programmer.

Danger Run: The ghostly trio of Joe Bulleit, Michael Book and Mike Kimzey are the masterminds behind Louisville’s 20 year old Ghost Run. Bulleit is the Marketing and Technical Director for Premier Homes (, one of the largest home builders in Southern Indiana. He also freelances as a database programmer.

Mike Kimzey owns a retail smoke shop on Preston Highway in Hillview called Discount Smokes ( which carries everything from cigarettes to e-cigarettes with every flavor of vaporizer imaginable to fine cigars to hookah pipes and candy & snacks. He recently expanded his shop to include a custom built, walk-in humidor. He also recently became a partner in a fireworks business that operates a large retail store as well as a number of fireworks tents.

Michael Book is a real life mad scientist! Well maybe not mad, but he doesn’t have his doctorate yet! There’s still time for the madness to set in. “I am currently working on my PhD in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine,” says Book. “I have spent the last several years working to advance our knowledge in cardiovascular research in the Department of Cardiology at U of L. In addition to my research career and my work on the Danger Run and Louisville Halloween, I am also a freelance graphical, web and industrial/special effects designer. I do a broad range of work from advertising design to website design & development to movie quality scenery & special effects. My work has been seen in retail stores, theater, haunted attractions, television, B movies and more. In my free time, I also volunteer with a number of local charities.”

There you have it, my friends. The Spook Masters of the Ville are also working stiffs like you and me with a passion for Halloween that is also in their blood all year round. Now it’s time to close the window on your computer or phone that you’re using to read Louisville Halloween while you’re supposed to be working before the boss catches on! See you again soon.

The Phantom of The Ville

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