Faces Behind the Fear: Andie Schwab, lead make-up artist at Enigma Haunt

Once relegated to a few weeks around Halloween, the haunt industry is becoming a year-long endeavor. Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon for local haunts to have themed events around many major holidays, including Christmas.

Recently, Enigma Haunt in Boca Raton opened their doors to celebrate a Christmas Nightmare, where the Realms of Terror opened their doors with a slightly more festive vibe!

Palm Beach Happening was able to catch up with their head make-up artist to get a better idea of her role within the attraction, as well as her feelings on spooky stuff in general.

Do you like scary movies? (The best opening question in film history, IMHO) I do! Ever since my grandparents mistakenly rented Child’s Play when I was six years old, I’ve been hooked. I think creating something horrifying is one of the most creative expressions possible.

Do you enjoy haunted attractions? If so, which is your favorite?
I love haunted attractions, although I find myself staring at the makeup more than getting scared!

This might be cliche`, but I love Enigma Haunt — I walk through all the time, and I think our sets are some of the most detailed and immersive in the industry.

What’s your favorite technique to use when imagining makeup
looks? When I create my monsters, I love to distort facial features. When there’s something just slightly off, it both disturbs and intrigues spectators. Some of my most favorite looks involve stretched
smiles and exposed teeth.

Can you tell us about some of the characters you create? I work closely with a few of our big name characters, like Dr. Grant and the Queen of Hearts. Dr. Grant has been a staple to Enigma Haunt, and we love to experiment to create different creepy looks — we change it up quite often!

What would your ultimate haunted attraction consist of? My ultimate haunted attraction is one that has an original inspiration, and interactive sets that tap into different fears. Top haunts should also have varied characters, both in their makeup and in their dialogue.

What advice would you give someone interested in working in a haunted attraction? Don’t be afraid to reach out! In the age of social media, it’s really easy to contact haunted attractions all around the country. Even if you don’t have any experience, it’s your curiosity and passion that could make you an invaluable part of an attraction.

With all the haunted attractions out there, why should someone visit Enigma Haunt? Enigma Haunt isn’t your typical haunted attraction. We spend months crafting the concepts, characters, and sets for each season. The creativity and hard work truly shows by the time October comes around, and our awesome actors ensure that everyone in each group gets a good scare.

What inspired you to become a makeup artist at a haunted
attraction? When I was eight years old, I watched Nightmare on Elm Street. I was enthralled with all of the different forms Freddy Krueger took, and the special effects that went into the death of each actor. Since then, I’ve always had a love for art, but it’s a totally different art form to be able to create something that disturbs and horrifies.

Who is your favorite Hollywood creature creator/make-up artist, and why? Matthew Mungle is definitely one of my favorites. He was a pioneer for special effects makeup on iconic films such as Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a cinematic age where digital perfecting didn’t exist.

How many actors do you see every night? Usually, we have anywhere from 50-65 actors come through makeup every night, but as Halloween approaches, we’ll see 70-80!

What is your motivation throughout the season? My team is a great source of motivation, they each bring their own ideas and skills, and I’m constantly drawing inspiration from their different takes on our characters.

What can fans expect from the makeup at Enigma Haunt? Expect something different every time you see our attraction. You can expect our actors’ makeup to coincide with their role, and even with the props that they use.

Enigma Haunt was just ranked #1 in Top Haunts in Florida and voted as #2 nationally in The Scare Factor’s 31 Must See Haunt List, the only other Florida haunt making that national list came in at #17.

Remember that Halloween is a time for fun and frivolity. It is a time to come out of your shell, and to acknowledge the mischievous spirit that resides within all of us. Be sure to keep following Palm Beach Happening for news on other spooky events in the Palm Beaches. If you know of another local event that would appreciate the undead light shone upon it, please let us know!

Also, be sure to check out some of our other Faces Behind the Fear interviews.