Since the heyday of slasher films, the idea of a killer butcher menacing townspeople and turning them into the special of the day has captured the collective psyche. There have been countless actors who have tried to bring the character to life, but perhaps there is none better than David Gricius.
He puts his heart, mind, and blood into Jed the Butcher, and aims to scare people so much that they are unable to make it through the haunt!
Do you like scary movies? (The best opening question in film history, IMHO)
I love scary/horror movies! The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies are some of my favorites mainly because of how intense they get at times. The story line is simple and the details they’ve put in throughout the years have just made it better for me. Scary movies can bring out so many emotions that it opens up my imagination. When I’m watching a scary movie I’m always trying to learn what scares me and how I can use that in the haunt.
What inspired you to become a scare actor?
My mom is definitely my inspiration in becoming a scare actor. Every year she would throw some kind of party, or build our own home haunt to bring our family and our neighborhood friends together. She loved getting dressed up, mainly as a witch, so she could be her crazy self and just have fun. When I turned 18 is when we really started building our home haunts, and that’s when I had to take it to the next level by dressing up as Leatherface and running around with my chainsaw.
There are several school of scaring, if you will. What technique works best for you?
My main technique I guess I would have to say is being the aggressor, being loud, up close, and personal, “at a safe distance of course”, with our customers/victims. The aggressor also helps grab the attention of customers/victims so they focus on me as my minions/daughters can get the pop out scares.
Can you compare your work in your real job versus your work with Enigma? Not at all! For my other job I’m a quality inspector for a company, “Aerospace Technologies Group/ATG”, that builds electric windows for aircraft.
Who is your favorite Hollywood creature creator/make-up artist, and why? Jack Pierce! The detail of the make-up he was able to do in the early years of scary/monster movies, “Frankenstein,” “The Wolf Man,” and “Dracula” is unbelievable. We make those movies now, but you can have an army of people help you, the best make-up known to mankind, and you have something to reference thanks to those earlier movies.
Do you like haunted attractions? If so, which is your favorite? (probably an obvious answer) 🙂 Absolutely love haunted attractions and of course Enigma Haunt is my favorite! Being part of Enigma Haunt has helped me visit and appreciate other haunted attractions as well. A few that I can say I really enjoyed recently are Statesville Haunted Prison & City Of The Dead and Wisconsin Fear Grounds. Every haunt is unique in its own way and that’s what makes them all great, definitely when you’re part of the industry.
What can you tell us about??Jed the Butcher??and his role in this year’s Enigma Haunt? I can’t say much about Jedidiah except that his family keeps on growing! That means he will need more victims to satisfy the hunger of his blood thirsty family and more gore decor for their lovely home. I can hear him getting ready though…”FRESH MEAT!!!” “THAT’S RIGHT FAM I CAN SMELL THE BLOOD OF OUR VICTIMS AND OUR TIME IS COMING REAL SOON, LET THE PANDEMIC BEGIN.”
What will long time visitors to Enigma Haunt find different about this year, if anything? Every year we try to change it up some way for our returning visitors and this year we won’t disappoint. The past couple years we had two haunts “The Abyss” and of course “The Realms of Terror.” This year we will be doing three haunts, “Pandemic,” “Into Oblivion,” and “The Realms of Terror”, scares around every corner and in every direction!
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Enigma Haunt? I always look forward to working with my second family, “Enigma Haunt” and all the talent and passion they bring each and every night. And the fear and excitement we bring to all of the visitors that make it to Enigma Haunt. It’s my favorite time of the year, doing my favorite thing in the world, with some of the greatest people in my life. I really can’t look forward to anything else, it’s perfect.
You have become the de facto face of Enigma Haunt, appearing at various events throughout the year to promote the haunt. What is your favorite part about having your image represent the entire staff of the attraction?
I never would have expected to be “the de facto face of Enigma Haunt”, it’s a true honor and a privilege to even be asked that question. I have nothing but love and respect for everything and everyone that makes Enigma Haunt, without them there would be no “Jed”. So my favorite part is being able to help Enigma Haunt grow as a premier haunted attraction and a family. It’s fun being able to help represent a group of individuals that are dedicated in what they love to do.
What advice would you give someone interested in working in the haunt business?
DO IT!!!! No doubt about it if you love Halloween, scary movies, creepy things any aspect of the industry try it out. Most people that are in the haunt business are in it because they have a passion for it, so take any opportunity you can if you’re really interested. You can learn so much! Anyone can be the nine to five employee that sits behind a desk. So take a chance and be yourself more than just one day out of the year. The best job I can ever have is being part of a haunted house “ENIGMA HAUNT” “ESD”.
Enigma Haunt, 1751 N. Military Trail, 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!