Faces Behind The Fear: Heather Ruyle of Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds

People who work at haunted attractions often wear many different hats. Some days, they are behind the scenes, making sure everything goes smoothly. Other days, they are in full makeup and you’d never recognize them out of costume. At times, they are in costume as well as taking care of business other than their primary scaring roles. Heather Rulye is one of the latter.

Recently, she took time out of her busy schedule to sit down and give us some insight into her character, and how Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds works.

Do you like scary movies? (The best opening question in film history, IMHO) Of course I like scary movies! I personally think people that don’t are kind of weird. I spend almost every Valentine’s Day with a good bottle wine, binge watching scary movies with my partner.
Do you enjoy haunted attractions? If so, which is your favorite? Fright Nights of course! Not just because I work there, but because of the originality it has to offer with its unscripted acting. 
There are several schools of scaring, if you will. What technique works best for you? My personal favorite is the jump scare, right off the bat, which tells me all I need to know about the group I’ll be scaring. From there, I’ll use my weird and creepy persona to lurk through the group, singling out the weakest members, and then the rest is for me to know, and you to find out!
Can you tell us more about your character? My character changes every year, depending on the theme of the house. Despite the different roles, my core character is pretty consistently the manic, misunderstood, girl next door. You never know if you’re going to get the sweet, innocent girl, or the pissed off, murderous maniac.
What would your ultimate haunted attraction consist of? Clowns and crazy people!  That’s what makes it!  A chainsaw or two never hurts.
What advice would you give someone interested in working in a haunted attraction? Just go out and do it, don’t let fear hold you back. You never know what it’ll be like so you just have to go for it. It’s fun as hell being able to tap into different characters and let your freak flag fly!
With all the haunted attractions out there, why should someone visit Fright Nights? We are original, with unscripted actors.  Although we have a role to play, it’s still a personal preference with the improvising of your own character. With that being said you know that every time you walk through the same house, you’re never getting the same scare twice.
What inspired you to become a scareactor?  I volunteered for fun when I was 14 and completely fell in love with it. From the makeup, the insane character that I get to tap into, and then to the thrill of scaring a group of strangers and seeing their reactions, I was hooked.
Who is your favorite Hollywood creature creator/make-up artist, and why? That would be a toss-up between Stephen King and Rob Zombie; they both have a sick twistedness in their story telling.
How long do you spend in make-up for the haunt, or do you always look like that? What make up? Just kidding it takes a good 30 minutes or longer to make me look this scary.
What is your motivation for your character? I like to think that my character is cross between Sherry Moon’s character, Baby from The Devil’s Rejects and Mallory Knox from Natural Born Killers.
There are many different scare techniques used at haunted attractions. How do you do it? Well that’s my little secret. Just know that a lot of water, energy drinks, and a ‘can do’ attitude are involved.
What can fans expect from your part of Fright Nights? You really never know what to expect from my character, except for a good ol’ fashioned scare!


For more details, be sure to visit MyFrightNights.net! Also, be sure to check out some of our other Faces Behind the Fear interviews!

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!