A Demon Among Us

Dallastown sophomore Jake Russell (and his mom) have a terrifying part time job.


Photo submitted

Sophomore Jake Russell is ready for another shift at Kim’s Krypt Haunted Mill in full makeup.

For the past seven years, Dallastown sophomore Jake Russell has made people of all ages scream, cry, and even wet their pants.

His mom is totally okay with this behavior.

As a matter of fact, she clowns around by his side as the two work as haunted characters at Kim’s Krypt. 

 “It kind of bonded us in a way because we have the same experiences while working. It’s funny to hear both of us complain about how much our whole bodies hurt after a busy night,” Russell claims. 

Every weekend, three days a week, from late September to early November, Russell transforms into Regan from “The Exorcist” at Kim’s Krypt in Spring Grove. 

“Make up for Regan usually takes about 5- 10 minutes. Usually 10. Wig and nightgown are already in my locker ready to be worn,” Russell explains. 

Russell got involved with the Haunted Mill when he was 8 years old. His grandmother saw an ad on Facebook for a job at the mill and sent it to his mom. 

“She(his mom) interviewed to be a manager, and she got it. They’ve known each other for about eight years now. After a bit I got involved,” Russell adds. 

Younger Jake Russell and his mother before the creepy glam squad works their magic. (Photo submitted )

Eight years later, at 15-years-old, Russell is not the youngest on the job. 

”I was (the youngest) a few years back, but now kids 5 and up are scaring people,” Russell claims. 

It might sound cruel but Russell’s favorite part is seeing the fear on people’s faces. 

“Best feeling in the world is to make somebody cry because I got them that bad. When that happens it gives me more energy and motivation to act,” Russell said.

The worst part of his job is some of the everyday monsters that walk through the halls. Haunted houses are notorious for jerks, drunks, violent people, and even people with possible weapons. 

Jake Russell and his mother fully ready to give people a good scare. (photo submitted)

“It actually drains my energy when people like that come through,” Russell discloses. 

Some nights scaring people can go to the witching hour, and it can be challenging to stay awake. 

“The biggest challenge is keeping energy and staying awake on long nights. Every night is 6-11 p.m. but when it’s busy, we could go until 1:00 or 3:00 a.m.,” Russell explains.  

Despite all the challenges, it seems plenty of funny stories happen when working at a haunted house. It was hard for Russell to pick the funniest one. 

“There was a time where I made a girl pee so much she screamed and then yelled, ‘I just peed myself! Oh my god!’ I had to break character because I was laughing uncontrollably at the reaction.”  

Based on the thrill he gets from other’s fear, Russell plans to continue his involvement with Kim’s Krypt after high school. 

“I should still be involved, and I might even own it in the future if that’s what I wanna do. If I’m still a worker there after HS, I’d get to work in the biggest attraction, the mill. It would be cool to be a manager as well which might be the case,” Russell affirms. 

The next time you’re craving a good scream during the Halloween season, pay a visit to the demon who haunts our own hallways at DHS…and his mom.