Jackson's Underworld Ready to Thrill

Posted at 2:47 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 14:50:56-04

Mid-Michigan can get their scare on at Jackson's Underworld, which now features four floors of terror. 

Actor and Makeup Artist Janet Parker gave FOX 47 a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to transform dozens of actors into the ghouls, goblins, and other scary figures of Jackson's Underworld. 

Jackson's Underworld is known as one of Michigan's largest and scariest haunted houses. With this year's all new renovations and added "creatures," the extreme haunted house is back and creepier than ever.

What goes into putting on a typical scaretacular night?

We spoke with Parker, one of the two Jackson's Underworld makeup artists, who described the process of doing the makeup of approximately 30 actors all within an hour and a half.

The makeup artists usually start by "whiting everybody out" and give them a base "undead look."

"Depending on if we are doing a zombie or clown - we will do a little bit lighter for the clowns because we want to give them the clown appearance," said Parker.

They then go on to add latex with tissue paper.

"[We] put that on the skin, wait for it to dry, then peel it up. Add a little blood, add a bit of color, and poof!"

A typical night getting ready for Jackson's Underworld can be a bit chaotic.

"Usually Sue's doing the makeup and I'm peeling the latex, after she's applied it. We do almost an assembly line type makeup because we have so many people to do in such a short amount of time,' said Parker.

Some actors tend to be easier with makeup than others. Janet explained that they play off the actors features when doing their makeup and deciding where they fit in the haunt.

"If we have a 300-pound guy with a huge beard and big arms, we'll put him in a cut-off t-shirt and in the swamp with a chain saw because he kind of already fits the part."

Parker also gave us tips for those getting ready for Halloween this year.

"There are great makeups at all the Halloween stores. I recommend for kids [to use] makeup instead of masks. Masks can interfere with the kids vision as they cross the street, so it's actually safer to do their makeup rather than [have them wear] a mask."

Jackson's Underworld doesn't only rely on the actors when upping the creep factor of their house. They also put a lot of thought into the animatronics and special effects that were newly added this year.

"We took down every 2x4 and wall, then decorated with new props and new rooms," said Cody Minix, head of maintenance and engineering at Jackson's Underworld.

Do you dare to experience Jackson's Underworld? Visit their website for more information