Horror Nights Etiquette: Taking photos with Scareactors

We are beginning a series of articles on proper etiquette for all guests attending horror nights. Last year’s Halloween Horror Nights 25 marked the year with the most violence and disrespect towards scareactors. We at HHN Unofficial want to teach a new generation of HHN goers that the actors must be treated kindly and with respect. This first installment in the series is about how to properly and respectfully take a photo with scareactors in their natural habitat….

Know Before You Snap

Myself and two of Jack’s Maniacs

Scareactors are a diverse group, and they all have different attitudes toward photographs. Not all scareactors want their photos taken and quickly leave the camera eye whenever one is pointed at them, while others like the attention.

Photos with scareactors are a fantastic memento of the event. Getting that great photo isn’t a difficult task, but you want to make sure you do it safely and respectfully. When you spot a scareactor that you just have to take a picture with, whether it’s a selfie with them or you have someone take the picture for you, there is a right and wrong way of getting that photo. Let’s dive into a few tips for getting that perfect photo.

The Proper Execution


Approach the scareactor you would like to take a photo with and see what he (or she) is up to. If they are going in for a scare, wait until they are once again roaming in search for more guests to scare. Be sure to approach the actor head on, don’t sneak up on them from behind or the side. Once you are sure they see you and are at a reasonable distance, make eye contact and ask for a photo. “May I take a picture with you?” “Can I have a photo?” or even simply “selfie?” will suffice. If the actor does not agree to a photo, do not get angry. It is the actors right to refuse to take the photo with you. There are many reasons why an actor may refuse the photo, but it is important not to take it personally.

The Voodoo Queen, HHN24. I’m also hammered, can you tell?



If the actor agrees to the photo, don’t get obnoxiously close to the actor unless the actor gets close to you first. Do your best to keep the actor comfortable and make no impositions. The actor may chose to make a particular pose or face, which always makes for great photos. Take the photo, thank the actor, and move on your merry way. Some scareactors are more talkative than others, so if they speak to you, you may make short conversation or even exchange jokes, but never make an actor speak to you if he or she doesn’t want to.




Scareactors would prefer you not use flash for your photo with them, as it negatively affects their vision. If you insist on using flash, make the actor aware that there will be a flash. That being said, when not using flash, it is important to remember to be in an area that’s lit well enough to read faces in the resulting photo. Most modern phones now flash for selfies, which helps tremendously. But sometimes, photos with scareactors don’t come out the best.

Good example of bad lighting and blurryness with Scurvy the clown

A great method to combat a bad photo is waiting in a better lit area for them to come closer to you. If needed, request that the actor come into the light for a photo.

One of FEAR’s Lanterns, HHN20

What Not to Do

We must all treat every actor with the respect they deserve. Please do not touch the actors for any reason! More importantly, never take a scareactor’s prop or weapon from their hands. This is unacceptable and could possibly get you expelled from the event. The actors are there to entertain you and were given these tools to do so with. Taking these items away from them is like taking away your favorite musician’s instrument right from their hands while they are playing for you.


Never go up to a scareactor and take a selfie without warning. It’s annoying to the actor and sometimes can be off putting or even threatening to them. No one likes a jarring, impromptu close proximity selfie taken without permission.

Why This Matters

Universal puts on Halloween Horror Nights annually for us all to have a safe, fun time as their guests. It is up to each of us to behave properly to ensure that the actors and staff have that same amount of fun that we do. Together we can make Horror Nights enjoyable for everybody involved.