An inside look at RISE Haunted House monster makeup looks, plus DIY tips

It is no easy task to transform a live Louisianian into the walking dead. Here's how RISE Haunted House does it.

Anyone can be a zombie with a little training and the right kind of makeup. But, it is no easy task to transform a live Louisianian into the walking dead. Regina Brown, the makeup manager at RISE Haunted House, takes us through a regular night of spookifying the actors. 

See the pros do it: RISE Haunted House makeup

On a typical night of terrorizing visitors, the RISE Haunted House actors show up around 4:00 pm. As soon as they walk in the door, Brown and her makeup artist staff get to work. They divide and conquer to make up about 113 characters! 

See Brown’s work come to life here. Meet Coraline and her pet zombie, Mr. Nibbles. 

Now, as complex and beautifully nasty these makeup looks appear, each look cannot take more than a few minutes to complete. I mean, they have just a couple of hours to make up and dress over 100 beasts. So, Regina says that a basic character, like a zombie, should take between 3-5 minutes. More complex characters can take about 25 minutes to complete, but not a minute longer.

Even after all of the actors are completely transformed, Brown’s night doesn’t end there. 

Right before haunted house visitors start walking in the doors, the rest of the makeup staff goes home. Then, Brown packs up and carries around a bag of zombie flesh and touch up makeup. So, if an actor starts sweating off the look, Brown is running around behind the scenes fixing it. 

Obviously, this is not a small scale production. If you want to have your pants scared off right, then the characters have to look good! 

Brown explains the types of materials they keep on hand to make the magic happen. They use things like water-based and alcohol-based paints, silicone and latex. But, some of the looks are pretty achievable at home, too. 

DIY: At-home zombie makeup

At home, you can easily make a zombie look by using liquid latex and toilet paper. While Brown uses latex for the RISE production, non-toxic craft glue does the trick, too.

Just place a thin layer of glue or latex on the face. Then, layer shreds or rolled up pieces of toilet paper on top of the glue to create texture. You want it to look like human skin is decaying and falling off, so don’t be afraid to get creative! 

Next, top off the new (and dead) layers of skin with a foundation color. Greens, greys or pale colors work well for this. I mean, you are trying to make a zombie, so gross-looking tends to be better. 

Finally, fill in all of the textured holes with blood-like colors and blood gels. Add a little depth with highlights and lowlights here and there. And, voila! You have a zombie fresh from the grave. 

Now, that you’re all zombified, head over to RISE Haunted House. Show off your look or see the RISE Haunted House makeup staff’s work. It’s pretty spooky!

Stop by during any of the 15 nights this season. Doors always open at 7:00 pm, but close at varying times. See more about times and tickets HERE.
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