Behind the scenes with a Field of Screams makeup artist


MOUNTVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) — The creepy creatures, ghouls, and other nightmares at Field of Screams in Lancaster County start the evenings looking like any other person. Makeup artists like Kylie Helzer, the head FX lead at Field of Screams, turn ordinary actors into the spooky beings that terrify visitors during the Halloween season.

Helzer has been doing makeup at Field of Screams for about five years, although she has been working at the haunted attraction for closer to ten years.

“I remember coming here as an actor and just being so, I guess, infatuated with how you could make someone so normal look so scary and just gory,” Helzer said.

After receiving some training from another member of the Field of Screams team, Helzer began creating her own looks. She says a love of all things spooky might just be in her blood.

“I’m born in October, and I feel like that plays a part in it,” Helzer said. “I was kind of introduced to it at a really young age by my dad, and he’s a huge horror fan, so I feel like that definitely pushed me towards where I am today.”

Airbrush is Helzer’s favorite medium to use when doing Field of Screams makeup. It can be used to create contours, make things look 3-D, or mimic exposed bone.

Helzer uses an airbrush to create the appearance of an exposed jaw bone and skull on an actor.

Helzer does the makeup for about 10-20 actors per night, she said. Working with about a dozen other people, it takes a few hours to complete everybody’s looks. Usually, the actors arrive to start getting ready about two to two and a half hours before Field of Screams opens.

Watch a time-lapse of Helzer creating the pictured makeup look in the video player at the top of the article.

In addition to doing makeup for other actors, Helzer continues to act herself. After everyone else is prepared for the evening, Helzer gets her own makeup done, puts on a costume, and heads out to scare the guests.

“Typically the Den of Darkness is where I like to scurry around,” Helzer said.

Helzer encourages anyone else who is interested in doing this kind of makeup to give it a try.

Makeup by Kylie Helzer

“I look at the stuff that I did years ago, and I’m like, ‘That’s garbage,’ but now I’ve come to where I am today, and you can just see the progression and how much better that I’m doing personally, and then I look at my other artists that have been with me for a few years, and I look at their progression,” Helzer said.

“Don’t put yourself down and don’t ever say that ‘I can’t do something’ because you can as long as you actually put your mind to it,” Helzer added.

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Field of Screams is open on Oct. 29-31 as well as Nov. 5-6 and 12-13 for Halloween scares. Nov. 12 is the Extreme Blackout event (dubbed “the most terrifying experience that Field of Screams has to offer” by the attraction), and Nov. 13 is the 5K Zombie Fun Run. More information about Field of Screams can be found online here.

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