Monster makeover at the House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Halloween is only a week away and the House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs crew wants to give you a scare you won’t forget.

MORE | Click here to learn more about the haunted attractions.

Monday morning, their professional makeup artists gave News 4’s Katie Alexander a full monster makeover to remember.

“It’s one of my favorite things to do because it’s so unique,” said Mikayla Pusatier, who works as a makeup artist and game master at the House of Horrors and Locked-Up Escape Games. “I think a lot of people don’t really understand it, which is why it’s fun, they’re kind of like, ‘You do make up, special effects makeup, what does that mean?'”

Pusatier and her fellow artist, Bryce Bielanin, were happy to show News 4 their special effects makeup skills Monday morning on News 4 Wake Up.

Watch the videos below to see our full coverage.

APP USERS | Click here to enable videos.

From the first steps, using glue on Katie’s eyebrows and applying the first custom latex prosthetic to the final product, complete with airbrushed paint, fake blood, and blacked out teeth, the whole process took about an hour and a half to finish Monday.

For the actors who work in the haunted attractions at the House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs, the whole process is completed in a matter of minutes.

“We normally have I would say 30 to 45 minutes to get them into costume and makeup fully,” Pusatier explained, “so we have an assembly line of people, and each person that is doing one certain thing will go along the line and will trade off in spots and get them all done.”

The people who create the characters through costumes and makeup to maximize the scare effects in the haunted attractions say it’s really rewarding work. “Just the end result. Beginning, after. I just love that side by side comparison,” Bielanin said, when asked about his favorite part.

News 4’s Katie Alexander says she was almost unrecognizable when her transformation was finished. Check out the full process in the videos below.

The reaction of the actors to their monster makeovers is only a small part of the joy, though. The best reactions come in the haunted attractions, when members of the public see the final product.

“Every time we hear those screams, we all get happy and we feel that payoff,” said Dusty Riso, General Manager of the Locked In Escape Games and one of the builders for the House of Horrors sets.

The top-notch makeup combines with the Hollywood-style sets to create the eleven attractions that make the House of Horrors experience so exciting.

Between the escape rooms that are open year round and the room by room thrills in each of the haunted houses, the attention to detail is obvious wherever you look.

Every year, the staff says, the thrills get better and better.

“Designs for next year have already begun,” Riso told News 4.

If you’d like to learn more about the House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs or buy tickets online, go to


Watch these time-lapse videos to see Katie’s transformation: provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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