Ready to scream

October 31, 2002

Jose Paul Corona

When Halloween revelers walk into "Top Hat's Terror Factory," one

of the seven mazes at the Queen Mary's Shipwreck, they have no idea

that Stephanie Waters is waiting for them.

Waters lurks in the shadows, dressed in a black cloak, patiently

waiting for her next victim to stroll by.

When that unlucky person passes, Waters does her best to scare him


or her.

The 19-year-old Huntington Beach resident and Edison High School

graduate thoroughly enjoys her job as a monster at the ship's annual

Halloween celebration.

"It's a lot of fun," Waters said with a devilish grin on her face.

The makeup that is applied to her face makes her expression all

the more fiendish.

Dark blue, purple and white streaks cover her entire face. Her

hair isn't visible under the black cloak she wears.

"I've had people drop to the ground," she said wickedly.

While making people fall to their knees in terror would seem a

great enough accomplishment, Waters is more proud of the time she

made a guy who was more than 6-feet tall freak out.

"[The] big guy hit the wall," she said. "It was hysterical. His

friends thought it was funny, too."

Waters is just one of almost 500 monsters that prowl the ship's

seven mazes. Altogether, the mazes measure almost a mile in length.

This is the second year that Waters has worked at the ship. Her

friend saw an ad in Backstage West magazine, a trade publication for

actors, and encouraged her to apply for the job.

"I didn't know what to expect," she said.

The Orange Coast College student went to an audition, screamed a

few times and got the job. Event organizers must have liked her work,

because they sent her a letter asking her to come back this year.

While scaring people is fun, the job does have its hazardous


"I got shoved into a wall, I've been nailed in the arm," Waters

said. "It comes with the territory."

Andy Delangis, 19, has also experienced the dangerous part of the


"Once in a while I get smacked," he said.

It's the "instant" reaction when you jump out of the shadows and

scare someone, he said.

"It's kind of hazardous, but it's kind of fun," the Huntington

Beach resident said.

Being hit isn't the worst he's experienced.

"I got choked by a lady," Delangis said. "It was pretty weird."

While they've both nearly incurred bodily injury on the job,

they've also been recipients of amorous advances.

"I've gotten kissed, I've gotten groped, people try dancing with

me sometimes," Delangis said. "There are some weird things that are


While Delangis finds the unwanted advances amusing, Waters doesn't

know what to make of them.

"Some guy hit on me," Waters said with a confused look on her


* JOSE PAUL CORONA covers City Hall and education. He can be

reached at (714) 965-7173 or by e-mail at

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