He scares because he cares

Branden Combs

Branden Combs waits to scare guests at his family’s haunted maze in Jonesboro.

GREYDON WILLIAMS – Hoof Prints Staff

For many years Branden Combs and his family have put on masks, fake blood, and attire from everyone’s favorite horror films and led people through a maze of shouts screams, and a few vile clowns.

“There’s a lot of incidents with clowns,“ Combs said. “I don’t know why but a lot of people just don’t like clowns,”

Every year the family has put on this house of horrors, they have donated the proceeds to someone in the community facing serious illness. This year they are donating to Noah Cook who has been battling leukemia.

Combs has been working as a scarer since he was four and he has been everything from a disembodied head to Freddy Krueger.

“One time, I was playing Jason and I jumped down from a hole in the wall and this lady just fell to her knees and started praying,” he said.

When the scarers take a break, they take off their costumes and will sometimes see people who are exiting the maze. Combs said many times people have commented that the scariest parts were when he was jumping out at them.

Combs said one year he had to momentarily stop being a scarer and be the group leader when his friends from school came. They told him he was the only person they trusted to guide them through it. Also, students from BIC have participated in the scaring since Combs needed a few extra hands.

Scaring everyone who walks by is not the only thing Combs does during his time in the maze. He also has to manage the time to do homework while working.

“There has been many times while I’m waiting to scare someone, and I’ve got a math book in my other hand doing homework,” he said.

The maze itself must be built and taken down within two months. It opens the week before Halloween and has its final night on Halloween. The construction begins October 1 and deconstruction starts the day after Halloween. It is located on Kathleen Street in Jonesboro and is $5 to get in.

“We know what people are afraid of and we have everything there,” Combs said.