Durham College teacher creates bone-chilling looks for Halloween Haunt

If you’ve been to Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland, you’ve likely seen Rachael Authors’s work.

This marks the 12th year that the Durham College teacher has been a special-effects makeup artist for the annual event, transforming people into blood-spattered, gaunt-looking creatures.

“Think zombies, scary witches, ghouls,” says Authors, who teaches as part of Durham College’s cosmetic techniques and management program. “That’s what we’re creating.”

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The Newmarket, Ont., resident is part of a team of more than 25 artists, she says, who make up hundreds of actors as part of the Vaughan, Ont., event.

Authors says she and her team make up, on average, 20 to 30 characters per night.

She uses a variety of tools like brushes and sponges, as well as everyday items like cotton, to create her looks, many of which include 3D “gashes” on people’s skin. She finishes these off with fake blood.

“I have some signature monster teeth that I like to use,” she says, referring to the skeletal white teeth she paints over actors’ mouths. “I’ll use those in quite a few of my looks.”

Authors says her interest in makeup began from a young age. “I had bad skin and I experienced having… different scarring as a result of acne, and for me, that’s where I really got into the industry. I started working with different beauty products.”

In her work as a professional makeup artist, she says Halloween Haunt is a great opportunity for the public to see what she does.

“Maybe it can inspire them, too, to do some looks this Halloween,” Authors said.

Halloween Haunt wraps up on Wednesday.

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