Evolution of the Were-Nanner

Evolution of the Were-Nanner

A quiet, unassuming young woman, Rosz looks just like someone you might see working at Starbucks. As a matter of fact, she does, along with various other side jobs and an on-again, off-again career as a professional artist. Few would guess she is really the mastermind behind the grotesque faces of evil lurking about the Thrillvania Haunted House Park every fall, when closet werewolves, vampires and ghouls come out of the woodwork to scare the wits out of the citizens of Terrell, Texas and beyond.

Drawn inexplicably to the world renowned Texas haunt, Rosz applied for and was awarded a position nearly a dozen years ago, joining the ranks of the late Lance Pope’s “wolfpack,” seemingly normal people who thrill in exploring the darker side of their personalities between mid-September through the end of October. After half a dozen years of skulking in the shadows and terrifying hapless innocents, Rosz’ artistic talents prevailed, and she took over Thrillvania’s makeup department.

Starting around 4:30 in the afternoon on show nights, Rosz helps some two dozen cast members morph from their daytime personas into creatures of the night, bringing out their secret ghouls and inner demons. While there are upwards of 100 total cast members working the haunt, others wear masks or work behind the scenes and do not have need of Rosz’s remarkable talents. Once the gates open, Rosz quickly heads to Haunted Verdun Manor, where she helps out in the role of assistant manager for the rest of the evening.

Once in a while, Rosz still likes to play with the guests. During her days as a cast member, she frequently appeared in a combination werewolf-banana costume.

“It started out as a gag,” she explains. “We had this funky banana costume we got from somewhere, and sometimes I would wear it out on the midway for fun, because people weren’t expecting it. Then one day I combined it with a werewolf costume, and people really got a kick out of it.” And the Were-Nanner was born.

The costume was so bizarre, so twisted and surreal that it quickly became a crowd favorite, and the Were-Nanner was soon a regular fixture on the midway. Sometimes the Were-Nanner even makes a guest appearance, by invitation, at other haunts in the area.

So when you visit Thrillvania this year, keep a sharp eye out for the rare and elusive Were-Nanner; you just never know when or where she might turn up!

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