ABINGTON — “You have to know who to target,” Rob Marin says. He’s standing in front of a mirror in a wood-paneled, double-wide trailer behind Barrett’s Haunted Mansion, affixing blobs of latex onto his face. The fluorescent lighting glints off the sepia of his contact lenses as he carefully presses what looks like regurgitated deli meat onto the ridge of his brow.
It’s a Sunday in late September near the start of the season. In the seven weeks that Barrett’s is open, more than 20,000 people will pass through — a fraction of the New Englanders who will visit more than 30 haunted houses all over the region. According to the Haunted House Association, New England has the highest density of haunted houses in the country. While some like Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery in Salem are open year-round, most, like Barrett’s, are seasonal.