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Help Wanted: new Wolfman at N.H. theme park

A former “Wolfman” at Clark’s Trading Post.
A former “Wolfman” at Clark’s Trading Post.Clark’s Trading Post

Wanted: An unkempt hermit with a bushy beard who can navigate the dense forests of the Granite State while chasing after and shouting at locomotives packed with unsuspecting passengers.

A working knowledge of vintage dirt track race cars, used to pursue the trains, and a valid driver’s license are also a must.

Smelling bad? That’s optional.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, you could be the next “Wolfman” at Clark's Trading Post.

The family-friendly theme park in Lincoln, N.H., put a call out this month for a person to take over the role of the “Wolfman,” a character that has been used at Clark’s for decades to add an element of excitement to the company’s 2½-mile steam-powered train tours.

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Clark’s will hold open auditions for the role on April 9, and anyone with acting chops and the right amount of facial hair is welcome to try out, said Anne Clark Englert, one of the park’s owners.

“A good Wolfman needs to be scruffy and unkempt on the outside, but also outgoing on the inside,” Englert said.

The job is full time. The next Wolfman, Englert said, would need to work five days a week, and be willing and able to scare off visitors aboard the steam-powered trains at least six times per day. The position would run from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, she said. The last Wolfman held the position for seven seasons.

“We are looking for someone that has a bit of a theatrical background, or even if they haven’t done acting before that they can be theatrical,” Englert said. “It’s important that they can stay in character.”

The “rabble rousin’ Wolfman,” according to Clark’s, has been trying to keep visitors away from his secret mining operation since the 1970s. As the trains pass through the woods during a 25-minute tour, the bushy-faced miner emerges from the thickets, ornery and on alert.

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According to “Wolfman lore,” the eye-patch-wearing villain is afraid of water and heights, so he only goes after train riders for a short time during the tours, staying away from the bridge along the tracks.

His IQ is also off the scale — “which end is not quite clear,” according to Clark’s staff.

Leon Noel, who will be a judge at the auditions in April, was the first-ever Wolfman at Clark’s. He said the character was a last-minute idea on a slow day at the park more than 40 years ago.

The day that Wolfman was created, the bear trainer at Clark’s wasn’t doing well. Other members of the staff were busy, Noel said. So, he went up into the woods — at the time he had “wild hair and a wild beard” — and started chopping down dead trees. As the train passed by, he stepped out of the woods to say hello.

Later, Noel added a mildly threatening tone to the impromptu character.

“I was swinging an empty whiskey bottle full of water and asked people to get off of my property,” he said.

The public loved it, and started asking about the man in the woods.

“And that’s how it started,” Noel said. “The Wolfman came along and it made the trip more exciting.”

As the original Wolfman, Noel said that he will be looking for certain things during the April auditions, which Clark’s employees hope will draw a large crowd and wide selection of Wolfman hopefuls.

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“You have to have the look. You can’t be a babyface and can’t shave. Maybe you could be bald-headed, but the hair is good,” he said. “You have to have the appearance, and you have to have Wolfman persona.”

He said that while Wolfman is meant to be scary, the person who lands the role also has to be cognizant of the young visitors who frequent the train rides.

“You have to be an entertainer, and you have to love kids,” he said.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.