Spotlight on Ohlone:
Hooks, the scary clown

By Anika Dokes, Staff writer.

Thursday, October 29, 2009—Reprinted from Monitor.

Nick Hooks without his costume.Nick in his costume holding a rubber chicken. The two faces of Nick Hooks - The affable student at the top and the scary fellow holding the rubber chicken at the bottom are the same person: Nick Hooks, who earns some extra Halloween money by posing as a spooky clown and scaring the wits out of Great America visitors.

“It’s a lot of fun because you get paid to scare people, the co-workers are fantastic and there will be moments in the middle of the night where it dawns on me that I actually get paid to do this,” explained Nick Hooks, an Ohlone student who gets paid to dress up and jump out at his “victims,” at Great America’s Halloween Haunt.

Hooks wears frightening, terrifying and chilling costumes in order to see and hear the screams of the people who are passing throughout the mazes.

Apparently, when customers get frightened enough, Hooks and the other “spooks” sometimes get punched in the face.

He is part of the scare zone, which is in the Carnival setting that figures clowns in 3D.

Hooks elaborated on his job experience in The Haunt by explaining that this event is “almost like a sport because you’re trying to scare people the best way you can and see how far you can go.”

Hooks is not only good at scaring but he has an creative side. He has designed the angry hungry hippo that’s eating a guy in the Toy Factory, which is full of demonic toys.

Hooks is often seen around the Ohlone campus working as a technician for the stage shows,put on by the theater department. But his new job is promoting the spirit of Halloween at California’s Great America.

Ghouls, goblins, zombies, vampires, gory brides and cackling clowns are among the creepy creatures you will encounter throughout the month of October at California Great America’s Halloween Haunt in Santa Clara.

Great America is hosting their second Halloween function and has been working hard on transforming the entire park into a scary land full of scary ghoul-like elements.

The staff has designed and conjured fictive ideas about ghosts and then bring them to life. Scarecrows present themselves in many corners of the park and Great America aims to bring all of the ugliest creatures from the dead.

The annual event started in the beginning of October and is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Halloween Haunt offers two events during the weekend where kids, families and teenagers alike can come out and enjoy the six spine-tingling haunted mazes and rides.

Nick or Treat is a safe and fun trick-or-treating daytime event that offers free parking admission from noon to 4 p.m. This even stirs up a cauldron of fun in which the entire family can celebrate in the spirit of Halloween. There are plenty of activities for children.

Kids of all ages will be entertained, and are able to actively participate in trick-or-treating and know what it’s like to experience Halloween, all while wearing their favorite costumes.

The event showcases Nickelodeon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, whom are located at the five designated trick-or-treat stations in the Nickelodeon Central. However, Great America is the only theme park where children can play around while being side-by-side to their Nickelodeon friends enjoying Halloween traditions.

In the evening, teenagers and young adults can experience the fear that lies ahead of them if they decide to embark on a journey through the Halloween Haunt mazes.

The Halloween Haunt features six such mazes. The Cornstalk, Toy Story, BloodClub, Werewolves, Cave, Carnival and Slaughterhouse mazes. Four themes compile “The Scared Zones,” four-head turning live stage shows plus the park’s collection of world-class thriller rides.

This Halloween if you are not afraid to be scared out of your boots, go to the gauntlet scare zone where you’ll surely see Hooks as a clown sliding out to make you scream.

This Halloween take the time to come out to Great America and join in the Halloween spirit. However, be prepared to be scared, by Ohlone’s very own spookster.

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