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Ghoul mistress

click to enlarge PETER FECTEAU

Have you heard the local legend of Dr. Shock? The one who experimented with how much fear the human mind could endure before reaching madness, or "mind seizure"?

Janine Novarro (pictured above) lives with the horror of mind seizure roughly six months of the year.

No, Novarro was never a patient of the mad doc, whose tale is told annually at the Mind Seizure Haunted House. But as an award-winning make-up artist and eight-year veteran of MoonShadow Productions, which operates the fall spookfest, Novarro usually begins preparations sometime around May.

Novarro assists with planning, set design, costume accrual, actor auditioning, make-up and a casket full of other tasks; she's essentially a morbidly talented jack-of-all-trades to the production.

"A lot of my job is trying to make Mind Seizure as realistic as possible," she says. "We don't rely on gore we want to suspend your disbelief, like throwing you into a live-action horror movie."

Novarro, 29, says she became fascinated with make-up as a child. At the age of 15, she began working with her high school's drama department and also began acting in a haunted house.

Construction of this year's tent began in earnest on Aug. 1.

"This year will be fabulous. It'll be the most intense ever," insists Novarro. "We're incorporating more interactive aspects, like testing the sense of smell."

Mind Seizure runs Sept. 29 through Halloween night at the Colorado Springs Flea Market, 5225 E. Platte Ave. Visit mindseizurehauntedhouse.com for more information.


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