'Chain-Saw Murderer'

By day, Carl Roberts, 50, is an attorney. By night, from September 25 to October 31, he’s a character in Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Carl Roberts

Photo By Mark Losh Photography

Roberts has been acting in Halloween Horror Nights for 11 years, driving from his St. Petersburg law practice three to four nights a week to Universal Orlando. “It’s two hours each way for me. On weeknights I get home at 2:30 a.m.; on Fridays and Saturdays I don’t get home till 5. I don’t get much sleep and I don’t really get any money.” 

So why does he do it? Because he gets to deal with a cast made up of young, happy, intelligent people with futures. “During my day job, all I see are people that are dead, dying, incarcerated or in incredible distress. I don’t deal with young people. I don’t deal with happy people. I practice wills, trusts, estate, probate, personal injury, crime, bankruptcy, pretty much everything that walks in the door. I’ve done everything from stealing chicken feed to murder two.”

Roberts says characters are taught to “boo and skidoo.” “The ‘three step rule’ is you can go no more than three steps toward a guest at any one time. You just want to get in and get your scare and get out. . . . You’re activating their fight or flight reflex, so their natural reaction is to either run [which could get them hurt], . . . or they react by swinging and coming at you, so you want to get back and be safe yourself.”

“I have had some girls take swings at me. Women in particular hit me.”

“I always go after the biggest guys. If you can get the biggest guys to squeal like a little girl, that’s always a good scare.”

“People loved to be scared.”

In past HHNs he’s played a slasher victim and a chef cooking body parts. Also, “I’ve been in a house where I’m chopping up [fake] body parts with a real wood chipper, which is incredibly loud. I’ve been an insane clown.”

These days, Roberts has less of his own body to carry around. “Up until a year ago I weighed 350 pounds. I’ve [gone] from 350 to 197 in the past year. Diet and exercise, baby.’’ He says he was an overeater since childhood, but last year a particular incident inspired him to lose weight. “I do photography for fun, and a year ago I went out with a model friend of mine, Reby Sky, to Vegas. We were at the pool, there at the Palazzo, and the paparazzi took our picture and posted it online. There I am at 350 sitting next to this Playboy model, who’s like 98 pounds, and I thought to myself: I’m a fat bastard and I can’t do this any longer.”

Roberts cranks up a 10-pound, gas-powered Stihl chain saw every time he attempts to scare someone. The saw doesn’t have a chain on it, but it’s otherwise fully operational. He pulls the starter cord about a hundred times a night. “Chain saws are persnickety little things. They smell, they lock up, they’re smoky, they vibrate so your hands get sore.”

“I usually get one person a night to pee themself.”

“I don’t scare kids myself. Don’t bring the kids, please.”

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