Ever since Josh Randall was kid, he’s been fascinated with scaring people.

“When I was 9 years old, my dad took me to my first haunted house,” he said. “It was a Jaycees haunted house at the Twin Peaks Mall, when they still had that. I was terrified, I went in — and then I just fell in love.

“I was like, this is my thing.”

Decades later, it’s still his thing, and this passion for the darker side he’s cultivated for years has grown into what he calls a “semi-full-time” job.

Randall, along with his wife, Jen Randall, and his brother, Merle Infanger, operate Kimbark Cemetery Productions, making custom-made animatronics, masks and refurbishing props for haunted houses and Halloween enthusiasts looking to scare the daylights out of patrons and neighbors alike.

Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

Josh Randall talks about his craft and how his business evolved on Friday in Longmont.

“My wife and I have been building this kind of stuff for almost 20 years now,” he said. “But as far as being an official company that’s trying to get itself in with the bigger nationwide haunts, this last year has been a real push for trying to do that.”

Randall added that what was for a long time an outlet for him to do one-off jobs for acquaintances and friends of friends is now taking off.

“We’re going from being the home haunter that haunted house people knew about and paid to make stuff for them — going from that to being an official studio with a website and real representation of what we are,” he said.

Josh Randall’s first taste of crafting a spooky experience came at age 12, when he convinced his then-teacher to let him and his classmates put together a haunted house for their school’s Halloween carnival. Since then, he said his experience and crafting skills have grown through participating in charity events, engaging in the haunting community and running his own annual “haunt” at his home.

“Budgets are tight, and it becomes really necessary to just learn how to do this stuff, because you can buy only so many things,” he said.

His wife, too, had similar tastes when she was younger, and said she and her husband, after meeting in high school, bonded over their mutual love of scaring people.

In terms of honing his craft over the years, Josh Randall said help from the “haunting” community was essential. Folks like Ed Edmund of Distortions Unlimited, a Greeley company that creates props and masks, and Allen Hopps of Stiltbeast Studios, a similar Texas-based company, have guided him through a lot, he said.

What ended up growing into Kimbark Cemetery Productions was the household’s annual haunt, with the crew refining their craft year after year and putting on a show, bringing out folks from around the neighborhood.

“The streets were packed,” Josh Randall said.

Nextdoor neighbor Becky Lechuga said kids loved the experience.

“They were trying to be as elaborate as they could,” Lechuga said. “They had all kinds of mechanical things and fog machines and screens with holographic images on them. And they had actors, you know, friends of theirs, that would participate and dress up.

“They just love Halloween.”

Props from the event still fill their house, too. In the garage, which doubles as a workshop for the fledgling production company, scary objects and creepy machines are piled up. Among them is an electric chair, which Josh Randall said features a man strapped into it that convulses, shooting fog from his head while lights flash and the “speech of the condemned” plays.

This year they won’t have time to put on their annual haunt, though — they’ve been working with a bona fide haunted house, The Empty Grave in Thornton, providing masks, makeup and coordinating “scare actors.”

Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

A number of masks are all around Josh Randall’s house in Longmont.

The attraction, which has been in Colorado for two years after moving from California, is a different kind of experience, too, putting attendees on their first graveyard shift at an abandoned, haunted factory.

“It allows us to get a little more creative,” said Mike Talarico, who runs The Empty Grave. “You know, tease you and follow you around and kind of give you a hard time since you’re the newbie on the shift.”

Talarico said working with the Randall crew has been great, and that after they began training work with their actors, the haunted house began seeing “a really big uptick” in positive reviews.

Jen Randall said she couldn’t be happier with the direction Kimbark Cemetery Productions is taking now that they have the gig.

“I love it,” she said. “If this is what I could do full time and make my living doing this — I would love to continue doing this, you know, as a full-time career.”

Josh Randall agrees, and said he’s always hoped he would make a living making creepy creations, though he’s not shooting to be the top dog in the industry. He said that instead of looking for big margins, he’s trying to make a top-notch product for people that are passionate about Halloween.

“My biggest goal with this company is making a quality product that is attainable to those home-haunters — since that’s my background, where I came from,” he said.



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