Brent is a different kind of superhero. By day a humble firefighter-paramedic, by night he transforms into the chainsaw-wielding, eerily skeletal figure known only as “Chainsaw” to the regulars at the Cutting Edge Haunted House.
It’s a calling. Some people collect stamps, others build model airplanes. Brent’s passion is the Cutting Edge, where he volunteers to scare the daylights out of people as part of the “front line entertainment,” which he has been doing since 1994.
If the truth be told, he just gets a kick out of startling people, even going so far as to climb into their cars with them as they park. Just his presence near the line of porta-potties will keep the patrons at a distance, squeezing their knees together and waiting for him to leave the area.
“I’ve seen people wait for an hour, and wait for me to leave,” he says. “And as soon as I walk away, a hundred people will rush over to the toilets.”
Brent also puts his paramedic skills to good use on the “Band Aid Brigade,” providing first aid services wherever needed should someone manage to scrape a knee or twist an ankle, but his favorite part about the job is just seeing people’s reactions as he quietly appears beside them.
“What amazes me is, I’m out there with the parking lot lights on and everything, and people still manage to not see me. They actually know I’m there, and they forget I’m there and get scared anyway.” It’s the creep factor, a Cutting Edge trademark.
“That’s the whole thing about our stick, especially outside, creeping is something that we can do.” It’s all part of a superhero’s mission to “give them a good time, and that’s what it’s all about.”
During the off season Brent helps with the sets, and has been very busy with all of the new construction this year. Asked about the major changes taking place he says, “Oh wow…to me it’s mind boggling, what we’re doing and the renovations that we’re setting up and getting ready for our guests. I think our guests and our patrons will be really pleased with what we do.”
And his favorite new area? “The area I’m working on is our Dragon’s Lair – I’m really pleased with the way it’s turning out.” The big new attraction there is Drago, Cutting Edge’s newest pet dino-dragon. “That’s one of our new pet projects, literally.”
As for Brent’s family, they fully support his extracurricular activities, and patronize the Cutting Edge on a regular basis. “They think it’s great. They like being there all the time.” His friends, however are another story. Although his volunteer work entitles him to free passes, he rarely takes advantage of them. “Half my friends are afraid to go in.” It’s lonely being a superhero.