Demonic Derek Interview

Demonic Derek: Inside a Psycho Path’s Mind
By Noah Wullkotte/

City Blood interviews Derek France of Dungeons of Delhi. His character Demonic Derek can be seen roaming the halls of this beloved Cincinnati, Ohio classic. This detailed interview covers everything from his first year at Dungeons of Delhi to what he thinks of the haunt industry. So, sit back and enjoy this demonic interview.

What’s your favorite part about working at Dungeons of Delhi?
My favorite part about working at Dungeons of Delhi is the thrill of scaring people and meeting all the fellow workers in the haunt industry and freedom to just about design and do stuff the way you want.

What is the name of the character you play and what are some things he’s known for?
The name of the character I play at dungeons of Delhi is Demonic Derek. He is known for crawling across the floor and is usually always found adding new bodies to the body bag room. He was the first actor to crawl across the ceiling and the vortex tunnel, but for 2011 he will stand for the first time. He also came up with the theme for 2010 which was Year of the Crazy. He truly is one of the craziest actors inside Dungeons of Delhi. Actors at dungeons say they are scared of me and some people would not even go into my room when we were operating. 2011 is going to be one of my best years yet as I’m returning to the body bag room and back to the bottom floor!

How has Dungeons of Delhi evolved since you first started working there?
The Dungeons has evolved a lot since I first started in 2003. I have seen the ups in 2005 and 2006 when Damien Reaper, Fatso and Joker were all there and the downs in ’08. Everyone left for Dent, but I also took a break in 2008, but came back in 2009 when the expansion upstairs took place and just to see how much it has changed with the actors and the props. It makes for an awesome place all around. It’s way better since I first started and everything worked out for the better. I’ts awesome to see and be apart of all the progress that has been made.

Who are some of the other ghouls people can expect to see at Dungeons of Delhi?
This year we are calling it the Year Of Fear along with myself you can expect to see the fearsome four which includes me, Wicked Will, Loony June and Zany Jane. Also returning will be Madd Matt, Madd Mark, New Blood, Rancid Ruepert, The Dark Lord, Gore, Igor and the return of Bobo the Clown and possibly some other surprises that are still being worked on.

Tell us about how you got the job at Dungeons of Delhi and what it was like the first year.
I got my job at Dungeons of Delhi through one of my friends and fellow actor Cameron (AKA Bobo the Clown). He basically called me and told me to come down and try out, so I did. The first time I worked, I was Dracula’s assistant and I had a blast and loved it. I kept going back ever since.

Besides your own, what is your favorite scene at Dungeons of Delhi?
I would have to say my favorite scene at Dungeons of Delhi would have to be the Saw room upstairs. It’s just so detailed and well designed. I really feel like I’m in the movie Saw when I walk through there, but all the rooms are great in their own way.

What do you think makes a great haunt?
I think the actors and the customers make the haunt as great as it can be because without the actors and the customers the haunted houses would not be what they are today. The actors coming up with different ideas to change it up and to make better ways to scare customers so they’re coming back year after year to see what has changed among other things such as a good atmosphere inside the haunt really helps too.

What inspires you to improve your character year after year?
I think what inspires me to improve year after year would have to be reading reviews and competing with all the other great haunts in Cincinnati. It just makes you want to take it a step further to see if you are the best and if not that’s what you improve on.

If there was one thing you could change about Dungeons of Delhi, what would that be?
If I could change one thing about the Dungeons of Delhi, I would change it from a charity haunt to a pro haunt. I love the fact that it is charity and we help out the Delhi Police Explorers, but I think it would be cool to see another top haunt really compete with Dent and USS Nightmare. It would also benefit all sides, but I love working at dungeons and don’t see that changing anytime soon.

What are your hobbies outside of working at Dungeons of Delhi?
My hobbies outside of working at Dungeons of Delhi is going to school at Cincinnati State. That’s basically all I do and if I’m not doing that I’m usually just lounging at home.

What is involved in getting Dungeons of Delhi ready for the haunt season?
There is a lot involved with getting Dungeons of Delhi ready for the haunt season. Usually we meet and discuss what we are going to do plan out. All the ideas need to get approved by who is in charge that year and then we go to work basically tearing out what is suppose to be gone and building the new. It’s a lot of work to get Dungeons of Delhi ready, but always worth it in the end.

Are there any funny or interesting experiences you’ve had at Dungeons of Delhi you would like to share?
There have been so many, both scary and funny. I’ll start with the funny. When I came back in 2009 I was working the Butcher room that led to the padded hallway. I was following this older woman down the hallway and I proceeded to smack the side of the walls and yelled something. She suddenly fell onto the floor and just kept repeating, “I just peed myself”. I think that’s one of the only times I broke character and started laughing. The group of people helped her up and continued along there way, but that was one of the funniest moments.

One of the scary moments was one night this past year. Me and a couple other actors decided to walk through with every single light off in the haunt. It was pitch black, so we ended up in the insane asylum room and out of nowhere a strobe light kicked on and we all ran out of the haunted house. We turned the house lights back on and went back to that room to find out that the light was not even plugged in. So, I think it’s safe to say that Dungeons of Delhi is really haunted and that is one of many experiences.

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