What began as a hobby, has now become more than a job, but also a passion and a way of life. Owner and operator of Haunted Radio, Kevin Kovak, has been entertaining and educating horror fans with his podcasts since 2006 and has been an active member of the haunted attraction community since he was just fifteen years old.
Despite managing every aspect of Haunted Radio, he also runs his own special fx makeup company (Horrific FX) and teaches special fx makeup at the same school he learned his skills at. As if all this wasn’t enough, he and a business partner are in the process of setting up their very own haunted attraction! As the busiest time of the year approaches, it’s safe to say, this haunter has his work cut out for him. If juggling various business opportunities while managing your own production, and simultaneously making time for family and friends sounds at all familiar to you, then this conversation with Kevin will remind you of how this balancing act is not only possible, but completely worth the short term stress.
What is your favorite part about working on Haunted Radio?My favorite part is receiving the emails from fans. Every email is loved. It really puts a smile on my face hearing the kind words from fans who are entertained during April, May, June and so forth. The fact that I entertain them in some sort of haunted manor while waiting for the haunt season to begin…that is such a reward.
What do you feel makes Haunted Radio stand out from other haunt resources?Haunted Radio tries real hard to entertain on all levels of horror. While some podcasts focus on haunted attractions, and some on horror movies, Haunted Radio brings you EVERYTHING horror!
What is the most challenging aspect of the job?The toughest part is just balancing everything. I try to get a weekly show out while juggling my other business opportunities, and still spending time with my family. I am a single father of two great kids who live with me full time, so I want to make time for them likewise.
While Kevin says that there are many challenges that come along with his job, he states that he is able to overcome such challenges through hard work and an unrivaled love for horror and haunted attractions! His enthusiasm toward the haunt industry is inspiring has been with him since he was a young child…
What was your introduction to the haunt industry?At the age of seven, I went through my first haunted attraction and loved it. After that, my family and I went to pick out our pumpkins for Halloween. I sat in the car amazed by what I just experienced. Fast forward to age fifteen, when I started working at a haunted attraction and loved it. I quickly fell in love with the makeup aspect and I decided to take some courses in college and the school I now teach at. There, I learned under a talented teacher who has done the makeup for the Academy Awards. Since completing my special fx makeup program, I have become one of only a few state certified special fx makeup artists in the state of Michigan, and I am the makeup department head at a local haunted attraction that I have been working at for years now.
How did you build your strong reputation?The simple answer is: lots of hard work. However, I have seen podcasts come and go but I have remained. I believe in making the customers happy. If I am going to miss a week, I try my hardest to inform them. I also do my best to make the podcast feel like it is in a personal setting, as opposed to a corporate podcast. My goal is for it to just be like two horror fans sitting down and talking about everything horror!
Are you producing anything new and exciting that listeners should know about?We are quickly approaching the haunt season, so from the last two weeks of September all the way through to Halloween we have special sections of the Haunted Radio website up that are only up for the haunt season. We also have special shows devoted to the haunt season. I think doing simple, yet special things like this causes our download numbers to skyrocket. A couple of years ago our download numbers were so high we crashed the server, but have since gotten that issue taken care of. In addition, we have our annual “Cruel Yule” celebration that starts around Thanksgiving and runs through the holidays. Cruel Yuel is whole month of horror themed holiday shows, a huge fan favorite!
Kevin’s drive and passion is enough to motivate any long, lost horror fan to grab his or her dusty Jason mask or zombie attire and become a part of this crazy cool community. Or, simply put on some headphone and tune in every Wednesday for Haunted Radio’s weekly show!