There’s a fourth wall in the Haunted Basement, but it’s not the invisible one you look through to see the actors in a conventional stage production: It’s one of the imposing barriers trapping you in a series of dark spaces with monsters beyond description. To make the Basement the scariest, most fascinating haunted house in Minnesota, dozens of performers spend untold hours planning, practicing, and pouncing—again, and again, and again. Whether you’re the first guest on the earliest autumn night or the last victim to run screaming from the newly instituted holiday haunt, the Basement performers make you feel like you’re the only one they’ve ever wanted to horrify. It takes particular talent, dedicated direction, and supreme patience: When people get scared, sometimes they act like real assholes. The ghouls soldier through, keeping the space scary but safe, while making sure it feels like death is waiting just around the corner. It’s a testament to their success that legions of fans come back every year for the privileges of the performers’ insidious attention.