"Getting punched is basically a job hazard in this field," says Lillian Sharrow, speaking from experience. One fellow performer was almost crippled this way. "The customer freaked out and physically threw him across the room, where [my co-worker] hit one of the statues and kind of crumpled to the ground." Yeah, that's the thing -- unchecked terror rage kind of gives you super strength.
"I don't know about this, Betty ..."
"It'll be fun, Bruce. What's the worst that could happen?"
The other performer we spoke to, Alexander Kraft, had it a bit easier. At his job, the customers were placed in handcuffs for an enhanced fright experience before they ventured into his scare area (scarea), because being led through a dark maze with your arms in restraints is tons of fun for any Halloween fan looking to re-create the experience of being in a haunted military prison. Still, he took the occasional elbow to the chest from male customers, because his character was tasked with obsessively touching the guests, and nothing triggers an aggressively heterosexual guy's fight-or-flight response (and a spew of homophobic slurs) faster than vaguely implied homosexuality.
Sitting in the dark while being called a f****t all day? It's just like being a professional gamer!