BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A love for Halloween has evolved into a niche market for a Bakersfield man, and he started preparing for the scary holiday early this year.
Ben Rojas has loved scaring people on Halloween ever since he was a kid. Now, decades later, a special request opened a door for him.
“When I was older, about my 20s, my oldest son wanted me to make a Halloween party for him, and that’s how I got into Halloween making,” said Rojas. “So I started fabricating all my stuff.”
From there, it was a learning process for Rojas.
“There’s industries that sell Halloween stuff, and they’re like, thousands and thousands of dollars, and I’m not going to pay no 3,000 dollars for a Halloween prop when I can make it myself,” said Rojas. “So I kind of researched what they did, and how they make it… and I started doing it myself.”
Now every year around June, Rojas starts working on his props, getting inspiration from strolls around Halloween stores. Every season, his popularity grew — he is already sold out and has a waiting list for custom work.
His latest big piece is the zombie walker.
“It’s compressed by air, so it’s pushing up and down on the rod. So you build the frame, so the actuators are on his arms, so when this air comes on, it turns up,” explained Rojas. “And you get the program in here that controls different actuators so you can control them, one goes up, one goes down, going up and down.”
This Halloween has been the busiest for Rojas with five finished custom-made pieces, with his work reaching states like Alaska and Maine. He says no holiday compares to Halloween.
“I get more fun scaring kids than giving presents away,” said Rojas, adding that he continues to scare kids to this day.
You can follow Rojas’s work through his TikTok page at @BakersBen75.