HAMPTON — For Zak Hilton and Nick Pearl, local haunts are their thing.
The pair co-hosts Haunters Podcast, a show dedicated to reviews of local haunts anywhere from Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens to Frightmare in Chesapeake.
Hilton is former professional wrestler from Chesapeake who now works as a pilot car driver, and Pearl aka “Mr. Wonderful,” is a Long Island native from Holbrook and radio host on Q101 in Harrisonburg.
“I didn’t think it would last this long,” Pearl said, adding the podcast celebrated its one-year anniversary recently.
For the past 10 years, Hilton and Pearl have gone to Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios in Orlando.
They were passionate about the annual event or as Hilton refers to their version of a “Super Bowl.”
Since 2018, the pair spent an entire week talking about the show and started reviewing the event, providing commentary of other things like Howl-O-Scream and classic Halloween movies.
“We’re trying to do like ghost tours,” Pearl said.
One of their more recent haunts was Frightmare in Chesapeake.
“They just had people everywhere,” Hilton said about the Chesapeake haunt. “I couldn’t catch a breather.”
The friends meet up once a week on Tuesdays to “Skype out” an episode which is filled with reviews as well as audio footage of their scary escapades.
“Sometimes we scream so much we don’t have our voices,” Hilton said, adding they can hear their voices die as they go through the night.
One thing they found was a lot of the Halloween events they would attend donate the proceeds to charity.
On Friday the 13th of this year, they recorded their podcast at Virginia Beer Company with proceeds benefiting Scares that Care.
“If I can help other people by doing this –– that’s wild,” Hilton said. “Another rewarding thing is watching my co-host scream like a girl.”
“We’re not tough guys going through this house.”