Scary Jobs

Careers That Will Spook You

Do you get easily spooked? Then one of the scary jobs listed here probably isn't for you. It may depend on what you're afraid of, though. Which one of these frightens you: the dark, death, bugs, or monsters, zombies and ghosts? If it's only one or two of these, a job dealing with any of the others might be okay for you, but if you answered all of the above, better look at other career options.


Archaeology is an example of a scary job
Michele Burgess / Photo Library / Getty Images

Digging up creepy old artifacts for a living, working in dark caves, burial sites and building ruins, à la Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, certainly sounds pretty creepy. In reality only part of what archaeologists do involves working in dark places. They also spend time in their brightly lit offices and labs studying these artifacts in order to identify them. In addition they also write and present reports, which some find even scarier than working in dark places.

What is an Archaeologist?

Crime Scene Investigator

Crime Scene Investigators
Crime scene investigators doing their job on a murder scene. dmitrimaruta / 123RF

How scary must it be to get called to the scene of a murder while the body is still warm. That's what happens to crime scene investigators, also called forensic scientists. There's no waiting until things have been cleaned up a bit when you work in this field—you must collect evidence immediately while it is still fresh. And not only do they have to collect evidence, they also have to examine, test, and analyze things like tissue samples ... as in from once live human bodies. Then, eventually, they may be called as an expert witness, coming face to face with the person being tried for the crime. In spite of all the creepiness, there must be a tremendous amount of satisfaction when your work helps put bad guys (or gals) away for a very long time.

What is a Crime Scene Investigator?


A rat nibbling on an almond.
A rat nibbling on an almond. Andrey Pavlov / 123RF

Pests. Vermin. Don't those two words send chills up your spine? Imagine having to deal with rats, mice, cockroaches, bedbugs and termites day after day after day? Exterminators, officially called pest control workers, do just that. On the bright side of things, they have very grateful customers who are probably much more afraid of pests and vermin than they are.

What is an Exterminator?


Caskets sit in a row at a funeral parlor.
A line of caskets at a funeral parlor. kzenon / 123RF

What could be more spooky than a job that is all about death? Undertakers, also referred to as morticians or funeral directors, do everything from transporting the body of the deceased to preparing it for burial or cremation. But, as they say, death is only one of two things that are certain in life (the other being taxes) and because of this there will always be a need for people to work in this occupation. It can be extremely gratifying to help grieving families get through one of the most difficult times of their lives.

What is an Undertaker?

Horror Writer

A horror writer works on her book.
A horror writer driven to madness by her work. Andreas Gradin / 123RF

Conjuring up creepy, spooky or icky things in order to write about them seems like a very scary way to spend one's day. Writers of horror books, stories and screenplays must imagine terrible things and then express those ideas to readers. One would imagine fitful nights and time spent peeking around corners looking for the ghosts, zombies, vampires and monsters about which they write. Not necessarily. When asked horror writer Joe Hill what scares him the most, his answer was "autocorrect." Maybe such a mundane fear is what keeps him and other authors from being too afraid to write about the things of which the rest of our nightmares are made.

What Does a Professional Writer Do?

Horror Movie Actor

A masked woman seems to be rising from a grave.
A woman in a mask seems to be rising from a grave. Andrey Kiselev / 123RF

There are many actors who became well-known after starring in horror movies. For example, who can forget Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho or her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween? Those of a "certain" age cannot think of Linda Blair without the movie The Exorcist coming to mind. It makes one wonder how these actors aren't left with anxiety disorders due to the parts they played in those movies. How did Janet Leigh ever feel comfortable in the shower after filming Psycho and has Linda Blair had a strong aversion to pea soup since the 1970s? Fortunately most actors leave the character they are portraying behind once filming is over.

More About Being an Actor