Senior Sam Milstone eats glass

Sam Milstone flagpoles on a tree. Milstone has learned many unusual skills such as flagpoling, eating glass and breathing fire. CRAWFORD / PHOTO

Kyle Crawford

Sam Milstone flagpoles on a tree. Milstone has learned many unusual skills such as flagpoling, eating glass and breathing fire. CRAWFORD / PHOTO

15min

Sam Milstone flagpoles on a tree. Milstone has learned many unusual skills such as flagpoling, eating glass and breathing fire. CRAWFORD / PHOTO
Sam Milstone flagpoles on a tree. Milstone has learned many unusual skills such as flagpoling, eating glass and breathing fire. KYLE CRAWFORD // PHOTO

How did you get your mohawk?

Well, of course, it grew out of my head —that’s the pretty easy answer — but I was in seventh grade, and I kind of decided that I was kind of boring. I was kind of a very bland individual, so I wanted to change. I wanted to become someone different, so I guess I grew this mohawk out because it forced myself to be eccentric and be different.

How do you get into a car with your mohawk?

I don’t really pay attention to it anymore because I do it every day now, but I put (the chair) all the way back, sit down and lean as far back as I can without being unsafe and buckle in. It’s not the most comfortable position, but you have to make sacrifices.

Why did you start eating glass?

I watched an episode of “My Strange Addiction” where he’s addicted to eating glass, and I’m like, ‘Wow, that is so weird,’ because he looked like such a normal person. He looked like a guy who had mutton chops and a mohawk and I was like, ‘That’s really odd that someone just so normal can do it.’ Then I kind of looked into it. I realized, I have this opportunity, I need this side show act for my haunted house to be this clown, so I decided maybe eating glass would be cool and I just did it.

What is eating glass like?

Eating glass, in a one-word description, would just be weird. It’s very odd, like not natural at all. What usually happens is you take a piece of glass, usually curved, at least a light bulb. What you do is you put it inside (your mouth) and you crunch it and you just start crunching, and it turns into sand almost. Then you just swallow it, and you’re fine. You’ll be picking it out of your teeth for a while, but it turns out everything is okay.

What is your favorite food combination with a light bulb?

I really liked Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce for a really long time. Their wedding was just perfect. It just made this sweet harmony on the roof of mouth and I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.

"Well, of course, it grew out of my head —that’s the pretty easy answer," Milstone said. CRAWFORD / PHOTO
“Well, of course, it grew out of my head —that’s the pretty easy answer,” Milstone said. KYLE CRAWFORD //  PHOTO

What is the process of putting your hair up in the morning?

Oh man, I do not want to answer that because it takes so long. Putting my hair up, it’s a lot of work; it feels like that everyday. But a lot of days, I just don’t want to do it, but I have to. I have a reputation to uphold, but how it starts is I split it down the middle, I put a little bit of gel and then I comb it up, hold it, blow dry it and put hairspray in it and then blow dry it and then hairspray and then blow dry and just do that until my arms want to fall off. Then I’m ready for the day. Right before I leave, I touch it up a little bit here and there. It takes about half an hour, 45 minutes, and I listen to music and do things to occupy my time because I spend so much time in the bathroom that it’s terrifying.

Can you tell me about your haunted house?

Back in Elkhart, where I’m from, we have this haunted house there. It’s called “Fear Itself,” and it’s a really amazing place. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere in this intersection that no one goes by. It’s this huge huge warehouse, and we have five attractions. They’re really big. The main two are Cuckoo’s Nest and the Sinister Circus. The Cuckoo’s nest is more of a hospital patient ward, and the Sinister Circus, the one I’m in, is a demented clownhouse, as they like to call it, and I’m a clown. It’s an amazing experience. I love it so much.

Why did you decide to join “Fear Itself”?

When I first went there, they just wanted me because I had weird hair, and that happens to me a lot, but I started working there, and I started to realize how much I really, really loved it. I got to act. I can scream very loud, and it’s very weird, and I’ve gained a lot of skills like the eating glass and the breathing fire. It’s something that I never would have experienced if I hadn’t had it, and those new experiences are what make life entertaining.

What have you learned from working at “Fear Itself”?

So the very obvious ones are walking on my hands, breathing fire, eating glass or juggling. Those are really obvious, but I’ve just been able, once I started, to read people so easily. I can read people’s emotions just instantaneously, which is a lot of fun. It’s very useful. I can see what someone feels, if they’re uncomfortable or something like that, within an instant, within a blink of an eye. It’s really, really fun. It’s a very useful skill. Teamwork and dedication and leadership, work ethic. All this stuff goes into this haunted house because I’m there from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. But it’s a blast. I have an amazing time.

What does your clown do at “Fear Itself”?

“Mohawkins the Clown” is a pretty crazy character, and he can do a lot more things than what I can usually do. Sometimes he does things out of sheer will. Mohawkins can eat glass and things like that, but he can also do gymnastic things like he can flagpole, walk on his hands and things like that just to get a laugh out of people and just to ease the crowd.

What reactions do you get from your mohawk?

Reactions are a weird thing because I get to have a view into that person’s personality with just an instantaneous look. People’s first impressions of me are pretty odd. It keeps my hallway adventure entertaining–my passing periods are really great–but (reactions are) mostly positive. It’s a rarity that people come up to me and say, “I hate your hair.” No one ever does that, you know? It’s always positive. It’s always someone saying, “You know, that’s really cool. I really appreciate that. Go you.” So it is kind of like positive reinforcement, and it’s really nice to hear that every once in a while.

Milstone walks on his hands. Milstone has learned many gymnastics skills from working at "Fear Itself." CRAWFORD / PHOTO
Milstone walks on his hands. Milstone has learned many gymnastics skills from working at “Fear Itself.” CRAWFORD / PHOTO

How do you feel when you eat glass?

I feel kind of impressed with myself. I feel like, “Man, that is cool that I can do this. Man, it’s so much fun.” I really love it. I just really love getting the reaction out of people. I really love making people laugh and making them feel happy, and eating glass is something that does that.

Why did you decide to eat glass?

I eat glass because I needed an act. I needed something and I eat glass because I love it. I eat glass because I love getting people’s attention and I love making people feel weird or just affect anyone’s emotions. I really like that. It’s something I really like and enjoy.

What does your dentist say about eating glass?

Actually, I got a crown put in about three months ago and I told (the dentist) I eat glass, and he was like, “Really? I could not tell.” He could not tell from the way I keep my teeth in condition that I eat glass which is good, that’s really good. And I told my doctor, “By the way, I eat glass,” and he was like, “I advise you not to do that,” and I said, “I expected you to say that, but I’m still going to do because it’s just so much fun.”

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