Ellen DeGeneres freaks out staffers by sending them to 'Walking Dead' haunted house

IMAGE: Haunted house
Ellen DeGeneres Show

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By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Some people have scary bosses, but if you work for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," your boss may go all out to have other people scare you. DeGeneres has made it an October tradition to send show writer Amy Rhodes, who's easily frightened, to a haunted house. This year, the host made executive producer Andy Lassner join Rhodes, and the resulting video offers twice the terror-driven hilarity.

"(Lassner) and Amy went to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, and oh my God, this is one of my favorite things I've ever seen in my life," DeGeneres said.

The haunted house was "Walking Dead" themed, so Rhodes and Lassner had to walk through a creepy re-creation of the Georgia prison the characters on the AMC hit use as a safe haven from the zombies. It's not so safe for Rhodes and Lassner, as the darkened prison halls and cells are full of bloody, disintegrating zombies who leap out and grab for them at every turn.

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At one point, Rhodes chides Lassner for his insistence on using her as a block as they walk the haunted halls. "Why are you hiding behind me?" she shrieks. "You're a man, be a man, be a man."

Both seem equally terrified, but Lassner takes his fear out on the zombies, shouting, "I get it! They come out at you!" and "Stop it! Stop it now!"

And when Rhodes calls him out on his pushing her forward, he has a bizarre explanation. "They know you, they know you, they're not gonna (grab you)," he says. "I'm a guy."

He also has some backwards logic. "Why are you making me go first?" Rhodes demands. 

"I'm not! I'm protecting you!" is Lassner's response.

And as they come into one of the final turns, the zombies have saved one giant surprise for them. "Are you (expletive) kidding me?" shrieks Lassner as the two cower.

Once they've survived the house, the two share a hug in relief. "Why do people pay for this?" Lassner asks. "Happy, Ellen?"

And DeGeneres was happy — so happy in fact, that she wiped tears of laughter from her eyes. "You literally ... you hid behind a girl," she said. "Thank you for starting a new tradition, we're going to send both of you through the haunted house every year now."

A look at the life and career of the actress, comedian, talk host and latest “American Idol” sensation.