SCARED SILLY
ASHLEY TISDALE LAUGHS IN THE FACE OF FEAR IN SCARY MOVIE 5. BY LISA MISCHIANTI. PHOTOGRAPHED BY JESSICA HAYE AND CLARK HSIAO

Golden-haired girls don’t often fare well in horror flicks, but lucky for Ashley Tisdale, Scary Movie 5 is only interested in lampooning the genre’s well-worn devices. Tisdale, 27, who stars in the latest installment of the parody franchise, has long been affiliated with Disney productions (yes, that was her face screen-printed on all of those High School Musical T-shirts). This past year, however, she has begun the transition to roles that appeal to slightly more mature audiences, starting with a guest arc on Sons of Anarchy.

So, needless to say, when the opportunity arose to take over for Anna Faris in the Scary Movie series, she was thrilled. “I just like doing things that take me out of my comfort zone,” she says. “People haven’t seen me do anything like this before.” It turns out that Tisdale has been admiring screenwriter David Zucker’s satirical work for some time. “I loved Airplane!,” she says. “He just has a great formula for spoofing movies.”

Tisdale also enjoys her fair share of actual chillers. “I love the adrenaline rush of watching a scary movie, but I have a humongous imagination and I live alone,” she says. “So afterwards, I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s nighttime and I’m by myself!” Paranormal Activity, often the butt of Zucker’s jokes, used to “scare the crap out of” Tisdale. But while reading the Scary Movie 5 script,she couldn’t help but laugh uncontrollably at the scenes that once terrified her. Here, Tisdale provides some pointers on how to survive a ghostly presence in your own home—with one minor disclaimer: “I don’t know if you can survive a haunting, but you can certainly try!”

1. Enlist a psychic
You need to figure out what kind of ghost you’re dealing with—meaning, is it good or evil? Plus, you want to make sure there really is a haunting in your house, and it’s not just you being batshit crazy. 

2. Open all doors and cabinets
That way, if anything, they’ll just close them! Plus, they won’t be able to throw them open and hit you in the face. 

3. Never try to catch them on film
Ghosts and demons like attention—and love camera time. The more you give them, the more shenanigans they
will pull—all in the hopes of getting their own feature film.

4. Befriend the ghost
You’ll want to bond with it. You never know when you’ll need its help—like, if you have a sucky date or just wanna
scare the shit out of someone.