It’s Halloween, which is the best holiday because there are no family obligations where you have to tolerate your weird aunt, and there’s lots of candy. And there are also plenty of jump-scares to go around – even in the office. Your company may resemble a haunted house with all the scary managers running around. Here are 10 of the most frightening.

1. The Ghost

Finding this manager when you need her, is almost impossible. There are signs she’s been in the office–a coffee cup on her desk, a sweater over the back of her chair–but no sign of her. Until, of course, you’re getting ready to sneak out of the office 15 minutes early (what? You’re exempt!) and boo! There she is with a stack of new assignments.

2. The Vampire

Ever felt like you’ve been sucked completely dry by the demands on your time and your emotions? Yeah, your boss is a vampire. 

3. The Troll

Unlike the adorable troll dolls of the 80s, this troll boss is mean and angry. He may tell you to come to a meeting, but if you show up and say something, you get the patented “who’s that trip-trapping on my bridge–err, meeting” response. You’re supposed to sit there and back up all his ideas, and if not, you’ll get yelled at–and possibly eaten. We don’t really know what happened to Steve. He just disappeared.

4. The Mummy

The mummy was awesome when she first became a manager, sometime in 1932. But, since then, she hasn’t updated anything about how she works. Her office contains stacks of dusty paper, and if you send her an email, she’ll have her secretary (who prefers to be called an admin, but the mummy won’t budge) print it out so she can read it. Everyone secretly hopes the mummy will retire, but it’s illegal and age discrimination to keep asking, so you wait.

5. The Skeleton

The skeleton is transparent–about everything. You know about his dating life (and feel sorry for his girlfriend), his medical issues, his childhood, and your coworker’s performance issues. There isn’t a chance that he can keep anything inside– there’s no skin holding anything in. It’s all hanging out.

6. The Bad Witch

Think Hansel and Gretel. This manager would love nothing better than to shove you into an oven and eat you for lunch. Or the business version of this, where he overloads you with work and then steals all the credit. 

7. The Good Witch

Remember Glinda from the Wizard of Oz? She’s so good and noble, and everyone loves her! But, if you’ve seen Wicked, you know she was a social-climbing debutant who relied on popularity rather than brains. Somehow, the good witch has everyone in senior management fooled while she ignores the slaving munchkins. If you say anything against her, well, you’re the problem.

8. The Clown

This manager never takes anything seriously. He thinks everything is a joke – from your assignments to sexual harassment. “I was just kidding!” is the constant refrain from the clown. If you can’t take a joke about how he was thinking about firing you, well, you’re the one with the attitude problem. 

9. The Mad Scientist

If you work in an actual lab, she is super scary as you never know what will blow up. But, the mad scientist exists in many offices– she’s the one who continually changes things. She rotates people around, revamps processes that have worked perfectly for years, and embraces every new thing–just because it’s new. When it doesn’t work, she discards the processes and people and moves on to the next thing. There’s no method to her madness.

10. The Grim Reaper

He’s the layoff happy head of HR or possibly, finance. Always looking to cut costs and personnel, he’ll show up to meetings and look for someone who appears weak. If that’s you, you better start packing up your desk and freshening your resume, because you’re about to face the Grim Reaper, and it won’t be pretty.

What other scary managers have you encountered?


from Suzanne Lucas

Suzanne Lucas, also known as EvilHRLady, is a writer, speaker, and workshop host on all things HR. She helps people have great careers, become better managers, and can explain why the heck your HR department is asking that you declare your race on that application form. If your business isn't big enough to have HR, but you have an HR question, she can help.