Archive for October, 2017

Halloween Tale–Makeup In The Lemp Mansion

I thought it would be fun for October (and Friday the 13th) to tell a story about a makeup job I did in a famously haunted building, The Lemp Mansion.

When I had come home from work that day, I wrote it all out so I would not forget it.  I never thought I’d have a Lemp Mansion story of my own, but here we are.

This is not a work of fiction. 

On Monday, October 17, 2016, I was doing makeup for a photo shoot at the Lemp Mansion. The photographers, the keyholder, and I arrived before dawn. There was no one in the mansion itself except for a guest in the bed and breakfast. The person with the key was one of the models, a friend of the owner who was getting an excellent favor granted. Though it was dark and empty, nothing spooky was going on whatsoever. We went up to the second floor and the two photographers left me to begin the model while they went to the studio to get more gear.

I quickly forgot about my location and set to my task. The room gradually filled with sunlight to help along the ring light and the overhead pendant lights. There were two of these pendant lights, dangling from chains under gorgeous ceiling medallions about 8 feet apart. With the march of time/progress over the decades, Lemp is now overlooking Highway 55, so while we heard a lot of morning white noise, like traffic and big trucks barrelling down the highway, it was nothing unusual.

An assistant and another model showed up, then the photographers, another model, and the office folk. Soon after the office folk, the downstairs dining room opened for lunch. It was broad, sunny daylight and the building was bustling with life. I was barreling to the conclusion of the models, at which time I was free to go home.

The middle model asked me what I knew of the history of the place. I’m a bit of a paranormal fangirl, though I told her I didn’t KNOW much for sure, other than the publicized suicides. I mentioned there was allegedly an illegitimate son who was born with some sort of impairment. Due to the practices of the day, unfortunately, he didn’t get proper care and instead was allegedly stowed away in the attic. I told her I had heard the story on the radio a few times before, but wasn’t sure what details were true and what were fanciful. I said he had a rather rude nickname that it was rumored he hated but I told her if he had hated it in life, I didn’t want to perpetuate it by saying it out loud. We sort of went about our business after that.

The photographer thoughtfully bought the group lunch between 12:30 and 1. I was almost done with my last model, too warm to eat, and pretty ready to go after being on my feet that long, so I declined. I figured if I worked through lunch, I could leave sooner. The photographers, assistant, and two models were eating at the table under the far pendant lamp, which was 8 feet from where I was standing under the other lamp, doing the face of the last model.

The model I spoke to about the son in the attic asked the model who let us in about him. She said the owners had told her it wasn’t real, it was just a story made up to titillate, and that he wasn’t one of the official spirits that were in the place. She also used the name he hated, “Monkey Boy,” as she dismissed his existence.

After a few minutes, I heard a continuous noise–really only noticed it in the background because I was focused on my job. It sounded like a large piece of machinery with a busted motor mount—a loud, metal rattling. I ignored it, figuring it to be a truck outside at a loading dock or something. It went on, though, and right about the time I was thinking, “Damn, that truck is friggin’ CLOSE!” one of the models exclaimed. I looked up and the pendant over my head was shaking hard, like someone above it was aggressively yanking on the cord/chain above it. It didn’t stop when we noticed it, either.

My model, the photographers, and another model whipped out the cell phones to record it. We were trying to figure out a practical reason for what made it shake (Actual conversation: “Can they land helicopters on the roof of the Lemp?” “No, they can’t land helicopters on the roof here.”) and chatting rather loudly over the noise. One of the models pointed out that nothing else in the room was shaking—no photos, furniture, nor even the other lamp. The one over my head finally stopped moving.

That was all rather interesting enough, but out of the four videos recorded, one showed no movement at all and one showed only the tiniest bit of sway (though you hear us talking super loud about how the lamp was moving, including the helicopter conversation). One disappeared off the person’s phone entirely. I never did get a chance to check in with the fourth model to know what her video looked like.

7 witnesses, broad daylight.

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