Horror Makeup Artist

Makeup is a curious artform. At one extreme, thoughtfully applied layers of cosmetics can make even the least fortunate face worthy of gracing the cover of Elle. At the other, they can render someone so hideous that even the Journal of Medical Disorders wouldn’t put them on page ten.

While you would certainly want Jacquie Lantern in your camp if you were preparing for a wedding or television appearance, it’s her talent for turning people into abominations that puts her talent at a premium this time of year. Jacquie is the one you turn to in the Twin Cities when you want to look positively ghastly.

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“I grew up loving Halloween,” said Jacquie. “My sisters and I were notorious for always winning some costume contest every year, because our mom made our costumes by hand. She would turn us into bears with real fur and elephants with swinging trunks. One year I asked my mom if I could dress up as Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie. She figured out how to use skin-colored fabric to stay faithful to the character without having her daughter going out in quite so revealing an outfit!

“I kept going to Halloween parties as I grew older, doing my own makeup to look like a zombie or the little girl from The Exorcist. By that point I was already experimenting with latex – even if I was putting it on very poorly. This caught the attention of The Dead End Hayride, who offered me a job working with their seasonal actors in 2013. Their former makeup artist had left all their supplies behind. None of it was in especially good shape, and I had to learn how to use an airbrush during my first night on the job, but through so much constant practice I eventually developed professional skill.

“You meet a great variety of people when you work at a haunted attraction – theater kids, kids who are only there because the job sounded fun, and others who just need the money. Together, haunted house actors are known as ‘misfits.’ Of course I always had to keep a misfit’s appearance in theme with the area they were working in on any given night, but I would still ask them for inspiration when doing their makeup. My goal was to turn them into the kind of evil clown or hillbilly cannibal that they had always wanted to become.

“My work eventually led me to meeting Ryan Schaddelee and then Crist Ballas, two of Minnesota’s most renowned special effects makeup artists. I learned so much from watching how such talented artists create monsters. I worked on the sets of The Houses October Built 2 and another movie called Zombies, as well as a couple episodes of America Unearthed produced right here in Minnesota. I never would have dreamed I would one day get paid to punch the hair and carve the padding for a Bigfoot costume!

“I have a lot of respect for what people can do with CGI nowadays, but I’ve never felt threatened by it. The great majority of my clients are going to Halloween parties, after all, and computers will never be able to make you look macabre in person. I also feel people are becoming increasingly critical of overly used CGI, and looking back fondly on movies that showcased practical effects. No one will ever feel nostalgic about Avatar in the same way they do about John Carpenter’s The Thing

“We’re also seeing more and more how CGI and practical effects can complement one another. I could never make someone look like Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, obviously, but I believe it would always be more practical to give Zoe Saldana green makeup than to turn her into a space alien in post-production.”

Jacquie is the ethical sort of mad scientist who would only experiment on herself. At least once a week she will sit down to painstakingly transmogrify herself into some wight, ghoul, or revenant, and you can hardly recognize her as Jack Skellington, the Babadook, Jigsaw, or the dreadful Valak from The Nun

I personally don’t require Jacqie’s services, because to add anything to my angelic visage would be akin to painting over the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. If you would like to engage Jacquie’s expertise this Halloween and ensure that your makeup will be the most convincing wherever you go, however, you need only visit jacquielantern.com.


By David Scheller