The vengeful ghost of Mary Wallace haunted the Lebold Mansion, killing some of its guests last weekend.
She only stayed a couple days and no one was allowed to show her face . . . at least until the film comes out in October.
Four actors and a film crew of eight took over Abilene’s famous mansion Friday and Saturday filming the short film “The Haunting of Pottersfield.”
Actor Lori Katz portrayed Wallace who had been haunting the Victorian mansion for 150 years after her death.
It took about two hours for her to get into makeup of the ghost.
“I pretty much stay in this all day until we finish shooting,” she said.
Shooting usually is done in 12-hour segments.
“I’m on a liquid diet right now,” she said, drinking from a straw through the gruesome mask.
Makeup artist Marcus Koch said he started with a clay sculpture and cast it in foam.
“Once everything was glued down we painted her all black so she is like a shadow,” Koch said.
Koch worked on the movie Nation’s Fire with Lou Ferrigno Jr. and Bruce Dern.
The Haunting of Pottersfield was written and directed by Andre’ Dixon, a relatively newcomer to the film industry.
The plot of the film has two paranormal researchers staying overnight in one of the most haunted places in the U.S., the Wallace Mansion. There they will attempt to prove or debunk the existence of its most famous resident the vengeful ghost of Mary Wallace.
After a career in the military, Dixon got into the industry he fell in love with as a 10-year-old watching Christopher Reeves fly through the air as “Superman.”
“Filmmaking has always been my passion since I was child,” Dixon said during a lunch break Saturday afternoon. “I knew it was something I wanted to do.”
Dixon said he was looking for an old Victorian house to shoot the film.
He found houses in Michigan, New Jersey and Abilene online.
Dixon said the Lebold Mansion was perfect for the film.
“The house is great the way it is decorated,” he said of the Lebold Mansion. “I think it is fantastic.”
“All of the furniture, wallpaper, it’s all circa 1800s, early 1900s,” he said.
It was perfect for his old school ghost story.
“They don’t make too many of those. Generally ghost stories are set in modern settings. I really wanted to capture that retro moment and that is why I shot here,” he said.
Scenes were filmed in the cellar, by the boiler, on the staircase and in the attic.
“The scariest room is the attic upstairs,” he said. “That is where we started. The cellar is the second scariest location.”
In the film, the house has not been occupied since the owner died in the early 1900s.
The Lebold Masion was built in 1880 from native limestone. It has gone through a number of restoration efforts over the years.
“The good thing about horror is you don’t need a big budget. It just needs to be compelling and it needs to look good,” Dixon said. “If people are scared and it looks good, that’s pretty much all you need.”
The cast and crew stayed in the mansion and many of the meals were catered by Amanda’s Bakery & Bistro.
“The people have been really friendly, by the way,” Dixon said. “This, I have heard, is one of the 10 friendliest places in American. So far they have not disappointed.”
The cast includes Katz (Misfits & Margaritas, Henri, Murder Comes to Town), Chad Crenshaw (Smoke Break, The Matchbreaker, All Creatures Here Below), Erik Grey (The Turnaround, Breaking Point, Frank vs. God) and Erin Beute (Tooth Fairy 2, Outcast, Vampire Diaries).
Dixon raised money for the project via an Indiegogo campaign. Executive producers are Summer Perkins, Robyn Jones, and Kevin Schramm. The director of photography is Oliver Young. Some of his films can now be seen on the ScyFy Channel and Netflix.
Contact Tim Horan at firstname.lastname@example.org.