In the second Episode of October State of Mind, Ricky is in a particularly spooky mood as he discusses more about the upcoming Halloween season and the impact of COVID, creepy robocalls, Annabelle's Great Escape, ghost children in cemeteries, reads more listener's spooky experiences, as well as discusses the haunted Lemp Mansion and his own experience there. Ricky also talks about two horror films this week, Would You Rather, and Relic.
1) Keith (New York) - Imaginary Friend
2) Brit - Susie
3) Tony (Los Angeles, CA) - Vacation Nightmare
Intro, Outro, and Scary Movie songs by Brian Barr
Additional music by Fesliyan Studios
Additional Sound Effect from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbMQmPBBlU
Some one came knocking
At my wee, small door;
Some one came knocking,
I listened, I opened,
I looked to left and right,
But nought there was a-stirring
In the still dark night;
Only the busy beetle
Tap-tapping on the wall,
Only from the forest
The screech-owl’s call,
Only the cricket whistling
While the dewdrops fall,
So I know not who came knocking,
At all, at all, at all.
Hello all you boos and ghouls and welcome back to the second episode of OSOM! October State of Mind 2! The Octobering! Yes yes, October State of Mind, the podcast that transports you to the month of October and Spooky Season no matter what month you’re in before you put those headphones on, it’s always October in here! Yes, we’re going to talk about everything spooky and creepy to give you the heeby jeebies all year long! I’m your host! Your Ghost Host (Disney didn’t sue me last time, so I’m gonna say it again), Ricky Schroeder! Rick or Treat, if ya nasty. Well, welcome back, brave adventurers. You made it through the first episode, but will you make it through this one? Muahhaha And if this is your first time tuning in, that’s fine. You only missed one episode, we’ll still consider you an OSOM OG, but don’t say we didn’t warn you… Okay so first off, thank you for listening! I honestly can’t believe it. As of right now, when I’m recording this, I had ____ downloads of episode one, and that is ___ more than I expected, because I really thought my mom would be the only one. But actually I don’t even think she’s listened yet. You all are my new mom. Just kidding, love you mom.
The poem I read in the beginning is “Some One” by Walter de la Mare. I started out the first episode with “In A Dark Dark Wood”, just because, but I think that’s going to be a thing now, starting each episode with a short poem. I’m enjoying reading and finding poems online, but now I think in addition to your creepy/ghostly/true crime experiences that I’m always looking for you to send in, if you have a short and spooky poem you’d like to submit for me to read, please send that to me too! Email me your experiences or poems at RIckyOSOM@gmail.com. You can also follow along on the social medias @OSOMpodcast or pronounced Awesome podcast, on Instagram, twitter, and facebook.
I have to say, I’ve been in a particularly spooky mood, lately. Which is saying something. I think it’s because I finally traveled back to New York City from where I’ve been staying on Fire Island for nearly 5 months, but my fiancé, Jerry, stayed behind, and essentially every night in the city I’ve been watching a scary movie. Jerry isn’t as in to scary movies as I am, so watching them with him on Fire Island has been few and far between, so I had to get a binge in while I had some alone time in the city. There’s also been quite a few thunderstorms lately, I think most likely the weather celebrating October State of Mind. Anyway, it’s all sure to make a great episode today.
I promised change in my firs t episode, and alas, change is already upon us. From now on, I think instead of having one big section of listener submitted stories, I’m going to spread them out through the episode. So let’s get down to the spooky business, and start off with a story from Keith in NY
Even though I am soon to be 71 this memory is still fresh in my mind. It the Bronx, about 1953 when the entire neighborhood was your family. in fact if your Mom had to call you twice another Mother would ask you why aren't you answering your momma. As I’m recalling our neighborhood, I remember around the corner was a shop that sold fresh fish and chips and the smell is still with me because that was always my treat for being a good boy, funny how some things come back to you.
We lived in an older 2 story wooden frame house with the bedrooms upstairs, my room was at the down the hallway from my parents. I remember it always being cold, even in the summertime. At the time we lived next door to a lovely lady who did not speak much English, but the language barrier couldn’t hold back our affection for her as we lovingly referred to her as our Spanish momma. I can’t remember her name, but for this story, I’ll refer to her as Rose. I was about 4 years old and my Mom & Dad thought it was cute that I had an imaginary friend that I “played" with’ before bedtime.
However one night, as told to me by my late Aunt, I began to yell and scream, “No don't touch me. I don’t want to leave Mommy and Daddy” Thinking I was being abducted by an intruder my parents rushed to my bedroom. I was told my Father doubled up with pain before he entered the room. My Mom grabbed me from the bed but not before something caught her eye.
I was told I kept screaming “ leave me alone. I want to stay with Mommy and Daddy.”
My screams were so loud that Rose, heard from next door, and came by and immediately called the neighborhood Priest.
I remember waking up with Mom holding my hands. I started to cry, “no leave me alone.” When the Priest asked me what I saw, I remember Rose screamed.
It seems that my imaginary friend was a young girl who died in that room years before. I described the clothes she was buried in.
I think the Priest did some kind of ritual and blessed me before he left.
Rose was in tears and made my family promise never to make me sleep in that room again, her English was broken, but her point was very clear... I never did sleep in that room again. But oddly, I developed the habit of walking by the cellar door and screaming out loud. The cellar was where the young girl had tragicaly fallen down the stairs only to be brought up to the room that I slept in, where she passed from her injuries.
I seem to remember that for a long time after that,Rose, made a point of coming over from next door to Bless me every night before bedtime.
Tony Vacation Nightmare
I took my ex-wife and my two kids to Martha’s Vineyard one summer for a vacation. The house was in the middle of the mountains. It was giant but I got because I wanted my kids to invite friends. of course it’s hard to invite friends when you plan a vacation so many months out so it was just the four of us. I also got a house with a pool but my kids were at that age where they didn’t want to do anything so they sat in inside all day and I went outside to the pool by myself. I remember several times being in the pool staring up at the house thinking it was right out of a scary movie. I remember the first night that we got there we were downstairs watching television and we heard my ex-wife moving furniture upstairs. It seemed odd to be doing furniture rearranging, but I shrugged it off until my ex-wife came out of the bathroom right next to us. Me and my kids looked each other like what the hell?
The next night, just to make things spookier, we went on a ghost tour of Edgartown where we were standing on front lawns where people had hung themselves from the towering trees above us in the 1700s. The kids had been excited about finally being able to have their own rooms, since they usually shared a room, and they did try sleeping in their own rooms on our first night, but after that furniture moving we heard probably combined with the eeriness of the ghost tour, they ended up spending the rest of the vacation sleeping in the same bed.
One night my youngest daughter had a strange allergy attack and we had to go to the emergency room where she was given an EpiPen. Not completely unusual by itself, allergic reactions happen, but something about it felt off.
On the last day we stopped in Provincetown in the morning on our way to Boston to fly home and around 8am we went to get breakfast. My Ex wife began to feel off. She went outside to sit down at a park bench next to some old man. My kids and I didn’t know why she sat next to somebody, she could’ve sat alone. All of a sudden, she started screaming, looking up at the sky and saying no no no! With her arms stretched out I stood up in front of her and held her hands locked behind me because it looked like somebody was coming out of the sky to torture her. Her eyes rolled up in her head her lips turn purple and foam came out of her mouth and she fainted. a couple came by and put their arms around my kids to shield them from the horrible thing that was happening, and thankfully the ambulance came. But it was scary because the hospital was about an hour away in Hyannis, so we were driving behind the ambulance having no idea what just happened. At the hospital, The doctor told us that we couldn’t leave and then he helped us try to find a hotel but there were absolutely no hotels in the area. He was calling them himself and finally he looked at us and said well I guess you better get on your plane and go home and find a doctor there so we had to leave. I thought it was strange that after insisting we stay he changed his mind and said we should leave. We flew home as scheduled.
My ex was put on anti Seizure medication which she is supposed to take for the rest of her life. She had never had an epileptic seizure before but that’s what the hospital called this. She had one other episode back in Los Angeles about six months later and that was it.
I sent her to see a psychic and they said there was a spirit in the house we had stayed at in the mountains. And that this spirit was jealous of our relationship because even though we were not married we were still family. She said this spirit’s jealousy got so riled up that she attacked my ex-wife.
My littlest daughter and I are convinced it was, indeed, some sort of spirit that came after her.
Needless to say we stopped doing family vacations together . It was too traumatic. I do take them on family vacations with Mark, my partner now, and thankfully we’ve had no ghosts in our presence…. that we know of.
For today’s creepy news, I got really excited for a bit, because I was on twitter the other day and saw #Annabelle trending, and Zak Bagans from the show, Ghost Adventures tweeted “If #Annabelle has escaped, remember y’all she only flies first-class...I’d start there”, and I was like…whaaa? Annabelle, the demonic doll who spawned her own movie franchise, escaped notorious ghost hunter’s Ed and Lorraine Warren’s haunted museum and she flies first class? Apparently however, that story was debunked as a headline that just got lost in translation.
It was a story about the actress Annabelle Wallis, talking about starring in The Mummy with Tom Cruise, and how apparently he doesn’t let anyone run with him on film, but she conveniently would run on the treadmill when she knew he would see it and changed his mind? Tom Cruise is…something else, man. Anyway, apparently a Chinese publication, picked it up, but in translation the headline got changed to “Annabelle Escaped”, and then twitter picked that up and ran with it. Oh, and the first class thing, is in reference to some paranormal beef Zak Bagans had with the current owner of Annabelle, Tony Spera, Ed and Lorraine Warren’s son in law, who came to be on Ghost Adventures and has since essentially called Zak a hack, Zak responded questioning Tony’s validity and his responsibility and reavealed that apparently Tony demanded first class tickets for both Annabelle and himself. Yes a first class ticket for Tony, and a first class ticket for the demon, Annabelle. I mean, we all let our demonic side out when we have to fly coach, ammiright?
Do you ever get Robo calls? I hate them. I get them all the time, They want you to call them back or give your personal information, or your first born. I keep getting ones always talking about how my car insurance blah blah blah. Hello, I’m a New Yorker, I don’t have a car! I did once, long ago. My 2006 red Chevy Impala, ahh, a bygone era. But no more.
Well, there’s a robo call that seems to be making the rounds in Canada. Except this robo call doesn’t ask for a call back, or for any information from you. If you answer this call, in a pre-recorded robotic voice all it says is “This is just a test call. Time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home.” And then it hangs up. At first when I read this, it didn’t sound so creepy to me, like aw just a little PSA, stay safe during Covid, but receivers of this call are…unnerved by it. And the more I think about it, the more I understand why. Who is sending this call? If it were a government sanctioned PSA, wouldn’t it say something like that? There’s a reddit thread from all the receivers of this call with their theories. Maybe it is the government trying to scare those who are denying science and denying Covid? Is it testing for the impending zombie apocalypse? An early asteroid warning system? Is the Purge actually happening?? If the calls were happening in America I’d say that would be a possibility, but this is happening in Canada, so probably not. It’s also a call that’s hard to block, some say they have received the call 3-6 times in a single day, all from different numbers. Sometimes a 1 800 number, sometimes a number matching the first few digits of their phone, sometimes a number that is completely random. I guess I usually welcome being told to stay safe, but…if it’s just a test call…What’s going to happen when it’s not a test? What’s the real thing? Who started this call? And why? …….This is why I just don’t answer my phone, people.
This next creepy news story is a report from CBS Austin. Saundra Gonzales believes images were captured of the spirit of her departed 2 year old daughter, Faviola. Faviola tragically passed away in 2018 under suspicious circumstances while in the care of Saundra’s then boyfriend, and since then Saundra has often visited her grave in the Masonic Cemetery in Las Cruces, New Mexico and leaving toys and other offerings to her daughter. These items began to go missing, and Saundra, concerned about theft, asked the cemetery to keep a lookout. Well, it just so happens that a family with a headstone nearby had a camera installed because they were trying to capture the vandalizer of their own son’s grave, whom they believed was their son’s killer who had eluded justice. When that family was reviewing their footage, they saw something very concerning. Images from their camera had captured a little girl standing at their son’s gravesite in the dead of night. No one else around, just a little girl. Now, I’ve seen these images and there’s no question there is a little girl in these photos. This family, simply concerned that a little girl was lost and alone took the images to the cemetery owners, who upon looking at the images said, “We know that little girl” and walked them over to little Favi Gonzales’ gravesite. The next day they returned to the gravesite and Saundra and her mother happened to be there. They were shown the images of this little girl all alone in the middle of night, and Saundra immediately burst into tears, saying “I know this is my daughter.”
Now what was little Favi doing at their son’s gravesite? In a final photo captured by the headstone camera, though it is not as clear as the others, you can almost make out the shape of a little girl walking with a tall man. Saundra believes it is her daughter come to comfort and guide this other family’s son to the next life.
At my high school there is a ghost that lives in our cafeteria/theater named Susie. Susie has been known to make noises and move things around. There are two different stories though that I really love.
The First one happened during a musical practice. We were telling a freshman about Susie and this freshman kept saying how it wasn’t true and how Susie didn’t exist. Then this particular freshman was center stage all by herself and, once again, she said Susie isn’t real and then, all of a sudden, the fire flaps on the ceiling fly open and that freshman dropped to the stage so fast. She believed in Susie from then on.
The second story has to do with our storage space above the theater which is where Susie is said to spend most of her time. This storage space is a long hallway that has props lined up on shelves along the sides. At the end was a little room that connected to the sound booth, we kept the costumes in that little room. We were always told that when you were up there to sing to Susie because she liked music and the joke was that she wanted you to keep you there to stay with her. Well one night I was at the school late with just the director and his wife, they were in another part of the school and I (being the student costume designer) was working in the costume room. The door to that room is always locked and we are unable to unlock it so we just keep a desk there to prop open the door. That night I was working on costumes and singing away to Susie when all of a sudden I hear a noise like the desk is being pushed by the door. This is no big deal cause normally it just runs in to the door frame and still props it open but this night I looked up to double check and I see the desk turn and start to go out the door. I run across the room and am just able to throw my hand between the door and frame. Needless to say I decided I was done working that night. I’m glad Susie liked my singing, but I wasn’t quite ready to commit to staying with Susie in there forever.
Last time I talked about Drive Thru Haunt experiences and what the Halloween season is going to look like this year in a COVD-19 world. More and more annual events are being cancelled, including now the legendary ship, The Queen Mary’s annual Dark Harbor event in Long Beach, CA, that drew 140,000 visitors last year, and the financial toll of a year without a normal Halloween is beginning to come clear. It’s worth noting that Halloween in the United States is the #2 money making holiday for the economy behind Christmas, topping more than $8.8 BILLION dollars last year with people spending money on candy, greeting cards, decorations, haunts, and costumes. Let’s face it, every year I think I’m going to make a cheap costume, and then at the last minute freak out because I don’t have my costume yet and end up just spending all my money on buying one. And there are cities like Salem, MA with history of the Salme Witch trials, and Sleepy Hollow with it’s legend of the Headless Horseman that really depend on the tourism and events that Halloween brings. As Jonathan Kruk, a storyteller who performs the Legend of Sleepy Hollow every October in the Hudson Valley of NY, says, “Canceling celebrations, would make the holiday “an even more dark and grimly felt time,” because instead of seeking a thrill we know is false, “we’ll be kind of sitting at home, you know, frightened by our own panic attack — the real creeping, insidious virus that never seems to go away.
However, all is not lost, another Drive thru haunt has sprung up, this one called, Urban Legends of Southern California. Nooot the northern part.
Devised from the whispered folklore that has tortured and terrorized countless generations of SoCal residents, Urban Legends of Southern California manifests the creatures and stories that have been born from the fates of the cursed and forsaken. This immersive drive-thru terror experience will have guests scrambling to lock their car doors…until they realize that they’re trapped inside!
Sounds fun! On their website Drive-thru Halloween haunt. Guests will enjoy in the safety of their own vehicle a drive-thru where scare seekers will experience immersive story-telling and terrifying sets. Guests will be entertained by live performances through-out their drive, plus experience 3 interactive show zones and an immersive show of lights, sound, special effects and monsters will come alive. They may have heard my concerns about people being run over before, and they have 3 special Show Zones where cars will drive to on a clearly marked trail at the MAX of a monitored 3mph, and then park and turn engines off before the scares begin. They are also taking safety very seriously, and have a whole list of procedures in place including health screenings, frequent sanitizing, cars being spaced apart, strict mask mandates if cars choose to roll down their windows to enjoy the show, and all the monsters and ghouls have been instructed to practice social distancing from the cars. See, if you’re not practicing social distancing, you’re literally worse than a monster right now.
It seems the Halloween spirit of innovation is catching on, and According to a recent survey by the National Confectioners Association, 63% of adults believe that people will find creative, fun and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year. We can still decorate inside our homes, we can decorate outside our homes, we can buy costumes and dress up, we can watch scary movies and read scary stories. Maybe we avoid the Halloween house and bar parties this year. But what about trick or treating? It’s still on the schedule for Salem. Whether it’s the smartest choice? I don’t know. Perhaps if everyone leaves their candy bowls outside, perhaps accompanied by some hand sanitizer, and then all the candy is cleaned, or wiped down with disinfectant before consumed at home, but that would require due diligence from parents. As Halloween queen, Jamie Lee Curtis says, “What’s important is that children are resilient, and putting on a costume, whether or not you’re running around on the streets or in your own home, I think the idea of putting on the costume is the fun part,” she said. Halloween will be different this year, but “different doesn’t have to be bad.
So for today’s haunted historic location, I thought I would talk about the Lemp Masnion, in St. Louis Missouri. It’s one of the more well known paranormal hotspots in the country, and I thought I’d talk about it because it’s also the only time I’ve ever had a true paranormal experience that I haven’t been able to explain away. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
The Lemp Mansion is a stunning 33 room Victorian house, built in the early 1860’s and subsequently purchased by Willam J Lemp, who used it as a residence and also as an office for the Lemp Brewery. You see, Wiliam’s father, John Adams Lemp, a German immigrant who arrived in St Louis in 1838, had started a grocery store, but became a millionaire, for he was able to supply something no other store could. Lager beer. John had learned from his father in Germany how to brew this beer, and the natural cave system under St Louis was the perfect brewing temperature for aging lager beer. He ended up abandoning his store and focused on his new brewery business which amassed him and his family great wealth, eventually incorporated into the William J Lemp Brewing Company after John passed away.
William turned an already impressive home into a stunning showcase of Victorian marvel, completely renovating it in 1904. Hand painted ceilings, an open air lift, marble bathrooms, an atrium that at the time hosted exotic plants and birds, and underground tunnels, one which led to the family brewery, and another that led to natural caverns that held an auditorium, ballroom and swimming pool. Just, you know, his little humble abode.
However, it was during this time of William’s control of the mansion and brewery, that tragedy began to strike. William’s son, Frederick, (apparently his favorite son, which like, I feel like having a favorite child is a little toxic, but…) Frederick was the heir apparent to the Brewing company, but in 1901 when Frederick was only 28, he died under mysterious circumstances. Apparently he was suffering many diseases the rest of the family did not know about, so William Lemp Jr became the heir in Frederick’s place. William Sr, took his son’s death extremely hard, mourning him deeply for 3 years until he ended up taking his own life, shooting himself in the head in his bedroom.
Things did not get better for the Lemp family from here, the brewery began to tank, and when prohibition happened in 1919, the brewery closed permanently. This may have led to Elsa, William Jr’s sister, to kill herself as well. Once valued at over $7million dollars (which is the equivalent of about 180 million today) and spanning 10 city blocks, was then sold in 1922 for a mere $588,500 (which is still $15 million today, but still quite the devaluing from its once lofty value) They had lost the brewery, but had hung on to the mansion. William Jr presided over the sale, only to come to the same fate as his father 18 years prior. William Jr, also shot himself in the mansion. And that’s not all, oh, don’t worry there’s more tragedy coming. William Jr’s other brother Charles continued to reside in the mansion after his brother’s death. Charles is described as a bitter man who led a reclusive life in the mansion, reportedly only with two servants, and the lone companionship of his dog. In 1941, Charles sent a letter to a south St. Louis funeral home requesting that in case of his death, his remains should be taken by ambulance to the Missouri Crematory. His body should not be bathed, clothed, or changed. His ashes should be put into a wicker box and buried on his farm. There were to be no funeral held or a notice put in the papers. Only a few years after that, Charles would become the third person to shoot himself in the head in the Lemp Mansion. He left a note saying “In case I am found dead, blame it on no one but me.” What makes Charles story particularly sad, and quick trigger warning for us animal lovers, is while it was never mentioned in the police report, Charles allegedly shot his dog before turning the gun on himself, the thought that his dog was his only source of love and companionship in his life, and he wanted them to be together in death.
Charle’s nephew, William III would die prematurely of a heart attack in 1943, and then finally in 1970, seemingly breaking this Lemp family curse of tragedy, the last remaining Lemp, Edwin, died in 1970, of natural causes at the ripe age of 90.
So after all that tragedy, it should come as no surprise that the Lemp mansion has seen more than it’s fair share of hauntings. The Lemp Mansion currently operates as a restaurant and Inn. But things get really spooky on Fridays and Saturday nights you can even participate in their interactive mystery dinner theatre. Dinner theater is always a bit scary, people. But, no, the real show happens when you sign up for one of it’s ghost tours or ghost hunts, which are held year round on the ghostly night of Monday.
On this tour, you’ll get a much more detailed account of the history of the mansion and the Lemp family than I just gave, as you meander through the dim hallways, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the many spirits still roaming through the vast mansion.
These hauntings first reportedly started taking place after the Lemp family ownership of the mansion came to an end with Charles’ death, and was turned into a boarding house. Residents reported experiencing knocks on the walls and doors, as well as phantom footsteps in the halls. Because of these hauntings, the boarding house had a hard time finding residents. No one wanted to stay in a haunted mansion.
In 1975 is when Dick Pointer and family purchased the mansion and turned it into the Restaurant and Inn it is today, but the hauntings continue. Workers will often tell stories of apparitions suddenly appearing, objects that will go missing, strange and ghostly sounds and voices that eerie feeling of being watched. There are reports of doors being locked or unlocked when they most certainly were not left in that position, lights will almost in a sentient way turn on or off. There are even reports of glasses that will fly off of the bar. And hauntingly that bar’s piano will often be heard, someone tickling the ivories, except no one is near.
One rumored soul that is said to show his presence is that of a boy, that while never officially documented, was allegedly a secret son of William Jr, that he had with a woman who was not his wife, Lillian. This boy was born with Down’s syndrome, and because of the time, that brought great shame to the family. He was only ever cruelly referred to “Monkey Face Boy” and was allegedly kept away in the attic. According to St Louis historian, Joe Gibbons, a former nanny and chauffeur who worked at the mansion confirmed the existence of this boy, and that he was kept in the attic quarters. Ghost hunters conducting investigations will leave toys in the room that is rumored to be his, and those toys are often found to have been moved. His small face is regularly seen peeking out of windows of the mansion, longing for life outside. Living a life of such reclusiveness and solitude, has probably trapped his unfortunate soul in the place where he was trapped while he was alive.
The downstairs ladies room was once, William Jr’s space. And it seems his spirit is still up to his sleezy ways. There’s a story of a woman who was using the restroom, getting that eerie feeling of being watched she looked up to find a man peeking over the stall. Flustered she stormed out of the bathroom and accused the two men in the bar of peeping, but the men, verified by the bartender, had never left their seats. William Jr’s soul is also said to be repeatedly heard running up the stairs and kicking the door of William Sr’s bedroom, seemingly echoing what he did the night he heard his father shoot himself.
Human spirits are not the only ones who are said to still reside in the mansion. A tour guide reported hearing horses outside of William Sr’s office, only to find nothing there, just an empty parking lot. Well, this lot was once used for tethering horses. There’s also the poor soul of Charles Lemp’s dog, who can occasionally be heard barking, and even sometimes be seen.
My own evening at the Lemp mansion was truly memorable. At the time I was on tour with the show, Kinky Boots, so I had reached out to the Lemp mansion to see if they would be willing to accommodate a special ghost tour for the cast after one of our shows, since their normal times were our show time. They were happy to arrange a special midnight tour for us. Essentially the whole cast arrived at the beautiful mansion and began with our tour guide breaking out the good ol reliable dousing rods, and attempting to communicate with the spirits. If you don’t know what a dousing rod is, imagine two long metal rods shaped like a capital L. You hold the smaller part of the L’s in your hands, out perpendicularly and the spirits are supposed to be able to answer your yes/no questions by making the rods cross each other. Now, of course the rods began to cross as our guide asked questions, and some of the kids in our cast got up and began using the rods and of course they were crossing. I wasn’t entirely convinced by that. Even if that’s a method that can work in terms of communication, it’s also so easy to surreptitiously get those rods to cross, even if it’s just subconsciously. But we wandered around the halls and rooms, marveling at how grand and beautiful everything was. Our guide gave us some great history and told us about many of the spectres that have been seen or heard. There were definitely pockets of what I can only describe as heaviness. And rooms where the lights were on, but there almost seemed to be a haze. Like the room should’ve been more lit than it was. We made our way to the attic, where the ghost of Charles dog is said to come to you when you stand up there and turn the lights off. As we did just that, members of the cast let out gasps as they exclaimed they could definitely make out the shape of a dog in the darkness. Maybe they did, maybe. I, did not, however, but enjoyed the excitement from everyone.
However, we were in one of the downstairs rooms toward the front of the house. A giant portrait of William sat behind a large desk. Our guide stood behind it as the twenty or so of us cast members stood at the opposite end of the room, looking toward her and the portrait. As she was giving us some history, the lights in the room began to flicker. Seemingly every time our guide mentioned William’s name, someone in the cast pointed out. Possibly, I thought, but we can’t rule out an old house’s faulty wiring too. But then it happened. The only thing I’ve ever experienced that I can’t explain away. It was nothing big. It was nothing monumental, but as our guide was talking, I suddenly saw what I can only describe as a small ball of yellow/white light suddenly shoot behind our guides head toward the portrait of William. As fast as it happened, it was gone. It was not an insect. It was not dust. It was, I guess, an orb. I quickly blurt out to the group, interrupting our guide, explaining what I just saw. Most everyone remained quiet, looking somewhat confused at me. But then one of my cast members, only one, said “Yeah. I wasn’t sure if I was just seeing things, but I just saw that too”
If you decide to take a trip to St Louis, I would highly recommend visiting the Lemp Mansion. Enjoy a nice meal, talk to the staff about their experiences, spend the night, take a ghost tour, and if you’re daring, participate in their interactive myster dinner theater. But whatever you do there, keep your mind and eyes open, listen, and let me know what you experience. As James Matthew Barrie wrote in his book, The Little Minister,
A house is never silent in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man woke in the night
What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie? As I mentioned earlier, the past couple weeks I have been on a horror movie binge. So much horror. So much not great horror. Some decent horror! Do you know that horror movies are actually the number one produced genre of film? I actually started writing a horror script a couple years ago because I found that out, and saw how much bad horror gets produced in addition to the good stuff, and figured, hey, I could write a bad horror movie! Well, so far, I’ve only written about half of a bad horror movie. I’ll let you know if I ever finish it.
I don’t know if you saw, but I was excited to find out that two horror films I had been looking forward to in theaters this year, are going to be released digitally. Antebellum, about a Successful author who finds herself trapped in a nightmarish reality during the Underground Railroad period,
, starring Janelle Monae and written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz is coming to Premium on demand release on September 18th. It looks very mysterious and really good And the movie, Run, the thriller about an overbearing mother controlling her wheelchair using daughter’s life, as sinister secrets get exposed, is going to be coming to Hulu sometime soon. It’s starring Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen and was originally slated for a mother’s day release. I think I saw precisely one trailer for it before everything went into lockdown, but I’m really excited for that one. Sarah Paulson is brilliant, and also apparently this is the first film since 1948 to star a wheelchair using actor? Kiera Allen is that actor. Of course, I love seeing movies in theaters, especially scary movies. They’re at their fullest potential on the big screen with the incredible sound systems that theaters have, but I’m just glad we’ll be able to see these movies at all, and we don’t have to wait a year or more for them.
So with all the scary movies I watched, I thought I’d do two quick reviews of ones I watched. One that’s new, and one that’s old. One that was pretty good and one that I absolutely hated.
We’ll start with the bad, so we can end on the good. I almost feel like it’s my duty to warn you to not watch this movie if you haven’t already. First off, I know no one ever sets out to make a bad movie, but Ugh it just made me so mad. And I’m gonna spoil this one for you, fair warning. Okay, it’s Would You Rather. This 2012 movie has been sitting in my Netflix queue for years. I could never quite bring myself to watch it because of the cover art its always had. It’s always just been an eyeball with a razor blade about a mm away, about to pierce it. And as much as I love horror movies, gore isn’t always my favorite, and eye trauma is always tough. I’m never quite in the mood to watch a razor blade go into an eye, you know? But I thought I’d give it a try finally. Put an end to its perpetual purgatory in my queue. It stars Brittany Snow, who I’ve always liked as an actress, as Iris, who, after her parents die, is caring for her sick brother, who has obvious guilt for her sister taking care of him. A nice way in, I thought. A good way to get us on the main character’s side and possibly set us up for getting emotionally invested. Her brother’s doctor introduces her to a philanthropist, Shepard Lambrick, who doesn’t exactly come off reputable and trust worthy, who says if she comes to a dinner party and participates in a game and wins, he will completely cover all costs of her brother’s care. “I don’t know” she says, “I’ll have to think it over” before ultimately deciding to participate. I’m sorry red flag red flag. A game?? You don’t want to ask what kind of game, you don’t assume its going to be sexual or perverse in some way? But it came from a doctor’s recommendation, so I guess we trust the doctor.
When she gets to the dinner party, a long drive away, we’re introduced to the other participants. All of whom are sitting or standing silently not talking to one another. Most awkward gathering ever. Iris talks to the only two friendly gentlemen, who begin to describe each character. The gambler, the alcoholic, the war vet, the old lady, the punk/goth girl, and then themselves, the handsome obvious potential love interest maybe for Iris, Lucas, and the handsome nerdy type. As we pan around the room, each actor is doing their best to just go full force to lean into their stereotypes murder mystery dinner theater style.
Dinner begins, and Iris asks if there’s a vegetarian option to which Lambrick essentially taunts her and offers her $10k to eat foi gras and steak, to which she doesn’t put up much of a fight about. We should all know where this is going, right? Shouldn’t we say, thanks so much for this, but it’s my time to bounce. Then he convinces the alcoholic to drink a bottle of scotch. Yeah, things aren’t going to get better from here, people.
So the game begins with them having to decide whether to give a major electric shock themselves or another person at the table. Oooh an interesting moral quandry. Alcoholic man doesn’t want to participate so is promptly shot dead, ensuring everyone else’s participation. The rounds of the game get worse and worse with having to choose whether to stab people or whack people with an African whipping stick, or choosing a mystery punishment vs trying to hold their breath for 2 minutes while being forced headfirst into a barrel of water. As one by one they die off, it’s clear that the game is designed that way, and it’s mostly just general torture porn kind of stuff. Lambrick’s son is also involved with the dinner party for some reason which we never find out why, I think to just get in an almost rape scene for…gratuitous purposes? The cast is…fine, for the most part. Doing the best with their completely 2 dimensional written characters. But Jeffery Combs playing our main villain here is a little overplayed. There’s a little too much camp in his performance compared to the rest of the cast and the violence which has zero fun behind it. And the actress playing the punk/goth girl, oof…She wasn’t helped by her script, but just…not great. Also, how are you going to hire Academy Award nominee JUNE SQUIBB to just sit in a chair and just play a scared old woman who doesn’t really do anything? Granted this was before her Oscar nom, but still. There’s some exciting moments when they almost get away, Iris, being particularly spry for someone who just got stabbed in the abdomen, but mostly it’s just uncomfortable violence. But also, we don’t even see the eye moment! When the cover art is a razor blade about to go into an eye, I expect that to be like a huge moment, but it cuts away when it happens! Which for some reason, I was mad about. Like I said, I don’t love gore centric movies, but I can handle it when done in a smart or camp way. Saw is one my favorite movie franchises because of how smart the stories are, and there’s a good ‘why’ behind it. That’s what I was waiting for with this movie, and why I was interested in it in the first place. It was an interesting concept, moral quandries, playing a game. There must be a good reason behind it… At the end of the movie when it’s just Iris and her would be love interest, Lucas, playing the game left, I was still ready to give it a “it’s not good, but worth a watch” review if they resolved it well and gave me a good why. It’s just the two of them left, Lucas with a terrible prosthetic on his eye, after his razor incident, yet no blood? and they’re given the choice to both walk away alive, but with no money, or take the money and kill the other. Iris gets to go first, and everything that has been established about her and the trust she’s built with Lucas, tells us that she’ll let them both escape this nightmare and save them both. But nope, she shoots him. It immediately made me mad, but I tried rationalize okay she did it for her brother, she loves her brother so much, and while it felt that should’ve been where the credits rolled, the movie kept going. Okay, we’re going to find out why, something good is gonna happen that will make allll this worth it. She says goodbye to her abusers, and thanks him for the money. He basically her forces her too, but still. She takes the long drive home, gets to her house, with the money that’s going to take care of her and her brother, checks on her brother who is in his bed still, and I thought, oh no. Please don’t tell me…And of course after a second check on him, not only has he died, he’s overdosed on his medication and killed himself. Roll credits. When I tell you I was livid. LIVID! So all of it was for nothing??? We never learn why this dinner party happened? After some vague talk at the mansion about the rules of the ‘ritual’, we never go further with that? It made me so mad. I know there’s a camp of horror lovers who like unhappy endings, and unhappy endings are certainly part of the genre, and I can get on board with an unhappy ending if done well, but this just felt lazy and self indulgent. I’m a person who 99% of the time will give a movie an “It’s okay”, but this movie for me was just, bad. I’m sure there will be those that disagree with me, and that’s fine. Afterall, I’m talking about the movie and thinking about it, and I had such a strong emotional reaction to it that it will probably stay with me, so maybe that’s what they were going for. From me, It gets 2 rotting pumpkins out of 10.
Okay… I said that was going to be quick. That wasn’t exactly quick. Clearly I have a lot of feelings. But I don’t want to end the episode on a rotting pumpkin, so I will give you a recommendation of a better horror film to watch, but I will make this one quicker. I’m trying to figure out how to talk about this one without spoiling it, but it’s hard because so much of what its about and its core theme hinges on its last scene. I think I can do it without too much of a spoiler though, I just can’t go as in depth.
Okay so, Relic. A new horror movie that was released on demand in July starring Emily Mortimer as Kay, who, getting word that her mother, Edna, played by Robyn Nevin, hasn’t been seen in days, goes to her secluded house to look for her, joined by grand daughter, Sam played by Bella Heathcote. Quick sidenote, I just have to say, I can’t see Emily Mortimer without hearing her voice in my head saying “Careful, my bones”, and if you know where that’s from, we can be friends.
After not being able to find Edna, anywhere, Edna suddenly shows up one morning in the kitchen, dirty and unkempt but acting as if it’s any other day. Where has she been? Edna can’t quite give an answer. As the movie progresses, Edna keeps switching going back and forth between perfect lucidness and erratic behavior. Prompting attempts by Kay to move her into a home. She gets confused a lot, Kay says, but does she? Is it dementia? Or does it have anything to do with the dark shadow figure silently stalking the house. And what’s going on with the bizarre dreams Kay is having?
The movie opens with the haunting image of Christmas lights twinkling in the darkness, as a naked old woman stands silently, that black shadow figure already making its presence known. It was a simple and wonderfully evocative way of putting you in the right mindset of the movie, although it did make me wonder, why do we have the trope of a naked old woman being terrifying? Shouldn’t we be telling women of all ages their bodies are beautiful? But also I think most of us would be mortified seeing our own grandmothers naked, so…I don’t know. While the movie is a little light on actual plot, it’s more a collection of increasingly disturbing erratic moments from Edna, and most of Emily Mortimer’s lines are some approximation of “Mom, what’s going on? What are you doing? Mom!” It’s all about atmosphere, and the film work here is really beautiful. What I appreciated about this movie was the fact that it didn’t rely on jump scares, and didn’t follow the same formula as most ‘haunted house’ movies where we come to just expect an increasing level of poltergeist activity. What was so great at building tension in this movie is the fact that pretty much everything scary came from Edna, and we didn’t necessarily know if she was lucid or not in each scene. She could be holding her knife, working on her wax candle artwork, and in a moment of conflict with her granddaughter or daughter, we didn’t know if she was about to erratically stab them or just get angry and argue like a level headed person. Even a moment where she was happy and put together, and convinced her granddaughter to dance with her. A really lovely moment, it was still filled with tension and dread, because I thought, oh she could just snap and turn in a second.
Also as the movie is ramping up towards the end it gets more exciting and we get to go to a darker twisted perhaps different dimension suddenly, but I won’t tell how we get there. I wish we had learned just a bit more about our three main characters here, but it ended up not mattering a whole lot because the themes of this movie are so universal. It doesn’t matter our own personal stories, so many of us have to go through this because ultimately at it’s core, this movie is about three generations of women, the circle of life, mothers taking care of daughters who grow up and then have to take care of their own mothers, and ultimately the horror and grief of watching a loved one lose the core of who they are because of forces beyond their control. Slight spoiler, but there’s a skin peeling moment at the end of the film that’s altogether at the same time, disgusting and horrifying, as well as being highly moving and emotional.
Our three actresses give fantastic performances, especially Robyn Nevin as our unhinged matriarch, and all together it was a film that was able to be dark, scary, full of dread, but in the end surprisingly emotionally powerful. I’d definitely recommend having a watch, and I’d give it 8/10 pumpkins.
Well, that’s it. Congratulations, you’ve reached the end of the second episode of October State of Mind. We laughed, we loved, we learned a little along the way. But mostly chewed our nails and covered our eyes in horror, right? Thank you so so so much for listening and Please, please, please if you’re enjoying the show, give it a 5 star review and subscribe! I was just about to list what podcasts hosts we’re on right now, but realized if you’re listening you probably already know. Please send me your creepy experiences and poems to RickyOSOM@gmail.com And remember, we love a paranormal story, always send those, but feel free to send any kind of creeeepy story. You can follow along at OSOMpodcast on Instagram, twitter and facebook or find me personally @RickyASchroeder. I hope you’re all happy and healthy. I hope you’re getting more and more pumped about spooky season. I know I am. Let me know how you’re planning on keeping the Halloween spirit alive in a safe way this year! Until next time, sleep tight everyone, don’t look under the bed and….. Happy Hauntings!