Makeup artist creates monsters, creepy clowns at Erebus – The Oakland Press

Jonathan Jamieson has always loved Halloween.

That said, it makes sense that he thrives as a makeup artist at Erebus Haunted Attraction, a multistory haunted house in Pontiac that has terrified attendees since 2000.

“The thrill of scaring people is like nothing else,” says Jamieson, a Waterford resident.

This is Jamieson’s 15th year working at Erebus Haunted Attraction, which opened for the haunted season on Friday, Sept. 22.

His first experience with Erebus was actually as an attendee.

“I went through as a customer when I was 15, and at the back door, Ed (Terebus, co-owner) was standing there and asked, ‘How was it?’” Jamieson recalls. “I said, ‘Great! How do I get a job here?’ He said, ‘Show up tomorrow.’”

At first, Jamieson served as an actor at Erebus, playing various monsters and other scary creatures. Then, his interest — and talents — switched to creating terrifying makeup looks.

“When I started, Ed was the only one doing makeup, and I would watch him do it,” Jamieson says. “One day, I asked if I could do my own makeup. Then, everybody asked me to start doing their makeup, and it snowballed from there. I became a self-taught makeup artist.”

The Erebus makeup looks run the gamut.

“We do all kinds of different monsters,” Jamieson says of his most popular Erebus makeup transformations. “Lately, we’re doing a lot of creepy clowns. Those seem to be really in right now: creepy clowns, angry clowns.”

So, what’s the secret of a really terrifying makeup look?

“Probably the key is knowing the anatomy of a face,” he says. “Exaggerating the form of the face is really important, and any way you can make the eyes and eyebrows look more aggressive is key. The eyes are the focal point of the face, and if you do it right, the person will look very angry or very scary without having to make that facial expression.

Jamieson says Erebus is really stepping up the game this year when it comes to makeup.

He’s currently attending Multimedia Makeup Academy in Troy to study special effects makeup, and he says many of Erebus’ makeup artists also study at the academy, which will intensify Erebus’ overall makeup.

He loves seeing the scary makeup develop from a normal, friendly-looking face to something horrific.

“Creating monsters and turning somebody into something scary and watching them get so excited about it and be really happy about it makes me happy,” he says. “Overall making things scary and seeing people enjoy it, whether it’s an actor or customer, is why I do it.”

• Erebus Haunted Attraction, 18 S. Perry St., Pontiac, is open 7:30-10:30 p.m. weekdays, 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 6-11 p.m. Sundays until Nov. 4. Tickets vary depending on what night you attend, but generally run between $19 and $28. For specific ticket information, call 248-332-7884, or visit