3 Spooky Salon Stories

In honor of Halloween, we have rounded up a trio of spooky salon stories from three nail professionals, just in time for pumpkin season.

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1. No tricks, only (nail) treats

About 16 years ago, OPI Principal Scientist Paul Bryson had the idea of handing out OPI lacquer mini bottles (1/8 ounce), along with the candy at Halloween.

"OPI leadership agreed that it was a great publicity stunt. It succeeded beyond all expectations," says Bryson. "Our neighborhood has always been big on trick-ortreating, and we generally prep for about 200 to 300 kids, but once our address was tweeted out as the OPI house, we got even more attention. With subsequent years, we started carving pumpkins with the OPI bottle shape. We also run the neighborhood refreshment table where kids (and tired parents) can take a break from trick-ortreating and get cider, cold water or hot chocolate, so, between the OPI polish and the refreshment station, our place has become the local Halloween nexus. Some kids come back every year to the OPI house just to get the polish and even did so during the pandemic. Most of our Halloween customers are adolescent girls—which does not bother my adolescent sons at all. Others are boys who have been reminded by their mothers or sisters, ‘Do not forget to go to the OPI house and get polish for me!’ However, my favorite Halloween customers were a father and son pair—the father, a musician, had an alternative look (mohawk, tattoos, piercings and fingernails polished light blue) and his little son asked for light blue nail polish so he could be just like his dad."

—Paul Bryson, Principal OPI Scientist, Calabasas, California

2. The late-night salon lurker

One late October night, when Destiny James was working alone at a popular salon on a busy street, she decided to lock herself and her client in the shop for safety purposes.

"It was a regular night at 7:30 p.m. until the end of the service approached, and we heard a noise," says James. "It sounded like rustling in the back room. Since everyone had left, we naturally were confused and a little concerned. I made sure the doors were locked once again and checked the back room to make sure nothing—or no one—was there. After finding nothing out of the ordinary, we continued with the service. Not five minutes later, we hear the same rustling noise, and this time, with faint music playing. Around 9 p.m., peak spooky time, we realized that the two of us had just locked ourselves in a salon with an unexpected visitor. I (being the biggest chicken on the planet) mustered up the courage to go investigate again. I turned off the music, and tiptoed as quietly as I could to the back room. I slowly opened all the doors this time to ensure that whatever or whoever [was] with us [had] no way out. After clearing all the rooms, I get to the last door and nearly jumped out of my skin when I ACTUALLY FOUND A HUMAN! It was not a robber or a ghost like I had expected, but it was indeed a person! Apparently, our shop’s lash tech was waiting for her ride and decided to hang out in her lash room until they got there. After regaining a stable heartbeat, we all ended up having a great laugh about it. Pro tip: If you are a paranoid person ever working after hours, make sure you check all the rooms before locking yourself inside!"

—Destiny James (@polished.destiny), Winter Park, Florida, Nail Necessities, LLC

3. The unexpected client 

One morning around 11 a.m., during peak natural lighting when no shadows hung in her suite, Rebecca Ludwig was working on a full set for her client when she swears that she saw someone walk through the doorway behind her client.

"She saw me look behind her, and she even turned around," says Ludwig. "I told her I saw someone walk behind her, and she was definitely freaked out, saying, ‘Oh, no, I do not like that.’ It is odd, because I have those experiences often but never in the salon (other than my Alexa randomly replying to things when I definitely did not say anything to her) until I was asked to share a spooky story! What are the odds. During the fall season, I work with only my desk light and always set the mood with spooky candles, scary movies and Halloween decor. Maybe this year, I will skip that."

—Rebecca Ludwig (@moonchild.nails), independent nail artist at Moonchild Studio, Winter Park, Florida

To see the full Spooky Salon Stories spread, check out the September/October issue of our digital magazine.

About the Author

Angelina Lewis is a freelance writer based in Jacksonville, Florida.

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