Falling asleep on Friday night was absolutely impossible for me. I'm like that little kid on Christmas Eve waiting for the morning so I can rip open my presents like a savage. Trying desperately to fall asleep, I tossed and turned thinking about the weekend that I had been waiting for months on end. I hate this season so much, but this is the event I look forward to and it saves me from the torture of summer. When Saturday morning rolled around, I raced through the house getting the last of my things. It felt like a gigantic blur. Throwing my bag of convention essentials into my car--I set off to Long Beach.
Upon arrival, I checked in at the Press table and snagged a map of the show floor along with the schedule for the weekend. The check in was quick and receiving my credentials was seamless. Immediately, I realized that the White Bat volunteers at the convention center were assisting with entry and the overall organization and differentiation between General Admission, Press and Gold Bat. Usually this becomes an absolute nightmare with other conventions because they lack any kind of signage and communication between staff and the guests which inevitably leads to the failure of an event (I'm looking at you Monsterpalooza). But I'm happy to say that Midsummer had this under control. By providing signage and the correct communication to the attendees--Midsummer Scream was already off to a fang-tastic start.
Riding down the escalator, you are instantly immersed into the spooky magic of the show floor. Vendors were excited to greet the guests and showcase their products. Cosplayer's were getting their photos taken with eager fans. Although I was excited to roam through the show floor (and spend all my money) I quickly made my way to the Hall of Shadows.
Compared to last year's event, the Hall of Shadows definitely expanded and made excellent use of their space. When you enter, you are immediately shrouded in the dark, spooky atmosphere as you hear the sound of screams from the haunted houses. The Hall of Shadows was packed with vendors, haunted houses, exhibitions and more! You soak in the eerie vibes that every Halloween loving kid enjoys. And just like every spooky child, I felt right at home.
The haunted houses are the main focus of this Hall. Two haunts stood out to me the most. Their energy and creativity drove in serious crowds! Murder House Productions pulled all the stops and provided a Trick R Treat maze as a tribute to the film. Awkward Arsic managed to capture the maze down below! If you're interested in visiting and learning more about MHP, you can follow them here!
Theme Park Adventure even got to interview fellow haunter Aurora Persichetti. Her passion for Halloween and its traditions, and what it took to create this incredible home haunt. Below is Theme Park Adventures' interview with Aurora in Thousand Oaks, CA!
The other haunt that blew me away was Annaliese Michel: The Experience by Twisted Minds Productions. Step into the house of Annaliese who was possessed by unseen forces (if you're interested in this story, you can watch a film loosely based on real events; The Exorcism of Emily Rose). I'm really excited to see what else Twisted Minds has in store for us!
Twisted Mind Productions captured a few scares on camera this past weekend! Check it out and be sure to follow them here.
The scare actors are the life-blood of any haunted attraction. You have to have energetic scare actors willing to make it believable at every turn. Watch this behind the scenes clip by Twisted Minds Productions to capture an inside look of what goes into 'Becoming Anneliese.'
One of my favorite things about this event are the people who cosplay! You have many variations floating through; Freddy, Jason, Michael, and because of the Hocus Pocus Anniversary Panel--there were many cosplayers dressed up as the Sanderson Sisters. I also admire those who dabble in special effects make-up!
These are just some of the cosplayers/special effects make-up that I managed to capture over the weekend!
One of the most entertaining parts of this past weekend was the performance that took place in the Hall of Shadows! The Poltergeists and Paramours Fashion Show showcased some monster loving women in sexy lingerie! Spooky babes struttin their stuff on a runway? Yes please! They even had some cute dance numbers thrown in. This show was a crowd-pleaser. Each piece was made by the owner of Poltergeists and Paramours, Ama Lea, be sure to check her out!
As I was passing through the show floor checking out the vendors and snapping pictures, I stopped by the Boo Crew Podcast table. I've been following this podcast for a good minute and I'm constantly blown away by their content. This podcast embodies horror news, reviews, and more. You can listen to their podcast weekly on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify!
One of the most exciting exhibitions was SlashBack Video. This exhibit will also be hosted at the Mystic Museum in Burbank on September 8th for anyone that is in the area! SlashBack allows you to leap through a portal and experience a true 80's Slasher Video Store. You are immediately greeted with shelves of the classics that have dominated the screen and have slashed our hearts. Are you ready to feel extra nostalgic? Where's my 80's babies at?
If you haven't seen Final Girls---I'm not even sure we can be fiends...
Mixtape Massacre is actually a board game (even though I would definitely see that if it was an actual film) where you can play as horror film archetypes in a 1986 fictional killing spree. Learn all about the game here!
Comment below if you'd play this game nonstop!
What better way to finish off this weekend by attending the Halloween Horror Nights panel? I attend Halloween Horror Nights every year for my birthday and I'm always eager to learn more information about this event as my favorite time of the year approaches. This panel was so popular that the Grand Ballroom was filled to the brim with attendees!
Halloween Horror Night's Panel
After a long day of running through the Hall of Shadows and the Show Floor, I grabbed a seat in the Grand Ballroom and awaited the HHN Presentation. This panel bridges the gap between the West and East Coast by uniting both Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando in one room for the first time--EVER. The panel is composed of Michael Aiello, Senior Director of Entertainment Development of Universal Orlando Resort and Halloween Horror Nights, John Murdy, Director, Creative Development & Exec Show Producer and Chris Williams, Art Director of Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights.
The Universal creative team shares insights of how they stepped into their roles and what truly inspired them to start their careers in this field. The following clip below provides the inside scoop about the event this year! And--John Murdy slips up and provides a little treat during the panel!
Footage by Inside the Magic
When the panel concluded, the rest of the event was beginning to wrap up. As I left the convention center, I couldn't help but think one thing...
"That's it? It's over already?"
I'm usually greeted by fatigue once a convention is over but I couldn't help but feel the overwhelming pressure of sadness as this event came to a close. Midsummer Scream set out to please Halloween and Horror enthusiasts alike--and I truly believe they accomplished what they set out to do. Although this was their third year, Midsummer Scream really pulled out all the stops to provide a weekend that speaks to the hearts of haunters, halloween lovers and horror enthusiasts alike.
Thank you to anyone and everyone who stopped by our booth! Be sure to follow us at @littleshopofgore for any and all shop updates!
And for all your blogging needs, be sure to follow @madame.leatherface !
So, you're probably what's next?
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