This was a very big year for The ScareFest Horror and Paranormal Convention. Not only were they getting one of the biggest names in horror and fandom (Robert Englund!), but they were celebrating their ten year anniversary. So the pressure was on to make this a very unforgettable year, not only for the attendees but also the guests and vendors.
Walking the ScareGrounds
This would mark the third year that we have covered ScareFest. I was quite surprised (and humbled) as I was walking through the convention hearing people yell out my name or saying, “Hey, it’s the Reverend!” One of my biggest surprises was when a vendor asked if they could interview me. I was like, “Usually it’s the other way around but sure!”
One particular vendor that caught my attention was the North American Dogman Project. It’s made up of volunteer researchers who gather information about the creature phenomenon known as the “Dogman.” As a huge fan of cryptozoology I was shocked I hadn’t heard of this werewolf-like creature before. They had some casts made of footprints, possible audio recordings of the Dogman howling, and a map of sightings. They’re currently looking for a representative in my home state. Something for me to consider?
The cosplayers were great. With Robert Englund making an appearance there were A LOT of Freddy Kruegers walking around and occasionally a few Jasons, so there would be some fake fights going on between them with people snapping pictures. A couple of people got a little creative with representing the man of your dreams, as Sammy Bates of Rotting Corpse Productions decided to dress in drag as a female Freddy. The attendance was at an all-time high this year with a lot of smiling faces, and not just from the creepy clowns walking around.
Iconic Guests and Celebrities
When asking a lot of the fans about what brought them to ScareFest this year, 99% of the time you heard one name: Robert Englund. This man is a legend in the horror realm, best remembered from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The line leading to his table was insane during the entire convention. I spoke to one gentleman who said he waiting six hours to meet him! (I don’t know if I’d even wait that long to meet Bruce Campbell.) But one of the reasons for the long wait is Mr. Englund was actually taking the time to meet his fans and talk with them, rather than just sign something and tell them to be on their way. Sadly, we were unable to meet with him.
Another big-named actor that many of us were very excited about was Danny Trejo. This guy’s life story is truly inspirational. He’s known for the Machete films, Con Air and my personal favorite, the voice of Enrique on King of the Hill. His interaction with a couple of the cosplayers was hysterical (video to be posted at a later date). He agreed to take a picture with us and when I told him the name of the magazine he said, “Darkest Air?” “No, sir, ‘Goth.’” “Darkest God?” “No, Gotthhh.” “Oh, Goth, hahaha!” It was definitely a highlight of the weekend.
In the world of music I was extremely thrilled to meet one of my favorite guitarists, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. Formerly the guitarist for Misfits, he’s been doing his own band Doyle for the past few years. I tell you what, for a giant, sinister looking mo-fo, this dude is one of the most soft-spoken individuals I’ve met. We were able to interview him and it consisted of mostly one-word answers, quite possibly my most entertaining (and short) interview to date.
The Seminars and Films
The ScareFest knows how to keep their attendees entertained when they’re not walking around. The first seminar we sat in on was presented by Wes Forsythe, the voice of ScareFest Radio. He gave a talk on how to survive a zombie apocalypse. It was pretty humorous, and at the same time contained useful information for those who believe that World War Z will one day actually happen.
A very terrifying lecture on exorcisms and possession was given by Bishop James Long of the Old Catholic Church. Bishop Long has performed 28 exorcisms to date, and has been seen on TV numerous times. The audio clips he played from previous exorcisms were chilling. He went on to explain the procedure of an exorcism, and how a licensed psychiatrist is always present so they can verify the person isn’t just suffering from schizophrenia or other mental disorders. He also showed a video clip of a possible Incubus. All of the exorcisms and appearances he’s done, he refuses to get paid. The only money he accepted over the weekend was donations given for his homeless ministry.
Multiple films were shown over the weekend. We got to view Crazy Fat Ethel, a film directed by Brian Dorton. This movie had some serious “WTF” moments. It was very bloody, but also entertaining. Once I receive a DVD I will be writing a review for the film so be on the lookout!
Our time ended with a seminar on Sunday. Nic Brown spoke on the Wendigo, an evil spirit connected with cannibalism in Native American folklore. It was educational learning about the creature, but even more so about Wendigo psychosis, which is when a human being becomes cannibalistic and feeds on nothing but human flesh.
ScareFest X was more than a successful celebration of their ten years in Lexington; it was a celebration of family and friends, the two biggest reasons I shall return to the convention each year and hopefully live to see ScareFest XX.