Things That Go Bump At The Convention



Bright lights and large crowds may not instill a sense of fear in you, but that is perfectly fine for the 9th annual Scarefest Horror and Paranormal Convention, and like any good horror franchise, it’s a trilogy!


For the uninitiated, Scarefest is one of the largest gatherings of horror genre celebrities and paranormal experts in the world; covering the almost 90,000 sq. ft. space of the Lexington Convention Center. The event draws in fans from all over the country for a weekend of paranormal and horror movie entertainment. Whether is it shopping at one of many unique vendors, attending any number of workshops / seminars / and Q&A panels, or  meeting one of the many iconic celebrities that cover the convention floor, there is plenty to tickle your fancy.

Before the event began the press were invited to see a number of the guests that were appearing at this years convention. We got to see a small selection of the guests as they stood in front of the splash wall for photos and interviews. This years event features one of the largest ever gatherings of ‘Friday the 13th’ stars.


I was looking for just one person to interview at the beginning of the convention, the icon of horror, Sean Cunningham. He is the creator of ‘Friday the 13th’, featuring Jason Voorhees who goes on a killing spree at Camp Crystal Lake. This isn’t what I wanted to talk about though… I found out he has a new project that is near and dear to me; “The Nurse With The Purple Hair”!
As a volunteer for Hospice of the Bluegrass, this documentary about Hospice nurses is a project that I am glad he has produced, and the subject of the movie happened to join us for an interview.

NOTE: I started the interview with Sean then he spotted the nurse across the convention floor and ran to get her into the interview.


There are many panels for fans to attend and hear about the making of their favorite movies, and a chance to speak directly to their favorite stars. Unfortunately time management is an issue, having to choose which panel to attend as so many occur at the same time.


I was able to attend the ‘Death House’ panel – an upcoming horror movie set in a secret prison taking viewers on a labyrinth of horrors while being pursued by an army of inmates. The panel featured Sean Waylan (Batman Returns, Twister, Idle Hands), Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th Part VII, Jason Goes to Hell, Smothered), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Dead Serious, Silent Night Zombie Night), and Yan Birch (The People Under The Stairs, Charmed). They discussed the process of making such a layered horror movie that has so many levels of evil, but then became a ‘study on acting’. It was incredibly enjoyable hearing about the actors experiences in Hollywood and them sharing anecdotes about life on a set. I really liked them demystifying the public’s ‘idea’ of life as an actor; being pampered in a trailer in exotic locales. Sean Waylan commented that even though he was in Hawaii for ‘Lost’ the actors were limited in where they could go and do and often were there without their loved ones. I did get to ask my own question to the cast, in keeping with the discussion of acting. ‘’I have worked 10 years in a call center, so when I am home I absolutely despise talking on the phone; as actors, do you still enjoy going to the theater to watch movies or is it something you’d rather avoid?” – All of the cast was quick to reply that they all love watching movies, with Sean stating it was something that is vital to being a good actor is a love of the art form.
Check out more from Sean Whalen in our ‘Day III: The Nightmare Ends’ coverage

The second panel I wanted to attend was the ‘Who’s Ready to Scream?’ panel featuring Matthew Lillard (Hackers, SLC Punk, Scooby-Doo) and Skeet Ulrich (Jericho, The Craft, The Newton Boys). This highly anticipated panel was well attended by convention guests. Matthew was exactly as I expected, entertaining, he walked around the room handing his mic to guests wanting to ask questions and interacting with the press. Skeet remained on stage. Both stars were asked the expected questions of ‘What’s your favorite scene’, ‘How was it working with Wes Craven’, etc. but they were presented with some in-depth questions about the aspects of being an actor such as auditioning, something that Matthew gave an impassioned response about misconceptions the public have about celebrity. He even thanked the audience for attending the convention as it helps blue-collar actors support their families. The 50-minute panel felt like it went by way too fast as we were all having a really great time.

Well that is all I have to report on for the first day… be sure to check out ‘DAY II: RETURN TO THE HORROR’ coverage!

Saturday marks the busiest day of any weekend convention, Scarefest is no different. Throngs of costumed fans flooded the convention floor to check out the celebrity guests / artists / vendors.


There were a number of clowns walking around the floor, a staple of horror since movies like ‘IT’, ‘Poltergeist’ and ‘Killer Clowns From Outer Space’. With the recent news stories about people causing alarm in many rural communities across the country, I wanted to ask how these clowns felt about the recent exposure.

day2_noodlesI don’t like it, they are making it nearly impossible to be a professional scary clown right now and I wish they would cut it out!Noodles The Clown

As I covered yesterday in my interview with Sean Cunningham, he screened his new documentary that follows the work of Hospice Nurses. it was a very touching and intimate view of the work these amazing nurses do every day to help patients. As Sean says in the documentary, he learned that death doesn’t have to be scary! After the screening Sean asked the audience if there were any questions… just one – “Why didn’t you provide any Kleenex!”


Absolutely EVERYTHING!


Easily identified by their distinctively costumes, Gwar’s core mythology and visual concept revolves around a sci-fi . horror-esque theme portraying members as interplanetary warriors. They stripped down to civilian clothes and provided an in-depth look into what the band means to them, their favorite memories, and a chance to share stories of the late frontman and lead singer Dave Brockie. While no body-fluids were sprayed on audience members, a common occurrence at live concerts, there was plenty of laughs.




day2_burlesqueDish Delish and Victoria Nightshade of Graveyard Girls Burlesque offered a very informative panel on incorporating horror into burlesque. While it seems like many of the audience were expecting a Burlesque show rather than a course, the presenters were not phased. They had some great information and nurtured a safe comfortable atmosphere ensuring the audience that any of them that were interested, were capable of participating in burlesque.

/thefisherbodies /dish.delish

The saga continues with DAY III: THE NIGHTMARE ENDS

The final day of the convention is upon us… this is usually when we discover the twist that the murderer wasn’t who we thought at all, and get our heroes reward for surviving the blood bath.


Much of the public, and convention attendees, have preconceived notions of the ‘life of an actor’; from shooting in exotic locations to attending celeb filled parties, but rarely do we think about the work that goes into getting the roles that make our favorites into household names. Sean Whalen has appeared in a number of films over the course of his career. I wanted to talk to him about the nitty-gritty aspects of acting that we don’t get to hear about.




There are many writers out there, and if you are a fan of the written word, then the Horror Writers Association may be the right organization for you. I had the chance to speak to ‘Bram Stoker Award Winner’ Nicole Cushing (‘Mr. Suicide’) and Kenneth Whitfield about the organization and their work.


While the focus of Scarefest is the horror genre, there are some spots of fun and support.

day2_mysterymachine, the iconic vehicle that carried the Scooby-Doo gang on their haunting adventures was featured on the floor with photo opportunities.


BrazenMonkey, special FX costume / props developer, was at the entrance each day with a massive sculpture that took 4 months and over 1000 hours to build. ‘Toothless’, a character from the movie ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, that you could take pictures with and even ride, to raise money for the ‘Make a Wish’ foundation.



day3_ghostbustersThe Western Kentucky Ghostbusters were on hand to ensure no class 4 malevolent apparitions spoiled anyone’s time at the convention. They provided recently re-released ‘ecto-coolers’ and ‘green slime twinkies’ in exchange for donation that go directly to the Children’s Hospital, an organization they work closely with throughout the year.
RAISED: $900+ /TheRealWKGB




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