Writing about Movies, TV, Comics & Toys. Critically and creatively.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Scarefest experience

This past weekend I went to my first horror convention, and it was everything I expected it to be. Following are the chronicles of said convention, as well as photos.


We (myself, my brother, and our roommate) arrived in Lexington about an hour after the convention had started, though it was only going to last from 5-10 that day which seems silly in comparison to other conventions across the land.We got our arm bands which would grant us entry for that day and the next, as well as our beads to wear Saturday evening to the convention sponsored pub crawl.

We got in the con and first decided to walk around before buying anything, or so I told myself to do this (though it did not work). In addition to being a horror film convention it was a paranormal convention, so there were lots of booths dedicated to ghost hunting, tarot readings, etc etc.

The first thing I bought was:

I knew when I saw it that I had to have it, and thus couldn't leave the convention knowing that I passed up the opportunity to have a shirt of one of my favorite movies.

We continued to walk around and look at things, then we walked to the back of the convention known as "star row" where we looked at the celebrities from various horror opuses from the years with amazement (and surprise to some degree as some were much shorter than we had anticipated). The one that had me the most mezmerized was the godfather of the zombie film himself George A. Romero.

The Dawn of the Dead poster that I currently have on my wall is nearly ripped to shreds, so I managed to find a dealer selling horror bootlegs as well as Dawn of the Dead posters. I got in line and waited about twenty minutes but then I got to meet one of my idols.

George was a great guy, he made small talk and seemed really appreciative of the support that he's been given from the fans all these years. Needless to say the poster he autographed is going to be framed soon and put in my room.

From here we wandered around a little more, I bought another shirt:
It's a beauty, and somehow I managed to talk the vendor down three dollars on it. I told him I wanted the shirt but I didn't want to spend any more money that night (and was sincere about it too) then he offered me the same shirt for three dollars less, and I took it of course.

Though I don't believe in ghosts/psychics (the paranormal aspect of this horror/paranormal convention) we decided to go to a Q&A with this guy Chip Coffey, who apparently is a psychic medium on some ghost hunting shows. It was very entertaining to see an old psychic queen get up there and tell us stories about things, though I didn't really take much of it seriously.

We parted ways with the convention center and checked into our hotel and promptly left again to get food. We ate at this great place called Raferty's in Lexington, phenomenal food and service I highly recommend it (apparently they're all over the south except in Alabama). From here we went to a local grocery store and purchased some bottles of fun. We returned to our hotel and slept until the next morning.

Today was the "big day" of the convention. It was going to last from 11 to 8 at night and we would be present for most of it. The first thing we did was go meet Danielle Harris (Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4/5, and Annie Bracket in Rob Zombie's Halloween series).
Then we got in line for my brother to get Danny Trejo (Machete) to sign his first season DVD of King of the Hill. Apparently this tickled Danny Trejo to no end because he laughed when my brother handed it to him, and then began to do his character's voice from the show. When my brother asked for a picture he replied with "OH SHIT YEA MAN", he even held up the DVD in the photo.

After this we walked around some more and bought some more things. I got this stack of old Stephen King books for $6.

We then went to the "Hatchet 2" panel which consisted of Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder and R. A. Mihailoff (Leatherface from TCM part 3). It was an hour of them telling us stories about working on both Hatchet and the horror business in general. Kane told us about how Tommy Lee Jones and Steven Segal are assholes, Danielle Harris told us about how the first attempt someone had made at her with a "casting couch" experience was with Steven Segal.

After this I went and got in line to meet Kane Hodder (Jason from Friday the 13th 7,8,9,X). Yes he might have been in the worst Fthe13th movies but he was a great Jason, and I really admire him for his work.

This actually hurt quite a bit, but it made for one hell of a picture. After this we waited patiently for the Q&A everyone at the con was waiting for: The George Romero panel.

We waited for about 45 mintues before we finally got in, then another 15 before George & company finally got there. It was a decent enough Q&A, mostly because George Romero was present, but the sheer amount of dumb questions and people more complimenting the panel members instead of asking a question was astounding and made me enraged.

The first half of the Alabama game started while we were waiting, after the Q&A ended we went to a nearby sports bar to watch the second half. After it was over we were ready for the pub crawl to start.

I bought one more thing before we waited for the pub crawl:
This is probably my favorite of the shirts I bought this weekend.

After some driving around to get gas/resting at the hotel we returned to the convention center for the pub crawl. We waited about 20 minutes and when it began we were charged with the idea of just doing the "tour" part of the crawl first and being told what bars we were going to and to go off on our own. No one voted for that when we voted on what to do, but that's what the leader did anyway. So we stand and walk around in the cold for about 30 minutes before we finally go off to the bars (luckily they were doing trivia during the tour and I managed to win two DVDs).

The first bars special for us on the pub crawl was a Zombie, a mighty tasty drink. Nothing to special about this place except that we got in just before they started charging for the cover.

The second bar we stayed at for a while, their special we were told was a candy corn shot, so I ordered it and it wasn't candy corn but more of a lemon drop shot (also FYI this place was voted the #3 bourbon bar in the world by Whiskey Magazine).

The final bar we went to was your typical college student bar setting, we sat at the bar and had some beer before embarking on the last event of the weekend: A ghost hunt.

Just like on those shows I don't watch/believe in we were going to go on our own investigation.

There were about 20 of us in total and at first it seemed like me and my roommate were the only ones that didn't believe in all of this nonsense, but as the night went on I would find people by themselves and ask them if they really believed in it some said yes others no (they were just being more polite about it than me and my roommate were).

As I walked around I tried recording an EVP on my phone a few times, but nothing ever happened. I asked the ghosts to manifest themselves as orbs around me while someone took my picture:
(me and my roommate, both still quite inebriated, and still not believing in ghosts)

They didn't appear in pictures with me. at least not when I asked them.
These girls we were talking to took this picture, in which two "orbs" appear near me, it seems they're trying to run train on me if you look at right. Though this proves nothing to me about ghosts, from a believers stand point it is interesting that the only person that saw orbs in their pictures was taking a picture of the non believer.

It was obvious that some of the people on this investigation were REALLY into ghost hunting, they wanted something paranormal to happen SO BAD that it was laughable.

The tour ended with nothing to convince me of the existence of ghosts. A good joke came about though that the ghosts were perhaps shy about their alcohol purchases as we found this in the basement:
Yup, an old PBR.

After this tour we went back to the hotel, slept for some hours, got up and drove back to Alabama. It was a wonderful weekend and a great experience that I hope to repeat again next year.

This is where the story runs out of steam, so here are some billboards we saw on our way there.

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