For those who have been keeping up with me and my convention travels, you know that I have only been to two horror conventions this year. In fact, 2018 marks the very first time I had ever in my entire life been to a horror convention and I am so glad that I made the decision to go to a horror convention. As in my article about Days of the Dead, which happened to be my very first ever horror con, I must say that horror conventions have something that dare I say most of the conventions simply do not have. That sense of family and closeness. See, I’ve mostly attended comic conventions and a one gaming convention throughout the many years of convention going that I have done and I cannot imagine why on earth I had never decided to attend a horror convention until this year, but each convention that I attend I makes me even more glad that I go.
Which brings me to a convention I attended a few weeks ago in Lexington, Kentucky called “The Scarefest” now, I had never in my life heard of this convention, but you have to understand that I know little to nothing about these horror cons and after doing some extensive research I found that this happens to be Kentucky’s biggest horror con at least that is what I’ve heard anyway. I typically tend to watch some videos of the conventions to get a bit of an idea as to what I am about to get myself into, but I decided to not do that for Scarefest because I wanted to be surprised and let me tell you I was very surprised and not at all disappointed.
One of my absolute favorite things about horror conventions I have noticed is just how extremely friendly the celebrities and guests tend to be. They are all extremely approachable and never ever make you feel like you are just a dollar sign. What I mean by that is at some conventions I have been to in the past (here’s looking at you Wizard World) it is all about just how much money the convention can make and it, unfortunately, shows when it comes to interacting with the guests. I have yet to experience that at a single horror convention I have been to and that streak continues here at The Scarefest. Several of the guests I met such as Joe Bob Briggs from Monstervision and Shudder’s The Last Drive-In, Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp and Costas Mandylor from the Saw movies, were all very friendly and even came out from behind their booths to greet me and were willing to spend some time to talk. For whatever reason, this is not the case at most comic or pop culture conventions and I’m really not understanding why. Not only that, but you are even allowed to take photos of the guests away from their booth unlike a lot of other conventions that are extremely strict on even pointing your camera or smartphone their direction which to me makes zero sense considering everyone has a camera these days so some people need to just get over it.
The atmosphere at The Scarefest is one that is extremely welcoming and full of very friendly and talkative people with a lot of creative artists and FX makeup people that work in the horror industry. It makes me wish I was just as good, if not better than a lot of the artists that were featured and had their items out for display. The lines were not at all long to wait for anything and I had no issues at all waiting for any of the panels. The event was extremely organized, which is what I would expect from the now 11-year-old convention. The only real issue I had was the people that were chosen to moderate the panels. The Saw movie panel had a moderator that didn’t properly moderate in my opinion and immediately went to ask the crowd if they had any questions which to me is something that should always be saved for last.
The staff at The Scarefest was extremely knowledgeable when it came to knowing where to go for panels or letting us know that certain panels had been canceled or rearranged for the day. It was a breath of fresh air being somewhere where the volunteer and staff were on the same page as some conventions I have attended this was unfortunately not the case. I’m curious as to how on point every one without the need of a walkie-talkie, but I was simply glad that whenever I had a question about something I felt like my question was very important and that time was taken for me to get a response.
I would have to give The Scarefest very high honors and a ton of praise for being way up there and in my Top 5 for best conventions in 2018 and I do hope to be invited back in the years to come. Speaking of my favorite conventions, I plan in either January or February doing a list of my Top Five Favorite Conventions from 2018. I still have only two more on my list to attend this year as I will be heading back to Kentucky for Louisville Supercon in November and then heading over to Fort Wayne, Indiana for PopCon Fort Wayne to round out the year.
Until next time!