Sunday, May 8, 2011

Scaring Up Some Good Fun

Now having attended my first Halloween-haunt convention (I don't think last week's Chiller Theater really fit the bill), I can say these are a really good time. The National Haunters Convention in King of Prussia, PA, was indeed worth the time and expense as not only did I get to see a bunch of haunt vendors and pick their brains for ideas, but I once again got to hang out with fellow haunters and meet a few of the industry's "rock stars."

Going in to NHC I didn't know what to expect, and I'll admit on entering the show I was a bit let down. Having seen videos of Transworld I was expecting something along those lines, so this was apparently more scaled down than that mega show. However, I later found that this year's NHC was bigger than in the past and as I walked the floor I did come away with a better appreciation for the event. For the $25 show floor ticket, which was apparently good for all three days of the event, that's a pretty good deal.

They had a lot of vendors there covering a broad swath of the industry: props, animatronics, pneumatics, controllers, foggers, makeup, scene setters, and music. The NHC even had entertainment, including a trio of zombie singers and a trivia game show that was pretty funny.

My personal highlight was meeting (finally!) Johnny Thunder and Denny (Denhaunt) from the Hauntcast show. I also got to see Denny's "Pumpkin Thief" prop up close. Awesome job. They raffled it off and I could have sworn all the major league butt kissing I was doing would give me the inside track to winning the prop, but alas! No, someone else scored it.

The Hauncast booth served a second purpose, though, and that was as a central meeting place for all the haunters who were going to attend. It was great being able to put a face to a (screen) name.

I'm sure all of these people don't see themselves as anything special, but seeing them on the boards (and the excellent work they produce), watching their YouTube channels, reading their blogs, and listening to their podcasts, provides incredible inspiration to regular, relatively new haunters like me. They might not view themselves as leading lights of the industry, but as I noted they're like rock stars for me (Pumpkinrot, where the hell were ya?!).

Unfortunately for me, my camera acted up (later on I found it needed to be reset) so the pictures I had taken on it were lost, but at least there weren't that many. I ended up using my cellphone to photograph the props I liked that might provide some inspiration later on. It was definitely a good time and I'm glad FrightGuy from Grimlock Manor convinced me to go at last. I've got lots of work to do now!

The crew that met up at NHC (l-r): HalloweenZombie, GrimGhost, the Bloodshed Brothers, Johnny Thunder, JoiseyGal, me, Spooky1, RoxyBlue, IMU, Devil. (Kneeling, front): Denhaunt, FrightGuy. Devils Chariot ended up showing up later on.

A few other pictures I took of vendor props at the show:

Definitely the creepiest costume


  1. Great pis and write up. Again, cool meeting you.

  2. Same here, JT. I actually wanted to chat more but then I get this feeling like I'm a stalker and you're standing there thinking "When the hell's this guy gonna go?" So I usually just do a quick "Hey!" and move on.

    What was it Mark Twain said? "It is better to have people think you a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    Maybe next time we bump into each other I hang around some more.


  3. Great photos. Looks like a neat time. I feel so isolated out here in Boise. Maybe I'll get to the NW Haunter's con some time.

  4. GfID, but just think, you've got some awesome potatoes instead!

    As I mentioned this was my first con, but I think I'm hooked! I may just have to pony up the cash to go to Transworld or one of the other major conventions next year.



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