As I woke up Saturday morning, I was overcome with excitement – as if I was a kid on Christmas morning. Except instead of opening presents I couldn’t wait to drive to Downtown Los Angeles and have the crap scared out of me. Let me explain…
The Halloween season began this year with the 2nd Annual Scare LA convention that celebrated the local haunt community as well as the Halloween/horror genre in general. The convention took place August 9th and 10th in Los Angeles at The Reef (formerly L.A. Mart). This was a cool building that houses showrooms for designers and such.
This past weekend two floors of The Reef were overrun by monsters, haunters and those that love them. It was paradise for a silly little ghoul like me.
The creators of Scare LA did a fantastic job of offering an eclectic array of activities that would interest anyone who loves Halloween. I was extremely impressed with the quality of panelists that were offered at the event. The biggest names in LA haunts were present to provide sneak peeks of their upcoming season. Panels included Knott’s Scary Farm, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, and The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. And special attention was also given to the home haunts. A special panel was held with some of the most well known and best executed home haunts including Big Worm’s Sherwood Scare, Mystic Motel, and Perdition Home.
The most anticipated panel was When Hinges Creak: Celebrating 45 Years of the Haunted Mansion. In honor of the 45th anniversary Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction, Scare LA brought together Disney Legends Bob Gurr and Alice Davis to talk about the making of the ride and what makes it so timeless. We posted the audio of this presentation here.
Scare LA also offered a unique opportunity for those who wanted to learn from the masters in the field with Scare Education. A special student tickets allowed convention goers to follow educational paths depending on their interest which included Monster Maker (all things you need to know to be a costumed character), Halloween Maniac (pumpkin carving, games and decorating) or Scare Master (learning the business management aspect of running your own haunt).
The exhibitor floor was made up of many different types of booths that ranged from teaser rooms from the local home haunts, various horror-themed artists, and retailers selling anything you would need to set up your own haunt.
Some of the more notable booths included Haunted Hollywood Park where they allowed visitors to do some target practice on their unrelenting zombies. Beautiful cake creations were on display by The Cake Countess. Who wouldn’t love a cake covered in flesh? And one of our favorite artists, Diana Levin, had some her fiendish art on display.
Another unique offering at Scare LA was the screening room where filmmakers could showcase their short films that ranges from campy vampire musicals to a collection of Theme Park Adventure’s videos of past haunts.
Really, that is just scratching the surface as to what Scare LA brought to the table this year. Even with spending two full days at the event, more time would be needed if you wanted to experience everything.
The convention is something I would highly recommend to anyone who loves Halloween and the haunt experience. It was a great way to get the Halloween juices flowing early and gives even more time to enjoy the best season of the year.
Here is a gallery of images taken from Scare LA.