As the third year of ScareLA comes to a close we are so excited for Halloween season 2015!
The two day convention switched venues this year moving from downtown Los Angeles to a much more spacious location at the Pasadena Convention Center which welcomed over 10,000 fans. There was something for everyone including panels from the largest haunts in the industry including Universal Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm and Queen Mary Dark Harbor. In addition to the panels there were seminars, classes, recreated home haunts and over 200 vendors covering all aspects of horror and Halloween. There was so much to see and do that it couldn’t all be done in one day.
Home haunts were spotlighted (blacklighted) in their own area this year which was a nice touch. Each maze gave you a small taste of what their full haunt would be like. Each mini maze was able to use lighting effects and the darkness to their advantage. Much spookier than last year when they were sprinkled around the brightly lit show floor. There were even monsters wandering around in the dark scaring people as they were queued in line. The mini mazes included Field of Screams Haunted Stadium Exorcism, Spooky Hollow’s “Legends of the Swamp”, The Curse of the Devil Swamp, Drunken Devil Production’s “Hells Bells”, Fear Station’s “The Birth of the Windigo” and Figment Foundry’s “Goblin Underground”.
A huge part of ScareLA are the Scare Student classes. There were over 50 classes and seminars that covered everything from creating your own haunt soundtrack, prosthetics making, costume making, tombstone design, how to turn your home haunt into a business and everything inbetween.
91 Reasons live podcast
If you are a fan of 80s and 90s pop culture then you should be listening to Jeff Tucker’s 91 Reasons podcast. Jeff, the Director of Entertainment at Knott’s Berry Farm, has taken his love of retro pop culture and walks down memory lane with each episode. His live panel was both entertaining and horrific as he reminisced about growing up in Southern California and told a spine chilling story about his brush with a serial killer. Then, of course, there’s Don Burg. That alone would scare anyone.
Hatbox Ghost Panel
For any true Disneyland fan, the hatbox ghost returning to the Haunted Mansion was a long overdue homecoming. Legendary imagineer Tony Baxter was present along with current imagineer Daniel Joseph to talk about the history of this iconic character. The panel was rounded out with popular Disney artists, Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily and moderated by the Season Pass Podcast, Doug Barnes. They took the audience on a rare tour of the history of the Hatbox Ghost, why it disappeared and how it made its long awaited return to the Haunted Mansion. Episode 105 of the DisGeek Podcast contains the audio from this panel.
Universal Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Halloween Horror Nights filled the 750 seat hall and treated the audience to news that Michael Myers will be returning for 2015 with a maze completely inspired by John Carpenter’s version of this terrifying tale. Read more about it here.
Knott’s Scary Farm
Knott’s Scary Farm teased the standing room only crowd with what they had in store for their 2015 season. They will be doing a first-of-its-kind bright maze that is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the Snow Queen with a horrific twist. They were quick to say it had no connection to the ice princess that lives down the road. In addition, they will be launching new children’s themed entertainment with Knott’s Spooky Farm for the little ones. And then of course.. Elvira.
Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
The dark horse in the SoCal haunting land had the crowd screaming in delight as they announced their plans for the 2015 season. The Ringmaster was back to walk would be victims through the concepts of new mazes and the bigger and better freakshow and circus. What better place to spend Halloween than a historic ship that is filled with scary stories based on real events and real guests who still roam the ship after meeting their demise on this haunted vessel.
There was so much to see that we could not cover every single thing but we were very impressed by what we experienced with ScareLA this year. The future for this convention will be anything but dark.
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