Midwest Haunters Convention, 2015 - Part One


Another gathering at the Midwest Haunters Convention in Columbus, Ohio is in the books, and it was another weekend full of haunts, classes, eating, drinking, partying and other general mayhem. It's crazy to think that you can pack so much madness into three short days...

I rolled into Columbus early Friday morning, as I decided that I was going to take some classes this time around. I ended up taking Bart Butler and Michael Edwards' class, How To Build Super Cool Set Pieces!, and was amazed at what those two had built with simple foam and a few aging and painting techniques. The scale of their projects was incredible and I pulled some great nuggets to reference on my next foam project. After the class was done, I checked in to my hotel room, where I was greeted by my in-room television. Now that's a nice welcome!





I hung out in the room for a while, waiting for the arrival of my partner in crime for the weekend, Jimmy T. Upon his arrival, we immediately toasted the start of the weekend with a couple of cold ones and then headed out to check out the Friday afternoon Zombie Walk. I had decided that I wasn't going to dress up or do the actual walk, which was a good call, as the attendance seemed quite sparse. I snapped a few pictures, talked to a few friends and decided to go have another cold one at the hotel bar. We headed back to the room, with time to spare in order to get ready for the Friday night haunt tour and after-party at the infamous Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres...




(Amazing costume number 1 of 3 for Ms. Alexis!)


 


While we waited for the haunt tour, we had enough time to chill out in the room and get a viewing of the 1972 blaxploitation horror classic, Blacula. I had never seen the entire movie and was really impressed! William Marshall owned every scene that he was in and gave a sense of legitimacy to his role and in turn, the rest of the movie. But, I digress...





After finishing the movie, it was time to jump on a bus and start the Friday night haunt tour. I was really excited to experience the Haunted Hoochie. I had never been there and had heard (mostly) good things about this extreme haunt. Upon arriving, we lined up and waited...







... and waited. But it did give me the chance to appreciate the fire effect that was going on at the top of the two silos. It was the classic cauldron effect with a fan, lights, fog and pieces of fabric moving to look like fire, but I had never seen it done to that scale. We also had time to watch the music videos playing on the large screen. And then we waited some more...




...and had some time to see the fire-breathing dragon and the dancing girl (who apparently danced for over 4 hours, so a big thumbs up to her!). After two hours in the queue line, we finally had our chance to go in.

And all joking aside, it was completely worth the wait. I wasn't allowed to take any photos once inside, which was good because I'd probably still be there snapping away. An extreme haunt indeed, with crazy room setups, beautiful scene staging and aggressive haunt actors, some of whom said things that would get your mouth washed out with soap. But it all worked great together and I highly recommend this haunt. I loved the extreme aspect of it (it was almost to the scale and quality of New Orleans' House of Shock, which is high praise), and contained scenes that made you stop and watch. I won't spoil it, but the first scene alone "blew me away"...

I will definitely make a return trip to the Haunted Hoochie during the 2015 haunt season, as I'd love to experience this in full scale haunt season mode.

After the haunt walkthrough, we had our complimentary beverages and meandered over to the Zombie Army bus - ground zero for the afterparty. It didn't seem like much was going on, so we headed back to the hotel for a nightcap with friends and an early turn-in, as we had a big day to get ready for...



Saturday morning saw us making our way to the tradeshow floor, money in one hand and my camera in the other. A full show of new and familiar vendors greeted us with their tantalizing wares...





Fellow Akronites and Highbury Cemetery friends Closed Casket Studios had a booth full of really killer prop heads and masks. Nice work, Dave!












FaceOff season four champion Anthony Kosar was in attendance along with season eight contestant Jamie Leodones, as they applied their Lovecraft Innsmouth Fish Man facial appliance at the KOSART Effects Studio booth.























Every year, I look forward to seeing what Creepy Collection has brought to the tradeshow floor. And while I can't really afford any of their beautifully detailed figure props, they do make for some incredible photos.

















The Haunters Hangout booth (more from them later). HFL!!






Midway through the show, I had to duck out and attend my second class of the weekend - Advanced Haunted House Makeup Application, led by Amber Johnson Tedrick from the Dent Schoolhouse (one of the haunts that are on my Haunt Bucket List). A REALLY informative class with instruction on making quick and cheap foam appliances. This class will be very beneficial as I continue to develop my makeup techniques. She even had time for a quick application demo:





After the class, I ran over to meet up with some friends and grab some lunch at North Market. BBQ for everyone!

Except for Jim. He went to the Polish vendor and got a sausage with sauerkraut, pierogies and cucumbers. Why would he do that? Do you know what that particular combination of foods does to a man's stomach, usually when he gets back to the hotel room?? Air fresheners to room 625, please...


 (Photo courtesy of Stacey Rager. Hopefully she doesn't get mad that I swiped it from her FaceBook page.)


At lunch, Jim and I got to hang out with Eric Vysther and his wife, fellow Northeast Ohio Home Haunter Stacey Rager and her family, Hector "Uruk-Hai" Turner from HauntForum and the Halloween Haunt Calendar, and I got to reconnect with HauntForum super members RoxyBlue and Spooky1. Quite a collection of talent in one place!

After lunch, we made our way back to the tradeshow floor to finish checking out all of the vendors' wares. We made a few purchases (including a limited vinyl copy of Monsters of Legend from Ed Douglas at the Midnight Syndicate booth - a purchase that I had been kicking myself for not getting last year!), and then headed back to the room in order to get ready for the infamous Saturday Night Masquerade Ball...





Check back tomorrow for part two of my MHC report. Tons of photos of incredible makeups and costumes from the Masquerade Ball and then a wrap up from the tradeshow floor on Sunday.

5 comments:

Pam Morris said...

looks fabulous...wish I could get to one of these! thanks for sharing the pics!

Lisa said...

Can you feel the jealously ooozing off of me??

highbury said...

Lisa and Pam, start planning for 2016 now. Seriously. You need to experience it!! It really is an unbelievably fun weekend!

Stacey Rager said...

It was a great weekend!! Feel to swipe any of my pictures, anytime!

Blackstone Cemetery said...

It was great meeting you at last and being able to chat. Already looking forward to next year!

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