It’s that time of year again, the smell of Sharpie, rare action figures and cosplay is in the air, that’s right, it’s convention season. Over this past weekend, I attended my first con of the season, Horror Realm Con in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Guests like Derek Mears (Friday the 13th, Predators), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Camp Dread), Sean Whalen (The People Under The Stairs, Laid To Rest) and Tony Todd (Candyman, Hatchet) were on hand to meet fans and swap stories. Below I will break down and rate my experience (out of 10) at Horror Realm.
Everyone’s least favorite part of any convention is the line they have to wait in to get in. I got there on Saturday around 12:30 pm and the line was not long at all. There may have been 3 people ahead of my husband and myself. There were no hiccups with getting in.
Admission Prices: 10
Single day passes were only $15. Compared to most other cons, this is by far one of the most inexpensive to go to.
Every now and again, you will encounter one or more staff members that are rude and just act like they would rather be doing anything else other than helping you. The staff at Horror Realm was courteous and seemed like they genuinely wanted to be here.
I don’t really like holding this against those that hold and organize the cons because you have to work with what you are given. I heard from other people that they had a hard time finding Felissa Rose and Sean Whalen. There were 2 different rooms with guests. I personally didn’t have a problem with they layout other than the fact that it was a bit cramped with everyone walking around, but what convention isn’t?
The guest list is what draws people to the convention, and Horror Realm had a fantastic lineup. I cannot say enough good things about the guests at this con, Derek Mears, Felissa Rose and Sean Whalen in particular. They were fantastic, and were all excited to meet their fans. We met Sean first, he is so energetic and could not be any nicer. Next came Derek, he has got to be one of the sweetest, most genuine people you will ever meet. He really is a gentle giant, he listens when you talk and is genuinely invested in each and every conversation he has with his fans. Derek is probably one of if not the funniest person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Felissa was our last stop because she had a bit of a line. She is as sweet as she is beautiful. She was excited to meet every single person in her line, full of energy and one of the best huggers. Each one of them acts as though they’ve known you for years.
The lines were not that bad inside. The longest we waited was for Felissa, but it was less than 5 minutes. Vendor lines were not bad at all.
Autograph Prices: 10
Autographs tend to be the priciest parts of conventions because guests aren’t paid an appearance fee, so they have to compensate somehow. The most expensive guests were the American Horror Story: Freakshow cast members. Derek was $20, Sean was $20, Tony Todd $20, Felissa $20 for a signed picture, $10 to sign something you brought and free hugs. None of them charged an extra fee for a picture with them at their tables which seems to be the new trend nowadays.
There were a lot of local Pittsburgh vendors. Most of the time, vendors sell just t-shirts and DVDs, but there were a lot of handmade goods available. Prices were pretty fair, none of them charged ridiculous prices.
Final Score: 79 out of 80
Our overall experience at Horror Realm was fantastic. If you have never been to a convention, this would be a great one to start out with. It is smaller and a lot less intimidating than other conventions and they always have a great guest list. We will definitely be attending Horror Realm again.