Convention season, a horror nerds dream; it’s the time of year when we can all get together and share in our love of gore, slashers and everything creepy. My husband and I recently traveled to Lexington, Kentucky for ScareFest 8. For those of you that are unaware of what ScareFest is, it is a convention that blends together the worlds of the horror and the paranormal, you can learn more at scarefestcon.com. This entry is about our experience.
We were only able to spend two days in Lexington, but those two days were absolutely fantastic. Who was on the guest list? Legendary Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses), Ari Lehman (Friday the 13th), Robert Mukes (House of 1000 Corpses), numerous cast members from American Horror Story, a Phantasm reunion, Tim Shockey with the Green Goblin Head from Maximum Overdrive, the father of zombies himself George Romero and many more.
You know how they say “you shouldn’t meet your heroes ” because most of the time they turn out to be huge jerks? Well, that isn’t always true. With the small amount of time we had at the con, we met Sid Haig, Robert Mukes and Ari Lehman, Romero’s line was insane both days we were there, like approaching Norman Reedus level of crazy. All three of them were fantastic.
Sid Haig is one of the sweetest, most down to earth, genuine people you will ever meet. If you ever get the opportunity, take it. He makes time for each person that comes to see him. He cracks jokes and makes you feel important, like he actually gives a shit that you came to meet him. It didn’t matter if you traveled 5 minutes or 5 hours, he was all about his fans. For those wondering, if you brought your own item, it was $10 and if you had him sign something from his table, it was $20, pictures with him were of course FREE.
Ari Lehman, there is so much to be said about him. I have heard every kind of story, but you can’t always believe what you read on the internet. Meeting him was a fantastic experience, he was funny and charming and more than enthusiastic about meeting his fans. It was more like meeting an old friend than meeting a celebrity that had no idea you even existed. His autograph prices were pretty much the same as Sid’s, $10 for a flat item (poster, picture), $20 for action figures and things like that, he was selling various collectibles including signed machetes all priced reasonably and pictures with him were also, FREE.
Robert Mukes truly is a gentle giant, I am 5’3 and he made me look like a child, but he is one of the kindest people you will meet. We had him sign an original DVD copy (the one with the cardboard case) of House of 1000 Corpses, and he shared stories from set and cracked a few jokes all while showing genuine appreciation that we came to see him. When you meet him, you can tell he has a passion for his craft and is thankful to his fans. His prices were the same as Sid’s $10 for your item and $20 for an item from his table.
The vendor area is always a highlight at every convention. There was a little bit of everything from POP vinyls to artwork to Halloween decorations, pretty much anything your ghoulish little heart could possibly desire. The vendor area at many of he conventions I have been to have been cramped and disorganized, but ScareFest had it together. Everything was easy to see and you could navigate the area without bumping into the person next to you. Unlike other situations that have felt more like an awkward drunken bump and grind, we had a very pleasant experience navigating through.
Our favorite vendor was also there as an artist and is ScareFest’s artist, Joel Robinson. Not only is his artwork fantastic, but he is so nice and has a real passion for his work, his fans and the genre. If you haven’t seen his work, give his facebook page (artpusher.net- The Art of Joel Robinson) a like and check out artpusher.net where you can purchase his prints and t-shirts. If you ever see him at a convention, be sure to stop by and say hello and pick up some awesome prints and shirts.
Yes, you read that correctly, Staph. ScareFest gives their volunteers and staff a unique nickname. The Staph was friendly and knew what they were doing. We have been to many conventions where the staff had no clue what was going on or where things were, but everyone was helpful and organized.
ScareFest is quickly becoming our favorite convention. It is a bit smaller than some of the other cons out there, but in a way that makes it even better. If you have never been to a con before or you suffer from crowd anxiety like myself, ScareFest is perfect. Everyone is friendly and excited to see one another. Every time we go, we leave anticipating next year’s show. We have met so many great people and made new friends every time we visit.
We really cannot recommend ScareFest enough, neither one of us has had a bad experience. The guest list is always amazing, the staph is friendly and we will be making that 4 1/2 hour drive next year. Hope to see you there!