google ad

Monday, August 12, 2013

ScareLA First Run Frighteningly Fun

A frightening thing happened at LA Mart last weekend, fans of horror and Halloween haunts came together to celebrate. I guess it wasn't that scary, just scary no one thought of doing it before. David Markland, co-producer of the event with Lora Ivanova had the idea. 

While not running Creepy LA and taking a break from his duties from the event  David talked with me for a bit. Dressed in a skull shirt akin to the one I was wearing we talked about the scare fare's first run. David agreed the turn out was better than expected and he would love to do a second year, but no confirmations on that yet. The event that stood out to him at the time was the home haunts education by Bruce Stanton giving everyone a chance to learn how to make their own haunted house a little bit darker. David then went over how people could connect on multiple levels, fans to industry on equal footing. When I asked about doing the convention now, David said the major theme parks were gearing up for Halloween and it be the perfect time to pick their brains. Before I left David to his grim fate of dealing with printing out something he told me of how much the community pulled together for the event. The horror community brought much of the set up and stages to ScareLA.

One stage belonged to Captured Aural Phantasy Theater, you might remember them popping up on the site every month with new live shows based on old-school radio programs. I chatted with Benjamin Dickow, head of  Aural Phantasy over what the convention was for him, other than a great way to show off his own group which had multiple shows on Saturday. He told of one of his friends who filled up on business cards with so much networking going on. He said, "It's been the best networking opportunity". Expect a new show at the El Cid from his group in September.

Ben was one of many groups and companies showing off for the event. Lionsgate sent down a team to promote "You're Next" with free posters and free screening passes for the film. Every hour on the hour they gave out a special treat, animal masks from the movie. Soon, ScareLA was inundated with sheep, tiger and wolf masks based on the murderers from the upcoming horror film that was recently part of the last LA Film Festival.


Smaller businesses like Enchanted Rumors based in Orange County were sharing their wears and services. They were sharing cardstock, by which I mean they made invitations for horror gatherings or really any event you need with a more scary take. They've been open for just a few months, but they said it was the biggest event they've been to.

Enchanted Rumors had previously had a booth at one of Sinister Pointe's Annual Dark Markets.
Enchanted Rumors Coffin Stand
Sinister Pointe was also out and had a booth showing off not only their open yearly haunt, but its plans for its Spirit Lounge that could be possibly open in October. It'll be in Brea and will be a bit more upscale for the horror aficionado. Capable of holding 160 people it's a horror themed bar with interactive elements from Jeff Schiefelbein and crew who have been doing haunts for years.

Haunting for years did not take away from the current scares happening at Scare LA. A giant centipede would appear underneath a table scaring a little girl in a witch costume at Figment Factory's booth. Behind the scare, none other than creature creator Ben Schwenk. Ben made some realistic and big centipedes to scare guests. He was always fascinated as a kid about living things and that was the start of him getting into making creatures. Ben shared in delight his centipede coming out of the corpse costume to me with a battery pack that allowed the centipede on top to squirm, before going back to his duties of scaring more girls.

Booths could be otherworldly different than Figment Factory, Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare let you purchase tickets for his concert series in October filling up Pomona.  You also had Ghoula, the meet-up ghost story group that's grown up here in LA and covered over 60 haunted bars. Every 13th of the month they come together and explore a haunted bar in LA, talk about it's grim history and so on. They'll have more to do in October, right now they have an already sold out show at The Bob Baker Marionette Theater Aug 17th.

ScareLA's combined booths, classes on making haunted houses and special speakers from some of the major theme parks, that go all out for Halloween, easily could hold any horror fan for an afternoon. There were awful looking coffin rides to try. You could lay in two specially customized coffins and feel what it was like to be buried. You could sit down and be changed into a creature or monster with professional monster make-up being put on many attendees. Making monsters walking around more than normal.

The horror event was a delight for fans who had smiles on their faces as they left. I think they were smiles a lot of them had masks on so it was hard to tell.

David, co-producer of the event added "If we do have another, we don't want it to be the same, we want to change it up" , and that is something to look forward to.

Now for all the updates for SoCal's Halloween season coming up over the next three months in future Halloween updates.

Costume Gallery

 Booths and scary make-up

Coffin ride, so bad