Costumed creatures and boos and ghouls of all ages gathered this past weekend to celebrate Halloween, haunts and horror at the ever-growing—and yes, epic and eerie—Midsummer Scream 2017!
The Long Beach Convention center became ground zero for Midsummer Scream on Saturday July 29th and Sunday July 30th, which summoned a grand and ghoulish gathering of sneak-peek presentations, panels, performances, mini-haunts, macabre makeup effects, escape rooms, expert lessons, creepy crafts, slider shows, show floor shopping, and more.
Midsummer Scream was THE haunting hot spot for fans to experience and enjoy eerie entertainment, paranormal paraphernalia and mystic musings—and get a close-look at the behind-the-scenes scares from the pros and preview what theme parks are conjuring for this Halloween season.
Here are a few of my faves and highlights from the weekend:
Bone Yard Effects had me and fans alike filled with shock and awe with their impressive and insidious lineup of prosthetics and makeup effects done on-the-spot by the pros. They also wowed the crowd with the macabre and much-loved Addams Family who were skillfully created with monotone makeup and costumes—and ghoulishly gathered for photo-ops with fans.
The Hall of Shadows (Haunts)
The Cold Storage mini-haunt was frightfully-good- it evoked a sensory experience all wrapped up in a macabre maze that had splatter effects, electrifying shocks, twisted chains, a sliding floor, tight spaces, and even a harnessed-hanging ghoul!
Force of Nature Productions brought their Fallen Saints’ Dia De Los Muertos performance to life as you stepped into an old cemetery filled with colorful characters, dancing puppets, macabre music, and exorcist-performing priests. It was performance perfection, as the crowd sat in an interactive 360-degree theatrical experience that brought them deep into the underworld of the Mexican folk-lore legend of La Llorona!
The Terrace Theater
The Queen Mary Dark Harbor Presentation was dreadfully-delightful and The Captain and Ring Master jumped ship to make a special appearance at The Terrace Theater, making the presentation both haunting and hilarious! Dark Harbor 2017 will have MORE MAZES, MORE MONSTERS, and MORE NIGHTS—and guests will be able to venture the dark corridors of the Queen Mary through new paths and experience the new FEAST maze where the voracious Chef lurks, whose crew shoved him into a walk-in oven where he roasted to his death! That’s right, Dark Harbor will be home to a fourth maze onboard the legendary Queen, FEAST, which cooks up the tale of the liner’s newest resident, the Chef who has taste for vengeance. Dark Harbor opens September 28, for more info visit queenmary.com/events/dark-harbor.
The Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios Hollywood presentation was truly a behind-the-scenes treat! Creative Director John Murdy and Art Director Chris Williams talked about how their genius (and gory) minds work to develop HHN, their detailed process, their love for Halloween and haunts, and conjured up vivid scenes of the upcoming The Shining and Ash vs Evil Dead mazes and the creatures that await you. HHN unveiled The Shining maze—and they want to make you feel a sense of dread as you check into the Overlook Hotel. You will be immersed into one of the greatest horror films of all time and will experience every suspenseful scene from the bloody elevators, Room 237, “Here’s Johnny,” and even little Danny riding the colorful carpet-laden corridors on his bicycle where he sees the twins! Click here for a glimpse of the impending horror that awaits you at The Shining.
The Ash vs Evil Dead maze will bring the undead to life, as you walk through Ash Williams’ possessed Elk Grove and come face to face with HENRIETTA! Click here for a sneak peek video.
They also confirmed that RIP Tours will be available for purchase for guests that want a VIP bloody red-carpet experience! Halloween Horror Nights starts September 15, for more information visit halloweenhorrornights.com.
The 45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm presentation was an eerie and enlightening experience moderated by author/historian Ted Dougherty that took fans on a ghoulish journey through the beginnings of the Farm’s first haunts through an awesomely cool rotating panel and vintage videos, proving to be THE theme park “haunt” pioneers. Knott’s Scary Farm first opened in 1973 thanks to TV horror host Larry Vincent who approached the farm with the “haunt idea” and served as inaugural “Ghost Host” as his character “Sinister Seymour” at the very first Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt. Through the years, Knott’s Scary Farm has grown to be the Southern California destination for thrills and chills. This retrospective presentation gave fans a behind-the-scenes look and close-up with Diana Kirchen Kelly, the first Green Witch character to roam the streets of Ghost Town, Todd Stubbler, who innovated the scare tactic we now know and love called “sliding”, and world-renowned magician Ed Alonzo who has headlined the Charles M. Schultz Theatre several times. Knott’s Scary Farm starts September 21st, for tickets and info visit knotts.com/play/scary-farm.
Midsummer Scream (MSS) 2017 was scary-good, making it the perfect pre-Halloween festival to raise your spirits and get you in the mood for Halloween season—and MSS surely has fans eagerly anticipating what scares they have for Summer 2018, especially since the producers mentioned that they are already working on next year’s event!
For more information on Midsummer Scream, and to stay posted for next year’s event visit midsummerscream.org.