This weekend, 10,000 haunt enthusiasts are gearing up for Scare LA ,which will creep into Pasadena Saturday August 8th, and Sunday August 9th. Over 200 vendors will display incredibly gross and life-like “mangled corpse” props and unimaginable goodies aimed at home haunters and mid-level entrepreneurs.
Ever since I was the chubby outsider kid getting picked on for my hoards of monster mags, I have watched Halloween evolve from an anticipated and short-lived demi-holiday into a voluminous 24/7 state of mind that never really ends. It now peaks in October, but not just on the last night of the month. It’s like the gooey black icing on the cake. Halloween has become the 2nd most profitable season in terms of merchandise, and it might be getting close enough to bite Santa’s ass before long.
Halloween enthusiasts are all about the entire “Haunt Experience,” which includes everything from small home haunts to professional attractions. As Scare L.A. enters its 3rd year, they have moved to the much larger 100,000 square foot venue at the Pasadena Convention Center. It’s about time L.A. is getting a larger haunt event, because California created the Haunt Industry when it transformed Knott’s Berry Farm theme park into Knott’s Halloween Haunt.
Besides vendors, there will be makeup displays and classes, with more than 100 haunt attraction creators offering classes on creating stories and attracting advertisers, DIY workshops, plus industry panels, live haunt experiences, and screenings. I strongly suggest you see the panel on Extreme Haunts Throughout the Nation. The first year edition of this topic was very lively and somewhat controversial, especially in the sub category of adults-only haunts and plays. You can also expect some teasers and panels on what to expect from Knott’s, Universal Studios and Magic Mountain this season.
Some highlights of the convention include an 11 minute mini-version of Zombie Joe’s Underground theater troupe, featuring their mind-blowing collection of vignettes entitled Urban Death. An episode of The Tales From The Crypt will be a acted out, retooled in glorious 3D. Everyone gets a free pair of cardboard glasses. Yay! There are about three cosplay areas for Anime buffs, and Walking Dead cosplay fans will be maneuvering through a maze of zombies. There is a costume contest scheduled, and a Bloody Ball Room dance floor Saturday night (For an additional $35). But the crowning achievement will be the attempt to break the world’s record for unwrapping Halloween Candy taking place around 5:00 on Saturday.
One great feature of the two other large haunt shows in the country are lights-on tours of haunted houses, so that you can tell how everything flows together like blood, or figure out what’s making that robot move. Scare LA does not present a similar lights-on tour of a large haunt. However, the show has knocked out a cool alternative. Several prominent Scare Factories will have mini-haunts set up though out the convention to make you laugh and shriek or maybe pee your pants. One more improvement I hope they make is the addition of more plug and play electronic and animated horror figures. I’d really like to meet the folks from Distortions Unlimited.
Tickets are $35.00 plus processing fee on Saturday and $30.00 plus fee on Sunday, or you can get a 2-day pass for $50. It may seem pricy, but if you need a full scale model of a Guillotine that’s squirts water at the spectators, then you really need to get to this event. Doors open at 11am. Children 12 and under need to be accompanied by an adult at all times. Bags and costumes are permitted, but Scare LA forbids “flasks, flammable materials, sacrificial daggers, etc.” There will be concession stands serving food, but no alcohol. Buy your tickets now!
Previously on the LA Beat