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Midsummer Scream 2017

I made it out to Midsummer Scream 2017 in Long Beach, CA this past weekend and it was a fantastic Halloween festival! Here are some of my highlights. Two panel discussions stood out: "Beyond the 5th Dimension: Creating the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" with the original creators of the Disneyworld ride and the voice of Rod Sterling, Mark Silverman.

The Winchester Mystery House presentation on Sunday afternoon gave all attendees free tickets to their new Explore More Tour, a newly commissioned print (which I can't display yet), and info on the upcoming movie which opens February 23, 2018. Unfortunately, CBS Films didn't have any footage to show us but revealed a good overview about the story, the cast, and some behind the scenes filming at the actual site – spirits be damned.

Celebrity sightings included Cassandra Peterson who unfortunately did not don her signature Elvira costume but was stunning just the same. The line to get an autograph stretched almost the length of the convention center. And of course, Mr. Jason Vorhees himself, Kane Hodder was there looking frighteningly kind as ever, and I also got to meet some of the faces behind my favorite site, Dread Central.

My favorite classes included the "Designing Immersive Environments" from the directors of The Nest, "Ouija: an Introduction to Necromancy & Spirit Communication" from the folks at the Mystic Museum, wonderful historical overview in "Halloween Decorations: A History" by Mike Gills of AtmosFX, the leading digital decorating company.

As far as performances, the Fallen Saints: Dia de los Muertos teaser by the Forces of Nature Productions was breathtaking and visceral, and I'm planning to return to Burbank, CA for the full performance this October.

The showfloor was packed with vendors and artists including some old and new favorites including Chick Lips, Bone Yard Effects (who turned people into zombies all weekend), Haunted Manor Boutique, Little Shop of Gore, Hilary's Vanity, Trick or Treat Studios, Calaveras y Diablitos, Bloodbath Products, Hayes Haunt, The Best Little Horrorhouse, 7 Hells, and Fiendish Thingies. The list goes on and on and will be adding them to the Sinister Shops on

And don't even get me started on the Hall of Shadows mini-haunts, film shorts, haunted attraction presentations, and the many insanely wonderful costumes which brought October scares to July. WHOOHOO! There was no way to see it all but I will definitely try again next year, and I would highly recommend putting this on your calendar now.

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