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Event Report and Photos: ScareLA, the other happiest place on Earth

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 | Events

BY DEBORAH KAVIS

If you want to visit a veritable playground for those who enjoy the creepier things in life, there’s no better place to attend than ScareLA. This “Halloween in the summer” event, having made its debut in 2013, is becoming a serious player on the convention scene. There was truly a little something for everyone among the vendor booths, interactive exhibits, performances and demonstrations at this year’s show, which took place this past weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Many different walks of horror and Halloween life were well-represented at ScareLA. Several booths catered specifically to those in the haunt industry; for example, some sold spooky instrumental music CDs for haunted houses and the like to use for setting the mood. There were a few makeup demonstrations set up as well, revealing how to achieve that perfect fear-inducing look. For games and entertainment, there was Z-tag, a zombie-themed role-playing adventure running throughout the convention, as well as an inflatable corn maze for younger kids (CHILDREN OF THE CORN, anyone?) and another maze that offered participants the chance to whack down zombified characters using foam “weapons.”

There were also several familiar faces around the convention, including genre actors like John Kassir (the official host, and voice of the Crypt Keeper) and AnnaLynne McCord (EXCISION, TRASH FIRE, 68 KILL), as well as author and Krampus expert Al Ridenour. It was a real treat to see a parade of Krampuses roaming around the convention floor and getting into playful mischief with onlookers. Another highlight was the art show, which boasted a variety of pieces related to the surreal, horror and Halloween genres. (Below, LA artist Jesse Ledina of AndrogynArt is pictured with his TWIN PEAKS pieces.)

 
There were also several interactive experiences of which attendees could partake. One of particular interest was Float, a virtual-reality presentation by the people behind the upcoming IT remake. Set on a rickety-looking Derry High School bus, it boasted a “cinematic” time and drew a rather large crowd in comparison to the other events. Another area of note was the performance space just beyond a set of ominous, glowing red doors, which housed scare actors, demonstrations and other performances. A personal favorite was a performance of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW’s “Time Warp” by local Los Angeles shadow cast Sins O’ The Flesh (see video below).
 
Overall, ScareLA was highly entertaining and a real treat to attend. Those shopping for home decor, new clothing and other fandom-related items could easily finish in one pass through the convention, with plenty of time left over to take in some of the great performances. As the con hopefully continues and grows, it would be wonderful to see an even bigger turnout in terms of both attendees and exhibitors. ScareLA has a great deal of potential, and will hopefully expand its reach to a wider audience. I am most definitely looking forward to future installments!
 
Check out the convention’s official website here.
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