Breaking News- Cassandra Peterson a.k.a Elvira will be at Midsummer Scream 2017

As if the Summer couldn’t get any hotter, the team at Midsummer Scream just announced that Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira, will be making a special appearance at Midsummer Scream 2017. As of now, she is slated to appear as herself, not as Elvira. She will be at the convention on Saturday July 29th to sign autographs and meet fans.

The addition of the “Queen of the Macabre” has added a level of excitement and awesomeness to what is shaping to be an epic event!

Midsummer Scream takes place Saturday July 29th and Sunday July 30th, 2017 at the Long Beach convention center. Tickets are on sale and can be bought at MidsummerScream.org . You can also follow them on Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, and Instagram: @MidsummerScream.

Be sure to follow All Hallows’ Haunts here and on Twitter (@HallowsHaunts) for more information on Midsummer Scream as more announcements are made.

Urban Death: Tour of Terror 2016

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As many of you  may already know, I have an intimate relationship with Urban Death. I’ve experienced it from all perspectives, I’ve been a fan, I’ve been a performer, I’ve loved it dearly, and I’ve even bled for it. With that being said, I’ll try to keep this review as objective as possible.

The standard Urban Death is a one hour show, full of silent vignettes of terror. Actors that look like they’ve been plucked out of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari shock the audience with graphic scenes of violence and existential dread.

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Urban Death: Tour of Terror changes things up a bit for Halloween. The theater is transformed into a maze and the show is shortened to about 15 minutes. Audiences must walk through the maze to see the show. On the way out they go back through the maze, which has changed entirely during the show.

I’m not a huge fan of the maze. As both a performer and audience member, I think it’s too dark. I like the darkness, but I couldn’t see the characters at all. If they brightened it up just a tad, it’d be much more enjoyable. My companion disagreed with me. He liked the level of darkness. What I did see, was creepy to the core. My favorite part of the maze involves some sort of creature with  long fingers caressing herself.

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This year’s show was one of my favorites ever. Urban Death is at its best when it focuses on creating illusions and psychological horror. Everything you ever imagined lurking in the infinite blackness, resides within the confines of Urban Death.

Those intrigued by this article should visit the official ZJU website and check out the upcoming shows. Also check out the Urban Death site. http://zombiejoes.com/ and http://www.urbandeath.com/

 

 

 

TV Live- Twilight Zone Meets Theater

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All photos by Adam Neubauer

Imagine a strange and horrifying world. In this universe, time can be bent, the dead can return, and irony reigns supreme. Here, characters find themselves at a crossroads between the mundane and the downright bizarre. No, it’s not The Twilight Zone. It’s TV Live.

TV Live is a short evening of mini plays reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, and Tales From the Darkside. Each story is introduced by a Rod Serling type character played by Michele Danyn.

The first play follows a young nurse (Bonnyjean Hoffert) as she attempts to help a patient with multiple personalities. As she assists a sweet  young patient, she must also face his killer persona (both played by Tucker Matthews). Always waiting near by is lobotomy happy doctor (Mark Motyl). Written by Andy Shultz and directed by Adam Neubauer, the piece is a creative tribute to the asylum based thrillers of the 60s like Shock Corridor.

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The next segment, written by Steven Alloway and directed by JC Gafford  concerns time travel, romance, and betrayal. The story revolves around  a young actress (Katie Grace Hansen) playing a role on a sci-fi television show. It quickly becomes apparent that it’s more than just a role. She must unravel her feelings for her showrunner/former lover (Sam Horrilleno) and also deal with her wacky costar (David Kaufman). While I was entranced by the plot, I didn’t feel the performances did the writing justice. I commend all three actors for putting forth an honorable effort, but the emotions didn’t seem to be there.

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The third and strongest piece of the night is a bittersweet tale by Caroline Muniak and directed by Sebastian Munoz. This testament to everlasting love centers on a woman (Sherry Michaels) struggling with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Her husband (Tom Jones) and his younger self (Nathan Pellow) lend all of their support. I won’t spoil it for you, but the ending sure tugs on the heartstrings in an honest, non Hallmark Channel way. All three actors are outstanding. It’s their performances that allow this piece to have such a heavy impact.

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The concluding play amps up the tension, by placing two criminals (Sasha Snow and Ali Graba) and their hostage (Skip Pipo) in a bank vault. Throw in two guns and some personal secrets and the situation turns ugly fast. This story, written by Adam Neubauer, and directed by James R. Eschom has a decent premise. However, the specific details of the plot aren’t made clear, which causes this thriller to fall flat. Without context, it’s difficult for me to feel invested in the relationships of these three characters. I’d almost like to see this story remade in a longer format to allow more time for things to develop.

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TV Live is a great ride for those who love classic episodic sci-fi. While, the show may not be completely even in quality, it’s never dull. I could tell that all involved brought grand amounts of care to create this endeavor. I imagine Rod Serling himself would be proud. Audiences have one more Sunday to catch TV Live in its current form. After that, the show will return with an all new show in the same format. For times and tickets, readers should visit fonprods.tix.com/schedule.aspx.

Eli Roth Takes Over the Terror Tram

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Universal has announced the theme of this year’s Terror Tram. That’s right folks, 2016’s Terror Tram is going full on Eli Roth. The Roth run tram will revolve around celebrity clown, “Hollywood Harry”. Harry provides fun and giggles to his many fans. Then the laughs turn to screams when Harry snaps and goes on a murderous spree.

I have to admit the Terror Tram has always been my least favorite part of Horror Nights. Sure, it’s a fun experience to be able to walk through the back lot, but one time is plenty. To me, the Tram lacks scare actors and sets, takes up too much time, and is just way too much walking.

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Nevertheless, this year’s theme has me intrigued. I have long standing mixed emotions about Eli Roth. In high school, I absolutely hated him. I thought he was a plague on modern horror. I’ve also had some personal conflicts with his company Crypt TV, but let’s not go into that.

I’ve calmed down a bit since then. I still don’t have much love for Hostel, (Did we really have to watch those bros party for an hour before getting to the good stuff?) but The Green Inferno was brilliant. It was a risky film to make, and I commend him for taking that gamble. I’m eager to see how this collaboration plays out. No matter what your opinion of Roth, there’s no doubt he’s a major player in the horror scene. His influence just might provide a desperately needed update for the Terror Tram.

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What do you make of this news? Are you an Eli Roth fan? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter. Stay tuned for more updates on Halloween Horror Nights.

Midsummer Scream Provides the Scares of the Summer!

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Disclaimer: We’ve posted a lot about Midsummer Scream over the last couple weeks, and our coverage is now coming to a close. We decided it was time to share our final thoughts. Though, I’m the one writing this, we discussed our opinions together, so this article represents AHH as a whole. Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s get started!

This was the first year of Midsummer Scream, so there was great potential for disaster. However, the forces behind this new convention are experienced event coordinators. Their expertise coupled with excellent vendors, speakers, and haunts created an outstanding experience for Halloween enthusiasts. Midsummer Scream was perhaps the best convention I’ve ever attended. If I didn’t know it was the first year, I would’ve assumed it’s been going on for at least a decade.

A big part of what made Midsummer Scream such a spectacular event, was the venue. The Long Beach Convention Center was the perfect location. Sure it’s quite a trip for us Los Angeles dwellers, but the drive wasn’t too bad and Long Beach is a breathtaking area. The building has plenty of room, so everyone had space to breathe. It was also well air conditioned, which is a major step up from most conventions. (I’m talking to you, Monsterpalooza.)

In addition to the fantastic venue, Midsummer Scream also provided a huge supply of entertainment. All the local haunts were in attendance. Everyone from mainstream players like Knott’s Scary Farm and Halloween Horror Nights, to popular home haunts unveiled their plans for the 2016 season. Those who couldn’t wait for October could hit up the mini haunts in the Hall of Shadows. Of course it wouldn’t be a horror convention without the vendors. In the vendors hall, guests could find all sorts of freaky swag. To top it all off, those willing to spend a little extra could hit up the costumed dance party, headlined by Oingo Boingo.

I can’t say that I have any complaints about the convention. I’d be hard pressed to come up with anything I would change. Midsummer Scream was just what I needed to get me in the Halloween spirit, and I’m already looking forward to next year.

What did you think of Midsummer Scream? Be sure to let us know in the comments, or on any of our social media sites.

 

Knott’s Scary Farm Sets Sights On Halloween 

Halloween and haunt enthusiasts were treated to quite a few surprises over the last few weeks as Knott’s Scary Farm made back to back appearances at both Midsummer Scream and ScareLA Halloween to announce some of what they have planned for this upcoming Halloween Season.

First appearing at the inaugural Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival in Long Beach, California, Knott’s gave fans a brief history of audio mechanics for the mazes before making a few major announcements.

The first announcement  was met with many cheers as they announced last year’s Paranormal Inc. maze would be returning to Knott’s for 2016. When asked if the story or maze would be different, Knott’s representatives stated that only a few tweaks were made to create a better experience.

The second major announcement from Knott’s  concerned the Skeleton Key rooms. With the growing interest in escape rooms, Knott’s has decided that the Skeleton Key rooms for 2016 would consist of an escape room element. The rooms are: Visions, Zozo, Slasher, and Prey.


These new additions to the Skeleton Key rooms definitely add a new factor of terror and excitement to an already incredible event.

The news from Knott’s didn’t end at Midsummer Scream. The following weekend at ScareLA, Knott’s continued the show. The panel at ScareLA started off as a history of Knott’s and Halloween, where they explained the evolution of Knott’s Scary Farm.

They began to speak of the many celebrity hosts of Knott’s Scary Farm, when the official ScareLA host, Elvira, crashed their panel. Elvira announced that she would be returning to Knott’s Scary Farm this year with a new show!

The announcements didn’t end there as they announced that the popular laser tag and paint ball inspired Infected: Special Ops will be replaced this year with an updated version called Infected: Black Ops.

This new version of Infected will introduce a whole new style to the game as it will be in a new area of the park. It will also have a standard queue system instead of special times, new terrain to cover, unlimited ammo, and a whole new boss at the end.

Knott’s plans to announce the remainder of their mazes and shows for this year at a special Knott’s pass holders event on August 25th.

Between the announcements made at Midsummer Scream, ScareLA, and the few made online, Knott’s is shaping up to be the main event for this Halloween season.

Be sure to follow All Hallows’ Haunts here on our site or on Twitter- @HallowsHaunts for more information on Knott’s Scary Farm and other Halloween, horror, and haunt events in Southern California.

The Hall Of Shadows Scares At Midsummer Scream


For Halloween and haunt enthusiasts, Halloween and horror conventions are the second best time of the year (Halloween season being the first best of course). The team behind Midsummer Scream chose to raise the bar to a new level with Halloween and horror conventions by  adding the Hall Of Shadows- an entire section of the convention center filled with mini haunts, sliders, and an army of monsters.

The Hall Of Shadows at Midsummer Scream was a full size haunt event with in a haunt event. It was a fully functional scare zone. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to go through every micro-maze. We really wanted to check out Blackout’s virtual reality maze, but sadly there wasn’t enough time. Of the ones we did see, Toxicity, put on by Boneyard Effects, was definitely our favorite. This is the first maze we saw as we entered the Hall of Shadows, as well was the largest, with the most attention to detail and greatest number of performers.

As we walked through Toxicity, we were surrounded by horrible mutants that looked like they stepped out of a Cronenberg movie. We made our way past vats of leaking toxins, and destroyed quarantine rooms. Finally we were able to make it to safety.

As we exited Toxicity, we had a chance to go through Fear Station’s creepy carnival mini haunt where we got to play a few classic carnival games with a spooky twist- you win or die. We won some popcorn and were fortunate enough not to die.

We were excited to see the Gorelesque! mini haunt as we had first had heard about Gorelesque! earlier this year at Monsterpalooza. We were saddened when they had to cancel their preview a few months ago, but they said they will be performing this Halloween season. For Gorelesque!, we were taken to a room where we were sized up to determine if we were perfect enough to join the Weltschmerz Society and go to Paradise. We were determined imperfect and cast away to see what happens to the imperfect people as we went through a mini maze filled with blood, flesh, and gore. It was a lot of fun.

Following Gorelesque!, we went through Perdition Home’s Sci-Fi space haunt, where a zombie like outbreak took out a space station and shuttle. While it was very short, its attention to detail and design was fantastic.

The last of the mini haunts we hit up was Spooky Hollows, which was a trip through a haunted swamp like area, where the plants have turned evil and deadly. Just like most of the mini-haunts, it was short. However, it was fun and the scares were very well done.

The Hall Of Shadows also featured another adrenaline pumping performance from the masters of sliding, the Decayed Brigade. The Decayed Brigade is wildly popular among the Halloween and horror convention circuit, and as always, delivered a top notch show.

Overall, the Hall Of Shadows was fantastic. Granted, we didn’t get to every mini haunt because the lines were so long- which we were not upset about and is totally okay. These were mini haunts. To give everyone an enjoyable experience, you have to let only a few in at a time. Pushing too many through, you risk ruining the experience and missing out on prime scares. The other reason we didn’t get to every mini haunt was that there was so much to do at Midsummer Scream, you had to pick and choose- which in itself was a great problem to have. Personally, I’d rather have too much to see at a convention than not enough.

Midsummer Scream definitely delivered with the Hall Of Shadows and I personally can’t wait to see what they have in store for Next year! Did you attend Midsummer Scream? What mini haunts were your favorite? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

Lola’s Favorite Finds From ScareLA and Midsummer Scream

I haven’t talked much about fashion on this site. I used to write about it more on my Buzzfeed account. When I started doing AHH, I just sort of stopped. Fashion is a big part of my life, and it’s probably the thing that gets me noticed more than anything else. On that note, many of my coworkers have been asking me where I get a lot of my stuff. Therefore I’m dedicating this article to all my friends at work, and all my fellow goth girls. I’ve indicated which convention I purchased each item at, but most of these vendors were at both events.

(From ScareLA) As much as I don’t need another black t-shirt, I couldn’t resist. This cute little black tee by Akumu Ink reminds me of The Conjuring by way of Tim Burton. I’m a sucker for illustrations of pale girls with big eyes. Akumu Ink has a wide range of designs to choose from. The designs are printed on hoodies, men’s and women’s tees, and even backpacks. If you like creepy cute, then Akumu Ink is definitely a brand you should look in to. http://akumuink.com/

cz3JKSz6SquiHnMRRrO7_8TW04b_1024x1024(From ScareLA) By far and away my favorite find from both conventions, is this amazing Jack o’ lantern purse by Dulce Calaveritas. I tried to get one at Midsummer Scream, but by the time I’d made up my mind, they were sold out. My purse is a little different than the one in the picture. My pumpkin is lime green with purple features and a black strap. They come in all colors. I like this bag, because it’s big, so there’s plenty of room. I also like the way the vinyl glitters in the sunlight. If you’re looking to score one of these, you’ll have to be patient. They sell out super fast, so it’s kind of hit and miss. https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dulcecalaveritas

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(Midsummer Scream) I picked up not one, but three items from Madame Whiskers. I got an eyeball ring, a Morticia Addams ring, and a Mulder and Scully pendant. You can get almost any image on you’re jewelry. They’re also inexpensive, which is great for goth girls on a budget! https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadameWhiskers#items

(Midsummer Scream) I love a nice sweater, and what hoodie could be better for Lola Tarantula than this spiderweb zip up from Kreepsville 666? Kreepsville 666 is a staple at horror conventions. They offer everything from Elvira dresses to skull shaped handbags. There’s something for every creepy girl! http://store.kreepsville666.com/

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(ScareLA) I absolutely adore these Halloween/horror skirts, designed by Brittnee Braun. My skirt is actually a different pattern than the one in the picture, but they’re quite similar. She sells a huge variety of prints, so there are many options to choose from. The classic high waisted shape will look good on most girls. I like this skirt because it creates the illusion of an hourglass figure. If I were to get another one I’d probably go for one of the zombie prints. https://www.etsy.com/shop/SkirtyBirt?ref=condensed_trust_header_title_items http://www.brittneebraun.com/

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The last vendor I’m going to mention is Sweet Midnight. I didn’t buy anything from her this time, but I’ve invested in some wicked cool stuff in the past. Sweet Midnight’s most popular item is the coffin shaped purse. These purses can be bought with or without bat wings. Word of warning, don’t ever put your coffin in the washing machine. Let’s just say mine is no longer coffin shaped. http://www.sweetmidnight.com/

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Krampus Announced at Horror Nights

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John Murdy announced a Krampus Halloween Horror Nights maze coming this October. The maze will of course be based on the recent film by Mike Dougherty. We are huge fans of the film and can’t wait to see what Murdy and Chris Williams will do with it. Since the Krampus legend is an old tale, hopefully they’ll also draw from classic lore as well as the film. We don’t know too much yet. We’ve got a simple trailer and we know that the maze will be placed on the backlot where the Crimson Peak maze was located. No doubt, Murdy will provide more information this weekend at ScareLA.

We want to hear from you! Are you excited about the Krampus maze? Which of the announced mazes are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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The Dark Ride Project at ScareLA

 

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One of the things we’re the most excited about at ScareLA is The Dark Ride Project. The Dark Ride Project is an attempt by artist Joel Zika to document historic dark rides, using the latest technology. Here’s more from the ScareLA press release.

“LOS ANGELES – July 27, 2016 –- ScareLA, the Southern California Halloween convention, is proud to present digital artist Joel Zika’s “The Dark Ride Project”, the first virtual reality haunt experience that brings back the history of dark rides to ScareLA starting Aug. 6-7 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif. Digital artist Joel Zika travelled the world with a 360-degree camera documenting the most historic dark rides. Many of these dark rides are more than 100 years old. Every theme park attraction stems from these rides. The Dark Ride Project takes users through the folk art and history of some of the most exciting rides, and will be presented in 4k on GearVR, OculusRift and Google Cardboard. “This will be the first time these things [dark rides] will be shown in virtual reality at ScareLA,” said Jon Schnitzer, ScareLA Director of Programming and Experiences. It’s going to be very cool because people are going to be able to see what some of these dark rides, that are 110 years old, were like. It’s not fake, it’s not a recreation. [The Dark Ride Project] is exactly what the ride was like,” said Schnitzer. Zika will be traveling from Australia to bring “The Dark Project” to ScareLA and kick off his Kickstarter project to complete his research and documentation of more world renowned dark rides. Along with the virtual reality experience, Zika will conduct a panel to talk about a documentary he filmed while documenting dark rides from around the world.”
Stay tuned to AHH to hear more about The Dark Ride Project and ScareLA. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and right here on our site.