By: Jillian Simpson
Bring on the season of festivals, carnivals, RenCons and Comic-fairs, and for the love of zombies, vampires, ghosts and murder crazed maniacs: let there be Horrorfest. This year Horror News Network presented Connecticut with its first year of Horrorfest and I could not have been happier to attend. Waves of horror fans entered the doors at Waterbury’s Courtyard Marriot hotel on Saturday ready for zombies, makeup, ghouls, actors, artists and paranormal investigators. Upon arrival you have two options to wander to and through: the Meat Locker or the Graveyard.
Entering the Meat Locker with other wandering souls I was instantly handed a flyer for Nightmare on Wolcott Street, an indoor haunted house with over 50 rooms of horrifying greatness. Across the room a guy sat perfectly still for an artist at Decimated Designs’ station, getting a deadly makeover, complete with fake gash wounds and blood. Decimated Designs has also been involved with events like the zombie 5k runs.
While wandering around the artists, vendors and fans I also found a table full of colorful characters displayed on the covers of a comic called Monster Haiku. As an admirer of poetry I had to investigate this further and found Jason Deeble’s characters of monsters adorably witty—in haikus! Admittedly I fell in love with Rob the Zombie that day and decided to bring him home with me in a copy of Deeble’s smaller volume of Monster Haiku known as the EERIE SERIES.
Art comes in all shapes and sizes from makeup to comics and dolls to cupcakes, the Meat Locker at Horrorfest had a lot to look at and plenty of talent to witness. Mystic Asylum displayed their Wayward Dolls of various shapes and prices, including artwork on buttons, magnets and pocket mirrors. From Oakville, Hardcore Sweet set up cupcakes that resembled eyeballs or had small edible pictures of Linda Blair’s character from Exorcist. All delicious I’m sure, but I can only speak for the decadent eyeballs.
The last room of the Meat Locker held a few of the celebrity guests listed on the Horror News Network site, including Tyler Green from Face Off and IronE Singleton from The Walking Dead. Unfortunately, not all the listed guests were able to be in the Meat Locker, so their plots were set in the Graveyard.
This Graveyard section of Horrorfest had fewer vendors and a graveyard scene complete with the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce table offerings of ticket coupons and job application packets. Past that and there’s the gold. By gold I mean fans standing in line for pictures, signatures and a brief meeting with celebrity guests like Cerina Vincent from Cabin Fever, Day of the Dead’s Gary Klar, CT’s own paranormal investigator John Zaffis and Tony Moran who played Holloween’s Michael Meyers in 1978.
The turnout of fans was not only entertaining, but well numbered. The vendors were friendly and exuberant, prices fair, and the staff helpful and informed. There was a lot going on Saturday at CT’s first Horrorfest and hopefully we will see more in coming years.