The Horror Returns at Scare-A-Con New England (4.5 Stars)

Last year Scare-A-Con made it’s New England debut out in Springfield Massachusetts.  This year they made the strategic choice to move much closer to Boston by relocating to Framingham, right off of the Mass Pike.  This makes this horror convention much easier to get to for those in the Boston area.  It seems this move paid off since one of the most noticeable differences from last year were much larger crowds.

So what treats were the fans exposed to as they stalked the halls of the hotel?  Like many fan conventions, there were vendors, artists, movies and celebrities galore – all catered to the horror enthusiast. 

If you are into foods infused with fear you can sample Deadly Grounds Coffee who returns for another year selling Java from beyond the grave in their custom Hearse!  But fear not if coffee is not your preferred morning beverage.  BrutaliTeas sells custom horror themed teas.  Between the two, there was enough caffeine to wake the dead. 

Among the artist selling their wares was Amanda from Scratch the Glass who customizes glass panes and pint glasses with her etched art.  She emblazoned one of the shows treasured guests in glass, Elvira herself!  But she also had a few Sci Fi icons as well to display.  Dean Calusdian treated folks to his custom art on T-shirts that included Edgar Allen Poe, Alice in Wonderland and everyone’s favorite elder god – Cthulhu.   Plus he showcased his Horror Christmas comic The Stocking Dead. 

The Sinister Sisters sold super creepy doll creations as well as crazy teddy bears.  They also had an assortment of crystals and essential oils helpful for the healing arts.  I Made a Monstah (Monster pronounced with a Boston accent) sold creature inspired jewelry boxes, book covers and jars.  The lid of these boxes would open up, much like a monster chomping down on it’s victim.  They were just cute enough to almost be on Sesame Street while being scary enough to be in the collection of an avid horror fan.  Rich Wentworth is an artist who contributed to comics as well as The Power Rangers book with his unique style.  Among his collection he was selling were vintage Artari posters he rescued from an old drug store decades ago. 

Among the more colorful attendees were the Massachusetts Ghostbusters.  They were cosplayers raising the dead and raising money for a children’s hospital.  If you are a Ghostbusters fan you have to check them out.  These folks go all out in their costumes right down to their custom made proton packs that glow and flash with lights.  GR Reptiles gave visitors a unique experience, the chance to wrap a snake around their neck for a photo op.  If snakes aren’t your thing, then you can pose with a real live alligator or a tarantula! 

There were also a few unique chances to become a walking horror yourself.  Horror Show Jack Fangsmith creates custom fangs for the when you want to show off your inner vampire.  The Makeup Curio was there to turn customers into ghouls with special effects makeup for the day.  At Scare-A-Con, you have ample opportunity to become a monster yourself.

Although haunting season is months away, at least one Halloween show was on hand to promote their event.  Fear Town is a haunted attraction in Seekonk MA that boasts as being a 45 minutes long haunted experience that is unique every year.  Plus they have begun an extreme version of the haunt that allows the actors to touch the participants and more!  It has been a sell out show due to it’s popularity and they expect the same this year. 

Scare-A-Con is also an independent movie festival.  We got to check out 4/20 Massacre a unique hybrid of the slasher and stoner movie genre.  A group of friends go camping when they stumble upon a crazed hiker with a backpack full of weed.  After numerous victims are discovered murdered in a grizzly manner, they realize some malevolent force is trying to get their stash back.  It was a fun take on the lost in the woods trope that featured a largely female cast. 

No fan convention is complete without celebrities and Scare-A-Con had quite a few.  Rock legend and Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider was on hand to meet and greet his fans.  Although mostly known for his music, his cult movie Strangleand made him a horror Icon.   Special Effects makeup artist and actor Tom Savini  is best know for movies like Friday the 13th, From Dusk till Dawn and Dawn of the Dead.  Along with meeting and signing autographs, he lead a discussion on his work with the fans.  Easily the most popular that day was Cassandra Peterson who is best know as Elvira – Mistress of the Dark.  She began her career as the sexy horror host who later broke out into feature films.  Elvira truly earned the status as a living horror legend and Cassandra Peterson was very gracious to all her fans. 

Scare-A-Con was a great experience with fun and fiends.  Its proximity to Boston brought out bigger crowds, yet there was rarely a long wait to meet with the celebrities.  It was good to see significant growth for this show as the hope is it will continue to be a regular visitor to New England.

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