HorrorCon opened its doors earlier than usual opting for May rather then July this year but still in the marvellous setting of the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham. In attendance this year we had Sid Haig, Heather Langenkamp, John Jarrett, Linda Hayden, Thom Matthews and Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira. We were treated to a talk from Sir Christopher Frayling, Cultural Historian, Lecturer and Writer, on the history of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Lord Byron’s Dracula stories as both tales are key to horror, of course, and they are both reaching the 200 year mark of their writing.  As well as this there were exhibits and talks from Demonologist Jason B Love, Project Paranormal with true stories of hauntings, The Monster Charity Project, SPFX demos, body painting and Pandora’s Box Zoo with their collection of Tarantulas, Snakes, Lizards, a Prairie Dog, Skinny Pig (a hairless Guinea Pig) and a Tegu! There was the Scareplay competition for all the amazing CosPlayers, a zombie photo booth, axe throwing and rifle range plus a DJ and a quiz. All this and screenings of short movies plus all the shopping was more than enough to keep us busy all day. Before the first Q&A we watched a short film called “You’re So Cool Brewster”, a dedication to Tom Hollands 1985 Fright Night film and featured interviews with Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon and William Ragsdale which was a great little opener. I only sat in on Sid Haig and Heather Langenkamps Q&A’s which were very informative.

I missed Cassandra Peterson’s in favour of catching some short films and didn’t catch John Jarrett’s as I was partaking in some essential retail therapy. I was disappointed that Thom Matthews and Linda Hayden didn’t do any Q&A’s as I would have loved to have heard about their experiences. Thom Matthews in particular as Return Of The Living Dead is a favourite of mine but it seemed they were only doing autographs and photo ops. I was however pleased that I managed to squeeze in some short film screenings, it was a very mixed bag of horror treats. My favourite of the films I saw was Dawn Of The Deaf, a British short directed by Rob Savage and due for release later this year about a group of deaf people who survive a sonic pulse that turns everyone else into zombies. A brilliant idea that was made to be a short and really well done, there were a few others I enjoyed and a couple that really didn’t appeal to me. The traders and stalls were great as always but I’m pretty sure the prices are starting to creep up. Last year most of the T shirts were £12, this year they were up to £15, I also saw some average looking picture fridge magnets for £10 each!! Not particularly cool but I guess that is to be expected. Every aisle seemed to have some kind of creepy cupcake, artisan marshmallow or horror themed chocolate stall instead of just the 2 last year. However humorous a human centipede chocolate bar is or how great some triple choc, caramel, gnash filled severed finger cupcake is I’m not spending over a tenner on something that takes minutes to consume but hey, that’s just me being a bore they certainly seemed popular. On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed HorrorCon 2017 and for the organisers it was a great success. Ticket prices were still very reasonable and they totally nailed the entry this year. Priority ticket holders got their wristbands sorted out very promptly and when 10am came around we were in. They changed the way into the building this time, taking us through corridors and into the Face Of Steel room which was very dark and gloomy with creepy music and zombies waiting to greet us as we went in, this was a fantastic touch and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next year!

Article by Sarah Budd

Photos Courtesy of Sarah Budd & Martin Crundwell

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