A Day at MHC 2008
By Noah (AKA Jolly Pumpkin)
Midwest Haunters Convention is an annual convention that includes a large tradeshow, educational seminars and workshops and some social events to die for. What started off as a mere small gathering in Cooper’s Stadium has grown into an event where haunters from all over come to socialize, learn and of course buy products from some major players in the haunt industry. This year was no different and this classic haunt convention has become bigger than ever.
We began our drive up to Columbus at around 12 noon and arrived at 1:30. We knew we arrived at the right place from the looks of the people in front of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. People dressed in black and decorated with body paint could be seen near the entrance. We parked our van and walked into the convention center. Now unlike MHC’s old venue at the Double Tree Inn, this place was massive to say the least. You could easily fit 5 Midwest Haunters Conventions into this place and still have room left. So we walked some and walked some more until we found the covention center information desk where an old man pointed us into the right direction.
This year’s MHC had a much more classy and professional information desk to help haunters with any questions they may have. And on the table were tons of pamphlets, flyers, and magazines from haunts, prop companies and more stuff focusing on the haunt industry. The doors were open to the tradeshow so we decided to walk inside.
The whole feel for this year’s MHC was different than in year’s past. The whole tradeshow was larger, but it seemed smaller at the same time. This could be due to much of the tradeshow having empty areas getting ready to be used for different things.To our immediate right was a pop corn machine so we decided to grab a sack of some buttery golden corn and were ready to walk around the tradeshow floor. The area being used was obviously larger than in years past and this is where a problem occurred.
Just like with haunts there was a lot of dead space where much of the floor wasn’t being used for one reason or the other. But overall the tradeshow seemed more organized than in years past. Big companies such as Midnight Syndicate, Scare Parts, Unit 70 Studios, Distortions Unlimited and many others made their presence known. But I was most impressed by newer companies such as Fuck’d Up Stuff, Boo Crew Productions, Sophisticated Terror and many others. Obviously a lot of time and effort was put into their booths and people really took notice. The tradeshow was great as usual, but I was a little disappointed by some of designs in many of the booths.
We walked around the tradeshow floor about 4 times and were curious as to what time it was. It was only a little passed two so we headed outside to check out downtown Columbus a little. From what we saw downtown Columbus seemed like a pretty safe place during the day and suprisingly many of the restaurants opened in the afternoon. As we walked around we noticed a sign that said “Halloween Store Open 365 Years” and sure enough it was the good old Yankee Trader.
The last time I had been to the old Halloween store was at MHC 2006 and time had not treated the small store well since the last time we had visited. The old fashioned wooden sign had been broken in half to where you could barely read the store name and inside nothing really changed since 2006 and that wasn’t a good thing. But people like The Yankee Trader since it’s more a of a classic Halloween store that has become a tradition for many MHC goes over the years. Many people who attend the Masquerade Party shop for their costumes at Yankee Trader or pick up something extra to add to their frightening creations.
After we were finished looking at various nick knacks and costumes we decided to get a bite to eat and what better place to go than the North Market. This place had everything from fresh bread to Chinese food and pizza. The most reasonable thing to get to eat was of course the pizza. The pizza reminded me of Sabarros Pizza that you find at many Shopping Malls. We decided to walk back to the convention center and check out the tradeshow once more. But to our surprise people dressed up as the military walked in with fake guns and weapons and at first I had no clue what was going on.
Suddenly tons of people stormed through the doors dressed as zombies asking for “Brainzzzzzzzzzzzz”. Then suddenly the actors dressed as military proceeded to fire and many of the zombies fell to the floor as many zombies stormed the tradeshow floor. There were baby zombies, fat zombies and even some transsexual zombies I think. I was confused at first, but then I realized that it was the Columbus Zombie Walk.
We decided to get our seats up in front and sit down. Suprisingly this year’s area was much smaller than in previous years and less crowded than I can remember. I easily got a front row seat without anyproblem. Now the rules of the Monster Makeup Wars go like this. There are 5 sets of teams consisting of makeup artists and a model. Each team is given a bag with the same amount of identical products to make their models into a ghoulish monster. Some of the items included rubber bands, black makeup, blood and more.
The MC for the event was of course Crazy Bob Turner. He’s the owner and operator of The Haunted Hydro in Fremont Ohio. He’s also their main actor who entertains the line. The other MC was Kelly Collins who is heavily involved in the sponsorship side of MHC and is also involved in Feature Creatures of Central Ohio and Terror Park in Columbus, OH. Each team had precisely 30 minutes to make their models into creatures of the night and as time went on the models began to come to life.
The most startling and most painful to watch was the team who had Scott Tater Lynd as a model. To make him look like a zombie they had his fingers rapped to give them the appearance of being mangled while his mouth had a wire wrapped around it to make it look like it was cut from both sides. Other teams were made up to look like a rotting corpse or even a sewer like creature. But in the end the winner was the team who created a cross between a mummy and a zombie. They ended up walking away with a Terror Town T shirt, a $200 Bloody Mary Makeup Kit and $200 to split between the team. Plus each team was given a bronze, silver or gold trophy courtesy of Mr.skletonstore.com.
Later that night there was a Masquerade Party and the classic Miss Scary Midwest Pageant to find the scariest woman in the Midwest. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend, but I will have an article written by someone who attended those events. Overall this year’s Midwest Haunters Convention was fun, frightening and a Hell of a good time.
Best Designed Booth-Sophisticated Terror
Best Product-Nethercraft Set Pieces
Most Creative Character-Sheldon “The Wheelchair Retard” of Dream Reapers Haunted House
Biggest Disappointment-Big companies with mediocre booths