Adventures at MHC 2010
By Noah Wullkotte
Saturday June 5th we drove up to the beautiful city of Columbus, OH to check out all the haunting happenings at the one and only Midwest Haunters Convention. It truly is one of the most relaxing gathering for haunters you’ll experience. There’s no pressure to purchase from vendors and it’s just great seeing people you haven’t talked to in a long time. The weather on the way up to MHC was beautiful to say the least. The sun was bright, birds were chirping and a sense that this was going to be a great day was upon me.
Earlier in the week Midwest Haunters Convention had a variety of events such as 2 days worth of haunt tours, a Friday haunt tour, a masquerade ball, a Scary-oke Contest, plenty of seminars and workshops held throughout the weekend and so much more. But my main focus was of course the tradeshow and the famous Bloody Mary Monster Makeup wars. It took less than 2 hours to arrive at The Greater Columbus Convention Center and when we arrived I felt like I was home. It’s a comforting feeling knowning that so many people under the same roof have the same interest as you and that of course is haunting.
Every year armies of haunters gather at one place to learn, laugh, scare and just have fun. MHC is the fastest growing convention in the haunt industry and only gets bigger and better with age. While there has been a growing crop of new gatherings and conventions popping up every year, none seem to have the dedicated following that Midwest Haunters Convention does. MHC is the original haunt convention that caters to actors, makeup artists, owners and those interested in getting involved in the haunt industry. Everyone is welcome at MHC no matter who you are in the haunt industry.
2010 celebrates the 7th year MHC has been bringing together haunters from around the country. What originally started at Terror Park in Cooper Stadium (now closed), now takes place inside a 60,000 square foot convention center known as The Greater Columbus Convention Center. No one could have predicted how large MHC would have gotten, but no one is complaining that’s for sure.
2010 is a little different for MHC since there are a few large companies that won’t be seen. This includes Scare Factory, Gore Galore, Night Scream Studios, Pale Night Productions and more. This is mainly due to how successful they were during this years Halloween and Attractions Show in St. Louis. They are so backed up with orders that it would be near to impossible to attend another convention or tradeshow.
But just because these companies weren’t present, doesn’t mean there aren’t many great vendors on the tradeshow floor. In fact there are many new smaller vendors showing off their products this year. This includes Dark Raven Designs (2nd year), Halloween Lasers, Darklight Precision Lighting and many more new impressive companies catering to the haunt industry.
Midwest Haunters Convention is the second largest haunt convention behind Transworld, but a lot of the tradeshow floor wasn’t being used making the event look smaller than it really was. This takes away from the show a bit, but doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a great convention none the less. After checking out the tradeshow floor for a while we decided to sit down for the Monster Makeup Wars which was going to start in about 30 minutes. There wasn’t a huge crowd getting ready for the contest, but that changed as the contest slowly approached. Before taking a load off I decided to talk to Damien Reaper from The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. He’s one of the best known haunt actors in Ohio and was a pleasure to speak with.
The volunteers and organizers were setting everything up in preparation for the Makeup Wars since it was just about ready to begin. Organizers included Kelly Collins and Barry Schieferstein. They are always instrumental in bringing MHC to life every year. The time was 4:30 and in a few minutes the contest was going to commence. Minutes passed and it was time for the Bloody Mary Monster Makeup Wars. There were a a variety of teams participating. This included staff from St. Rita Haunted House (Cincinnati, OH), The Dent Schoolhouse (Cincinnati, OH), Wisconsin Feargrounds (Wisconsin) and another team I can’t remember for some apparent reason. The last team used a 9 year old as their model and He seemed to really enjoy himself getting into character.
The judges would soon be introduced. These included Rabid Badger (Rotting Flesh Radio), John Kennedy (Haunted Attraction Magagazine) and of course Bloody Mary herself. She is world renowned for creating the makeup for the floating frozen corpses in the movie Titanic and has her own line of makeup for the haunt industry, military, sports events and more. Last year’s winning character was Rainbow Rape. It would be interesting to see who would come out on top for 2010.
The MC for the contest was Crazy Bob Turner from The Haunted Hydro in Fremont, OH. He’s always great hosting this contest, but his voice was a little horse. Last night He guest acted at The Scare-A-Torium and lost much of his voice because of all the screaming and good time He had. Even the microphone was cutting in and out. Techniqual difficulties aside, it was an enjoyable Monster Makeup Wars. The team of Wisconsin Feargrounds won and finally Scott Tater Lynd (AKA Granny) came out victorious after all of these years modeling makeup at the Monster Makeup Wars.
The Monster Makeup Wars were over and I was done taking pictures of the frightful contestants. Before leaving I decided to take some more pictures of the tradeshow before we were ready to drive back to good ole Cincinnati, OH. The lights suddenly shut off since it was closing time for MHC. People of course freaked out and all types of Mayhem broke out. The biggest highlight for myself was seeing Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana represented in the haunt industry. This year’s Midwest Haunters Convention was great as usual and I can’t wait for next year.