Damien’s MHC Experience
By Damien Reaper
Edited By Noah Wullkotte
Friday, June 4th
I guess the start of my Road trip to Midwest Haunters Convention started Friday, June 4th. I was too excited to get much sleep. Everyone met at The Dent Schoolhouse because Co-Owner/actor/ head make-up artist and now Mini-Bus Driver, Bud Stross drove the ghouls. On the bus was Megan Elizabeth Schmitt, Bethany Kassen, Troy Baldock, Sara, Gus Bolser, Maggie Baker, Julie Langenderfer and I. We rode up in the Mini Bus of Doom singing to the sweet jams of Queen and many other 80’s tunes. Then we ate the Quaker Steak and Lube which was very tasty. The Arizona wings were the best.
We would eventually meet up with Co-owner Josh Wells, his wife and acting manger Leslie Wells, the big boss man himself Chuck Stross and Mr. and Mrs. Wells (aka Josh’s Parents). From there we went to the Hyatt Hotel to check in and from there I went to my Hotel Room which might be my favorite part of the trip. It was a quiet place to just chill out and get your mind set for the mayhem that was to start in a couple hours after which I should have taken a nap. But like a goober I thought I could do everything like I was 20, but I was dead wrong. Always rest the body before doing conventions or you’re going to feel like you are a zombie.
I had to put on my old Reaper’s outfit from 2006 for Scarokee early because we had to meet to get Registered for the Friday Bus Tour and The Ball. We then met up with Dan Leopold, Keith Peace, Bubba Kraus, Amber Tedrick and Cheryl Griffin. We all just talked with other haunters until it was time to go do our events. It was time for The Friday Night Bus Tour to start As Mommie D lead the charge. I traveled to The Scare-A-Torium which was just great.
Keith Newsome aka ZOMKETH and Son Reverend Anthony Newsome and their family and friend brought this Unholy evil to life. They are also apart of Features Creatures of Central Ohio. Haunted Hydro’s very own Crazy Bob and Beth Turner were also there. What was great there was the acting which was very theatrical with very entertaining monsters.The flow of the place was very smooth and it was character driven which I enjoyed as an actor .
When leaving I decided to go with Bud and the Mini. It’s not that the big bus wasn’t fun riding to the 1st Haunt of Horrors, but I really wanted to ride with my Haunt Family members more so. We ate over at the Burger King (home of the whopper). The 2nd Haunt was Dead Acres aka The Haunted Hoochie. It was great and reminded me of a shock rock in your face type of haunt. We waited in line for maybe an hour before getting in to see the show. It was a huge line which gave me time to use their restroom like maybe 4 times. Damn Large Colas!
Dead Acres was blood, fire and chainsaws. It was more pop scares and shock. I enjoy the lighting and stage at this event and the acting was very in your face with pop scares which is great as well. They also had a 3D side attraction which was pretty cool. By that time we had to rush back to the Hyatt Hotel for Scary-oke. Driving there was kind of scary for me from not sleeping much. My body was hurting and my chest had a very tight feeling which scared this old haunter.
Josh asked me “So Damien, are you getting nervous?” I said no. I was cool, but really scared of passing out on stage. But after watching Mommie D and Jerry Vayne, The Haunt Rocker doing their songs it came down to me. I got my mind together and did my thing. I was a little off time and I was shaking. It was the second time in the 12 years I’ve been haunting and performing that I was scared in front of a crowd. Last year’s Scary-oke was for the 1st time I was scared in front of a crowd. They will have the video up sooner or later.
I became the Villain and then I felt that old vibe coming back. It was a great time. After talking to my Dent Family and seeing USS Nightmare’s own Brian Robbe, I went off to my hotel room as I saw RFR/Raven’s Wolf’s Katie Lane who enjoyed the show. I then took a shower and went to bed at 2:30ish.
Saturday, June 5th
I woke up too early at 6 am and then couldn’t get back to sleep with my legs feeling like they were on fire. I decided to watch The Power Rangers till about 8 am. I then walked down stairs very slowly to get breakfast which I had two Mocha Iced drinks and I was wired for a short amount of time. I was off to take some seminars and classes from make-up to acting with costuming in between (Teachers Glen & Melissa Gilmore, Beth Biasella from Bloodview). It was a great Class I took with my two Brothers Bubba and Troy of The Dent Schoolhouse.
I got to go to the Convention Floor which I saw RFR Casket Crew members Rabid Badger, Jackie Steinert, Katie Lane, Jason F. Storm, Chad Savage. I then saw Costume Find’s Ethan Turon, Chuckles The Klown, Midnight Syndicate, Wolfe Fx, Screamline Studios , Shutter Productions ,Shadowscapes, Thirteenth Hour Magazine ,Nox Arcana and so many people and booths with the spookiest stuff. Plus when I went to the RFR booth Jerry Vayne gave me a kick ass demo of Soul Collector by Jerry Vayne himself and then signed it.
After I was done checking out the tradeshow for a while I left and got some Subway. So Indeed I ate fresh. I would then go and try to take nap before Team B.A.M participated in the Monster Makeup Wars. I stared at the ceiling for two hours and went down to see them. I went down and saw Noah hanging out and ready to see everyone in action. I also saw Steve from St. Rita’s Haunted House there supporting his team. Crazy Bob Turner was the host of the Makeup Wars. It was fun to watch the whole event. Though team B,A,M weren’t the winners, they won something later that night which made up for it.
We all ran up to our room to put on our makeup. I did my own makeup for both nights. Tonight the makeup was a mix of demon or a Sith from Star Wars and a little of Meat Loaf. Every year since I’ve been with Dent I’ve been called Meat Loaf or Jack Black. While walking out of the room both my calves burned like Damnation’s fire so I struggled to walk to Josh and Leslie’s room. I met up with the other Denters.
We watched Entertainment tonight’s tribute to Blanch from Golden Girls who was doing her last interview. Saturday night we all met up with Jasper, Jinx, Fatso The Clown, Sara (who may have been a possessed Prom Queen) and Gus (who dressed as Alex from A Clockwork Orange), Cher-bear and Jimmy The Bully. As soon as we walked in I went to the restroom. Dead guys have a weak bladder I think. I saw the trio Keith and Troy in matching white scrubs and inside a box, Siluria the mermaid of the darkest waters, created by Team B.A.M. and performed by Julie Langenderfer. In my mind I thought she was going to win it.
Mostly I hung around a wall or something I could lean on because of these old dog’s legs. But I would pop up now and then to see how they were. I didn’t want to break out of character because in year’s past I would act more goofy than dark and silent. I would talk very steady and strong rather than loud and crazy. I stayed in Reaper mode till the end of the Night.
I enjoyed all the body painted models as one should. It’s always been art to me rather than 10 semi nude models. Though It would be funny with some super soakers. But my personal highlight of the night was the Ms. Scary Midwest contest. And guess who won that title? It was Siluria the mermaid. A moment before they said who It was, for everyone at Dent time stood still and planets aligned. Then BAM! It was a huge leap for Dent Schoolhouse, Team B.A.M. and Julie herself to get a great spotlight and honor at MHC!
4 years ago when I joined The Dent Schoolhouse we all watched each other grow in a way. I am very proud to have shared that moment with The Dent Family, my brothers and sisters. It was off the charts, man! Though it didn’t surprise me because I knew Julie would win. I whispered to her “You know you’re going to win right”, and she did. Congratulations to Siluria, 2010 Ms. Scary Midwest. I did go to bed early that night since I was never one to party and get drunk. I did feel bad that I couldn’t hang with the gang, but I needed the rest and it did the trick to recharge the batteries.
Sunday, June 6th
I would wake up at 9am getting a fair amount of sleep. This would be the best I felt all weekend. I made my roads and said goodbye to people I only see online or at this great event. But I did get two very tasty Iced Mocha Coffees again before we left. It was a slow ride home and it was sad, but we can wait for next year. Next we have the 2010 haunt season!
A very huge Thanks to Barry and Kathy Schieferstein, Kelly Collins, Scott Kelly, Neena, Melissa McKnight, Jason Dasti and of course the Dent Staff that shared this venture with me. I would also like to thank all the haunters who I befriended and also shared the event with us.
Thanks to Noah for letting my do this for the 2nd year in a row.
Now if you’re in the Cincinnati area around the Halloween season feel froggy and jump to The Dent Schoolhouse. But know when you step in my office, you will face your own damnology.
Damien Reaper is an actor at The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, OH. If you would like more information on The Dent Schoolhouse, then please visit www.frightsite.com.