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Halloween lovers gather at ‘Midsummer Scream’ in Long Beach

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For those of us who love Halloween, no, we crave Halloween, and only wear black, purple, bloody costumes or shirts with monsters on the front; We need not wait ’till once a year for our beloved holiday. Joining the horde of dark or Halloween themed conventions in Southern California, is the newest one, aptly named Midsummer Scream.

From creators David Markland, Rick West, Johanna Atilano, Claire Dunlap, and Gary Baker, we got a new addition to the summer convention line-up, Midsummer Scream. The Long Beach Convention Center provided a huge venue for a fun weekend, perfect for Halloween fans of all kinds. From kid-friendly crafts, to super scary maze teasers from local haunters, performing in the Hall of Shadows, there was something for every type of horror lover.

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Midsummer Scream brought us panels that revealed all the local theme parks’ (Knotts Scary Farm, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and Six Flag’s Fright Fest) newest mazes and characters. There were classes galore to learn almost any aspect of the holiday. Love watching SFX artists at work making monsters? Well you certainly came to the right place!

If having a haunt of your own is your thing — there was booth after booth where you could purchase props and tools of the trade. Or if you want to do it all yourself — you can join a group like Calhaunts and be a part of a community of haunters to network with, where you can learn how to build all kinds of amazing props and gadgets to scare.

There were theatrical performances, scary slider shows, celebrities to meet and so many cool, gory crafts and snacks that there was no way anyone got to buy everything their hearts desired. I know I have to stop myself every year… there is just too much amazing Halloween themed art work, props, crafts, jewelry, yummy goodies and clothes!

New to the convention this year was all the escape rooms…. a super fun way to get your friends together, use your brains and have fun. There were quite a few of them to try out and see what you liked best.

Vicki and Larry Bones at Toxicity makeup

Me posing in my amazing makeup with SFX guru Larry Bones at Toxicity, Midsummer Scream

I got to have special fun myself at this convention. I had the honor of being transformed into a mutant scientist in a crazy maze called Toxicity! Toxicity was the inspiration of Larry Bones and his amazing crew at Bone Yard Effects. Larry and his talented artists are the team behind all the awesome monsters at Universal Studio Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights. After a few hours in the makeup chair, my makeup artist Patricia Wang turned me into a truly disgusting glow-in-the-dark creature, ready to wander the foggy halls of Toxicity. It was a really fun day, and I have to thank Larry and Cheryl Bones for making me a welcome scare actor for the day!

Saturday night, we all got a special treat watching Johnny Vato’s Oingo Boingo Dance Party (featuring some of the original Oingo Boingo members) perform. Along with the 80s themed costume contest, the Noche De Los Muetos was a great party!

oingo boingo dance party

Midsummer Scream looked like a great success for its first year, and I expect to see it even bigger and better next year! Its creators are as passionate about Halloween as all of us lovely, gory, creepy weirdos that are always looking for the next place to play in the foggy night.

Midsummer Scream is here to stay and has earned its place in the dark!

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