A collector’s dream come true, Horror Hound’s Maskfest brings together the country’s best monster artists, monster masks and ghoulish creations.
Not so long ago I wrote an article discussing my latest hobby: Halloween mask collecting. Since that article, I have fully committed to my new hobby by driving 11 hours (that includes food and bathroom stops) from my home in Rochester, NY, to attend my first ever Maskfest, the premier mask convention on planet earth (and the only one that I know of).
Maskfest was held this year at the Indianapolis Convention Center, nestled in the womb of Horror Hound Weekend. I wasn’t able to get a hotel within spitting distance of the convention center, so I had to stay in a Super 8 near the airport. This Super 8 was without a doubt the scariest thing I saw while attending Maskfest.
Our room (and I say “our” because my dad came with me) smelled like someone had used a smoldering cigarette butt as an air freshener. There where burn marks on the window sill, black spots on the mattress, no soap in the bathroom, no blankets on the bed (only top covers), and Wolf of Wall Street razor marks on my side of the nightstand. Yup. Terrifying. Oh! And did I mention that it sounded like we were blasting off in a UFO every time we turned on the A.C.? Yeah, you can bet we won’t be staying there next time.
Speaking of next time…next time, I’ll do the city driving. My dad insisted on doing that portion of the driving (even though I insisted that I would be more than happy to do it). It’s not that my Dad’s a bad driver. Evil Knievel wasn’t a bad driver. But like Evil, he does, well, shave it a little close. When was a kid I LOVED driving with my dad. Since I didn’t drive myself, and I hadn’t yet been in a car accident, driving with my dad was fun!
Back then, I’d sometimes wonder, “How did he manage to make that turn going 65 miles per hour and NOT hit that brick wall?” I still wonder that sometimes…late at night…but I digress.
The first day, when we pulled into Maskfest, I was trembling — not out of excitement, but out of shock.
One way streets are one way for a reason. “What are you waiting for? We’re here!” My dad was waiting for me, dusting off his jump suit and helmet. “I’m coming,” I replied shakily. “Okkkaaayyyy”. My dad always draws out his “okays” when he’s been made to sleep in a sketchy Super 8 after being dragged 11 hours from his comfy bed back home (just to see some rubber monster heads).
I ignored him, focusing inside on gaining my land legs. My dad walked, I hobbled, to the convention center. After picking up our passes, we then dove into Maskfest head first (like always). The first day of Maskfest was a lot like my dad’s driving – fast. Before I knew it, I had already bought two masks (even though I hadn’t intended on buying anything the first day) and was back counting the razor marks on the nightstand in our (not so) Super 8. Wow.
The next day of Maskfest was more of the same.
Like the day before, I giddily met mask and monster makers whose work I followed on Instagram.
And I like the day before, the dream was over before it had really started. Was it all a dream? Had I just woken up in our (not so) Super 8? I didn’t remember driving back from Maskfest the second day. Then a noticed my new purchases and realized that the reason I didn’t remember driving back from Maskfest that day was because I had purposely erased it from my memory. In fact, since writing this article I’ve erased all my memories of my dad driving in Indianapolis.
The third and final day of Maskfest was slower than the previous two.
That day I got to meet one of my heroes: Dr. David Lady.
His Mask Fan Attic and Creepy Cheapies YouTube videos helped me get through some of my darkest moments. In order to thank him for helping me, I presented David (and his wife Laura) a piece of artwork that I’d made. They loved it and promised to hang it in Horror Hotel aka their home. After this, I hung out with Dr. Lady and his wife for a while before attending a wonderful preview of the coming attractions from Trick or Treat Studios.
I honestly can’t believe some of the masks this amazing company will be coming out with next year! I’m already saving my pennies.
Speaking of pennies, I spent my last penny on a signature and selfie with Matthew Lillard (I don’t need to tell you who he is) before driving home.
Maskfest was a blast.
Much like the tire that my dad blew out while making that last turn out of Indianapolis and into infamy.
Maskfest 2020 can’t come soon enough.
P.S. If you want to see the masks and other goodies I picked up at this year’s Maskfest feel free to follow me on Instagram @glenntolle.