Recently, the good folks behind HorrorHound Weekend brought its convention of horrors to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. This was the first time they had been back to the city since 2012. When I found out they were coming back, I knew I had to be there.
As I walked into the Crowne Plaza Columbus North hotel, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I began scouring the endless tables of horror related merchandise and had to restrain myself from buying everything I saw.
Several cosplayers were roaming around dressed as our favorite villains and slashers. The usual suspects were there, including Freddy, and of course. Jason. But I was pleasantly surprised to see a full and accurate Harry Warden from My Bloody Valentine (1981). Also present were Santa from Silent Night (2012) and even a Gene Simmons from KISS. I was only able to snap these photos quickly. If these are of you please let us know so we can give proper credit to the bad ass costumes!
The guest list boasted some horror heavyweights and included a Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) reunion. The guest included Shannon Elizabeth, Ethan Embry, Mena Suvari, Mick Foley, Chris Sarandon, Tom Atkins, Deborah Voorhees, Tom Morga, Ted White, Melanie Kinnaman, Tiffany Helm and Zach Gillian just to name a few.
It has been a few years since I hit the convention circuit. Meeting several of the guests I have grown up watching was intimidating at first. I stopped by the table of Deborah Voorhees and received a signed picture. Deborah Voorhees was one of the sweetest guests there. She took the time to spend a few minutes with each fan and posed for pictures. Talking with her was like talking to an old friend.
As the afternoon continued, I knew that I had to meet the one and only Tom Atkins. I have been a fan of his for years. Night of the Creeps (1986) is a film I have probably watched over 100 times and quote his famous line of “Thrill me” frequently.
I approached Atkins and introduced myself. I asked him if I could get a signed photo. He told me to pick one from the table. I chose one and he autographed it “To Aaron: Thrill Me”. I will cherish this forever. He asked me if I wanted a picture too. Of course I told him yes!
As I came around the backside of the table, he pointed to the guy standing behind in me line. “Hey take our picture!” he told the guy. I handed my phone over and the guy took 3 photos of us. In typical Atkins fashion, he was letting the world know he was in charge. He also was wearing a Christmas-themed tie which made it all the better. Atkins doesn’t care what anybody thinks, which altogether makes him so awesome.
Later in the evening, my cohort Jeremy and I stopped back at his table. Jeremy told Atkins the end of Halloween 3 (1982) has always haunted us. We had to know if he was able to the stop the broadcast in time on the television, essentially sparing all the children a certain death. “You bet your sweet ass I did! Absolutely. I know it was a little vague there in the end, but I know what happened.” That was all the closure we needed.You can read a more detailed account from Jeremy here
As the day wound down and everyone was exhausted, it was time to pack it in and go home. Before I left, I had to stop and see Shannon Elizabeth. I picked out a picture from Scary Movie (2000) and asked her if she would sign my favorite line from the film.
She asked what it was and I told her “Oh my God, we hit a boot.” She cracked a smile and said that was one of her favorite lines too. I was able to grab a quick picture with her and finally decided it was time to head home.
I had a great time at the HorrorHound Weekend and was so grateful they decided to do another show in Columbus. The turnout was great, and it was great seeing old friends and making some new ones. When you go to a horror con, there is a feeling of family. Everyone is there for the same reason you are: To celebrate horror and macabre and to meet your favorite villains and heroes, which is equally important.
Hopefully the large turnout will show the organizers that Columbus has horror love, and will decide to do it again next year. If you get the chance to attend one of these shows I would highly suggest you do it. I would also highly recommend sampling HorrorHound’s line of beer that is exclusive to the shows.