The Halloween weekend was positively ghoulish with the return of Orlando’s horror convention, Spooky Empire, which took over the Hyatt Regency on International Drive.
From the moment I walked on in, I noticed how much better this convention was than the overhyped MegaCon.
For one, it was organized. Getting an autograph didn’t result in stupidly long waits that suffocated the vendor area. Instead of putting all attendees in one line no matter who they’re there to see, each booth had its own mini line. And if you couldn’t find out how to meet the guests? Well, the staff was actually helpful. Amazing, really.
The guests themselves were from deep within the horror genre or at least on the fringes of it. George Romero and Butch Patrick made their iconic presence known as did Machete and Barry Bostwick. Even the timing for these meet and greets were more reasonable; the guests were there for the majority of the day instead of awkwardly scheduled scraps throughout the con.
The vendor area next to this section was not too big, but it was enough to have some variety. It featured everything from bones to clothing to prints and DVDs. Although many items were pricey, it was a nice to not have to pay for shipping. Many of the booths had stuff that can only be found online, so I think it’s smart to take advantage of these vendors. This is especially true if you’re looking for XS clothing sizes.
Finding dresses that fit me is a constant problem, but I was able to find at least two stores that were stocked with my size. There wasn’t much to choose from, but what was there was incredibly cute and usually had a reasonable price tag given the design.
What I was bothered by was the lack of food options. There weren’t many choices, and even for a convention, the attack on my wallet was a bit much. After hacking out $5 for a small muffin, I gave up and explored the restaurants outside the venue. I’m not surprised that I lost a few pounds that day.
Sadly, I was only able to go on Saturday, so I missed some of the events, such as the Repo! shadowcast, but what I did go to was enjoyable. The short film fest wasn’t filled with ground breaking ventures, but it was a nice little break from the walking around. The Creepy Kids panel was full of insightful discussion, and The Shining Twins are positively adorable.
In between events, there were quick avenues to explore, such as the arcade room and the carnival exhibit. As long as you searched for it, there was always something to do.
I finished the night off with the Rocky Horror shadowcast, which my friend Mike was in as Eddie, and it was such an odd experience, and I mean that in the best of ways. I haven’t been to a Rocky show as an audience member for many, many months, so the observer role was jarring. Even more so was hearing how different audience members have different AP lines on their tongues.
For those wondering, yeah, I was that one girl who was screaming out lines every two seconds. You’re welcome.
Spooky Empire isn’t something I see myself going to for a full weekend, but it’s a nice full day adventure that I’m glad to have gone on. If my bank account allows for it, I definitely see myself returning.
As is with most cons, one of my favorite parts is seeing the cosplaying diversity. I saw a million Harley Quinns and about a dozen Addams Families, but some people really outdid themselves. Check out the gallery below for a few examples.
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