I was on my way to this year’s Days of the Dead Chicago when the first big, fluffy snowflakes appeared. Despite the local news crowing about it all week, I remained in denial until the evidence was sticking to my windshield and hindering my traffic time. Part of me was hopeful the bad weather meant dealing with fewer crowds at the event but those dreams were soon dashed after I arrived at the Marriott Hotel in Schaumburg and was immediately directed to a guest overflow parking garage. Never underestimate the devotion of a horror fan; not only does it defy the elements but remains strong even after Halloween.
I remember attending the very first Days of the Dead (in Indianapolis) back in 2011. Since that time, its spread like a zombie plague to other major cities; Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago and I believe Louisville will become its newest territory in September 2016. I’ve always had a great time attending these and particularly enjoy their celebrity panels or themed events. Some that stand out: over the years was their “Scream Queens” panel (covered HERE), the late Roddy Piper’s hilarious stand up show, and THING-FEST (which you can relive HERE). This year was no less spectacular as it boasted a Q&A panel with the elusive Ace Frehley from KISS as well one with Cassandra Peterson a.k.a. Elvira: Mistress of the Dark!
Not wanting to carry around a winter coat, I ditched mine in the car and risked pneumonia by trekking up to the hotel in just a sweatshirt. As soon as I walked inside (and could feel my cheeks again), I saw my friends, the Urbans, sitting in the lobby waiting for me. Don and Bunny are big fans of the genre and, despite the fact that they’re fellow Chicagoans & Svengoolie fans; I actually met them at the aforementioned Days of the Dead in Indy. The place was jam-packed with fans and, since they’d already surveyed the layout, were very helpful in guiding me to where I needed to be. As a general rule of thumb, if I have any celebrity guest goals, I try and knock them out of the way before checking out the vendors. For this event I had two guests on my radar; Elvira Mistress of the Dark and D.B. Sweeney which I’ll discuss in upcoming, individual posts.
Here are some of the great costumes and merchandise featured at the 2015 Chicago Days of the Dead!
This year I’d end up purchasing a couple of hard to find horror films as well as a new Scarebear (which I’ll discuss more soon). Because this event was local, I didn’t stay at the hotel which would prove to be a bad decision in lieu of the weather. By the time I left around 10-11pm, I walked into a winter postcard. Regardless, there was still a lot that needed to be done and I’d return the next morning for a full day of events. That being said, enough of the overview, let’s get down to the nitty gritty…
Coming up: An alien reunion with D.B. Sweeney from “Fire in the Sky!”