I no sooner said goodbye to the ladies of Midnite Mausoleum before earning myself a speeding ticket trying to zoom back east for Elgin’s Nightmare on Chicago Street. If you’ve ever attended one of these in the past than you’d understand my exuberance as well as all the hyperbole I’ve used to describe it over the years; both on this site as well as in the latest issue of Scary Monsters Magazine.
Picture several city blocks created to look like a zombie apocalypse; complete with militia roaming an undead “Safe Zone” while garnering inspiration from their own macabre Uncle Sam; national TV horror host, Svengoolie. You can’t blame me for making this my favorite stop during the Halloween season, nor for having a led foot while trying to get there.
In this regard, I’m far from alone. Now celebrating its fifth year, Nightmare on Chicago Street has fast become Chicagoland’s premiere Halloween experience with last year’s attendance reaching over 12,000 people!
Roger Williams Park Zoo once again hosts the JACK-O-LANTERN SPECTACULAR, an annual fundraising event put together by a company called Passion For Pumpkins. This fall tradition, despite its late start due to inclement weather (we had more rain in the 3 days leading up to the show than we did all spring and summer combined), is now in full swing and is not to be missed! This year’s theme is People’s Choice, taking the best skits from past shows and combining them into one mega-presentation.
As sun went down, the energy level rose and everyone knew that Elgin’s Nightmare on Chicago Street had officially begun. One of the featured acts, “The Rocking Dead,” took to the stage as the streets were soon filled to capacity.
Hey gang, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and are looking forward to another year of horror, science fiction, super heroes, and monsters! I’m gonna kick off 2015 with a series of posts on an event that took place during the last Halloween season. Okay I know that isn’t very “New Year-ish”but I felt this story deserved to be looked at carefully and required some time that my Christmas (or Krampus had I been a local here in Elgin) season just didn’t allow. So let’s enjoy these ‘dead of winter’ days (with Dead being the operative word) and discuss an occasion that, while always amazing, is unique each year. Just curl up and forget those sub-zero temps that are plaguing a good portion of the US right now and go back to a much warmer evening WAY back in 2014.
Ah, it seems like only yesterday…
1985 was a big year for me; not only did I graduate high school but it was also the year I became a home haunter. Halloween was always a favorite holiday of mine and one of the things I always loved when I was trick or treating were the houses that did a little bit more than just putting out a lit jack-o-lantern. I decided I was going to be that guy and like most things I do, I went all out and gave it 150%. My first year was actually small with just a rotted corpse sitting in a chair and me wearing a Be Something Studios (now Zagone Studios) Shrunken Head mask to give the kids a scare before handing them their candy.
Though my original Be Something Studios Shrunken Head mask is no more, I recently bought a new copy, for nostalgia sake.
Conclusion to the 2013 Nightmare on Chicago Street…
Feeling a bit awkward, I made my way up the stage and starting snapping photos of Svengoolie addressing The Nightmare on Chicago Street crowd. I later learned there were nearly 7,000 people out there which, had I known at the time, would have me a nervous wreck! Elizabeth Haney was determined to capture a Sven’s eye view of things and the last thing I wanted to do was let her down. Seeing the immense crowd really brought home the full power Svengoolie had on my fellow fans. Sven cracked a joke about it being so cold he was glad he had his iphone because he’s “freezing his apps off” and the conest began…
Nightmare on Chicago Street continues…
Shortly after Svengoolie had finished being interviewed by some local students of Elgin, I headed to the back room to say hello. There wasn’t enough time to corral Nightmare on Chicago Street’s most influential women, Elizabeth Haney and Alice Moring. for a picture but I did make sure it happened afterwards…lest they regret issuing me my press pass.