The MASK-FEST Manifesto

Although I’ve attended every Horrorhound/MASK-FEST for the last eight years, this one had me nervous. Having outgrown their old Marriott hotel guests were treated to a significantly larger (and pricier) one last year that didn’t seem to make a lot of folks happy. This year they finally graduated to the Indianapolis Convention Center – a venue I’d last visited back in 2005 for STAR WARS CELEBRATION III. I had no doubt it was large enough but was primarily concerned with the logistics and parking situation. Thankfully, it couldn’t have gone better. The 2019 Horrorhound Weekend would prove itself not only a winner in terms of organization but a true fan-pleaser by offering THREE events for the price of one. In addition to Horrorhound Weekend and MASK-FEST, there’d be a third show called Fact or Fiction featuring notable personalities from the world of the unknown. So if you’re a horror fan who’s also into UFO’s AND Cryptozoology like I am, this was the event you’ve been waiting for! 

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Countdown to Mask-Fest 2019 – One Month till Showtime!

Welcome to my 4th Annual “Countdown to MASK-FEST!” It’s hard to believe that in less than a month, some of the most creative and ghoulish talents will descend upon Indianapolis and join Horrorhound Weekend for three days of thrills! MASK-FEST is one event that promises something new each year and I’m always astonished at how these artists manage to top themselves every time. There’s so much to see and do you could blow up your Instagram account during the first hour alone. Hats off to the show’s creator himself, Eric Austin from the former Halloween Mask Association (HMA) and his tireless dedication.  Austin has taken mask collecting to new heights and nothing is better evidence of that than this phenomenal event. But don’t just take my word for it. In keeping with tradition, I’m going to use every Friday leading up to the big weekend on September 6th to showcase as many of last year’s masks/props as I can. Every year is different so if you want to see the new stuff, get your tickets TODAY!

So let’s get the Countdown started…

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Frights & Fire Alarms at the Indianapolis Horrorhound Weekend!

It was a sunny afternoon when my friend, Chris Carr, and I headed out to Indianapolis for this year’s Horrorhound Weekend/Mask-Fest. We met by chance a few months earlier (about a week after I returned from New England) at one of Brookfield Zoo’s “Summer Nights” events. I’d no sooner entered their main gate when I saw a guy wearing sunglasses sitting in their information booth with his feet propped on the ledge like he owned the place. I can honestly say that up till that moment, I’d never seen anyone make volunteering look as cool as he did. He must have noticed me staring because he gave me a nod which I returned with a half-wave before going about my business. Later that night, we’d meet formally and I learned that, aside from the zoo connection, he also loved horror movies and even dressed up as Jason Voorhees for Chicago-based cons. I’d long hoped for a local buddy to do horror-related stuff with and here was the ideal person sitting right here at the zoo the entire time! We started hanging out and eventually made plans to do Days of the Dead Chicago together this November but, after  I began posting my Countdown to Mask-Fest series, he wanted to see what that was all about too. It’s always neat attending these things with newbies (like Jason Schoolcraft at Days of the Dead last July) and seeing their reactions to it. This time around, however, even a Horrorhound veteran like myself would get a taste of something new via the world of costumers. Chris planned on wearing his “Jason” costume and I’d discover a whole brotherhood of costumed slashers I’d never knew existed. But more on that and Chris later…

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Horrorhound Weekend: The Macabre Secrets of MASK-FEST!

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It was a last minute decision going to The Indianapolis Horrorhound Weekend this past September. Not for lack of interest, mind you, but for practicality. I’d already resolved the fact that I was going to have to skip this one as I’d stretched myself too thin over the summer and was facing another week long conference in North Carolina with my Brookfield Zoo AAZK Chapter two weeks later. There was one aspect of this show, however, that gave me pause. While there are two Horrorhound Weekends taking place each year here in the Midwest, only one boasts the addition of MASK-FEST.  This event is a convention in and of itself and boasts the talented creations of those who forge the very things the holiday embraces – scary masks and props!

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The Walking Dead Stumble into the Fright Night After Party!

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I woke up early on Saturday and walked around Louisville snapping some pictures. The sky was overcast and I’d hoped to escape the zoo of Fright Night/Fandomfest in favor or an official one. While having breakfast at the local Panera Bread, I asked a guy sitting nearby if he knew what the weather forecast was for the day. I explained that I wanted to go to the Louisville Zoo and was hoping things would clear up. “Why would you want to do that???” he asked, as if I’d told him my plans were to dive into the Ohio River. “The Fandomfest is right down the street!”

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