Midsummer Scream is an annual “Halloween, haunts, and horror” convention held the last weekend of July. It features panels from some of the biggest names in the business, exhibits from a huge number of horror themed companies, and the Hall of Shadows, a collection of 14 mini haunts.
- Long Beach Convention Center
- Panels from major haunts, including Halloween Horror Nights and Knott’s Scary Farm
- Over two hundred exhibitors featuring an assortment of haunt and horror related merchandise
- The Hall of Shadows features numerous haunted haunts
- Even more immersive experiences scatter throughout the convention floor
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Midsummer Scream is a the West-Coast’s premier Halloween / Horror Convention, offering vendors, haunts, panels, and more to an audience of all ages. This convention is the embodiment of the spirit of Halloween. If you’re a fan of horror, haunts, Halloween, or monsters, this is the convention for you.
They drew over 30,000 fans of all things macabre to Long Beach, where they found a greatly-expanded show floor featuring more than 350 unique vendors, Paranormal Pixie’s children’s activity area with Buster Balloon, a wide variety of live entertainment performances, and exciting celebrity appearances including the queen of Halloween, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark).
In 2019, they celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, complete with a must-see panel presentation that included Disney Legends Bob Gurr and Tony Baxter, vendors on the show floor in the Corridor of Creepy Creeps selling Mansion-inspired merchandise, and a Saturday night party, the Grim Grinning Gala, which was the swingingest wake anywhere for both the living and the disembodied, complete with a movie screening of The Haunted Mansion with live commentary by the film’s Director, Rob Minkoff, and Producer, Don Hahn. Happy Haunts that materialize in costume Saturday night were invited to participate in the Grim Grinning Gala’s contest with a $500 prize being awarded to the ghost with the most creativity!
Deemed the “gateway to the Halloween season” by fans, they have hosted presentations from many of Southern California’s major haunt attractions, including Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights, Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, and Knott’s Scary Farm, as they offer guests exclusive sneak peeks at what terrors they have in store this coming October across the Southland.
Other outstanding presentations included The Curious Creators of Christine McConnell’s Show; a Tales From the Crypt 30th Anniversary reunion featuring the voice of the Crypt Keeper, John Kassir; the Winchester Mystery House; a look at Spooky and Strange Themed Bars of Southern California; Charles Phoenix and his all-new Halloweenland retrospective; the ever-popular Buzzfeed: Unsolved with Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej; and a look at JFI Productions’ attractions, from Creep to The Willows and beyond.
The massive Hall of Shadows dark zone was themed in 2019 to Tiki Terror – a monstrously ghoulish mash-up of Polynesian lore and everything evil that goes bump in the night! As guests passed through a foreboding jungle portal created by the incredibly talented CalHauntS group – complete with crashed airplane, crumbling temple ruins, and an erupting volcano – they found a unique tiki vendor area featuring artists and merchants such as Jeff Granito, Sweet Siren, Tiki Tiki Monster, and McBiff. For those 21 years of age or older, libations were found in the Drunken Devil’s Freaky Tiki Bar, where guests mixed and mingled with a kooky crew of castaways just dying for social interaction.
Also featured in this year’s Hall of Shadows were over a dozen haunted attractions and displays, including Sinister Valley from Lake Elsinore’s Storm Stadium, Twisted Minds Productions, Hellsir Cemetery, Shattered Realm, and Wicked Pumpkin Hollow, to name just a few! Returning once again, the Decayed Brigade thrilled thousands of onlookers several times each day with sliding exhibitions that pushed the boundaries of gravity!
With more than 350 artisans and exhibitors, the show floor had more than doubled in size, featuring unique artwork, props, Halloween accessories, clothing, and makeup supplies. Always keeping guest comfort in mind, MidsummerScream had widened the show floor aisles to 15 feet for easier traffic circulation as fans visit their favorite vendors such as Trick or Treat Studios, Kreepsville 666, Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum, Edyn Rashae Studios, and Dark Delicacies. Among the horrific hustle and bustle on the show floor, fans also found Midsummer newcomers Madame Tussauds, Crypt TV, and Bloody Mary: Makeup to Die For.
Live entertainment was abundant at Midsummer Scream, from the show floor stage to the Theatre Macabre on the upper concourse of the convention center. Returning again this year to delight guests were Force of Nature Productions teasing their Halloween production; Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group presenting Urban Death for adults, and for the first time ever, Urban Death for Kidz!; a sexy horror fashion show by Poltergeists and Paramours; and Jimmy H as the creepy-but-cool Mudd the Magnificent. Guests were also wowed ‘40s and ‘50s-style by Dr. Zomba’s Ghost Show of Terror throughout the weekend!
For those looking to get a jump on the Halloween season or sharpen their haunting skills, this convention offered a robust education program, completely included in the price of admission, with the exception of select make-and-take classes by the incredible SoCal Valley Haunters group, which had a dedicated workshop area on the show floor. Educational classes and presentations this year ranged from novice to advanced and included everything from projection mapping on a budget to cosplay ideas and tips, to the importance of audio for your attraction, taught by industry sound designer Dan Bieranowski.
Don’t forget to check out the main stage for a fantastic line-up of panels (immersive and horror related), the Hall of Shadows, and the copious amounts of Halloween fun on the vendor floor. This is not the event to miss! Let’s celebrate the lead up to the Halloween Haunt Season in Southern California together!
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