Midsummer Scream 2019 – Staff Picks & Recommendations

Midsummer Scream - 2019

Continuing its streak of bringing spooky Halloween fun to the hot summer months, Midsummer Scream, now in its fourth year, is planning on their biggest event yet! This year, Midsummer Scream is doubling the show’s size from 2018, taking over the entire Long Beach Convention Center and filling it to the brim with over 350 vendors, a wide variety of live entertainment, a children’s activity area, celebrity appearances, immersive entertainment, and of course haunted attractions. Midsummer Scream 2019

 

The theme for 2019’s Hall of Shadows is Tiki Terror and includes haunt teases from the likes of Twisted Minds Productions and Opechee Haunt, as well as the Freaky Tiki Bar by Haunting favorite Drunken Devil.

 

Or, if you want to get in on the scares, Cross Roads Escape Games is presenting both an immersive event as well as a mini escape room, HVRTING wants to see how you fair against ample amounts of duct tape, and Shine On wants guests to join their Coven.

 

For those who like to take a more passive role in their frights, Zombie Joe’s will be performing their original, 18+ version of Urban Death, as well as their new Urban Death for Kidz; Force of Nature will be teasing their newest Fallen Saints; and Hollywood Fringe favorite Dr. Zomba’s Ghost Show of Terror relives the classic spook shows of the ’50s and ’60s.

 

Rest your screaming feet during panels teasing October haunts from Universal Studios, L.A.’s Haunted Hayride and Knott’s Scary Farm. See how Christine McConnell makes those creepy desserts, meet the Crypt Keeper, and learn about the past and upcoming shows by JFI Productions.

 

There’s so much to do and see over the 2-day convention, it’s scary! Fortunately, we’ve whittled down the offerings to a handful of must-sees and must-dos. Enter at your own risk, and happy haunting!

Experiences

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Alone

-sponse, Response & Re-

…a performance Immersive events have been big business over the last few years; in community thirst if not production life, ever more propped up by large audiences at haunt conventions. But box office success rarely, if ever, meant monetary prosperity. This performance takes as its medium the convention as such. Whereas the single person immersive experience held forth one participant at a time in a specific, directionally Socratic one-to-one communication, this performance subverts that notion in favor of a more classically theatrical, directionally Biblical one-to-many communication experience. In this performance, the basic structure, the actor finding the interaction within the framework of the space and overarching concept, is engaged with directly without the intimate understanding of a private, immersive experience. This performance is process exposed.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Bl4kT4pe by HVRTING

Bl4kT4pe – HVRTING

At various times throughout the days, HVRTING will take over Haunting.net’s booth to produce Bl4kT4pe, an immersive horror experience. Guests will step into the unknown to create the most dangerous art imaginable. Don’t forget to take a picture of your art afterward. Audiences should expect full contact, horror imagery, heavy interactivity, and possibly some tape.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Ready or Not - Sinister Pointe

Ready or Not – Sinister Pointe

Try and survive a life-or-death version of “Hide and Seek” at Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Ready or Not Experience, produced by Sinister Pointe.

Inspired by events from the upcoming film (out August 21st), this immersive experience will require you and your friends to stay hidden long enough without being found by others who take the game far too seriously.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Never Smile with The Director

NeverSmile: A Scene with The Director

Legendary Hollywood filmmaker, The Director, will make his first public appearance this year at Midsummer Scream. He will be shooting scenes for his upcoming horror film – and he might just have the perfect part for you… Can you last five nerve-wracking minutes in front of The Director’s movie camera without breaking a smile? Schedule your private scene with The Director now.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - The Seance

The Seance – Cross Roads Escape Games

A 10-minute long immersive theater experience where participants can meet Madam Ruth as she reaches beyond the veil to get your fortune told. After your sneak peek, join us for our full-length, terrifying new immersive show, The Seance, at Cross Roads Escape Games this October!

Midsummer Scream 2019 - The Box

The Box – Cross Roads Escape Games

A 10-minute mini-game for 3-5 players by Cross Roads Escape Games. One player will go inside THE BOX while a nurse locks them up to prepare for their hydrotherapy treatment. The doctors are hoping this treatment helps calm you and heat the crazy right out. It has not be successful on the last patients, so this time the nurse is upping the temperature and will be back in 10 minutes. The temperature starts to rise to a deadly level; luckily you have some friends on the outside that are there to help you get out before you are cooked alive! This game is a great side experiment to our full-length game, The Psych Ward.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - The Ritual

The Ritual – Shine On Collective

Keep an eye out for The Coven on the convention floor. They are recruiting for an upcoming ritual and might take an interest in you.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Monster Bingo

Monster Bingo and The Booty Chest

Visit the HorrorBuzz booth and grab your card for Monster Bingo! Spot any monsters, cosplayers, or scare actors dressed as your favorite creature on the bingo card and mark their spot down. Once you get a BINGO, you can return to the HorrorBuzz booth for a prize. Or you can dig your hand into the mysterious Booty Chest for even bigger surprises!

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Opechee Haunt

Jack’s Halloween JamBOOree – Opechee Haunt

The spooky world of Jack’s Halloween JamBOOree comes to life in an entirely new and interactive way at Midsummer Scream 2019, with Haunted Hunt! Jack’s adorable co-host, Gus, has mysteriously gone missing, and it’s up to you to find him so the show can begin! Dare to venture through the foreboding halls of the convention center as you search for this missing friend, before an unleashed cemetery spirit catches up to you first!

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Drunken Devil

Drunken Devil‘s Freaky Tiki Bar

Enjoy exotic libations while mingling with some less fortunate island castaways.

Shows

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Urban Death

Urban DeathZombie Joe’s Underground

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre brings their world-famous, theatrical, in-your-face version of grand guignol to Midsummer Scream. ZJU will be alternating between their kid-friendly show and their 18+ show throughout the weekend.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Dr. Zomba

Dr. Zomba’s Ghost Show of Terror

Enjoy the award-winning performance and Hollywood Fringe fan favorite production that is a tribute to the classic spook shows of the ’50s and ’60s.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Fallen Saints

Fallen Saints – Force of Nature Productions

Embrace the dark and face your fears as Force of Nature Productions brings you Fallen Saints, a live theatrical production filled with supernatural folklore.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Poltergeists & Paramours

Poltergeists & Paramours – Horror Fashion Show

Ama Lea combines her penchant for horror and skills as a clothing designer to bring us a fashion show perfect for screams and Halloween. One show each day.

Haunted Attractions

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Bone Dry

Bone Dry – ScareVentures

A pack of dead outlaws led by the infamous Mexican bandido, Coco Cucuy, from the desolate town of La Muerte are rising once again to reclaim their territory. Will you survive? Mount your saddles and load your holsters, because this will be the scariest haunt in the wilderness!

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Temple of the Fallen God

Temple of the Fallen God – Realm of Shadow

Enter the recently-rediscovered Temple of the Fallen God, as the invited guest of Dr. Nathan Hamre. As the invitation reads, you may keep all the treasure you can carry out of the temple. Surely, the stories of Hurumbo, Ninostera, and Malotec are only the mindless gibberish of a madman. Dr. Hamre’s only requirement is that you look into the eyes of Diabolki, so that you might know the wonder and beauty of the Fallen One, as he now does. Diabolki seeks all!

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Die Laughing

Die Laughing – Phobia Productions

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up! You… yes, you! Right this way to a shocking, remarkable, stupendous collection of freaks and misfits never displayed before the eyes of man until now! That’s right – none of these acts has ever been seen before… and will never be seen again… unless you come right back! Enter the Big Top with your host, T.P. Bottom, where you’ll scream! You’ll cry! You’ll beg for mercy! You may even… Die Laughing!

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Scream Queens

Scream Queens Tribute – Lights OUT Productions

Hell is about to break loose at Wallace University. You’ll be able to participate during this summer’s RUSH! The sorority girls of Kappa Kappa Tau have no other choice but to welcome you to their organization. Get ready to pledge recruits to experience memorable scenes from Scream Queens.

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Fear Fest '89

Fear Fest ’89 – The Dreich Society

October, 1989: The Landmark Theater is back open for business and is kicking off their week-long, open-invite event, Fear Fest ’89! Come and see some of the ’80s’ most popular horror films, such as Friday the 13th, Poltergeist, and Aliens. Rumor has it that the refurbished in-theater effects are so realistic, it’s like you’re actually living in the movies. In fact, some patrons have never come out of the Landmark. But hey, they’re only movies… right?

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Secrets of the Mist

Secrets of the Mist – Sinister Valley

Expeditions keep failing in the heart of the Amazon to reach an ancient temple shrouded in mystery and said to hold the secrets of the underworld. All who enter the mist are lost and never seen again. Will you be the one to survive the journey and finally discover the Secrets of the Mist?

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Salem

Salem – Twisted Minds Productions

Enter the dreary town of Salem, Massachusetts, under the glow of the blood moon to experience for yourself the horrific events of the Salem Witch Trials, and what dark magic awakens with the rising of the Blood Moon. Twisted Minds Productions invites you to enter the haunting world of Salem.

Midsummer Scream | Hyde Street Massacre

Hyde Street Massacre – The Bloodshed Brothers

Walk through the home of infamous serial killer Otis Hatcher, who made Halloween bloodier than ever. Can you survive the Hyde Street Massacre?

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Reichland Asylum

Reichland Asylum

For the first time in 40 years, Reichland Asylum is unsealing the doors of Ward B, the abandoned hospital wing once run by the premier surgeon, Dr. Charles Crawford. Walk the halls of Ward B, through the doctor’s lab, and come face-to-face with the victims and creations of Dr. Crawford. Can you escape Ward B before the doctor finds you, and the doors are sealed once again, this time forever?

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Desert Decay Manor

Desert Decay Manor

The desert harbors many secrets; the most frightening ones can be found at Desert Decay Manor, where the infamous Killgore family has been trapped within the walls, haunting every hall, reaching out to take your soul. If you dare step on the desecrated floors of the manor, you may find more than just chills going down your spine; you may find a Killgore wanting to keep you here… forever!

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Gothic Hills Cemetery

Gothic Hills Cemetery

The Gothic Hills Historical Society is opening their brand-new exhibit inside the Fitzroy Mausoleum, and you’re on the guest list. It was the most opulent building in the cemetery, a symbol of prominence that fell into disrepair after the events surrounding the death of the evil family patriarch, Julius. Now unsealed, you can see history come alive, and maybe even meet the family themselves!

Presentations / Classes

Just Fix It Productions - CreepLA - The Willows - Justin Fix - Immersive Haunted House Experience - LORE - Entry - Creep - Los Angeles - Halloween

From CREEP to THE WILLOWS and Beyond: JFI Productions

Venture into the world of JFI Productions – the company that has produced some of the most-talked-about haunt and immersive experiences in Los Angeles. Justin Fix (Founder), along with Daniel Montgomery (Writer/Artistic Director), David Ruzicka (Artistic Director), Stephanie Turek (Creative Supervisor/Choreographer), and J.T. Swierczek (Executive Producer/Partnership Director) are joined by Mike Fontaine and Russell Eaton of My Haunt Life Podcast to discuss the company’s history, project successes and challenges, and what fans can expect next from the team. Saturday – 12:00pm – 1pm (Second Stage)

Delusion | The Blue Blade

World Building: Creating Alternate Realities and Immersive Experiences

The art of creative immersive experiences for guests – whether it be a terrifying haunt, theatrical production, or pop-up attraction – has become big business in the entertainment world. Southern California is home to many of the brightest minds and hottest talents in the industry, and Midsummer Scream is bringing some of them together on one stage to discuss their own experiences and creative processes with their fans! Guests: Jon Braver (Delusion), Bonnie Hallman (Dark Harbor), Justin Fix (JFI Productions), Aaron Keeling (E3W Productions), Darren Lynn Bousman (The Experiences). Sunday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm (Second Stage)

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Mental Illness & Horror

When Brains Attack! Mental Illness and Horror

We all go a little mad sometimes. Join moderator Tom Blunt as we explore the relationship between horror and mental illness in an honest, lively, at times hilarious, discussion that will look at the history of insanity in horror, its portrayal, and speak with panelists about their first-hand experiences with both. There is no shame in being a horror and Halloween fan, much less someone that uses horror to stay “sane.” Sunday – 4pm – 5pm (Podcast Studio)

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Sinister Pointe

Theme Park Duo with Sinister Pointe’s Jeff Schiefelbein

Theme Park Duo‘s Gabriel and Nikki Montoya chat one-on-one with Jeff Schiefelbein of Sinister Pointe about growing up a Halloween and haunt fan, creating one of SoCal’s longest-running haunt companies, and what the future holds. Saturday – 3pm – 4pm (Podcast Studio)

Midsummer Scream 2019 - LA Haunted Hayride

Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group / LA Haunted Hayride Presentation

Meet the creators and masterminds behind the newly-reimagined Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. Find out what’s new for 2019, get a sneak-peek behind the scenes, and discover the terrors that will be lurking in the shadows of Griffith Park this October! Sunday – 1pm – 2pm (Second Stage)

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Knott's Scary Farm

Knott’s Scary Farm Presentation

A behind-the-scenes look at some of the most popular mazes at Knott’s Scary Farm, including a sneak peek of new scenes and scares coming in 2019! Featuring Jon Cooke and Jon Asperin from the Knott’s Scary Farm design team; audio designer Dan Bieranowski; Eric Nix, Live Entertainment Producer at Knott’s; and Ken Parks, Vice President of Entertainment for Knott’s. This exciting presentation will be hosted by Knott’s Berry Farm’s Jeff Tucker. Sunday – 5pm – 6pm (Grand Ballroom)

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Presentation

Join Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy and art director Chris Williams as they give a sneak peek at what’s to come at the terrifying 2019 event. Saturday – 5pm – 6pm (Grand Ballroom)

Midsummer Scream 2019 - Spooky Bars

Spooky and Strange Themed Bars of California

This panel will take a detailed look at five very unique establishments found in Los Angeles and Orange County, along with their creators. This intoxicating presentation will feature Lara Hanneman from The Cauldron (Buena Park), Ryan Hughes from The 4thHorseman (Long Beach), Martin Svab from Phantom Carriage (Carson), Zach Neil from Beetle House LA (Los Angeles), and Bryan Davis from Lost Spirits Distillery (Los Angeles); Midsummer Scream Creative Director, Rick West, will moderate. Saturday – 6pm – 7pm (Second Stage)

Midsummer Scream 2019 - CalHaunts

Tales from the Fog: So, You Want to be a Haunter? – CalHauntS

Join Casey and Veronica Nihart as they host a very special edition of Tales From the Fog Podcast as they interview prominent members of CalHauntS, the Southern California-based haunter group (creators of the Tiki Terror portal experience in the Hall of Shadows) about their own individual attractions, and then open up the mic to the audience for a live Q&A with the members of CalHauntS, who will answer everything they can about design, prop-making, techniques, fire code, and more! This is a unique opportunity for curious, new, and veteran haunters to ask questions and get tips from CalHauntS. Sitting on the CalHauntS panel will be: Diane and Preston Meyer, Greg Packard, Guy Myers, Dmitriy Slobodskiy, Shannon Tyra, and Jason Thompson. Saturday – 1:30pm – 2:30pm (Podcast Studio)

Follow Midsummer Scream on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the most current information about the event. For the complete Midsummer Scream 2019 schedule, click HERE. Tickets on sale now! Buy here. https://midsummerscream.org   Take a look at our coverage from last year’s event here.

Haunting is a resource for immersive theater and horror fans in Los Angeles and across the world, promoting art and community. Want to help us reach even more people, and get some cool perks and experiences? For as little as $1 a month, you can join our Patreon, and help us keep bringing content to life.

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About The Author

Lacey Pawlowicz
Ever since seeing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video, Lacey has been obsessed with all things horror and Halloween. Now, she watches, produces and acts in horror films, and is lucky enough to attend haunts/immersive events and write about them. Groovy!

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