Any history buff would associate the words “Valley Forge” with the Revolutionary War winter encampment for the Continental Army where soldiers including George Washington stayed during the long cold days of 1777 and 1778. However, any horror aficionado would automatically know those words mean one thing, “HAUNTING TIME!”
No doubt you’ve heard of Comic Con, The Consumer Electronics Show and other national conventions, but did you know that there is a convention dedicated to professional haunters too?! The National Haunters Convention runs the first weekend in May every year in King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania in the Valley Forge Convention Center. Dozens of grotesque and Steam Punk booths line the floor of the main hall for 3 days and there are tons of workshops for all those brave enough to be in the “haunt” business. I mean who wouldn’t like to say they have a degree from “Halloween University?”
I had no idea that literally scaring the crap out of people can be a big money maker, but according to The Haunted Attraction Association, there are 2,500 professional haunted attractions in the United States, not to mention the many non-professional or “home haunters” that are spreading like a virus across the land. According to the free copy of Fright Times Magazine that I got at the convention, even seemingly “normal” all-Americans like Dick Van Dyke have their very own home haunts that they take pride in. Van Dyke generously shares the fear he creates during the ghostly season with hundreds of people in his community.
I was recently lucky enough to experience this unique convention and have just a few things to say…a dress with eyeballs, a half naked woman dancing in a steam punk cage, a zombie rock band, a fill the coffin food drive raffle, a vendor who can make a model of your home in the style of creepy and enough blood and gore to give me nightmares for the rest of my life! My only regret…missing The Cadavers Cotillion, which must have been unreal and undead all wrapped up into mummy wrappings.
Christopher de Troy (pictured above), owner of haunt supply emporium Loki’s Workshop and Artistic Director of The Forest of Fear Haunted Attraction in Tuxedo, New York sums up this counter culture best by ordering everyone he sees to, “Make your own monsters!” Hopefully my monster is as adorable as Robert Pattinson and sparkles!
Below are the photo highlights from my decent into Hades.
That’s it! Hope you enjoyed my photos! Please leave a comment below!!! Thanks.