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Mad Monster Party 2019 Brings A Horrifying and Hair-Raising Good Time To The Queen City

As Thousands Of Horror Fans Descend Upon Charlotte

A ghostly good time was had by all this weekend at this year’s Mad Monster Party. The yearly event was held at the Hilton University Place and was the place to be for horror fans of all ages. Party goers had a full schedule of eerie entertainment which ranged from a huge vendor marketplace to costume contests and photo opportunities with their favorite horror celebrities.

After securing a parking spot, I made my way to the hotel entrance, passing by a giant white event tent in the front of the hotel which would host several of the after hours party events. The second I walked into the front doors and entered the lobby, I knew I was in for a one of a kind weekend. Instead of your typical business travelers, I was greeted by a fantastic assortment of costumed characters milling about. Everywhere you looked, fans were in elaborate costumes from Michael Myers of the Halloween movie franchise and Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street to gory zombies and creepy clowns. People watching would definitely make for one of the most entertaining experiences around. I checked in at the ticket tables and made my way to the escalators which led to the vendor floors and celebrity signings. Before descending down into the fiery pits of the Hilton basement, I saw one of the best costumes of the entire weekend gliding toward me. Carrying a full bouquet of red balloons emblazoned with the words “I Heart Derry!” and refusing to get out of character was the best Pennywise I have seen. Clowns have always been a popular character for Halloween and the horror genre and with last year’s Stephen King movie It, the Pennywise character has been everywhere.

This one, however, was beyond good and I’m not ashamed to admit that if I happened to run into him anywhere besides the Mad Monster Party I would have been totally creeped out. Instead, I snagged a quick photo and continued on to the vendor marketplace.

One of the highlights of the party was the vendor floors or as I liked to call it, the market of the macabre. Here is where you can find everything from latex nipple keychains to Zombie Snot hair dye and one of a kind works of art. There were your typical tee shirts and movies for sale with one vendor claiming he was in the movie he was attempting to sell me. It was called The Litch and I haven’t seen it so I don’t know if he was telling the truth or weaving a tall tale to separate me from five bucks but he did have an interesting vibe about him, so I guess it’s possible. I spent several hours perusing the various booths checking out custom skulls, unique jewelry, and amazing works of art. Is it possible to be both astonished and a little disgusted at the same time? That’s exactly how I felt when I came upon a latex artist who made creepy things made to look like human skin. Silence of the Lambs is definitely one of my favorite movies but I took a hard pass on the “human skin” lamps and Ouija boards. After picking up a few small items for next year’s Halloween display, I found myself circling back to the Zombie Snot hair dye booth. I was tempted at first but once I spoke with the vendor who was a licensed cosmetologist, I was sold and grabbed a jar of the hot raspberry color. He assured me that it was made with special conditioners and would be great for my hair so I thought why not? I may or may not have promised to send him a photo on Instagram of my new look, which may or may not actually happen.

The vendor area was also the place to grab a photo op with your favorite celebrity. Different actors were appearing and different times over the weekend. I knew when a signing was about to occur by the lines of fans snaking around a particular area. Some of the actors making appearances were Kane Hodder who portrayed Jason Voorhees in four of the Friday the 13th movies as well as Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead fame and the great character actor Doug Jones who has played the Silver Surfer in one of the Fantastic Four movies and the beloved Ave Sapien in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Even wrestling legends Sgt. Slaughter and The Iron Sheik stopped in to say hello.  The longest lines of the day were reserved for none other than Sid Haig. Sid’s Captain Spaulding character appeared in Rob Zombie’s horror films House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects making him a fan favorite. There were plenty of others to choose from as well and for an additional fee, you could even get a photo with your celebrity in costume with a background that appeared that you were in the actual movie along with them. Celebrity guests were also participating in Q & A sessions that took place in the outdoor event tent. This provided another opportunity for attendees to get up close and personal with the actors and perhaps ask that one question that they’ve always wondered about. Also available was a film screening room that showed various films throughout the weekend and a special lounge for V.I.P., or in this case, R.I.P. guests.

Once activities on the vendor floors started to wind down for the day, many guests were taking a break to refuel with dinner or a quick drink, congregating in the lobby to greet each other. It was cool to see such a friendly vibe as party goers chatted and hugged friends that they haven’t seen since last year and made plans for the evening’s festivities. One of the events that was near and dear to many hearts was the Scares That Care charity auction. The group is a non-profit charitable organization that helps families dealing with childhood illnesses, burns, and breast cancer along with the financial burdens these illnesses bring. There were a lot of unique items donated and up for auction and from the looks of the bidding, it appears to have been a huge success. After the auction, there was a costume contest with cash prizes, a Last Fan Standing contest hosted by Bruce Campbell, a Madame Monster Showcase, and a full blown party complete with Scaraoke!

What a weekend! Whether you’re a huge horror buff or a casual fan, Mad Monster Party is definitely an event that you won’t want to miss. Where else can you dress up like it’s Halloween, shop til you drop, help out a charity, meet and mingle with your favorite celebrities, and party like a monster? On top of that, you’ll get to spend time with people that share your love of all things chilling and creepy and perhaps make friends that will last a lifetime. Here’s to Mad Monster Party 2020!

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