shot of all of us together!
I do not think I can thank Brett,
Jason and all the Eastern State
Penitentiary staff enough for the
professional manner and amazing
time we had at their event. When
we arrived, the red carpet had been
set out, Brett gave us a wonderful
introduction for all of the tour
guests, and the Eastern State Penitentiary
tour guides took over. What an amazing
site to see!
If you have never taken their Museum
tour, I highly recommended it, they
are open during the days almost
all year long!
Then, Brett and Jason had a special
arrangement for us, the entire Wing
of Al Capone's cell had been locked
down and turned into a catering
hall! We all had lunch in the wing
and the actual jail cells.
The Eastern State staff were so
helpful, and everything was so well
laid out for us....the food was
incredible. Michael and Brett had
arranged a local Philly restaurant
to supply staff and endless food.
We could not believe the variety
and 5 star quality of the food....from
salmon, to salads, fresh rolls,
and roast beef, portabello mushrooms,
Then, the real fun began. Brett
claimed that he only had a skeletal
staff of actors, but it sure did
not feel like that. Between the
actors he had, and the famous BAD
BOYS SCENIC DESIGN, there were plenty
of scares and screams going on.
It felt like it was a full running
From Lock Down, to a very well done
3D attraction, touring such a massive
stone building itself setup an atmosphere
like no other.....I don't want to
give away secrets, but this is surely
a haunt you do not want to miss
around Halloween. The quality of
the scenes and props were just great.
Then, we got back onto the bus,
and headed out to the Mutter Museum......
What a really neat place....
The best way to describe it would
be if someone very scientific, was
to start collecting all the old
exhibits you used to see in Side
Shows at Carnivals.
"Alive! Alive! Alive!"
There were some really disturbing
sites to see, and anatomical anomolies.
There were so many things I never
knew existed with the actual skulls
and body parts preserved to prove
it. One example was people really
having a disease that makes them
grow large horns (cartilage). Everything
from the Mysterious Soap Lady, to
complete anatomies of conjoined
twins. It is amazing that someone
over a hundred years ago decided
to gather all this knowledge into
one medical location....entire walls
of real human skulls, eyes, spines,
and flesh. This was a unique attraction
next step took us the Fright Factory.
I had seen their You Tube videos
on line so I was really anxious
to see how this attraction was,
and I was not disappointed.
When we first arrived, Aven had
his staff all prepared and ready
for us. They had a large area
that was completely setup for
us complete with tables, chairs
and a great theme. The entire
area was dark....a huge evil tree
(custom made by Aven and his staff)
and broken statues littered this
graveyard like atomosphere.
We learned about the history of
Fright Factory, and as well as
some of the design aspects while
dinner was being prepared.....
- And speaking of Dinner!!!
The Food was incredible.....((I
have to stop taking these trips,
between Eastern State and Fright
Factory I think I gained 5 pounds!!!)).
I had only learned this year,
that The Famous John Burton's
brother owned a B-B-Q company
in New Jersey. It was only a short
drive for him and his crew to
have everything prepared for us
at the Fright Factory.
The food was MELT IN YOUR MOUTH.
I have honestly never tasted better
BBQ in my life....the meat just
melted off the bones and into
your mouth. Hot buttered Jersey
Corn, Fresh Bread, Chicken....I
felt like I was at an incredible
Gothic Picnic at Tara
Then, Aven unleased one of his
specialties...the use of Video
in a haunt. They had a beautiful
huge backlit Video screen showing
a 30+ minute video preshow of
It really set the tone for the
haunt. My hats off to the quality
of the video....it gives you the
feeling that you are watching
your local news channel and that
you are safe at home watching
TV, looking at a horrific event.
However, you are about to enter
that horrific event!!!!
We toured all three of their events,
and their staff were amazing....the
attention to detail with their
makeup department was superb (that
girl with the cage head like the
Jackel in 13 ghosts always got
If you have never seen the Frightfactory,
is a great and very long tour.
They did amazing detail for such
a large area......well worth the
cost of admission.
Then, Aven gave us a lights on
tour and you REALLY got to see
the detail....I noticed so many
more things I missed in the regular
tour...I really loved that Pumpkin
King foil type of statue in their
Finally, we headed back to the
Hotel for the meet and greet run
by John Burton.
morning, Michael got up early
and did the full walk through
to make sure everything was ready.
I was busy preparing all the registration
information and putting the last
minute touches on my booths for
the Museum of Mythology. For years
I have wanted to display many
of my items but there has never
been a location or convention
that made sense to do it. My market
would be the four states near
New Jersey (New York, PA, Delaware
and Maryland) and I was really
excited to get some feedback.
This was our first year so I really
didn't know what to expect, and
I'm sure many of the vendors felt
the same way. I knew I was going
overboard with my booths, but
I was impressed by how many vendors
were just as crazy as myself!!!
I salute Jeremy from the Creepy
Collection for his booth......what
a Crazy Setup! We had people talking
about it all weekend long constantly!!!!
The signs alone were enough to
make you KNOW what a fun industry
we have....Bloody Rabbits $15!
...as Don King would say -->
"Only in America"
We were glad to see the bustle
of activity with the vendors,
and so many of the vendors had
such a big hit that many of them
signed up for next year right
on the spot.
I thought there was going to be
some fights at the Specter Studios
booths with so many people rummaging
through their bins fighting over
what to purchase before it was
We also got to learn about Halloween
Scream, a great year round store
selling Halloween product at incredible
prices.....if you need large Foam
Chain for example..this is the
place to go. He was one of the
nicest people I met the entire
convention and it made my weekend.
So many vendors, and so many ideas
swirling in my head from them
all... Castle Blood debuted new
statue lines that were incredible....Tatoo
is already talking about driving
down next year just to drive back
Der Mord had some really interesting
devices never before seen by the
industry and the air cannons on
display by Hollywood Controls
were amazingly loud! Also, they
had probably the best intense
strobe light I had seen.
The Hot Wire Foam Factory was
a big hit, and they even had to
sell their display pieces due
to the demand for product....they
were a LOT of fun to talk to and
I was so happy to show them many
of the things I created for the
museum out of foam.
One vendor I couldn't believe
had so much product and variety
was 'Rotten Jacks Creep Shack'.
I heard quite a few people talk
about hard to get items that they
had in stock...the liquors shirt
was a fan favorite....
Grendel's Den wowed me with their
Cthulu style (and singing ability,
as well as sense of humor - hehe..."Look,
a Jedi!"), Safari Anomolous
had a bee wall that would have
made Disney jealous, and Mr Skeleton
should have been Mr Order Talking
This was also the first chance
I had to see F!@#!ed up stuff,
if you get a chance to see them,
really take notice of the quality
of their work....even down to
the detail of the eyes....I look
forward to seeing more product
of theirs in the future.
I also was able to pick up tons
of contact lenses (I had not gotten
a chance to see the Contact Lens
company for many years)....always
a great great product.....we even
got a few cool shirts from Kim's
Crypt and won their shotglass
on the Der Mord Raffle.
I think the best line we heard
of the day though came from John
Denley of Boneyard productions.
He was talking to John Burton
and told him, "I looked at
my watch and I had made back the
entire cost of this trip in the
first 42 minutes of the convention"
Seminars worked out very well....so
well that it caused us a problem.
We had gotten a large room for the
seminars, which held 75 seats.....we
Boy were we wrong....
So many of the seminars quickly
became standing room only! Every
time Tattoo opened his mouth, more
people squeezed in......John Burton,
Ricky Dick, and John Denley all
had the same problem....so many
of the original founders of the
We had all the seats filled, all
the standing spaces filled, and
I had to turn away about 20 people
for some of the seminars....we are
going to have to get a much bigger
room next year for that...we were
floored by the response to the seminars.
I got a chance to listen to the
entire Voice from Hell Seminar.....Dick
Terhune is a really great guy with
some really cool knowledge...I recommend
him sometime if you get a chance...