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MidSummer Scream Festival 2016 Review - A Haunting in July

By Elizabeth Regal

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Photo by Elizabeth Regal

Scream! Shout! Cry! Laugh! Midsummer Scream took off with a big bang this year at the famed Long Beach Convention Center on July 30th and 31st, 2016. Midsummer Scream is the biggest Halloween Festival of the summer hosting hundreds of vendors, live events, escape rooms, show rooms demonstrations, stage presentations, haunted attractions, and live scare actors to haunt you until you leave!

If you have a passion for Halloween or haunts this is the best event to attend to expand your knowledge, creativity, and fun with thousands of fellow thrill-seekers all in one place.


One of the best highlights of the festival was the Hall of Shadows that was showcased in a dark forbidden hall in the Long Beach Convention Center created to be like a scare zone theme park set in the dark with subtle neon colored scare lights, dry ice, and scare actors walking behind you when you least expect it. Many exhibitors showcased their scare you to death fun zones, mazes, and haunted houses put on by live character scare actors that will make you wish you had not entered.


Some of the thrill seeking haunt zones and mazes were The Higgin Company, a dark and creepy brothel with ghosts and maidens that are there to catch you when you are not looking. Toxicity, created by Larry Bones with Bone Yard Effects was a must see, the perfect cure for those obsessed with mad scientists and their helpers. It is a live walk through haunted maze with live scare actors dressed in lab coats, creepy masks, and eerie sounds as you walk through hoping to survive until the end through this haunted laboratory. Fear Station was a blood-thirsting scare zone, created to look a dark clown fun house with every corner of the room with a different scare game and actor to keep you on pins and needles. A live MC outside the haunted maze prepares you for what’s to come and we release our inner demons. Come on in and enjoy playing games with the dead and walk out with a fresh bag of popcorn plagued with a gypsy curse.


Don’t forget to mix and mingle with your fellow thrill-seekers in a wild and scary scavenger hunt around the entire convention center. Take that map and your best buddy to stay alive amongst the unpredictable. Taking place every half hour, you have all day to jump in the fun with hidden clues to find more than you bargained for!


Mudd the Magnificent takes center stage as he plays creepy tricks with the audience to make you second guess if it was really a ghost or just magic...He enters the stage with his fellow freaks and haunts to entertain with different tricks and games to interact and blow your mind into a mysterious world of the unknown in the most off-the-wall comedic way.


For all those lovers of art, The Ghoulmaster's Gallery covered it all from mind-boggling scary painting, creepy life-like sculptures, and don’t forget the Ghoulmaster's Haunted Playhouse, it's “a webshow for the weirdos.” The World Premiere of the Ghoulmaster's Haunted Playhouse was frequented by all those horror lovers that cannot get enough. The show hosts a number of fans that interact with the Ghoulmaster set inside a dark gothic medieval living room with lavish furniture to set the mood. A number of different scenes in the show all showcased various aspects of dark film horror with a twist of comedy to keep the audiences entertained. Please visit and subscribe to their YouTube Channel to keep up with regular episodic shows that entertain like no other!



The panels and presentations put you in the mood as of it were actually Halloween. Coming to the stage this year showcasing their Halloween themed scare parks were Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary, Fight Fest at Six Flags, Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, and Winchester Mystery House. The creators and staff from these Halloween Themed events to come prepare us for the latest trends, craze, and haunts while bringing up the dead.


Just like a Saw movie, meet the next evolution in escape games, Crossroads Escape Games hosts their new segment “The Hex Room”. As you enter the chamber, you will take a quiz to find out what character you are and have 60 deadly minutes to escape and solve the puzzle. But just keep in mind, only 20% actually do. A quick 10 minute teaser of this new game was hosted at MidSummer Scream, but the real challenge comes when you book your full visit in Anaheim.


Have you ever wondered how scary life-like looking dolls like Chucky were created? Well, Dreadful Little Things uncovers the secret of horror doll-making seen in many horror films since the beginning at Midsummer Scream. Hand-crafted and painted in high-quality porcelain with a delicate eye, all are made-to-order with their own little soul. Dreadful Little Things is an original approach to  all those doll lovers that seek a friend for life or even in the afterlife. Set aside your fears and order a blond-haired blue-eyed dreadful cheerleader, an evil clown, or the perfect creepy little baby to add to your family. 

Whether you are in search of Smut, Blood Paste, or Haunt Sauce Rip FX City has it all! Turn that horror idea into a living nightmare! Add to that blood-sucking dream whether it be a film shoot, a Halloween party, or to turn your front lawn into a living scare zone Rip FX City has the perfect antidote to turn that fantasy into a reality. As seen in many horror movies, mind-blending special effects seem to look real in the form of blood, slime, and gore. Rip FX City is the trusted source for all those little perfect accidents that seem real enough to haunt your into the night.


Everyone's a winner at the Zombie Apocalypse Shooting Gallery! Win a plastic eye, a dead baby zombie in a glass, a horror driven movie, or perhaps win another thrill at killing another zombie in this interactive game tease. Everyone that is brave enough lines up in a row and uses a plastic gun to shoot their favorite blood-sucking zombie inside an enclosed canopy set made to look like The Walking Dead.


The first possessed pumpkin patch arrives at Midsummer Scream. Crumpkin's Pumpkins reinvents the meaning of the pumpkin patch. Enter the virtual nightmare as this scare haunt takes you through a winding road of various pumpkin patch maze games perfect for those days dreary or rainy days year-round. Listen to the Crumpkin's Pumpkin song while trying to keep alive in this online interactive game. Every customer gets to try a mini tour on a computer that was setup of the interactive game to get their feet wet of what they are getting into...Curtisamusements website


Have you ever been interested in writing for the dead? The Horror Writer’s Association is perfect for all those interested in bringing out their dark side. This international non-profit organization supports and promotes horror writers of different genres and home to many famous writers as Dean Koontz and Joe Lansdale. As a member, one can get on board their state-of-the-art mentoring program designed to prepare and develop every writer to the next level. Whether you want to write fiction, non-fiction, or scripts every writer will find their niche to the dark side of literature.


Get ready to sit around the campfire with your family and friends and listen to a collaboration of urban legends and scary stories that might just be true. Blumhouse Presents Creepypastas, Urban Legends, and Ghost Stories panel presentation presented a one-of-a-kind approach to the telling ghost stories. Hosted by writer Gregory Burkart, Social Media Guru John Humphrey, and Journalist of the Bizarre Stephen Johnson introduce us to the viral world of dark creepy pastas and urban legends of the unknown that keep the audience on the edge of their seat as black-eyed children in a taxi, the russian sleep experiments, UFO’s, unexplained illnesses, and alien hybrids coming to earth. It is a must see show that will change the way you think.


For all those aspiring filmmakers and writers, Virtual Terror: Virtual Tech and the Horror Industry panel presentation covered all aspects of the up and coming trends to change the industry forever. Dread Central, Jill Killington, Jon Condit, Josh Randall, Michael Dykier, Robert Sexton, Robyn Tong Gray all guest star on the panel to cover every area of entertainment one may or may not have thought of. Virtual Reality is slowly taking over the entertainment industry whether it be 360 cameras for the audience to move their devices to see an entire 360 degree view of the screen, the Oculus Rift that is a virtual reality headset to make you think you have entered another world, and new the craze of Escape Games on the rise!


It's the Monster Mash! If spending all day at the Midsummer Scream Festival was not enough, you can rock it out zombie style at the Noche De Los Muertos dance party into the bewitching hour. Bringing back the 80’s to your favorite hits, the best and worst 80’s style costume gets the prize, and of course, if you don’t know how to do your own make-up live face-painters will transform you to bring out your inner scare! Former Oingo Boingo members will also be there at your side to walk like the egyptians.


Midsummer Scream is the most exciting scare zone of the year! You will get to capture a scary tease of what is to come from a variety of horror vendors, live shows, theme park presentations, a Hall of Shadows scare zones, a scavenger hunt, dark magic, classes, ghost stories, urban legends, and tons of tools for horror filmmakers, writer, and actors. It only happens once a year, so don’t miss the opportunity to experience Halloween before it gets here!


Midsummer Scream  website

Published on Aug 06, 2016

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