Jason meets Freddy and more on the ScareFest Black Carpet
As a married couple who have overseen Lexington’s Scarefest Horror and Paranormal Convention for the last three years, husband and wife/convention co-owners Brandon and Nicole Griffith said they, along with the other 209 volunteers, have all come together to make sure the 12th iteration of this event is exciting, welcoming and goes off without a hitch.
But if you ask them, the festival also takes shape with a little help from their friends... and by friends, they mean the input from the thousands of attendees who make Scarefest a go-to destination to live out a weekend of horror.
“We’re truly a family of fandom,” Nicole said. “We listen to social media. We listen to messages. We get our input from everyone and we do our best to pull it all together.”
This year, guests won’t just be treated to getting the chance to meet and interact with TV and film actors and notable behind-the-scenes folks involved in iconic movies and popular small-screen series. They will also be treated to a bevy of activities within and around the Lexington Convention Center that makes Scarefest an event that provides a bit extra for the horror and paranormal enthusiast.
“Six Million Dollar Man” Lee Majors
For anyone who wants to encounter both a TV icon and a Kentucky boy made good, they will have six million reasons to come to Scarefest this year. Middlesboro, Kentucky, native Lee Majors, best known for his roles as Colonel Steve Austin in “The Six Million Dollar Man” and Colt Seavers in “The Fall Guy,” will be making an appearance to do a meet-and-greet with fans. He also has a direct connection to Bruce Campbell, given that he portrayed his father for seasons two and three of the “Ash vs. Evil Dead” TV series.
Ash Williams on the scene
Two years ago, Scarefest organizers landed one of their dream “gets” when it managed to bring Freddie Krueger himself, Robert Englund, to the Bluegrass State. This year, they have managed to get another or horror’s heavy hitters with Bruce Campbell, commonly known as Ash Williams from the wildly popular “Evil Dead” franchise of movies and most recently reprising his role in the STARZ original series “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” In addition to serving as the current host of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” Campbell recently published his latest book “Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor, Requiem for Ash Edition” in 2017.
The Woman Behind The Make-Up
Usually, headlining guests Scarefest fan are excited to see are known for doing their work in front of the camera, but Ve Neill is quite the exception.
“The IMDb of the movies she’s done make-up on is incredible,” Nicole said.
She has used her artistic touch on Kentucky native Johnny Depp quite a few times in Tim Burton collaborations like “Edward Scissorhands” and “Ed Wood” and in multiple films in the “Pirates of the Carribean” franchise.” You can also see Neill as one of the judges in the special effects make-up competition show “Face Off” on SyFy.
Sinister ‘Sons of Anarchy’
Many people recognize Scarefest 2019 celebrity guests Ryan Hurst and Tommy Flanagan as Opie and Chibs from the popular FX series “Sons of Anarchy.” But if you look back or flash forward through Hurst or Flanagan’s respective resumes, you will find some work that fits the horror convention quite nicely. Hurst most recently made appearances on the A&E drama “Bates Motel” as Chick Hogan and as Beta on the hit AMC zombie series “The Walking Dead.” As for Flanagan, the veteran actor is no stranger to genre films with a bit of gore and violence, whether it’s playing in 2004’s “Alien vs. Predator” or in 2005’s “Sin City.”
‘Child’s Play’ can be found
This past summer saw the reboot of the iconic “Child’s Play” franchise. However, representatives from the original film and sequels will be representing at Scarefest in the form of Alex Vincent, who played young Andy Barclay in 1988’s “Child’s Play” and the 1990 sequel “Child’s Play 2,” and Christine Elise, who could be seen in “Child’s Play 2” as Kyle.
Talon Winery ghost chase
The other popular aspect of Scarefest is its emphasis on the paranormal and the investigators who make hunting ghosts their life’s work. Last year’s celebrity ghost hunt was a huge success and guests will get the chance to come back for round two when paranormal investigators from the popular Travel Channel shows “The Ghost Brothers” and the “Tennessee Wraith Chasers” will travel to investigate the 1790 Farm House at Talon Winery on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Drag, axes and interaction
What tends to make Scarefest so special to those who attend is not who is there as much as what there is to do with some of these popular guests outside of a typical meet-and-greet. You will get the opportunity to have John Hassir, the original voice behind “Tales of the Crypt,” record your outgoing voicemail or have Sig Haig (Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects” and “House of 1000 Corpses”) pose with you in full make-up. The 2019 film festival is always a fan favorite and the Horror Drag Show to will return to Manchester Music Hall on, appropriately enough, Friday the 13th (of September) featuring the music of G Tom Mac, creator of the music for the iconic ‘80s vampire film “The Lost Boys.”
Plus, if you want to get up close and personal with a few murderers with sharp objects – or at least the actors who play them – Scarefest is hosting an event before the convention where you can pay to team-up with Kane Hodder (Jason from “Friday the 13th”), R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) or Steve Nappe (“Death House”) to share a few brews and blades or to be a spectator in the crowd on Thursday, Sept. 12, at Battle Axes in Lexington.
“Every year, it’s always kind of us involved and engaged and figuring out ways to shake things up and do something different,” Brandon said.
ScareFest Horror and Paranormal Convention
When: 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 (Hero Day for military, police and first responders; free admission); 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15 (Kids Day; free admission for children 10 and under)
Where: Lexington Convention Center, 430 W. Vine St.
For more information or to order tickets, visit thescarefest.com.