Horror on Wheels

Horror on Wheels : Horror Conventions 101

I’m a huge fan of horror conventions! If I followed my heart, I would travel two to three weekends per month across Canada and the United States to attend various conventions, like the NJ Horror Con I visited three weeks ago. In 2012, the organizers behind Montreal, Quebec, and Ottawa Comiccons approached me to “bring more horror” to their events. So, I founded the Montreal HorrorFest. Over four years, we welcomed incredible guests, including Robert Englund, George Romero, Kane Hodder, Doug Bradley, Katharine Isabelle, Michael Berryman, Lloyd Kaufman, and even Bruce Campbell!

In 2016, I decided it was time for a change. Together with Martin Bruyère and André Farant, I founded Quebec’s first horror convention: the Montreal Requiem Fear Fest! I won’t go into detail about Requiem, but if you’ve never visited the fantastic city of Montreal and want to meet friendly exhibitors while watching horror films you won’t see at home, mark your calendar! This year’s event is happening on September 23rd, 2023.

I’d guess that around 75% of horror fans have never been to a genuine horror convention. When I say a true horror convention, I don’t mean events like Comic-Con or film festivals, no matter how impressive or renowned they might be.

In Canada, there aren’t many dedicated horror conventions. A few that come to mind include Requiem, Horror-Rama in Toronto, Shock Stock in London, Frightmare in the Falls, and Calgary Horror Con. For your information, there’s also Falls Horror Fest, which is part of Niagara Falls Comic-Con, and Fan Expo Canada, which maintains a horror section despite Rue Morgue’s departure and the end of the popular Festival of Fear. Meanwhile, in the United States, you can find a horror convention nearly every two to three weeks.

What exactly is a horror convention?

Wikipedia defines a horror convention as a gathering of fans who share an interest in various aspects of horror, such as horror cinema, gothic lifestyle, and occasionally science fiction and fantasy. While the focus has historically been on film rather than literature and art, the scope has expanded in recent years to encompass all forms. Attendees at a horror convention are typically referred to as fans, while celebrities participating in the event are often called “convention guests.” However, many professionals, including directors, attend these conventions simply as fans themselves.

In my opinion, a convention is much more than just an event; it’s akin to a second family or an extended family, if you will. The first time you attend a convention, you may feel hesitant, engaging in conversations with others without forming deep connections. Afterward, if you enjoyed the experience, you’ll likely want to return.

Since 2005, I’ve attended numerous conventions, with most being enjoyable and a few falling short. The key is to explore different conventions and have varied experiences, as there are countless events to choose from. That’s where we come in – our goal is to guide you through these numerous events, helping you make informed decisions. After all, attending a convention can be costly when factoring in tickets, travel, food, merchandise, DVDs, Blu-rays, and more.

Join us on a monthly adventure as we explore the inner workings of various conventions and horror events. Our next destination is Shock Stock, taking place from May 5th to May 7th, in London, Ontario. Stay tuned for information and insights!

If you enjoy attending horror conventions and would like to write about your experiences for Infamous Horror, feel free to contact us at contact@infamoushorror.com

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