If you go
What: ShockaCon Horror/Sci-fi Convention
When: Friday through Sunday
Where: The Haunted Barn and Kanawha Players Theater
Tickets: $10 to $15 for daily general admission; VIP and weekend packages available
Hordes of monsters, aliens, zombies and a few vampires will invade Charleston this weekend as the second annual ShockaCon Horror/Sci-fi Convention kicks off.
Although a Monster Lab Creature Creation Competition may be enough to inspire some horror enthusiasts to come out, the event promises more than that.
The three-day convention begins 4 p.m. Friday and will feature movie screenings, workshops, entertainment and a full-scale operational haunt. The event will take place at the Haunted Barn and the Kanawha Players Theater, both of which are located on Beauregard Street in Charleston's East End.
Last year's event was free to the public and comprised one day. Mike Winland, chairman of the ShockaCon Convention, said much more work went into this year's event. He said celebrity guests from genre movies and television series, including Eugene Clark from "Land of the Dead," Danny Hicks from "Evil Dead II," David Crawford from "Dawn of the Dead" and Nick Gomez from "The Walking Dead" are expected to attend.
Winland, who owns a photography studio, said he has been attending horror and sci-fi conventions across the United States for years. He and his wife decided to start organizing a convention in Charleston because of the lack of such an event in the area.
"No one was doing it here so I decided to organize one," Winland said. "We threw together a one-day event last year which was essentially the teaser as to what we were planning to do this year."
Planning took a year's worth of preparation.
"We had to contact the celebrities' agencies and work out negotiating terms. We had to schedule vendors. We had to communicate with advertisers and sponsors. We had to find a venue and find decor for the convention. It was a lot of work but we're pleased with how things are turning out and excited for things to kick off," Winland said.
Winland believes ShockaCon is the only convention in the nation with an operational haunt among its attractions. The haunt will be at The Haunted Barn, Charleston's year-round haunt experience. The Kanawha Players Theater will host the convention's movie screenings, workshops and entertainment.
"We didn't want a typical venue such as the Charleston Civic Center," Winland said. "The Haunted Barn is an old warehouse that has an operational haunt and we thought it would be cool to have the convention there as it kind of goes with our horror theme."