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Season’s Screamings evokes Yuletide spirits

On Friday night, Season’s Screamings launched a three-day stint at the Pasadena Convention Center with a Yuletide variety show featuring performances from Dos Feratu (goth surf rock), Sebanstian Munoz (Fallen Saints), Brandon Scullion and Die Nachtfantoms, and the Poltergeist and Paramours Dancers. The horror-themed convention, from the producers of Midsummer Scream, evoked Christmas spirits in the form of Marley’s Ghost and Krampus. Featured guests Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and Butch Patrick (The Munsters) signed autographs and chatted with fans. Two halls full of vendors offered spooky merchandise, and the Hall of Yuletide Spirits seasonally themed haunt installations, some of them with walk-through elements.

Season’s Screamings decorations in lobby of Pasadena Convention Center

Overall, Seasons’s Screamings feels a bit like this summers Awaken the Spirits, with a seasonal overlay. Many of the same decorations and vendors are present, with Christmas lights and Santa hats in honor of the winter holidays. There are booths representing Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum, Wicked Damsels, Oxbloode, Dark Delicacies book store. A couple of interesting newcomers we noticed were Paradise Hell (which sells horror-theme tiki merchandise) and The Basement, a horror-theme escape room in Los Angeles, which ups the ante by including live actors in its presentation.

The highlight of Season’s Screamings is the Hall of Yuletide Spirits, a spooky room encased in darkness, containing displays and mini-walk-through attractions supplied by The Haunt with No Name Yet, Fear Farm, Insane Haunt Productions, the Dreich Society, Reichland Asylum, CalHaunts, and Casa Calaveras.

CalHaunts sets the scene with a A Christmas Carol installation near the hall entrance. Scrooge, Marley, Tiny Tim and other Dickens characters (performed by actors from Force of Nature Productions) lurk outside Victorian settings; Marley balefully and silently watches Scrooge counting money inside his office, and there is a nice visual effect for the knocker on Scrooge’s door, which morphs into Marley’s face. It’s the ideal installation for Season’s Screamings, recalling the old tradition of telling ghosts stories during the winter holidays.

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Casa Calaveras offers a Christmas-themed variation on Dia De Los Muertos, filled with colorful calacas; it’s a walk-through filled with displays only, no actors. Other haunts are bit scarier. Dreich Society’s Holiday of Fear forces you to walk through narrow corridors haunted by angry elves. Insane Haunt Productions’ The Cabin offers a holiday party invaded by a crazed killer. Fear Farm’s Gingerbread House of Horrors includes a giant, menacing Gingerbread Man. And Reichland Asylum presents a scaled-down version of its home haunt, rethemed to feature an angry inmate who’s had it up to here with Santa Claus.

Season’s Screamings continues on Saturday and Sunday with panels and presentations on holiday-themed horror films, the making of the Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland, Karmpus, and more. You can find the complete schedule along with more information at the event’s website. The Pasadena Convention Center is located at 300 East Green Street.

As we attend more events, we will update our coverage of Season’s Screamings with video and more photographs. 

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.