The Flint Horror Convention ended back on 10/30/11, and those behind the event should be very proud of what they accomplished. Chris Ringler and Geary Roe pulled off a first time event that was well attended and had some great vendors and some very special guests showing that Horror of all types has a home in the state of Michigan.
The convention brought together several Independent film makers, artists, writers, photographers and more importantly fans of horror into one building. This building is Flint’s Historic Masonic Temple which I found may have been a special guest to the convention and I will get into that a bit more.
The convention had a long list of guests and vendors and they all were more than willing to take time to talk to those attending. I saw people sharing their stories, their products and many cases a handshake as people spoke together. This of course is a great sign for a convention when those involved feel welcome be it from vendor, to guest, to visitor.
The layout was special as the films featured at the convention where shown in an auditorium that served as a perfect setting for them. Those who were able to attend one of the nine films were able to view them in their own room with little to no interruptions. The panels were along the same floor but far enough way that there was no problem hearing them and those doing the panels did a great job of helping them move along, which was a rare issue.
The vendors were on a separate floor and had a large room setup in a logical manner that it allowed people to flow freely among them all. As I wondered the floor I came across some names from Horror Films fans may recognize. Tom Sullivan, Hal Dietrich, Ken Sagoes, David Hayes, and Kevin Lindenmuth to just name a few of those seen across the vendor floor as you wandered around. Horror Addicts fans would have found Michele Roger and Mark Eller among those at the convention. Actually for many they would have found Mark at the door as he was volunteering his time with the convention. Michele shared a bit more then her writing as I found out that she is an accomplished harpist.
The artists and photographers who were displaying their work had a great showing as their works displayed were stunning. It was not easy walking away from some of the vendor tables without breaking the bank to find funds to purchase some of their great works.
Now the one special guest that some may have not realized were provided by the building itself. You see, rumor has it the Masonic Temple, which has been around since the late 1800’s is haunted. In speaking to some of the convention attendees there were some similar stories coming from people. The main being the elevator stopping at empty floors with no one there and no buttons pushed. Another was odd feelings people got as they decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator. In speaking to some associated with the building there have been other events that have happened as well. Guest John E.L. Tenney may have found this very interesting. Fans of Unsolved Mysteries and Paranormal State may recognize this name as he has been a research for both shows and will be on camera when the new version of Paranormal State starts with a new team.
The convention was open from 12 to 10pm and it was great to see people coming and going throughout the day. The attendance was still there by almost 9pm that evening as there were still people walking around and looking at the vendors’ booths. I have to say as someone who attended the convention you could not tell this was their first one. There were several vendors who told me they were surprised with the turnout and the way the convention ran. Tom Sullivan shared with me a horror story of another convention he was to attend and compared it to the Flint Convention. To paraphrase what he said the differences were black and white between the two conventions.
The Flint Horror Convention is something fans of Horror not only in Michigan, but elsewhere, should keep an eye out for when future conventions are announced. I’m sure with the professionalism that this was run and some events held prior to the event there will be more. It was a privilege to attend the convention and share with people information about Horror Addicts as I made my way around the convention. The one thing I got from all my discussions was how great the convention was going. So, to all the volunteers and to the Flint Horror Con Committee great job to all and hope to see you next year. Lastly to those I spoke with I apologize for not mentioning everyone by name during this but the time you took to speak to me was greatly appreciated.