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Mid-Summer Scream

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Has anyone been to mid-summer scream convention in LA before? I haven't been and thinking about it this year. Thoughts? Tips and tricks?

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On 11/24/2018 at 8:31 AM, Rikku said:

Has anyone been to mid-summer scream convention in LA before? I haven't been and thinking about it this year. Thoughts? Tips and tricks?


There are two major conventions:

  • Midsummer Scream at the Long Beach Convention Center in 2019
  • ScareLA - not certain if it is taking place in 2019 (took place at L.A. Convention Center in 2018)

In the beginning (2013) there was ScareLA.  And it was good.  Really, really good.

Midsummer Scream came along and it was just ok.

Then ScareLA became worse and worse while Midsummer Scream became much better.

ScareLA got so bad, it may not be returning.


Definitely consider going to Midsummer Scream this year.  Deeply discounted tickets are available early, and usually also through Goldstar. 

It's a two day event, but in all honesty, one day will do it.  The only reason to attend both days is if there is a presentation you really want to see.

You may think you want to go to see Murdy or Knotts presentations, but know that they are usually posted an hour later on Youtube.  People usually don't bother to record or post most of the minor presentations.  Go search for Murdy's 2018 presentation if you want to get an idea of what it's like.  They usually don't announce much of anything...  It's more of a history presentation and Q&A.  Knotts has been known to spill their whole lineup at the summer convention.


The main reason to go is the Hall of Shadows, where they will have a dozen or so haunts.

These range from a teeny tiny walkthru, to a small escape room, to a single room "experience", to a 3-4 minute maze.  There also may be horror VR experiences.  They had the It schoolbus VR experience last year, but it was a $10 upcharge.  Very few things in Hall of Shadows are an upcharge.  People don't like having to pay extra, and the promoters know it.


Lines for Hall of Shadows can be really long (like up to an hour).  So to shorten that greatly, get the Gold Bat ticket (usually NOT discounted).  It is an express pass for everything in the Hall of Shadows.  The houses and experiences at Hall of Shadows take breaks and lunch, and they don't always warn those in line...


They also usually have some sort of LARPing game going on at the event.  Sometimes it's a zombie game where you wear a pin and avoid roaming zombies, and try to collect items around the event to find a cure.  You may be bitten and turned into a zombie, and then you get to try to stop others from completing their task.  Another year you got to join one of four "factions" and find items in the event to help your faction survive.  These games usually cost about $5 to play (you are buying a pin with an interactive proximity sensor in it), but they can be a lot of fun.  They have also had laser tag and even zombie paintball in the past.  There were semis one year that had haunts inside them.  Those were the days, because those were really cool.  Bottom line is it's different every year and you don't know what will be there.


Aside from the Hall of Shadows, one or two of the presentations may be interesting.  There are usually celebrities (Sid Haig, Elvira, Linda Blair, etc) who will sign stuff for lots of money.  Bob Gurr was there last year.  Lots of merch to potentially buy.  Want to add some graveyard dirt scent or popcorn scent to your fog machine?  They have that.  


I would recommend picking ONE weekend day and buying a pass (and possibly a line skip pass if they offer one).  See how you like it and upgrade to a two day pass or wait till 2020.  You will get LOTS of discount ticket offers once you have gone - or go sign up now for more info and wait for offers to pour in.  You will either LOVE the event or find it to be boring.  Know that if you pick Sunday, the vendors and Hall of Shadows start tearing down around 4pm, so it's a shorter day.  Conversely, if you go Saturday, parts of the Hall of Shadows aren't ready to go first thing.

If going Saturday - get there early and plan to stay late.

If going Sunday - plan to get there 30 min before the event formally opens

In either case, HIT HALL OF SHADOWS IMMEDIATELY.  Whatever the biggest thing is - go there first.  25% of the stuff in Hall of Shadows is utter crap.  The rest is pretty good.  The size something takes up is not a factor in how good it will be.

Registration can eat up 30 min.


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