Every horror fan loves a good convention, a place to gather with like-minded hardcore peers, dress up, meet some of the biggest genre stars, and check out merchandise from local creators. Horror Realm Con offers just that. Horror Realm Con is a yearly horror themed convention that has run in the Pittsburgh area since 2009. They have a yearly gathering, giving fans a chance to get up close and personal with the stars of their favorite horror films and TV shows, on top of a massive vendor experience.
It’s not just about the standard convention hours either. The con offers a litany of interactive events after hours, such as Scareoke, Bad Movie Bingo, a live DJ, and a costume contest. There are multiple rooms filled with vendors selling memorabilia, hand-made prints, media, figures, clothing, and other personal items. While Horror Realm Con is big and there’s a ton to do, it doesn’t feel overwhelming and impersonal like some other conventions.
One of the biggest selling points of Horror Realm Con (in addition to its affordable ticket prices… full weekend tickets are only $40) is meeting the icons. They make sure to bring in people who are as gracious and fan-friendly as the staff is, and they dedicate a room strictly for meet-and-greets. They have timed photo-ops for people who want to have group or professional photos taken, and the rest of the time the fans can socialize with their heroes. They aren’t rushed through. They get to soak in their experience.
I got to meet several of these kind horror legends this past weekend on March 7, 2020, and I learned a lot from their stories. Jim Winburn (stuntman from Halloween 1978) said, “Deborah Hill was the glue and the contact person that helped the movie to become so iconic.” Tiffany Shepis (Victor Crowley 2017 – our review) mentioned that she’d, “like to do more comedy and continue to expand and try new things.” She cites The Frankenstein Brothers (2010) as one of her favorite movies that she’s worked on. Leonard Lies (Dawn of the Dead 1978) told me that he started out as only a grip on the famous zombie set before seeing how cool one of the kills was going to be and asking to be the victim. Rachel True (The Craft 1996) noted how kind and excited all of the fans were that approached her during this busy weekend. The guest list also contained the cast of Fright Night (1985), Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th franchise) and many more.
Horror Realm Con runs every March in Pittsburgh and has been following COVID protocols. I highly recommend experiencing one of these events in person if you get the chance. It’s to die for.