Being a fan of horror and the paranormal, I always lamented hearing about all of the awesome conventions being held in remote locations of the country. My biggest problem with these festivals was the fact that they were always in places (States) where I’d need to take days off of work and drive long distances just to get to. But there would always be tons of vendors and guest celebrities from my favorite genre mingling with fans during these conventions, making the decision to go all the more difficult. I often wondered what it would be like to have one of these cool festivals in my hometown.
Thankfully, the spirits have answered.
Parafest 2013 will bring stars from The Walking Dead, True Blood, Supernatural, Ghost Hunters and Ghostbusters movies to the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The event runs from noon-10 p.m. Sept. 6 and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 7 and 8.
Billed as a premier Para-horror convention, Parafest 2013 will feature the very best in paranormal, horror and sci-fi genres and will include celebrity appearances, Q & A sessions and meet & greets. There will also be vendors, exhibits, seminars and a film festival. If all that isn’t enough, fans can also take part in ghost hunts; a Gallery Reading with internationally acclaimed psychic Chip Coffey and even partake in a Ouija Board Experience.
Among the guests I’m most excited to see are: Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), Tony Todd (Candyman/Sushi Girl), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, The Lords of Salem) and Mark Sheppard (Supernatural). Then there are the stars of television shows from my youth like Geri Reischl (the “Other” Jan Brady) and Lisa Loring (Wednesday from The Adams Family).
But it just wouldn’t be a scare-fest if I wasn’t afraid, and Parafest 2013 certainly gives me cause for concern. One guest will be on hand during the festival that I’m almost (dare I say) frightened to encounter.
Most folks probably remember actor Richard Kiel from his amazing performance as Jaws in the James Bond film, Moonraker. But for me, I’m still frightened by his guest appearance on a campy 1960’s television show.
When Kiel guest starred as an apparition on the Gilligan’s Island episode “Ghost A Go Go”, he became the product of my nightmares for years (even Freddy Kreuger didn’t have that effect on me).
That one episode literally scared the sh$t out of me as a child and still gives me the heebie-jeebies whenever I watch it (which of course, isn’t often).
I know it may sound silly, but my hope is that by meeting Mr. Kiel in person, any remaining childhood demons I have leftover from the 1980’s will finally be exorcised. Here’s hoping.
Tickets for the weekend festival are $25 a day for adults and $10 for ages 12 and under when accompanied by an adult. For an extra $25, you can also gain access to celebrity Q&A sessions and panels. There’s also $100, $150 a day and $300 full-weekend VIP packages available as well.
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