I went to the first Shockacon last Saturday in South Charleston. It billed itself as a horror/sci-fi convention, though it was really more just a horror convention. The con took place around the Native American Mound in South Charleston. Which if you think about means this horror convention took place around a grave. Creepy.
The main part of the event was held in a series of tents filled with vendors, guests, exhibitors, and even a video game tent. The tents were all right, kind of made me feel like being in a school’s haunted house. The Cemetery Knights a group of customize hearses was set on the grass right beside three food trucks; one that would deep fry anything they could. The panels, workshops, and viewings for the con were down the street at the library and theater. This was a walk, but not to long just not something you could just ‘zip down to’ and back up quickly. They also used the stage that is already around the mound for music performances and the costume contest.
Cemetery Knights and friends had our three hearses suped up and with ghastly bodies in them. They also had several dresses up statues, some that moved, for viewing. An electric chair, a strange ‘man’ that would bend over and ‘puke’ blood into a caldron, several zombied dolls, and other ghastly visions.
They has assembled a pretty decent variety of vendors and dealers. Toys, comics, costumes, models, old movies, props, survival gear, and more. In addition there was comic creators, actors from AMC’s Walking Dead, actors from other movies, haunted houses, haunted tour groups, authors on fantasy, Hatfields & McCoys, UFOs, vampires; face painting, hair coloring, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, model groups, jewelers, wrestlers, roller derby girls, and I am sure I am missing something.
Several bands performed as well. I only heard some of the bands perform. Like the Dead Ringers, a zombie acapella group (well zombies and one werewolf) that did zombiefed versions of popular songs. The Tom McGees a ska band that was fun, but I do not know how they fit the con. Foz Rotten and Swamp Rat performing “Appalachian Folk Rap”, a neat sound. I missed the bands Renfields, Naker Phelge and dance troupe Monster Dolls, and a performance form the Evil Dead musical. So comments on them.
The costume contest was divided into three categories: men’s, women’s, and children’s. They were all one by one family; dad as Pyramid Head of Silent Hill, mom as a nurse of Silent Hill, and daughter as either Wednesday Adams or just a creepy little doll looking thing. I do not feel that it was organized very well. As each contestants walked across the stage they formed a line so the last few contestants only walked a little bit of the stage. Plus there was waiting for people to come up from the audience. The use of audience applause to determine the winners of the contest was an unique and fun way to get everyone involved.
Most costumes around that day were zombies of some kind (saw a baby zombie and Wonder Women zombie as example). Darth Vader and Stormtroopers from the 501st showed up and mingled. Had the pleasure of seeing a Batman and a Robin, both attending separately, arguing over Robin’s attitude and Batman’s child raising skills. Other costumes were of a little girl zombie hunter, Sesshomaru from Inuyasha, a very tall grey, two very tall spooky looking monsters, little kid TMNT, and several more that I can not really identify.
There was plenty to do and see at the con. Everybody seemed to be having fun and enjoying themselves. Which is easy at a con really. The video game tent, handled by the LANding Zone, had favorites like Halo and Marvel vs. Capcom, plus some zombie games including a 3D shooting one. The Haunted Barn as offering “coffin ride.” There was a scream contest that could be heard everywhere. Plus all the panels, workshops, and movies that I missed.
The con claims an attendance of 2500 plus people, but I think the added an extra zero to that. Probably more than that even, I would like to see where they got the over two thousand number though. Hopefully they will be able to raise enough money for an indoor con next year. Like to see what they would be able to do.
Most pictures used from Matthew Casto.
Next up WV Pop Con.