After a grisly weekend of killing rats in the yard, I popped by the West Coast Haunters Convention at Portland's most bone-chilling of exhibition spaces, the Lloyd Center Doubletree (I think their pool is haunted). It's a three-day-long trade show/convention that gives detailed instructions about how to make your regional haunted house the ookiest dookiest event in town. It has panels like: "Build a Chainsaw-Like Buzz with Facebook," "Realistic Wounds and Gore FX," and "Monster Management." Plus: a huge costume ball, make-up demonstrations, haunt tours, and a hearse rally. But because of my busy vermin-killing schedule I got there on the tail-end (ha?) of Sunday's activities—just in time to catch a great monster make-up demo from Portland's Christina Kortum of Ravenous Studios. As an effects artist for the show, she was wearing a Grimm T-shirt, and applying bloody dollops from her airbrush onto a pointy foreheaded subject. While I missed the prosthetic application, here's an in-the-process shot (hit the jump for a couple more).
Everyone was looking beat-down and bedraggled on the trade show floor, with bloody make-up wilting under the Doubletree's unflattering lighting. Booths were shutting down—mechanized spiders waving their sad little legs for the umpteenth time. There were two panels left: "How to Find Your Haunt Character" and "Being a Haunt Mom," and a yard sale going down in a nearby room. The "Haunt Character" talk had a no-show lecturer and I couldn't deal with the idea of going to a "Being a Haunt Mom" seminar (suck it Ghost Dad!), because, duh, everyone knows you have to pack Cheerios in a tiny Ziploc bag when dealing with cranky ghosts. But I there was some interesting eavesdropping to be had. Like did you know that low-hanging fog is a tricky tricky haunting sitch? Pet cemetery-themed haunts provide a plethora of interesting tableaus—get a bag of bones for some dogs to chew on! Sprinkle bird feathers everywhere!
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