View Full Version : Rex B. Hamilton reports on the 2007 Great Lakes Fright Fest

Rex B. Hamilton
06-11-2007, 11:00 PM
Rex B. Hamilton reports on the 2007 Great Lakes Fright Fest

June 10, 2007

Greetings, Fellow Haunters:

The Great Lakes Fright Fest took place last weekend in Petersburg, Michigan, and I enjoyed every minute of my three-day visit. This was the seventh year for this regional haunt convention, produced by Kkrazy Kkaren Taylor and a host of energetic volunteers.

Keeping last year’s attendance in mind, it appears that the haunt community has wrapped its arms around this laid-back camp-out of ghouls and ghoulettes. Attendance nearly doubled. The number of food cans donated was about 50 percent higher than in 2006. There were two large awnings to protect seminar attendees from the hot sun, compared to last year’s one. The seminar attendees were much happier than last year, because this year the GLFF introduced a sound system and wireless microphones for its seminar presenters.

Overall, Saturday’s weather was very warm and quite humid. We had a couple of brilliant, noisy thunderstorms, but fortunately they were quickies.

Zeke the Wonder Dog, my camping buddy, and I soaked up most of the seminars that Saturday. In the heat of the mid-afternoon, we took a break by settling ourselves in the shade next to David “ThurstinHowl IV” Doxey and Kitty Doxey’s camper and yakked for nearly an hour about positively nothing with them and their many friends.

Our visit with the Doxeys was a scene that many attendees also indulged in during the Fright Fest. People would suddenly stop what they were doing for a while and gab with friends and newcomers. My campsite was surrounded by first-timers from Ohio and Michigan. Every one of them that I spoke to told me that the weekend was a smiling, relaxing vacation from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

My new class, about some of the major mental malfunctions that haunt performers sometimes commit, was the final session on Saturday. The attendees gave me a nice round of applause. I wasn’t sure of they were applauding me, or the fact that the huge potluck dinner was next on the agenda.

Throughout Friday and Saurday, the haunted house builders worked like busy bees. In the space of 48 hours or so, they erected a 2500-square-foot show that incorporated 18 scenes. They labored up until the opening bell at around 9:30 on Saturday night. The show stayed open until around 11:30 that night.

I don’t know how many people walked through GLFF’s haunted house on Saturday night. But the marked increase in canned food donations (the price of admission to the haunt) told me that haunt attendance was another number that saw a happy increase compared to 2006.

During the day on Saturday, I made it a point many times to throw the tennis ball to Zeke. My goal was to completely tucker out his 13-year-old frame so that he would sleep through the noise and racket of the evening’s haunted attraction. I’m happy to tell you that my nefarious plan was a wicked success.

That evening, I tied Zeke up to a 20-foot-long cable, staked into the ground just outside the open door to our tent. He could both wander around outside and go inside the tent and plop down on his doggie blanket. When I left the tent to apply my make-up at around 9 PM, Zeke thunked down onto his blanket and basically did not move until 7 on Sunday morning. He was out like a light throughout the entire haunt performance.

Along with the other monsters in the haunted house, I seemed to do a good job of frightening the customers until we closed at 11:30. From then until 3 AM, when I reluctantly turned in, the warm, starlit night was filled with good cheer and tales of haunted memories around many campfires.

When I left the Fright Fest for home at 1 PM on Sunday, I could see that things were well in hand. The many haunters still remaining were well-fed. They were listening intently to a new batch of seminars. Many of the items available for sale during the show were long sold out

Great Lakes Fright Fest is a celebration of the ingenuity and inventiveness that lives inside every enthusiast of the haunt industry. They have every reason to feel proud of what they’ve done to bring together their fellow sisters and brothers of haunting.

Very truly yours,

Rex B. Hamilton

13939 Clifton Boulevard
Lakewood, Ohio 44107-1462
216.973.0050 (Cell)