Goth Chick News: Wizard World Chicago and a Goth Chick Wannabe

Thursday, August 29th, 2019 | Posted by Chris Zemko

Wizard World Goth Chick 1-small

Let me start by painting you all a picture. Everyone’s favorite Goth Chick comes to me (Black Gate photog Chris Z.) and says “Guess what…you get to write the article for Wizard World Chicago this year!”

“Excuse Me?…What?…Who approved this?”

Apparently even Goth Chicks need a vacation away from the world of Horror and Mischief at Black Gate magazine. Who knew? Anyway, I headed down to the Black Gate office complex by myself and made my way down to the Goth Chick bunker. Upon arriving, I noticed it’s a lot creepier then I remember. I called “Big Cheese” John O and he said, “Just don’t stare at anything with eyes.”

“OK…well here goes.”

So this past weekend, Goth Chick News headed over to the 2019 edition of Wizard World Chicago. This year’s production included guests such as Jeff Goldblum (A Goth Chick Favorite), John “Vinnie Barbarino” Travolta, Zachary Levi (Shazam) and the flippin “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”!

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Goth Chick News: AHS Shouts Out a Big, Bloody Happy Birthday to AH

Thursday, August 15th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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Back in April, Ryan Murphy announced the title / theme for the ninth season of American Horror Story, “1984.” Since then, no less than a dozen teaser trailers have dropped, making it abundantly clear (if the title already didn’t) the latest season is dedicated to classic 80’s slasher films.

However, this week Murphy pulled out something a bit different. In homage to the birthday of the master of cinema suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, who would have turned 120 on August 13th (a Sunday, not a Friday in case you were wondering), Murphy’s latest teaser gave a nod to Psycho while still maintaining his 80’s theme.

The teaser shows a sexy, blonde camp counselor (a favorite slasher-movie-target, second only to a slutty cheerleader) taking a shower as a knife-wielding maniac sneaks up and… Well see for yourself.

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Goth Chick News Interviews Thomas Morrissey, Author of Supernatural Thriller, Faustus Resurrectus

Thursday, August 8th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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Sometimes a martini is more than just a martini.

Such was the case when on a recent visit to NYC, dinner in a small Italian restaurant began with a drink at the bar and a chance encounter with mixologist extraordinaire Thomas Morrissey. Turns out Thomas’ talents go far beyond creating delectable adult libations. Much to my utter delight, I learned he is also the author of a rather fabulous piece of supernatural fiction entitled Faustus Resurrectus.

The cosmic alignment couldn’t have been more perfect. Me, having a martini and falling into conversation with a man who writes scary stories. Introducing him to all of you was a no-brainer.

Before I do, I’ll let him describe a bit about Faustus Resurrectus.

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Goth Chick News: Feeling at Home at the Oddities and Curiosities Expo

Thursday, August 1st, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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We here at Goth Chick News have the pleasure of covering several trade shows annually, dealing with a variety of topics on and near the horror industry. Many of these concern haunters both professional and amateur who pour their money and talent into one month a year when the U.S. embraces all things scary.

But as the band Ministry told us in 1986, for some every day is Halloween, and in 2018 a show came through Chicago which catered to this crowd in particular. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend its premier in the Windy City but corrected that in late July when the Oddities and Curiosities Expo came back through town, drawing together precisely what its name implied; two show-floor levels of artists specializing in the odd and curious.

Targeted toward “the lovers of the strange and unusual,” the O&CE describes itself as…

The first and Original Traveling Oddities event. We have expanded from 2 cities in 2017 to 8 cities in 2018 and now for 2019 we have 16 cities! We want to support local/national vendors, dealers and small businesses by giving them a place to sell and feel welcome. We have vendors on all spectrums of weird, creepy and unusual. Our goal is to bring like-minded people together and have events that people truly enjoy.

Organizers Tony and Michelle have partnered with Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a taxidermy school, suspension artists (read, people hanging from their piercings) and over a hundred vendors and craftspeople to put on an exposition which more than lives up to its name.

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Goth Chick News: Hanging with the Paranormal Cirque

Thursday, July 25th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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I love it when ‘scary’ engulfs something one would normally not associate with the haunt industry. I’ve been to a haunted flea market, played haunted mini golf, and even been onboard a haunted cruise. And though the circus, or at least carnivals, have their own creepy vibe, spectacles like Cirque du Soleil have generally remained wholesome, light-hearted, family entertainment. Okay, there is that Zumanity show which brought a blush even to my pallid cheeks, but it exists only in Las Vegas, making it less unexpected.

But last weekend I attended my first ever, ‘over 18’ haunted circus event, complete with zombies, vampires and clowns. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Paranormal Cirque.

This honest-to-goodness traveling circus takes place under a ginormous black and red (what looks like) latex tent, kicking off your experience with a vaguely S&M vibe. The outer vestibule is like a mini haunted house populated by “freaks” who jump at you, scream at you, thrust chainsaws at you and generally prod you down the connecting hallway into the main tent with elevated seating on three sides of a center stage (ring?).

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Goth Chick News: Tales from the Haunted Mansion Book Series

Thursday, July 18th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Tales from the Haunted Mansion

Disney parks worldwide have a lot of things in common, namely being the ‘Happiest Place(s) on Earth’, which is why the Haunted Mansion ride may seem like a bit of an anomaly. From Mystic Manor in Hong Kong, to Phantom Manor in Paris, to the Haunted Mansions in Tokyo, California and Florida, each park has a unique haunted house ride. The only park where you won’t find one is Shanghai, where ghosts and the fear of hauntings have a very real place in the Chinese culture.

The first Disney “imagineers” dreamed up the idea of a haunted attraction in the late 1950’s, starting with the story of a “house on the hill” inhabited by 999 ghosts. The actual mansion didn’t open to the public until 1969 and guests were immediately hooked on the experience, though much of the backstory by that time had faded into the background. The attraction gained an enormous cult following, bolstered with oodles of official merchandise and even more homages created by its fanbase. Though hardcore fans can tell you the mansion’s story, which ties together even the minutest details seen in the ride, most visitors simply enjoy the spookiness of the experience without ever knowing the significance of “The Hatbox Ghost,” “The Bride,” and “Madame Leota.”

Until now.

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Goth Chick News Reviews: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Thursday, July 11th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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It will come as a shock to absolute no one that I am a Harry Potter nerd of biblical proportion. I cop to it, I embrace it, and I proudly got out in public displaying it via my various “Hogwarts Alumni” gear, my custom HP Vans and my Gryffindor quidditch team pajamas. I make an annual pilgrimage to Universal Studios in Florida where I repeatedly get in line for the “Escape from Hogwarts” roller coaster, ride the Hogwarts Express until even the employees roll their eyes, and drink butterbeers to the point of terminal brain freeze. I’ve been to the Warner Brothers Studios in London where the movies were filmed and where security had to turn the lights off to get me to leave, and proudly taken selfies in Kings Cross Station where platform 9 ¾ can be plainly seen, unless of course, you’re a muggle.

And though I was in London on June 7, 2019 the opening night of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, actually getting into the Palace Theater to see it had become my own personal holy grail. Shows were sold out months in advance, plus it was a two-night commitment; the play unfolds in two parts performed on consecutive evenings. Following its record-breaking nine Laurence Olivier Awards in 2017, it was inevitable that Cursed Child would eventually arrive on Broadway in New York, which is precisely what it did in April 2018 where it opened at the Lyric Theater. And one day a week, on Wednesdays, both Part I and Part II are performed on the same, long, magically wonderful day.

The stars were aligned, the time was right, the boss was out of town, and on June 26th I crossed a sweltering Times Square, Cursed Child tickets in hand and feeling like a tween en route to a Justin Bieber concert, when he did concerts and had better hair.

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Goth Chick News: At the Midwest Haunters Convention

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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For the past 30 years, TransWorld Tradeshows LLC has hosted the Haunted Attractions Association show (HAA) where professional haunt content providers come together to show off their new offerings. Though 2019 actuals aren’t yet available, an estimated 9,000 guests from around the world piled into the St. Louis America’s Center, which has hosted the HAA for the past 10 years.  The tradeshow floor space itself has tripled since the show moved to St. Louis from Chicago in 2009, which is understandable when you think about Halloween now being a $9 billion industry, with most of that money being made in the month of October.

And though the HAA is the largest event of its kind, it requires professional credentials to attend; credentials Black Gate’s ‘big cheese’ John O. is more than happy to give us, ensuring that for two days every February, BG photog Chris Z. and I will be out of the office, enabling the ‘upstairs staff’ to smoke cigars indoors and hold their annual strip D&D game.

Don’t ask.

However, this has left Chicago bereft of a significant haunt-industry trade show. TransWorld’s other big event, the Midwest Haunters Convention (MHC) which unlike the HAA is open to the public, is a show we’ve talked about covering for years, but it was held in Columbus, OH. That meant signing up to a 12-hour round trip car journey, which in and of itself isn’t horrible, until we considered the sort of overnight accommodations our Black Gate expense account would allow us… in Columbus, OH. While we were considering the viability of sleeping in the car, Transworld made the incredibly convenient decision to move the MHC to a Chicago suburb.

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Goth Chick News: The Time We Went on the Mother of all Haunted House Bus Tours

Thursday, June 20th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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Though there is no denying that the opportunity to talk to you about my favorite genre each week is in general the most awesome job ever, there are certain Goth Chick News situations which transcend awesomeness into full-on unbelievable. Just such a situation occurred last week when Black Gate photog Chris Z and I were invited to join the Midwest Haunters Convention’s pre-convention, haunted house bus tour.

The MHC, which unlike the HAA is open to the public, is a show we’ve talked about covering for years, but until 2019 it had been held in Columbus, OH. That meant signing up to a 12-hour round trip car journey, which in and of itself isn’t horrible, until we considered the sort of overnight accommodations our Black Gate expense account would allow us… in Columbus, OH. While we were considering the viability of sleeping in the car, the show organizers, Transworld, made the incredibly convenient decision to move the MHC to a Chicago suburb.

Insert fan-girl squee here.

In advance of the show, MCH organized a Haunted House Bus Tour consisting of a 13-hour odyssey to visit four of the top, professional haunts in Chicagoland. These attractions would be fully staffed and operational (on a Thursday in June by the way) for the enjoyment of the guests who would experience each of them twice; once as visitors do during “the season” in October, and once with the lights turned on and all the magic revealed.

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Goth Chick News: Well This Was Inevitable

Thursday, June 6th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick Salem's Lot

There’s no stopping the juggernaut that is Stephen King.

Granted, there is quite a lot of distance between “in development” and a finished product, but after looking into each of these King-related projects, they all seem to be past the “development hell” stage where many projects languish eternally. So, in addition to recent reboots of Carrie, It: Chapter 1 and Pet Semetary which we’ve already seen, here’s the list of King big and small screen projects we can look forward to in 2019 and beyond.

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