If store displays and plunging temperatures are to be believed, fall is if not here already, fast approaching. Pumpkin-spice everything is available everywhere and autumnal browns and yellows and oranges decorate advertisements.
The change of season is upon us.
More specifically, the spooky season has arrived.
Halloween decorations, treats and costumes line shelves in stores of all kinds and props and animatronics of the creepy variety are beginning to pop up on lawns across the region. Once Labor Day is done, so is summer, it appears.
Myself, I’ve never been big into horror, but have always enjoyed Halloween well enough. But adulthood has blessed me with two sons, one of whom — my second-born, Braden — is obsessed with all things horror and other creeptastic delights.
And he’s just six (or he technically will be by the end of next weekend).
With that in mind, a trip to Terror Con in Marlboro this weekend only seemed fitting. Sure, my youngest talks a big game, but what would he do when facing horror movie characters and toys and art of their likenesses?
The answer: Quite well. He was in heaven (or maybe another destination, given the subject matter).
I know, it seems like shoddy parenting. But had Terror Con been too terror-forward, we certainly wouldn’t have gone. I was able to scout it out by myself Friday evening before deciding that it had the potential to be a fun family adventure.
Truth be told, Terror Con wasn’t a convention center strewn with corpses and bloody displays. It was much like any other gathering of fans of basically anything. Think Comic Con, with its sprawling displays of all things pop culture, but with a macabre twist.
Action figures of horror characters, statues of famed movie killers, artwork of scenes of impending doom. … All were available at the Royal Plaza Trade Center over the past weekend, as Terror Con entertained guests of all ages from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.
Collectors had their fill of memorabilia options, but the biggest draw for fans of horror were the more than two dozen celebrity guests, on hand to sign autographs and pose for photos. For a fee, one could rub shoulders with the likes of Robert Englund (the actor who famously portrayed Freddy Krueger in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series), Christopher Sarandon (who voiced Jack Skellington in “The Nightmare Before Christmas and played Prince Humperdinck in “The Princess Bride”) and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, among many, many others.
There was seemingly something for everyone. Cosplayers were welcome to dress like their favorite movie characters. Younger fans were able to revel in figures and collectibles from newer horror franchises like the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” video game series — to be released as a major motion picture in late October.
Even my older son, eight-year-old Kellen, was able to find something to enjoy. Not much of a scare fan, he browsed hundreds of Funko Pop! figures before purchasing a seemingly endless supply of Pokémon trading card packs to open.
Myself? I was just happy to take it all in and watch my kids have the time of their lives at an event I seriously underestimated.
Terrifying? No, not at all. More fun and much more entertaining than I would have ever imagined? Most definitely.
Will we be back next year? Almost certainly.