“We are horror” reads the website of TerrorCon, a convention held annually in Providence, Rhode Island. “Terror Con” is Rhode Island’s one and only horror and paranormal convention. The convention was held from Feb. 25 to 26, at the Providence Convention Center and has been ongoing for the past few years.
The convention is home to many vendors who sell merchandise, such as movie posters and collectables. “TerrorCon” also features special guests like Malcolm McDowell and Sid Haig, who have appeared in horror films. There are also panel discussions with groups of people who worked similar jobs in the industry, like ghost hunters or simply horror writers.
Walking down the halls of a horror convention, one gets the feeling of exclusivity at first. Everyone is dressed in costume, some are obscure but most are recognizable like Negan from “The Walking Dead.” The vendor fronts all offer exceptionally niche objects from the dredges of horror filmography. But the more you dive into it, the more inviting it feels. Everyone wants to talk to you. They all have something to sell, to be sure, but they are also passionate about their products and the culture that surrounds them. It’s rare to run into anyone that fits the stereotype of the angry, bitter, self obsessed nerd, the Comic Book Guy persona in “Simpsons” terms. Everyone here is looking to make a sale, but it never feels nefarious or obtrusive, just people passionate about their work and wanting to succeed in it, but discuss it as well. They may come off as trying too hard, but only in a genuine way.
The building is sparse, essentially a warehouse full of booths and aisles constructed through them. The food area is small and expensive, but that’s to be expected, and really the only disappointing feature of “TerrorCon.” The guests are friendly, Sid Haig and Malcolm McDowell, though now well into their 70’s seem happy to be here and meet with fans. The aura is more pure and exciting than one would believe, the convention truly is made of people who are passionate about what they love and want to share it with the world. That is the essence of conventions like these when they’re at their purest. These are people, who in the past, have been repressed through their passions. They are finally living in a time that allows them to have not only a small community of friends that share these interests, but a whole world of them. It’s beautiful, in its own horrific way. And most importantly, it’s fun.