The Harlan Haunt Fest is on the way. Slated for Oct. 10, the event is billed as an all-day paranormal and pop culture celebration to take place at the Harlan Center.
Earl McKinney, one of the festival’s organizers, said the all-ages event is intended to get the public together with celebrities, artisans and other folks interested in the paranormal, science fiction and horror entertainment as well as other Halloween related topics.
“We’ve got a bunch of celebrities coming this year, and we just hope to have a good time,” McKinney said.
According to McKinney, the first Haunt Fest last year was a success, but it could have been better.
“Everybody had a great time last year,” said McKinney. “The people had fun, the celebrities really enjoyed it. We didn’t have a big turnout because we had a big snow storm and that hurt us a little bit. This year hopefully we’ll get the word out and have a bigger turnout.”
This year’s Haunt Fest features Theyshay West and Amber Dawn Fox, actors who have appeared in the popular television series “The Walking Dead.” West played the part of one of Michonne’s pet walkers while Fox portrayed “Officer Bello” in season five. Also scheduled to appear at Haunt Fest are R.J. Haddy, a special effects makeup artist who has appeared on the SyFy Channel’s “Face Off” and Monique Dupree, a movie “scream queen.”
According to McKinney, Dupree will be screening her new horror film “Shadow Hunters: Devilspeak” sometime during the event. Coincidentally, Dupree is the sister of well-known actor Tony Todd, who has made a name for himself in movies such as the 1990 remake of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” and the “Candyman” franchise.
Harlan Haunt Fest will feature a fantasy and horror art contest open to the public, as well as a collection of artists and writers including Bob Hepner and his fantastic art, horror writer Stephen J. Semones and best-selling paranormal author Rebecca Patrick Howard.
Other attractions include a cosplay contest, a Masquerade Dance, The Fear Challenge, a Mortal Kombat video game tournament and a Zombie Corn Hole tournament. Festival goers will also have the chance to sit in a Chevrolet Impala, a prop car from the series “Supernatural.” Haddy will be teaching a class on applying quick and easy zombie makeup and will be doing personal make-up sessions for attendees throughout the day.
Presentations on the paranormal and ghost hunting history in Harlan County are planned, as well as a special medieval combat demonstration.
Local bands Coal Truckers and Of The Spheres are both scheduled to perform during the evening.
Harlan Haunt Fest kicks off at 10 a.m. and continues until midnight on Oct. 10. Admission is $10.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde.