The final weekend in October saw another Spooky Empire horror convention descend on Central Florida. Fans from all over gathered to enjoy celebrity visits from “X-Files” stars, Elvira, and more.
Over 30,000 attended the weekend event at its new venue for 2018, Orlando’s Caribe Royale Hotel. In addition to star-studded panels, costume contests, tattoo artists, and special Halloween themed entertainment filled the weekend.
Despite parking headaches and long lines (some will call ticket line attendees experiencing significant waits while walk-up guests gained quick entry), fans flocked to the annual horror celebration. NOTE: Spooky Empire also hosts a more relaxed retro version of their show in the spring. With big name stars like David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson along with Elvira, Peter Chris (KISS) and others, Spooky Empire packed the house. Once in a lifetime photo op with stars like Cassandra Peterson and “X-Files” cast fetched top dollar for images (as much as $200 for a picture with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson together).
Highly coveted limited-edition collectibles caused a commotion when some fans got nasty over a mix up in delivery for an exclusive Elvira Funko Pop! figure. Some waited up to nine hours for a chance at purchasing the rare figure. At one point police had to be brought in to clear the site as some guests turned violent. In the end, the Funko Pop! figures arrived and fans were able to purchase them on Sunday. One fan documented the drama on their YouTube channel. Elvira issued the following statement on her Facebook page:
UPDATE 10/30: Spooky Empire has also issued the following statement on their Facebook page which reads in part:
While we would like to forget this incident ever happened, it did happen. They were very limited, even more so when the entire shipment had not arrived. Once again, they were an exclusive, limited item not everyone was going to get one, that’s what “exclusive” means. The incident on Friday, or as many of you would like to call it #Funkogate, was extremely disappointing. Those that decided to start a riot are not our Spooky “family” as was very obvious. We are very grateful to the OCPD for quickly putting out that fire. Again, we would like to reitterate that this was not a Spooky Empire item, it was quite basically an item being sold by a vendor at our event.
You can reference their full statement below.
Back to the event itself and in spite of the actions of a few child-like adults early in the weekend, Spooky Empire wowed fans with packed, standing room only Q&A session from Duchovny and Anderson. “Hocus Pocus” star Kathy Najimy (Mary Sanderson), as well as guests from other horror franchises (“House of 1000 Corpses,” “Child’s Play,” “Sleep Away Camp”), were on hand to meet admirers. Ricou Browning (“Creature from the Black Lagoon”) represented classic horror.
Fiendishly fun merchandise, artwork, and collectibles lined aisles within the vendor’s room.
Mucklebones LLC teamed up with Phantasmagoria for a family-friendly fright. The $5 guided tour past monsters (some making an encore appearance from their Haunted Mansion tribute display of year’s past) and masks featured performances by the Victorian steampunk horror storytelling troupe Phantasmagoria and creepy cool creatures from the master monster makers at Mucklebones.
Throughout the entire weekend of wicked wonders, Spooky Empire volunteer staff were extra polite (even while under the abusive gun of rude Funko Pop! collectors) and helpful. The event’s true stars, event attendees did not disappoint either. Creative costumes showcased a passion for the genre as this family of fans gathered for their semi-annual horror themed reunion.