2014 Halloween Events for Columbus & Southern Ohio

EVENTS

10/11 Midnight Monster Movies with Dr. Bob presents The Day of Doctor Bob, imagesColumbus, OH

10/18 Columbus Zombie Pub Crawl

10/24 HighBall Halloween (Day 1), Columbus, OH

10/25 HighBall Halloween (Day 2), Columbus, OH

10/25 Athens Halloween Block Party, Athens, OH

10/26 Run Like Hell Costume 5K, Athens, OH

HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS

Haunted Hoochie / Dead Acres, Pataskala, OHimages

The ScareATorium, Columbus, OH

Wicked Forest, Logan, OH

I’m always on the lookout for more Halloween events or Haunted Attractions.  If you know of any in the Columbus / Southern, Ohio area, please leave a comment below and I will gladly add it to this list.

Calling All Monsters

The Halloween season is rapidly approaching.  Every year, I compile a list of events to Hallowhelp ghosts & goblins find spooky fun.  Typically I focus my efforts on Columbus and southern Ohio but I’m always glad to add events in other areas as well.

I’m open to absolutely any type of event.  Halloween parties, haunted attractions, farm markets, community events, and even great home displays are welcome.  If you’re putting on an event or have a favorite that you attend every year, please drop me a line so I can help get the word out.

On a personal note, I’d be especially interested in hearing about any charity events for kids.  I’m usually pretty busy during 4October but will gladly try to pop in to any many of these as possible, to help spread the Halloween cheer.

What exactly is Monster For Rent?

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What exactly is Monster For Rent?

He’s a stilt-walking monster, standing at just under 9’ tall.  In his younger days, he worked at various “haunted houses” and “haunted hayrides”.   Now as a more seasoned monster, he spends the Halloween season, hiring himself out to deliver balloon-a-grams, entertain at birthday parties, Halloween parties, grocery stores, farm markets, and different companies who want to draw some attention to their business during the Halloween season.

Originally from Rochester, NY, the monster spent a number of years residing in West Palm Beach, FL.  Currently, he resides in the quiet town of Athens, OH.

 So what does the monster do?

Really that depends on the specific event.  The overwhelming majority of the time, he’s called into action to shake hands and pose for pictures with party-goers and customers of the various events that he’s hired to perform at.

At company functions, he’s been used to pass out advertising literature, march in parades, draw attention to certain displays within a store, or even stand by the side of the road to help draw in business.

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Can the monster talk?

Sadly, no… The mad scientist who created the monster neglected to give him the ability to speak.  However, he’s become quite adept at communicating with folks through hand gestures and head bobs.

There will be lots of young children at my event.  Will the monster be too scary for them?

While it is true that a 9’ tall monster might seem pretty intimidating, the monster very rarely scares any little ones.  In his experience, children who are afraid of Santa Claus, clowns, or the Easter Bunny may also be afraid of the monster.

The monster has become quite adept at scanning the crowd for signs that any of the little folks are looking a bit uneasy.  When he detects this, he avoids eye contact and focuses on the folks who are close by, shaking his hand and posing for pictures.  Generally, this allows any timid youngsters to move along and not suffer any frights.

The monster is so big.  Will he fit in my home or business?

Aside from being just under 9’ tall, the monster is able to fit just about anywhere that an event might be held.  He’s easily as maneuverable as any “normal” person.  As such, he’s able to duck through regular doorways, climb stairs, and pretty much go anywhere required, doing what needs to be done.

There will likely be big crowds at my event.   Will this be a problem for the monster?

Not at all.  The monster is very sturdy on his feet and has full peripheral vision.  Whether he’s indoors with merchandise displays or outdoors in a throng of people, the monster is very adept at moving about in tight spaces.

Could the monster hold a sign to promote my event/business?

Yes, absolutely.  The monster would be able to hold/carry any sign that any other “normal” person could.

mfr3Any chance we could dress the monster up in one of our uniforms?

Sure.  Aside from being rather large, the monster would be happy to.  Over the years, he’s worn t-shirts, aprons, hats, & buttons from those who have used his services.

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Halloween is coming

Halloween fans: With the days getting shorter and cooler, the Halloween season will be upon us before you know it.

During this week I will be re-activating the monster blog to help spread the word about Halloween events. As I’m currently living in Athens, OH, I will be focusing on Columbus and southern, OH. However, I will gladly cover events from all over.

If you know of a party, haunted house, pumpkin patch, ghost walk, or any other type of Halloween event, please let me know so that I may add it to the list.

 

Zombissage….Massage with an Undead Flair

Running from the living dead can be tiring work.  Jumping fences, dodging trees, and catching a few winks on a hard floor can leave a survivor feeling pretty stiff and sore.  It’s comforting to know that there’s at least one zombie out there who isn’t looking to eat your brain.  Zombissage offers massage with an undead flair, to customers who are both living and otherwise reanimated!

A couple of weeks ago, while at HorrorHound Weekend in Columbus, I first heard about Zombissage.  It seemed like wherever I went, people kept asking me, “Did you see that there’s a zombie massage therapist in there?”

This all just sounded like too much fun so I had to learn more.  I tracked down Erin Farnlacher, the creator of Zombissage and UMT (Undead Massage Therapist).  She was happy to answer my questions and I thought I’d share her answers with you all.

I think folks will get a big kick out of hearing about your service.  How did you come up with Zombissage?

I’ve been a horror freak all my life, absolutely obsessed with zombies–my younger sister and I ignored every other section of the video rental place we went to as kids.  I’ve been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 5 years, and started Zombissage last year.  My friends had introduced me to Horrorhound the year before; they always go in costume, and I went as Janine Melnitz for their Ghostbusters theme.

After hours of walking around the con in high-heeled boots, my feet and legs were killing me, so I looked around to see if there were any massage therapists with a vendor booth.  There weren’t any, and I figured that I couldn’t be the only one getting sore and tired after all the festivities, so I started working toward combining my passions for massage therapy and the horror genre.

This past Horrorhound Weekend was my first convention as Zombissage; I had a great time and a very encouraging reception, and I’m very excited to see how this goes in the future.

Your service is quite unique, especially considering the “typical” fare for these type of events.  How did you find the reaction of folks during your first time out?  I would imagine they were a bit timid at first and then opened up a bit once they saw you with a customer.

Yep, that’s about how it went; people passing by seemed amused and intrigued, but it took a bit for momentum to build.  For my first con, I thought it went very well.  I was very grateful to the fantastic people at the Troma booth next to me, who helped promote me, and even took some of my business cards to some of the guests.

Your make-up is fantastic (and to be honest, scary as hell).  Do you actually talk with your customers or do you sort of stay in character throughout the process?

Thanks!  I wasn’t sure how I should approach the character, and decided to play it by ear.  I ended up just talking to people more or less like I would in my regular practice; part of that was the giddiness of being at a horror convention (I started grinning even before check-in, as soon as I started seeing familiar faces outside the hotel) and the excitement of being a first-time vendor.  In the future I might play with the character and try making the interaction more zombie-appropriate.  I’ll see how things go and what people seem to enjoy.

Did any of the celebrity guests at HHW happen to stop by your booth, either as a customer or just to see what was going on?

Ken from Fright Night Film Fest (who was a massage therapist for 16 years) brought Tyler Mane to my table, and we worked on him in tandem.  Tyler was super nice, and easily the tallest person ever to be on my table.

So, with HorrorHound under your belt, what’s next?  Do you have any other appearances planned?

I’ll be at Blood on the Beach in Virginia Beach and the Cleveland Zombie Walk in April, Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, Kentucky in June, Days of the Dead III in Indianapolis in July, hopefully returning to HHW for the Indianapolis show in September, and possibly some other events this year.

If folks want more information or someone would like to book you for an event, where can they find you?

I’m on Twitter and Facebook as Zombissage, most active on FB.
https://www.facebook.com/Zombissage
https://twitter.com/#!/Zombissage

Finally, what’s your favorite horror movie?

It’s always hard to pick one, isn’t it?  Pure cheese, but I always go back to my first zombie love, Return of the Living Dead II.  My little sister and I (we were probably around 8 and 10) discovered it at the local video rental place and became obsessed with it and anything else involving reanimated corpses.  We were… weird kids.  And now we’re happily weird adults, especially with being surrounded by our childhood obsession in popular culture.

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As always, thank you for reading.  For myself, I just love hearing about someone being able to take their hobby and run with it.  Know of any other unique businesses with a spooky twist?  Leave me a comment or drop me a line.  I’d love to help spread the word.

Horror High School 2011

Today I’d like to feature another charity haunt.  Horror High School in Kingston, OH is operated 100% by volunteers, raising money for Green Township Youth Baseball / Softball League and South Central Xtreme All Star Cheerleading.

The folks at Horror High School have been kind enough to invite my Monster to come and join them in their fun.  Never one to miss an opportunity to get a little spooky, I told them I’d love to!  I will post an update once I figure out when I’ll be there.

Kingston High School was built in the early 1900s.  While it was being constructed, a worker fell to his death near the boiler room.  His name was James Mowery and it was rumored that he may have been pushed.

Over the years, each generation who attended the school had their own stories of odd happenings.  Strange things were seen and a lot of unexplainable things occurred.

The school closed in 1999.  Since then, Schoolhouse Antiques has taken up residence in the building.  The operators of Horror High School have worked with the current owners to re-open the school and allow the public to tour the facility…including the boiler room where James Mowery met his suspicious end.

Proceeds from Horror High School will go to Green Twp Baseball/Softball League and South Central Xtreme Cheerleading.  It is presented by Schoolhouse Antiques.

Location:  Kingston High School, corner of Main & Ing St., Kingston, OH

Times:  October 26th-29th & 31st  7pm-’til

Stop by their Facebook page and tell them the Monster sent ya!

Admission:  Tickets are $13 at the door.  Discounted advanced tickets may be purchased by any SCX cheerleader or at Shear Styles in Kingston, OH (across from the post office).

How do YOU know when it’s Halloween

Every year at about this time, I get very excited because it’s clearly “Halloween season”.  The weather is changing, leaves are falling, Halloween merchandise is everywhere, and just about every community has its share of decorations.  Conversely, November 1st rolls around and *poof*, it’s all over.

During that span, it would seem that there would be a time when everyone (or at least those who chose to) would be celebrating at the same time.  I mean, the obvious answer here is “Hey Monster, it’s Halloween on the 31st!  You know, on Halloween!”

Sure, technically Halloween is the 31st but aside from the young trick-or-treaters, and I suppose the home haunters, I suspect that Halloween night is pretty quiet for most folks.

So there you have it.  How do you know when it’s Halloween for you?  Is there a particular event that you partake in each year which really seals the deal for you?  Is there some “can’t miss” activity, after which you know you can safely pack up the black & orange for another year?

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I have one.  I’m a total Halloween nut, I take in literally every Halloween event that I can find, but I always find myself disappointed on November first.  It’s as if I fell asleep at 9pm on New Year’s Eve and missed the midnight celebration.

Tomorrow I’ll go into some detail about what would be ideal for me and the closest that I’ve managed to come.  For now, I’d love to hear what you folks think.

The Scare-A-Torium

     Colonel Frightmore has traveled around the world collecting fears for your dark entertainment.  He invites you to come in and experience a maze of the macabre as he’s captured your every fear and proudly presents them to you here in his haunted house of horrors called THE SCARE-A-TORIUM!

     Through these haunted passages you’ll witness the most wretched collection of Halloween ghouls and ghosts, spiders and skeletons, killer clowns and creeps, vampires and victims, supernatural and super spectral, the undead and the unstable, the decaying and the decapitated, ever assembled.

     So many fears, so many rooms, so many spines to tingle!  It’s been a devious task assembling them just for you. Come now and don’t be late!  He has so many many unspeakable horrors for you to see!  Can you make it through? Or will your deepest darkest fears get the best of you?

  

Admission includes RIP’s Funhouse; home for a collection of evil clowns, optical illusions and toxic experiments. You get two haunts for one price; over 50+ scenes of FRIGHT!

Address

Dublin Village Center (Southwest corner of I-270 & Sawmill Road)
6765 E Dublin Center Dr
Dublin, Oh 43017
614-761-3327

Hours

Thursday through Sunday – September 29 to October 30th

Thursday’s and Sunday’s 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Friday’s and Saturday’s 7:30 pm to Midnight

Admission

$20.00

Offering timed and fast pass admissions on website.

Website

http://www.scareatorium.com/

What do you do for Halloween?

Halloween gets bigger and bigger by the year.  They say that more money is now spent on Halloween than any other holiday besides Christmas.  Judging by how early the Halloween  displays show up in stores, I’d say that they’re right.

Today I’d like to hear from you folks.  Tell me, what do you do for Halloween?  You may select as many of the options below that apply.  If I’ve missed something or you have a rather unique way of celebrating, please mention it in the comments below.

 

How I became the Monster

     I grew up in the reasonably typical suburbs of Rochester, NY.  As a kid in the 1970s, my folks would dress me up in whatever costume struck my fancy each year (Planet of the Apes, Gandalf, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and a Cylon Centurion all come to mind).  

     Like any kid, I loved the candy and the costumes.   However, I really got into the mood of the evening.  Halloween night just feels creepy and sparks the imagination.  This was only added to by the occasional neighbor who would be playing some creepy music and have extra special decorations.  Halloween always let me escape.  It’s like a great game of make-believe, except on this one night it seems like everyone’s in on the game.

     By 1982, I was 12 years old (and a bit tall for my age).  I suppose I wasn’t too old for trick-or-treating but was starting to get concerned looks from folks who saw my size and figured I’d be back later to vandalize their house (an activity I never chose to take part in).  Earlier that year, the Chicago Tylenol murders had occurred and the resulting panic had many people worried about receiving or being accused of giving tainted treats.  Halloween was almost non-existent that year, and for a few to come.

     Years passed, and I sadly found myself without an outlet for Halloween.  That is, until I met the monster. 

     I can remember it as clear as day.  I was working at a bookstore in a small outlet mall, in October of 1988.  It was a slow night and I was sitting at the desk reading a novel.  Suddenly, I heard a couple of children screaming and looked out into the hallway, just in time to see two little kids go running by the front of the store.

     We never had any type of commotion there so I sprung up to see what was going on.  Reaching the entrance to the store, I looked down the hall to my left.  There I could see the pair still running and turning the corner into the busy part of the mall.  It was about that time that I became aware of a peculiar creaking sound coming from the hallway behind me.  I turned around to see what it was and was immediately breathless. 

     There, towering over me (I’m 6’4″) was a 9′ tall Frankenstein’s monster!  Obviously I knew he wasn’t “real”, however, the suddenness of it all really threw me for a loop.  With wide eyes, I stared in wonder at the thing, not at all accustomed to meeting anyone who was even a little taller than me.

     The monster just stared at me with piercing eyes and slowly bobbed his head.  My rational brain came to the conclusion that he must be a man on stilts, though at the time I was only familiar with old-fashioned peg-stilts, which these were not.  I must have looked quite silly standing there and about the time that I realized this, I noticed that the monster was holding out a piece of paper for me to take.  Slowly, I reached up and took the paper.  Upon doing this, the monster patted me gently on the head (as you would a small child) and then walked off down the hall.

     I stood there and watched him leave.  Only after he was out of sight did I stop to glance at the paper.  It was an advertisement for a Haunted House, being run by a local charitable organization.  On the bottom of the page, in bold letters, the text read “volunteers needed”.  Instantly I knew how to enjoy Halloween again.

     The following day, I showed up at the haunted house to volunteer my services.  The woman in charge thanked me for coming and asked me to wait just a moment, as she had some issue which demanded her immediate attention.  I sat there in the dressing room with amazing costumes lying all about.  A few minutes later, she returned.

     “Do you know how to walk in drywall stilts?’ she asked.

     “Umm, you mean like the big Frankenstein guy?” I responded, “I don’t know how to walk on any kind of stilts.”

     “Oh, it’s easy.  You’ll be great”

     Always a rather timid person, her reassurance wasn’t having  much of an effect on me.  “You don’t understand.  I can’t even roller-skate.”

     She proceeded to explain to me that “big Frank” was their marquee attraction.  Unfortunately, the fellow who normally played the monster had fallen ill and that of all of their volunteers, I was the only one who was big enough to pull off playing the part of the monster.

     I protested a bit more but before I knew it, I was strapped into the stilts and monster costume.  Her husband and brother held my hands and I timidly made my way to my spot in the haunted house.  There, they leaned me up against the wall and told me to just kind of stretch out my arms and moan when people came through.

     Well, I won’t go into great detail here but let me tell you this.  Regardless of your age, if you ever have the opportunity to work in a haunted house, DO IT!!!  Bit by bit, I got the hang of the stilts (they’re really not bad at all).  Oh my, I had so much fun that year that I still smile when I think about it.

     At any rate, I proceeded to work for the haunted house for the next few years.  In my early 20s I saved up enough money to buy my own stilts and monster suit.  I would go out to the costume parties at bars as the monster and dance the night away.

     Over the years, I actually turned it into a small business of sorts.  As “Monster For Rent“, I hire myself out to entertain at birthday parties, Halloween parties, Wegmans, farm markets, and different companies who want to draw some attention to their business during the Halloween season.

     As things grew a bit, I took my show on the road to as many Halloween destinations as I could find.  In 1996, I had the honor of being named “King of Halloween” at Haunted Happenings, in Salem, MA.

     The years have taken me all over the country and I’ve tried to catch as much Halloween fun as I could.  Presently I reside in the small town of Wellston, Ohio (just about an hour southeast of Columbus). 

     Thank you for reading.  Have any favorite Halloween memories?  Please share them below.