Mad Monster Party

Attendees at the Mad Monster Party can dress in their favorite scary creature's garb. 

Freddy Krueger, Jason, Chucky and Leatherface have been giving children and adults nightmares for decades. An annual horror convention lets fans see a different side of childhood villains and heroes from their favorite films.

Held in different parts of the country, Mad Monster Party celebrates the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres with a weekend-long party. The Arizona event is Friday, July 13, to Sunday, July 15, at the We-Ko-Pa Resort.

The event offers a party atmosphere with photo ops with celebrities, a costume contest, “scaraoke,” a horror movie-themed pageant, a vendor room and afterparties.  

Founder Eben McGarr grew up watching horror movies and reading comic books. He wrote, directed and produced the horror films “House of the Wolf Man” and “Sick Girl.  “

He started the conventions in 2010 because he wanted to create an intimate event for pop culture fans like himself. He said the experience brings out different emotions in fans.  

This year, fans can meet and take pictures with horror movie icons such as Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund, Leatherface actor R.A. Mihailoff and Jason actor Kane Hodder.  Celebrities often dress up as their characters, sometimes wearing costumes or holding props from specific films or video games.

Some of the photo opportunities include multiple actors from the same films. During the convention, guests can judge contests and take part in panels.

Because the We-Ko-Pa Resort event starts on Friday the 13th, the Arizona show will be themed around that movie franchise. It will have a special scavenger hunt inspired by the newest “Friday the 13th” multiplatform video game.  

As part of the Miss Scarizona Pageant, contestants present their best horror looks and talents. Judges consider contestants’ style, personality, screaming ability and talent, and the grand prize winner takes away $500 in cash.  

On Sunday, attendees who come dressed up in costume can take free green screen photos. VIP guests receive special perks such as early entry into the show and special access to panels, signings, screenings and the RIP lounge.  

During the convention, vendors will sell collectible items such as original artwork, comics, horror-themed items, vintage toys from the ’50s and ’60s or movie memorabilia.


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