By Dean Vanderkolk

This Halloween, Flint will be providing a brand new gathering place for ghouls, ghosts and lovers of all things that go bump in the night when the Flint Horror Con opens its doors to the public. The initiative of organizers Justin Zeglevski, Chris Ringler, Geary Roe and Stephen Vincent, the convention was born of a desire to create a unique experience: A convention run by fans for fans. “What really got us started with the convention was a mutual love of all things creepy and scary,” says Ringler. “We had all been going to conventions for years and were all big fans of the genre but nothing like this had happened in Flint. We knew that with our experiences with doing and attending other cons and with the deep love of horror this area has that if we could put it together right we’d have a chance to really pull this off."

The Flint Horror Con is the latest in the increasing number of horror-themed conventions that have sprung up around the country. For Ringler and his fellow organizers, the popularity of horror conventions is hardly surprising. “I think that more than any other genre horror really pulls its fans together and invests them in the films and culture. And it is a culture. There are movies that are as dark as pitch and twice as nasty and horror films that are really comedies with a scary touch. And then there are the people that work in horror, directors, actors, make up people, writers, artists, who feel connected and tied to their fans and who make themselves approachable because their fans truly appreciate their work."

Unlike other conventions, the Flint Horror Con is dedicated to making itself an event where the fans won’t have to break the bank to attend. “More than anything else our goal in putting the convention together was to create a low cost, fun event that would give people in the area something to do,” says Ringler. “Too many conventions are too expensive to even just attend and once there the fans don’t have money to spend on the stuff they went there for—autographs, movies, memorabilia, art, whatever. So for ten dollars fans can come out, spend a day and still have money to get the stuff they really want.”

So far, the organizers have made good on that promise. The event boasts an impressive array of guests, events and activities. The event will feature screenings of ten hours of independent shorts and feature films, a costume contest, an impressive collection of vendors and memorabilia, and guests like Evil Dead alumni Tom Sullivan, Hal Delrich, filmmakers Josh Becker and Thomas Berdinski, actor Ken Sagoes from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and a large gathering of authors, artists, and craft persons.

“We are just stoked that so many guests were willing to work with us and understood what we were trying to do. We have been so lucky to get the response we have from filmmakers and our guests that it’s all been exciting for us. More than anything we’re excited to have the chance to do this in Flint. We have worked really hard and have overcome a lot to make it happen and we really hope everyone else has as much fun at the con as we’ve had putting it together."

The Flint Horror Con will be held on Saturday, October 29th from 12p.m. to 10p.m. at Flint's Masonic Temple, located at 755 S. Saginaw Street, Flint, MI, 48502. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at their website, http://flinthorrorcon.webnode.com/.

© Dean Vanderkolk, 2011