Midwest Haunters Convention in Columbus: A FrightProps Wrap-Up

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We had a totally insane, crazy, phenomenal, outstanding time at Midwest Haunters Convention! We got to hang out with a lot of our favorite customers and show off what we feel are the greatest haunted house props in the entire world. We also got to stuff our faces with burgers and beer. Let’s do a little recap, shall we?
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We arrived in Columbus after a fairly easy flight – unless you ask Kathleen, who hates flying. Surprisingly, even though I’m probably the most normal looking guy of the three dudes traveling, I was detained and searched over a tube of toothpaste. Bah!

Quickly after landing, we boarded a taxi and went straight to the convention center where our hotel was conveniently attached. Check-in and everything else went smoothly over at the Hyatt and within a few minutes, we were stuffing our faces full of some shockingly decent stuff out of the food court below the convention center.

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After gorging ourselves with Indian and Chinese food, we began unpacking our crates for our enormous cash & carry booth. Latex props, flash crackers, flash plates – the whole shebang. We even brought some of our famous fake blood, wet, and slime liquids which we got rid of almost on the first day. We also set up our haunted house DVD display TV, lights, motors, pneumatics, a pop blaster, an ankle blaster, train horns, and the Shot in the Dark Scare Tools. And probably a ton of other haunted house supplies that I’m forgetting to mention.

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After the completion of our set-up, we went to the hotel bar, grabbed some more grub, and headed to the First Last Friday party. The pictures kind of speak for themselves.

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(before)

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(skull fountain made of ice, dispensing fireball whiskey) 

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(after  – Grant and Max clutching a giant tray of Stromboli in triumph)

After a long evening of partying, we ended up back at the hotel pretty late. Coffee would definitely be needed in the early hours of the first day of the convention. And what a first day it was – a great turnout, indeed.

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The show kicked off with a flood of people which stayed busy even as we started to close up. We got rid of a ton of latex props almost right away and managed to terrorize some of the more timid people at the convention with our chainsaw prop – The Frightsaw! You can also see in our fabricator Max’s hand some sort of blurry gun-like object. That, my friends, was the source of our biggest entertainment. Our friends at Darklight were clever enough to bring these Nerf guns and pass them out amongst our booth and Froggy’s Fog.

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The three companies, usually allies, engaged in a bitter rivalry of foam discs throughout the convention before teaming up to fight a bigger and much more dangerous threat: THE ZOMBIE ARMY! Multiple sneak-attacks were launched upon the Chicago-based horror outfit. As the undead horde is surprisingly clever and confusingly quick, we fought with ruthlessness and fury.

In the end, it appears that Darklight was the likely winner due to their secret weapon: a homemade machine gun which launched discs at us faster than any of us could run away.

After the first day wrapped up, we headed to the hotel room to relax for a few hours before getting all glammed up for the big costume ball. Naturally, we had the greatest and most professional costumes to represent our extremely reliable and well-respected Halloween prop company.

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Needless to say, we stuck out a little – even amongst our fellow weirdos. Fortunately, there were plenty of incredible costumes at the party to take some of the attention off of how stupid/beautiful we looked.

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The night continued on and on. I remember something about Kathleen kissing a snake and gleefully eating too many fried foods.

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The next day, we miraculously dragged ourselves out of our hotel rooms to greet the Midwest Haunters Convention second-day crowd. While it wasn’t as busy as the first day (everyone was probably a little tired from the night before), we still had a steady stream of interested parties as we fired off our electronic firecrackers and other extremely loud noisemakers. To the relief of the entire convention, we did manage to sell off our train-horn display model.

As the convention traffic slowed down, we took a moment to peruse the wares of the other awesome vendors.  Our fabricator, Max, proudly purchased some sort of evil worm creature from Creature Revenge. The rest of us, including Max, also went ahead and picked up all sorts of mummified skulls and preserved specimens from Asylum Artwork. Curiously, we found out that Asylum Artwork is also a member of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermy (M.A.R.T.) which our creative director, Scott, is a founder of! Small world, right?

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One of the coolest things about these grotesque creations (aside from their modest prices!) is that none of the animals that Asylum Artwork sells were killed for the purposes of the art. As animal lovers, we support that policy 100% – something Scott has always practiced in his own taxidermy as well!

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“I’m not a monster – just a weirdo!” – quote of the decade for haunters, right?

As day two came to a close, we all perked up for a minute to high-five each other and then went ahead and started breaking down. Motivated by the prospect of burgers, we tore down fairly quickly and managed to get our shipping cases loaded and sealed. We left the convention center and headed straight to a dark bar by the name of Thurman’s with one mission on our minds: to destroy our bodies with hamburgers – which is exactly what we did.

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Annihilated by food, we took a cab to the outskirts of Columbus to sing karaoke at a bar populated by ten or fifteen people. I sang an Ozzy Osbourne song which prompted a dude to sign up for one right after me – an obvious attempt to initiate some sort of karaoke sing-off. However, my voice was shot from screaming about train horns and loud noisemaking props throughout the entire convention. Half of FrightProps went back to the hotel to rest while Kathleen and some friends hung out and closed the Karaoke bar down. Exhausted, Kathleen slept with a piece of pizza that night.

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There you have it, folks – the good, the bad, and the pizza. FrightProps’ official wrap-up of the Midwest Haunters Convention which we felt was a total success and a blast and a half. So if you didn’t get the chance to go this year, hopefully this post has inspired you to make the trek out and have the time of your life with your favorite supplier of all things Halloween.

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