The day is October 29th, 2017. Fall is in the air as Halloween preparations come to a conclusion. Anticipation for the frightful holiday builds and the excitement is palpable. And hundreds are gathered together to celebrate. FearCon 2017 is well underway.
But why fear?
This question cycled through my brain as I saw the wide array of types of people attending the con. Young, old, cosplaying from every horror movie, cosplaying the farthest things from horror, families, singles, couples, it seemed like every type of person could be represented right when you walked through the doors. So what brought all of us together?
The only answer I could find was that the question isn’t why fear. The answer itself is fear.
The horror/thriller/suspense genre doesn’t discriminate. You don’t have to be good, or bad at math to enjoy a scary movie, our hearts rush just the same no matter our backgrounds. People always used to ask me why I enjoyed these types of things so much. And with brutal honesty, I can say it’s because my anxiety growing up would have made me a hermit without pranks, haunted houses, or scary movies. Scary movies were the way I faced my more irrational fears. Haunted houses became a way that I could physically overcome that constant racing heart feeling in my chest. And pranks… well, those helped me laugh at myself and find a silver lining in it all.
Watching these groups of people at FearCon reminded me that overcoming your fears can start anywhere from facing them head-on, to acknowledge them, to begin with. And that made me start to wonder what brought these vendors to Fear Con specifically.
I spoke with Cary Drage from Creature Encounters about why they do what they do. Creature Encounters is an up close and personal experience with animals you might not see every day, let alone have actual interaction with. He spoke about how his company helps you face your fears and walk away more confident. “A lot of people want to understand why I’m at Fear Con trying to scare people, but I’m not. I’ve got a lot of people that are scared coming up and when they leave my booth they’re going ‘Oh, I’m not quite sure why I was afraid of that’. And again, it’s all the education.”
Some people use other avenues to express themselves and enjoy the horror genre. I ran into Chris Bodily of Hatrobot and witnessed his amazing art. Chris is a full-time illustrator that is based out of Ogden. Talking with him give a whole new sense of art in the horror genre. Going into more depth with his art he said “All of my stuff kind of has a dark vibe to it. Kind of dark fun. An atmosphere like this is for me to kind of show off that darker stuff.” Chris had a wide array of artwork ranging from witty posters, (a Jason mask with the caption TGIF. Honestly can it get any funnier), to such intricate and detailed work that you could get lost in it for hours.
Some people have a connection with the Halloween season that makes you proud to participate. Travis Jensen is the co-created of a Halloween book called “Harvest Jack. 13 nights of Hallow.” Harvest Jack leaves tricks and treats for children during the Hallow season. I asked him what inspired him to write Harvest Jack and his answer was more than heartwarming. “I have a kid with special needs that are 8 years old now, his birthday is October 11th, and he loves Halloween. Loves it. So for me, I created something that he loves to enjoy and wakes up each morning finding what Harvest Jack does. That’s the first thing he does when he shoots up during the months of October.”
Being able to meet all the wonderful people there, seeing all the joy and laughter with someone overcoming a fear or going out on a limb, and even trying some scary things myself, have reminded me that, often, the scariest things we do are the most rewarding. All in all fear con allowed all of us to face the killer clowns, the haunted houses, and maybe some anxieties about getting out and being around other people. We are already counting down. 365 days until the next FearCon. Thank you for letting us take part in such an eye-opening event. We’ll see you next year. Professional Rating. 13/10
For more information on:
Creature Encounters Utah please visit www.creatureencountersutah.com
Hatrobot: Art and illustration by Chris Bodily please visit www.hatrobot.com
Harvest Jack 13 Nights of Hallow please visit www.harvestjack.com