When I arrived at Texas Frightmare Weekend 2017, my expectations were admittedly high. After talking with many fans prior to the convention, I was anticipating an intimate and exciting fan centered event. TFW did not disappoint. From director Ted Raimi speaking to you on the dance floor at a party to Ric Flair sitting just feet away at the hotel bar (yep, both of these things took place), truly anything can happen. The two and a half day event included guests from cult classic film Fright Night, Bates Motel and many, many more. Additionally there were parties, karaoke, vendors, and cosplayers galore.
Among the costumed attendees were Justin and Abby Mitchell who reprised their roles as Mungy and The Missus. Mungy is a crowd favorite at TFW. But what seems scary on the exterior has a really sweet meaning behind it. The Mitchells now plan their anniversary around the convention because of their shared love for horror. “We’ve been horror fans our whole life. I’ve loved clowns my entire life and after we got married we just kind of found out that we both enjoy it,” Justin said. Abby added, ‘We worked in haunted houses together and we started going to horror conventions in Kansas City to Cyrptocon. We found out [about Texas Frightmare Weekend] from some fans there and when we came last year it was so amazing that we decided we had to do this every year. We want to be VIP every year and it’s just special because we get to be someone that we’re not every single day. We get to let loose and the entire atmosphere here is so friendly. Everybody loves everybody else. It’s like a huge community, a huge family. And so it means so much to us that we just decided this has to be a part of our lives from now on.”
The impressive guest list is always a draw for convention attendees and this year was no exception. “I was most excited to meet the cast of Bates Motel. They definitely were more than I expected. Usually the fans have to strike up conversations [but Max Thieriot and Nestor Carbonell] were talking to their fans as if they’ve known them which definitely adds to the whole experience,” Maritza Henson explained. Nicole Erskine, who attended the convention for the fourth time this year was also excited to meet the Bates Motel cast, including Freddie Highmore. Erskine was touched by the special attention Highmore paid to her young son. “As an adult, we don’t have many things that excite us. Excite us in a way similar to being a child on Christmas eve. Can you really think of ANYTHING that makes you feel like that anymore? Anything that makes you excited, and anxious, and so happy you can’t sleep? That’s what frightmare does to me,” Erskine said. “And that’s the reason I keep going back. It makes me excited again. In a way that nothing else in my everyday adult life does.”
Second year attendee Nathan Burroughs enjoys the guests but cites meeting new people with the same interests as one of his favorite things about TFW. “And actually running into the guests at various points of the weekend,” Burroughs said of running into Ric Flair at the hotel bar. Though many attendees I spoke to were returning guests, there were also many new faces at the convention including avid horror buff Josh Rose. “It was my first time attending the 2017 Texas Frightmare. As an avid horror movie fan I can happily say it was truly an honor to meet some of the most humbling and down to earth people from all over the world. I look forward to many more years of setting aside vacation days to attend this fun, exciting and marvelous adventure of Texas Frightmare.”
Whether you are looking to meet some of the creative geniuses behind some of your favorite television shows and movies or if you just want to connect with other horror fans, TFW needs to be on your list of conventions to attend. While many conventions can leave you feeling rushed, TFW has a very relaxed vibe. “What I love about it is we can be from all over the country, the world but we come here and we’re all united under one atmosphere,” Mitchell said. “It’s pure joy and happiness.” The next Texas Frightmare Weekend is scheduled for May 4-6, 2018.