Halloween's Early: ScareLA Convention

Learn about make-up, yard haunts, and the history of the Haunted Mansion.

What's at the top of your must-do list for the first week of August?

Some people are addressing back-to-school shopping. Some are planning one more quick weekend away, before classes kick off. And a few of us are building eight-foot-tall smoke-breathing monsters with LED lights for eyes and moving arms and legs.

True, Halloween is still nearly three months away, but not for the many SoCalers who are full-on enamored with the eeriest of annual occasions. ScareLA, "the first Los Angeles convention dedicated to celebrating Halloween" is back on Saturday, Aug. 9 and Sunday, Aug. 10 to serve those fans, fans who boast an obsessiveness with Halloween that borders on Gomez and Morticia's love (to use an "Addams Family" reference) or a certain vampire's quest for a certain libation (to go all "Dracula" on you).

So does one simply trick-or-treat and bob for apples at the con, which'll take over a good chunk of LA Mart-The Reef downtown? That's a big nope: ScareLA is very much about helping its attendees learn the best way to construct a yard haunt, create realistic make-up, build complex costumes, and learn terrifying techniques from professionals and incredibly involved amateur haunters.

Vendors'll be vending various goopy, eeky, screamy products for your Halloween needs, Terror Trucks'll give a dose of that walk-through horror house fun, experts shall Q&A on all matters monsterly, and Disneyland's Haunted Mansion gets a few different tributes on the occasion of its 45th anniversary.

Who out there knows the elevator spiel inside the Mansion? Yeah, it's a SoCal thing.

Are all of these happenings just the tip of the iceburg -- or the castle, rather -- for ScareLA? Truly. In just its second year, the convention brings all manner of Halloween expertise and all-out entertainment to the locals who live the holiday for much of the year.

But October is just the month after next and giant smoke-breathing figures must be built. Are you ready to haunt, scary souls of Southern California? Better step up your ghoulish game fast, as fast as a werewolf runs through the forest. (Read: Pretty dang fast.)

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