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Midsummer Scream returns to Long Beach with Lionsgate haunt, 'Dragula' stars and more

This dastardly summer soiree has brought mazes, Halloween vendors, celebrities and jump scares to the city since 2016 — and will do it again later this month.

Midsummer Scream returns to Long Beach with Lionsgate haunt, 'Dragula' stars and more
A few ghouls at the 2023 Midsummer Scream. Courtesy of Midsummer Scream.

Die-hard fright fans and those who just can't wait another few months to celebrate Halloween will commandeer the Long Beach Convention Center once again from July 26 to 28.

This year will bring a slew of new and veteran horror stars, including "Paranormal Activity" actors and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark herself. This year also marks a first for the annual spooktacular gathering as it will unveil its first walk-through haunt created by a major film studio.

The attraction has summoned tens of thousands each year — save for a COVID hiatus — to revel in the con's haunted mazes, celebrity appearances, immersive performances and vendors since it first came to town in 2016.

Costumes are encouraged and you can find out what is and isn't allowed here.

Tickets start at $38 for a Friday day pass and go up to $150 for a weekend VIP pass. General weekend passes are $69. More information here.

Everything you need to know about this year's offerings:

Star power

This year will usher in "Dragula" stars and executive producers The Boulet Brothers. Swanthula and Dracmorda Boulet are expected to sign autographs on all three days. Veteran horror queen Cassandra Peterson, who has famously portrayed Elvira since 1981, will appear on Friday and Saturday.

The cast of "The Black Phone" will also be in tow, featuring stars Mason Thams, Jeremy Davies and Madelein McGraw.

Kat Schuster was laid off from the Long Beach Post on March 22, yet she still authors Clocked Out and serves as editor of the Watchdog without pay. Thank her for her work.

Here's the convention's full celebrity lineup:

  • Micah Sloat - "Paranormal Activity"
  • Tony Todd - "Candyman," "The Crow," "Final Destination"
  • Roger L. Jackson - "Scream"
  • Jenna Davis - "M3gan"
  • Nathan the Catlady
  • Katie Featherson - "Paranormal Activity"
  • Peaches Christ
  • Derek Mears - "Friday the 13th"
  • David Dastmalchian - "Late Night With The Devil"
  • Vamp - Host of "The Fiends"
  • Nikk Alcares - Author of "Peculiar Baking"
  • Ken Foree - "Halloween," "Dawn of the Dead"
  • Dana DeLorenzo - "Ash vs Evil Dead"
  • Bob Gurr - Imagineer and creator of the Doom Buggy for Disney's Haunted Mansion attraction
  • John Kassier - "Tales from the Crypt"
  • Barbara Steele - "Black Sunday," "The Pit and the Pendulum"
  • Victoria Price - Daughter of Vincent Price
  • Grimm Life Collective

Hall of Horrors

The Hall of Horrors at the 2023 Midsummer Scream. Courtesy of Midsummer Scream.

Each year, a massive darkened room, dubbed the Hall of Horrors, hosts haunted houses and mazes akin to those found at Knott's Scary Farm while costumed ghouls and monsters wander around the foggy chamber.

This year, Lionsgate, the studio behind "The Hunger Games," "Saw" and "American Psycho," has teamed up with Jon Cooke of Plague Productions to design "Gears of Fear: Explore the Legacy of Lionsgate® Horror."

Cooke has been the lead designer of the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, Knott's Scary Farm and LA's Haunted Hayride, convention organizers confirmed.

Dark Harbor returns to the historic Queen Mary this fall
The premier haunt will descend on the historic liner with its famed monsters, mazes and themed bars this Halloween season after a four-year hiatus.

Inside the hall, there will be some dozen attractions for fans to explore, including beloved returning haunts such as Pizza Planet Truck and the Santa Ana Haunt's Hunting Grounds. Santa Ana Haunt will also host a Happy Huntings Bar for guests 21 and up to enjoy specialty cocktails.

More frights

A costumed pair visit the vendor hall. Photo courtesy of Midsummer Scream.

Guests can visit the Black Cat Lounge and its dozens of adoptable cats. There will also be a gore-and-scare-free area, Paranormal Pixie's Pumpkin Patch, for children that will include book readings and other activities.

Five stages and breakout rooms will host horror-related panels, presentations and performances. Then, guests can check out "LA's most terrifying theatrical experience" at Urban Death's showings all day Saturday and Sunday.

And, of course, there will be hundreds of vendors to shop all throughout the weekend.

For more information about Midsummer Scream and to purchase tickets, visit this link.

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