The West Coast Haunter’s Convention (WCHC) is an annual event held in the fair city of Portland, OR each Spring to gather haunt owners and enthusiasts from the U.S. and Canada for a weekend of fun, education and networking. As a general rule, conventions do their best to provide a high level of programming to add value to the ticket. WCHC takes this train of thought very seriously, as a large majority of attendees are proprietors or staff at either home or pro haunts, so the level of information provided on topics from marketing to makeup and scenic design is truly impressive. A small sampling of this year’s roughly 50 courses include topics covering DIY Animation with prop and scene controllers, creating press releases, managing security for haunted attractions, actor’s training and so much more.
Fantastic guest speakers such as Jon Cooke (Knott’s Scary Farm) Ralis Kahn (Resident Evil, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Roy Wooley (Face Off) and Dutch Bihary (Skin Wars) bring the top tier of haunt production and FX design and implementation to attendees with demonstrations and panels.
As a registered non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the WCHC gives proceeds back to a variety of organizations from Aquariums to libraries and a personal favorite, indoor hockey equipment for kids. Primarily the WCHC is raising money for schools for the deaf, making funds available for teachers selected and organization approved activities, as well as a general fund for providing hearing aids to the deaf. The WCHC is truly a community organization, providing support to shoe in need and this event helps facilitate that giving.
Any industry convention is not without it’s parties, and the WCHC is no exception. Each year the 13th floor of the Doubletree is transformed into a series of small room haunts, in which haunt proprietors and their crews create lovely installations for partygoers to experience, and it’s not uncommon for spooks to roam the halls with libations for free consumption, it truly is a party.
Of course there has to be a trade show floor, and WCHC provides a great deal of vendors from large FX supply companies to independent folks selling vintage Halloween accouterment in a fun space that’s not too overwhelming.
For the professional to the home haunter, or even if you’re just a general Halloween enthusiast, the West Coast Haunter’s Convention is an intimate, friendly event that will leave you smiling and ready for October!
For more information on the West Coast Haunters Convention, visit http://hauntersconvention.com/WCHC/