Fiends and fans flock to Flint fright fest

By Brian Johnston

Scores of horror enthusiasts descended upon the Flint Masonic Temple for the second annual Flint Horror Con Oct. 20.

The event brought artists, writers, directors, producers, vendors, actors and fans together for one day of frights and fun. Events included live tattooing, costume contests, question-and-answer sessions and movie screenings.

Event coordinator Chris Ringler described the convention as a “dream come true.”

“I’m a big horror nerd and always loved the stuff,” Ringler said. “This whole region has this huge love of horror.”

Ringler said he “fooled” a bunch of friends into joining his “mad crusade” after receiving his tax return last year, when the first Flint Horror Con was held.

Organizer Glen Birdsall said he and Ringler had done many events downtown for about 20 years now. He said he and Ringler used to attend similar conventions.

“We’ve always been big supporters of downtown (Flint). We’ve always tried to bring cool things down here that people hadn’t done before,” Birdsall said. “As a kid, I would have loved to have had something like that near me.”

The convention included two costume contests.

Eight-year-old Hailey Williams won the children’s costume contest with a recreation of Chucky from the “Child’s Play” films.

St. Louis resident Raven Lunitic won the adult costume contest with his undead conductor outfit.

“Originally I worked as a conductor on a railroad train at Six Flags,” Lunitic said. “I thought that it would be an interesting design to manipulate into my character.”

Wolfman Mac Kelly of “Wolfman Mac’s Chiller Drive-In” acted as “Master of Terror-Moaning” for the event.

“Every year, this is going to grow,” Kelly said. “It won’t be too long; I don’t think (Ringler will) be able to do it in the Masonic Temple anymore.”

Birdsall said other conventions wind up “forcing growth,” which raises ticket prices and decreases accessibility.

“We don’t want to physically grow,” Birdsall said. “We want to make it better. We would like to keep it here (at the Masonic Temple) as long as possible.”