I’m honored to once again welcome my good buddy, Mat Herndon of Mat Digs Horror, back for another year of Halloween Horrors.

Mat has been an amazing supporter of Horror And Sons since almost Day 1. More importantly, he’s been one of the kindest, most generous, most down-to-Earth people I’ve met in these 2 years. I value his friendship immensely.

Just like last year’s entry, Mat provides us with another incredibly personal look into his life as a “horror fan”, covering both his childhood fascination with the genre, as well as what it means to him now. Like so many of us, Mat prepares himself for the season with a visit to a local area horror convention. In this particular case, that convention is Sacramento’s Sinister Creature Con, which is scheduled for Oct 16th-18th this year.

I am so thrilled to be participating in Horror and Sons’ Halloween event for the second year in a row, which is becoming a nice Halloween tradition in itself.

Growing up as a child who is obsessed with Halloween and horror is quite a unique experience. Where other kids got most excited to receive gifts and see the guy in the red suit during Christmas, I was most excited to see the leaves change color and those plastic vampire teeth and spider rings that always seem to make an October appearance. This time of year meant all the other kids would at least for a little while feel the way I felt all year round.

To say I was obsessed with the holiday of Halloween as a kid is an understatement. Sure, getting free candy was cool, but what I loved most was costumes and seeing violent movies on television. Michael Myers and Pumkinhead were my idols. I wanted so much to just spend a day with them. For years I believed I was the only one.

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About a decade and a half later, I see just how wrong I was. Last year I attended Sinister Creature Con for the first time. It was such a treat to see people from all over enjoying the sights just as much as I was. Judith O Dea, people dressed as Beetlejuice, and great vendors. I wasn’t born in Sacramento, but it is where my obsession really took off as a little kid. So, to see all the enthusiasm for horror during the Halloween season meant so much to me.

These people were just like me. They had seen every Friday the 13th at least fifteen times. They wear masks just because it’s Tuesday. They know what it is like to be that kid watching Evil Dead for the thousandth time on VHS. I knew I officially wasn’t alone.

This year expects to be just as much fun, if not more. Right in the middle of the month of October, I’ll be celebrating the spirit of the Halloween season with guests like John Kassir, along with friends I have known for years and some friends from the horror community I will be meeting for the first time. Halloween used to feel like my holiday with a couple of people mildly playing along. Now, I get the chance to actually be a part of something that feels like a community.

Sinister Creature Con is run by people who actually take time and have a real passion for the genre and everything the Halloween season means to weirdos like myself. This is not just some day on the calendar, it is a passion for more people than I had realized as a kid. I’m counting down the days until I am surrounded by the people who understand and appreciate this.

I can only hope this becomes a Halloween tradition for years to come. Meeting horror celebrities, attending special effects panels, and grabbing some sweet goodies from vendors sounds like a great yearly routine to me. This has been a nice evolution from that little kid who used to take notes from the horror films he would purchase as they were on sale every October. That young version of Mat who didn’t know how to communicate with people unless the topic of Halloween or horror came up would be so excited to participate in an event like Sinister Creature Con.

So, to all the local Halloween freaks, and maybe some non-locals, if you are tired of feeling misunderstood or just want to feel the true spirit of Halloween, Sinister Creature Con is the place to be.

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