The Spooky Spectacle is like Comic-Con’s edgy, goth cousin. Instead of comic books and movies, this two-day local event formerly known as the Granbury Paranormal Expo is all about ghost hunting, horror, and sci-fi, and it’s coming to Will Rogers Saturday and Sunday.
Spooky Spectacle cofounders Brandy Herr and her mom Coletta Henderson don’t see anything wrong with starting the Halloween season early (or early-ish), especially since there’s a growing debate about moving the holiday to the last Saturday of October every year. Spooky Spectacle has been a September treat for nine years now.
Herr and Henderson started out with the Granbury Ghosts and Legends walking tour in the spring and summer of 2010 before joining the North Texas paranormal team Research and Investigation of the Paranormal. “From our experiences with the tours and the investigations,” Herr said, Henderson “had the idea of creating an event for paranormal groups and other like-minded enthusiasts to come together.”
The infamously unpredictable Texas weather caused the mother-daughter “ghostbusters” to seek an indoor venue and shift from early summer to early fall. With the move, it made sense to bill the event as an extremely early start to Halloween, Herr said. Shifting to fall gave them the formula they stuck with until they outgrew their venue in Granbury.
To start off the Spooky Spectacle in Fort Worth, a lot of the guests are North Central Texas locals, including. Nick “Mad Titan Cosplay” Glover, a professional builder of Texas-sized costumes and props; 10-year-old professional cosplayer and actress Maddy “Lil Beastie” Lea; and professional DJ and cosplayer Veeanna “DJ Veonix” Nuley.
Glover is excited for the event’s move to the 817. “I try to get out to Funkytown as much as I can,” he said. “It’s is a great city and should have more conventions. I go to several in the Tarrant County area throughout the year.”
Glover, who lives in Lewisville, is well known around Texas – among con-goers and those who watch local morning news – for dressing as the Avengers’ big baddie, Thanos. He’s made a full-time career for himself based around his knack for making massive costumes and props, including a sized-to-his-scale Forky from Toy Story 4, which pairs nicely with his Buzz Lightyear suit.
Glover said moving Halloween is semi-irrelevant since the whole month of October is the busiest time of the year for him. “Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year,” he said. “I try to step out of my comfort zone and do something different each year. This past Halloween, my wife and I went as ‘French KISS.’ We painted our faces like the band KISS and wore berets.”
Born and raised in Haltom City, Maddy Lea started acting “as a haunter at age 5,” said mom Tammy Hendrix. “Her love of dressing up led her to cosplay.”
After meeting the organizers of Spooky Spectacle, she was invited to appear at the event.
“She hopes to one day star in a feature-length horror movie,” Hendrix said. “Until then, she will scare anytime she is given opportunity. She hopes that other children will embrace their differences, even if it’s dressing up as a killer clown, and follow their dreams.”
The guests and hosts seem in favor of moving Halloween to a weekend.
“For the future,” Herr said, “we just hope to see the event grow and succeed, since we have always loved attending horror and pop-culture events. The move to a much larger venue will give us the ability to expand our reach and include not just paranormal groups and metaphysical readers like we had previously.”
Sat-Sun at Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3401 W Lancaster Av, FW. $10.