Liverpool’s first ever horror festival is launching this Halloween and promises to bring all things horror to the city; from a Victorian Séance, film, talks, live theatre and music, costumes, psychics, vaudeville, DJs and everything in between.
The festival has been put together by music publicist Lisa Southern and Liverpool-based illustrator Ilan Sheady from Horror Talk TV.
Lisa said: “I’d been introduced to Ilan over a year ago and we soon got on to subject of horror, his passion and knowledge really was something else.
“I couldn’t believe there wasn’t anything out there bringing all the different aspects of the horror genre together. By the end of his first coffee I planted the seed about starting Liverpool’s own horror festival.”
Ilan said: “Liverpool has been screaming for a festival like this for a long time. In the same way artists like the Beatles lay the ground works for the music industry, Liverpool’s horror icons like Clive Barker, Doug Bradley and Ramsey Campbell will influence millions of artists, writers and directors for years to come and they should be praised in the best way horror fans know how.”
It took another year before the idea became a reality, with the help of Liverpool promoter Ethan Allen. He said: “This year is a taster of what we are all about. We’ve tried to keep it simple, so our three nights of entertainment are based in the same location on Mathew Street but we are already planning next years festival which is going to be massive, longer and will run across many different venues and sites.”
Film will play a big part, with Grimmfest and the British Film Institute announcing a programme of horror classics over the festival.
There are horror readings planned at Waterstones in Liverpool ONE, Zombie Paintball at 1 Mount Pleasant, a Halloween Goes Wrong Party with ?Dead Wrong at club Aura and Haunted Liverpool events across the city.
Grimmfest festival director Simeon Halligan said: “‘Grimm up north’ is quickly becoming the UK’s home of horror and fantasy films outside of London and we are excited to be part of the new Liverpool horror festival this year.
“We’ll be bringing some brilliantly scary screening events to Liverpool over the Halloween period so keep your eyes peeled for vampires, ghouls and monsters of the celluloid kind.”
Other highlights include the Horror Talk horror quiz, to crown the first Master or Mistress of the Macabre 2013, Neal Atkinson’s Psychic night and an alternative 80s and industrial DJ set with Ben Christo from Sisters of Mercy at Eric’s.
Also screening at the festival is the new British horror comedy Stalled, which has been hailed as the new Shaun of the Dead, about a janitor gets trapped in a women’s toilet and encounters an all-out attack by a hoard of zombies.
Some of the cast and crew will be at the screening and audience members are encouraged to dress up as zombies, with horror themed cocktails and refreshments and a few surprises.
Psychic investigator Roy Basnett, will be hosting a Victorian style séance. He explained: “There is a strong belief that by dressing in appropriate outfits from the past you can stimulate a response from the spirit world.
“Therefore we decided to opt for a Victorian séance in full costume, optional for guests. Activities like this were very popular during the Victorian period and some amazing stories have come to light and we hope to recreate this.
“In addition to this, the old fruit exchange is thought to be haunted, the confessional boxes are even still there.”
The Evil Dead multimedia event at Eric’s is the creation of Ivan Hell, from new Liverpool act Songs About Death, with the help of cult artist Esa Shields.
The duo will play their keyboard and synth-based music to a simultaneous screening of the original Evil Dead film and the 2013 remake.
Liverpool Horror Festival Highlights
Thursday 31st October £5 7pm till midnight – Rubber Soul, Mathew Street
Film: Hell Raiser I and Hell Raiser II (Rubber Soul)
Film: Stalled – with cast and crew – zombie outfit optional (Rubber Soul)
Victorian Séance with paranormal investigator Roy Basnett (Rubber Soul II)
Halloween cocktails and refreshments available
Friday 1st November £10 7pm till midnight – Rubber Soul/Eric’s, Mathew Street
Horror Talk Horror Quiz (Rubber Soul II)
Neal Atkinson Psychic night (Rubber Soul II)
Songs About Death performing multi media ear-shattering Evil Dead live
Hell’s Belles (Eric’s)
Ben Christo from Sisters of Mercy DJ set – (Eric’s)
Saturday 2nd November £10 including food – free horror shots and prizes for fancy dress – Eric’s, Mathew Street
El Diablo show live – The Undead Bublé, the Insane Iglesias is the bastard child of Elvis Presley, Rocky Horror and Hammer Horror and his poison cocktail of dreadful entertainment is a heady brew indeed. (Eric’s)
Fancy dress comp (optional) and photo ops
Hell’s Belles (Eric’s)
Mad butchers feast – veggie option available (Eric’s)
Monster Mash – horror house live covers band (Eric’s)
DJ set with Danny Lastat – 50s, 60s rocking horror to the dark side of the 80s (Eric’s)
Day tickets available: 31st Oct £5, Friday 1 Nov & Sat 2 Nov £10 and on the door. 3 day festival pass £20. Tickets available from the Ticket Quarter, Queens Square, Liverpool. Tickets bought in advance get 10% off Smiffy’s fancy dress shop of ticket.
Fringe events with Liverpool Haunted, Grimmfest, Waterstones Liverpool ONE, Zombie paintball, Merseyside Paranormal, FACT and club Aura.