The Midwest Haunters Convention is a gathering for haunted house owners, vendors, actors and
Halloween enthusiasts. Unlike the Transworld Halloween & Attractions Show, MHC is a convention that is
open to the public. Since its humble beginnings in 2004, MHC has grown into one of the most popular
and recognized Halloween and haunted house conventions in the Industry. We would like to give a
shout out to the original organizers of the event: Barry Schieferstein, Kathy Schieferstein, Kelly
Collins & Neena Collins. Without their many years of hard work and dedication, MHC would not have been possible.
Over the years, there have been many changes with the Midwest Haunters Convention, most notably the
change in ownership. In November of 2013, Transworld Trade Shows, LLC announced their acquisition of the
Since then, MHC has transformed into a different & larger show. Up until this year, the convention had remained
in its original host city of Columbus, Ohio. In order to give it room to expand further, in 2019 Transworld
decided to move it to a new venue in Schaumburg, Illinois, near Chicago. This announcement was met with mixed reviews.
MHC was not without its challenges during its first year in the Chicagoland area. Since the show was now
located in an area that wasn't familiar to many attendees, there were some complaints related to the location.
Fans of the food court in Columbus weren't happy to find limited dining options within close proximity of the
Schaumburg Convention Center. This was especially true for vendors on the show floor, who couldn't take the
time to leave and travel by car to find food. While the hotel did offer a free shuttle service, the extended
wait times (up to 90+ minutes) made the service unusable.
Cost was also an issue. MHC fans have always liked the affordable nature of the show. In its many
years of operation, the show admission remained at or below $15. This year, admission increased to $35
per person, which is a 133% percent increase, compared to 2018 admission. While that isn't an outrageous
price for a weekend convention, there was still quite a bit of social media buzz, with people expressing
concern over the possibility of similar increases in future years.
There was also the matter of hotel reservations. Everyone who made reservations with the host hotel
(Renaissance Schaumburg) were greeted with the following notice in their reservation confirmation:
"Guests may cancel reservations without penalty by Apr-14-2019. All existing reservations will be
charged in full on Apr-15-2019 and will be non-refundable."
So, in other words, if you canceled your reservation within 7.5 weeks of the convention, you would be
charged for your entire scheduled stay. That is outrageous! It's just a guess, but perhaps this was risk
mitigation on the part of the hotel. Either way, there were a lot of people unhappy with this policy.
It should be noted that this was not under Transworld's control; however, it is a valid complaint, nonetheless.
Although there were a few snafus, I didn't let that detract from my overall enjoyment of the convention.
I was happy to see the continuation of Scary-Oke, which has been a fan favorite at MHC for years.
Another fun event on Friday evening was the haunt tour of Zombie Army Productions'
HellsGate Haunted House
, where I was fortunate enough to get backstage access.
During the weekend, there were some great activities held on the show floor main stage. Some of our
favorite attractions were the Monster Makeup Wars, the Dating Game of the Dead, the Creature Screecher
Contest and Allen Hopps' Trash Monster Demonstration. We were able to capture some great pictures and video
from these activities, to share with you later in this review.
In the Haunted House Chicago
booth, our good friend Kris Zahrobsky conducted interviews with local haunted house actors / actresses
from the Chicagoland area. The interviews were not only in-depth, but also fun and entertaining.
As can be seen by the pictures posted on this page, the Hardcore Hearse Club had a sizable
display on the show floor, featuring many customized hearses.
Click Thumbnails to Enlarge
I was also pleasantly surprised with the vendors on the show floor, considering this was the
first year at a new location. There were a lot of returning companies, but it should also be
noted that there were also a lot of new companies, as well.
All of the scheduled show floor activities made for a more interesting experience. In fact,
there were so many things to do, it was hard to cover it all.
While there were some logistics problems and minor issues, overall I
was pleasantly surprised with the Midwest Haunters Convention's first year in the Chicagoland area.
It will be interesting to see how this show evolves in its new home.
We hope you enjoy the rest of our 2019 Midwest Haunters Convention review, with video clips of
the fun events, as well as more than 570 pictures. In the vendor floor section of the review, the
pictures are captioned with the name of the company. Also included is a hyperlink to their website,
so you can see more of the great products and services they have to offer the Haunted Attraction Industry.
Please let us know what you thought of the review. Send all feedback to us at HauntedIllinois@gmail.com.
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