Spooky Empire celebrates the 'dark side of Comic Con' for its 16th year

Creepy con

Spooky Empire celebrates the 'dark side of Comic Con' for its 16th year
Photo courtesy of Spooky Empire
SPOOKY EMPIRE Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28 Caribe Royale Orlando, 8101 World Center Drive spookyempire.com $35-$65 spookyempire.com

You know what's better than parading around wearing a kickass Halloween costume? Parading around wearing a kickass Halloween costume in air conditioning. For its 16th year, thriller convention Spooky Empire is coming to life at a new host hotel, the Caribe Royal Orlando Resort, on Oct. 26 to 28.

The headline attractions are pretty killer: the chance to fulfill your middle-school dreams of meeting just about all the main characters from The X-Files and Cassandra Peterson's 30th anniversary as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

At some point, just about every '90s kid said they wanted to be a "forensic pathologist" when they grew up (just me?), and the reason for that career path was likely The X-Files. At Spooky Empire, both David Duchovny (Fox Mulder) and Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully) will be in attendance on Saturday only, as well as Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Skinner) and William B. Davis (the Cigarette-Smoking Man). Robert Patrick, who took over for Duchovny in Seasons 8 and 9, will also be there, but more attendees are likely to remember him from his role as the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day than as Agent Whatshisname.

Other celebrities with Sharpies at the ready will include Carl Weathers from Rocky and Predator, Peter Criss of K.I.S.S., Sid Haig from The Devil's Rejects and Ricou Browning, who played the original Creature from the Black Lagoon. Original Sanderson sister Kathy Najimy will also attend in celebration of the 25th anniversary of witchy Disney classic Hocus Pocus.

Cassandra Peterson has been retired from Elvira duty at cons for a bit, but she's back this year for a Friday-only, in-costume photo op session, and will sign autographs (no photos) out of costume on Saturday and Sunday. Collectors of Funko Pop! figurines should invest the time in Peterson's line, as a limited-edition "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" figurine will be available for purchase on Friday and Saturday only for $55 at her autograph booth. Figurines are limited to three per customer.

Doors open early this year, on Friday at 1 p.m., to kick off the weekend of activities, festivals, autograph signings and more. As you'd expect, a costume contest is on deck, as well as live music, Q&A sessions with actors, filmmakers and authors, and a tattoo festival.

VIP packages were sold out well before press time, but for those who scored one, you'll get early entry to the event all three days, raffles, T-shirts, autograph line fast passes and access to a VIP party with guest celebs.

But for the plebes, there are still plenty of tickets for photo ops available, starting at $60. No news yet about whether or not Fox Mulder will be sporting that famous red Speedo. Keep your fingers crossed, X-Philes.


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