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Tucson Terrorfest returns this October

Taken+last+year+at+Tucson+TerrorFest+at+191+Toole.+%28Courtesy+of+Michael+Olivares%29
Taken last year at Tucson TerrorFest at 191 Toole. (Courtesy of Michael Olivares)

Tucson’s only horror convention is back in town for its fourth annual year. 

On Oct. 21 and 22, horror-obsessed Tucsonans will be able to check out local vendors and horror artists at the Tucson Terrorfest Horror Convention, located at 191 E. Toole Ave.

Tucson Terrorfest also features a horror film festival. This will be the film festival’s 13th annual year and will have movie screenings at 127 E. Congress St. The screenings will be from Oct. 19 through Oct. 22. 

The horror convention started when the co-owner, Michael Olivares, pitched the idea to the film festival’s founder, David Pike

Olivares enjoyed Tucson’s comic-book conventions and thought it would be a great idea to start a horror convention since there wasn’t one in Tucson. 

This will be the second year the convention is held at 191 Toole, and there will be about 40 vendors ranging from horror writers to taxidermy vendors. Olivares enjoys having the convention at 191 Toole because of its spooky basement environment. 

“The venue itself is very unique. It has a horror movie theme going on, a lot of the vendors liked the space last year, it feels like the inside of a cabin,” Olivares said. 

Olivares is most excited to see the growth of the convention and returning vendors as well as attendees.

“The thing about Tucson natives is that they are into the creative vendors, artists, self-published creators,” Olivares said. 

With the convention being homegrown, Olivares tried to keep the prices fairly cheap. Day passes for the horror con are $10

You are able to go back and forth from the festival and convention with the pass. You can enjoy some horror films, and when you need a break, you can go check out some vendors, according to Olivares.

Taken last year at Tucson TerrorFest at 191 Toole. (Courtesy of Michael Olivares)

First-time vendor, Woodland Wanderland, is an oddities and curiosities shop that will be selling wet specimens, taxidermy art and trinkets. 

Founder, Sarah Simpson, began selling her artwork because she wants to honor the life the animals once had. 

“I don’t kill animals. I like animals. That is why I do this. I want to honor them, to preserve them,” Simpson said. 

Simpson is excited to join this year’s convention to meet and connect with everyone else who enjoys collecting odd items, she said. 

Artist and comic book writer, Tom Walbank, will be selling his artwork and promoting his horror comic book that takes place in Tucson. 

“The convention is great, and it was nice to meet the community that was into horror films and comics and model making,” Walbank said.

Walbank did not know there was a horror community before he started writing his comic book, or vending at the convention. 

“The community is a real safe place. If people from the outside are thinking about the community and are scared, it’s a safe, family-friendly environment,” Walbank said. 

Although Walbank’s comic book is about vampires, he will leave the dressing up to the professionals and children.


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