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A horror story in the Basin

Organizers prepare for Horror Fest convention

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Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015 6:30 am

Famous slashers, zombies, ghouls, ghosts, and more are coming to the Permian Basin. But don’t worry. Most of it will be costumes, as organizers gear up for the first ever Permian Basin Horror Fest on Oct. 9.

The convention, hosted by SilvrFire LLC, is coming to the Ector County Coliseum and will be bringing a number of famous faces in for the event.

Chris Slatosch, who is organizing the convention, said Tim Miller from “Clown Apocalypse” Alex Vincent from “Childs Play” and “Childs Play 2”, actor Sheri Davis and even Naomi Grossman from “American Horror Story: Freak Show” are all on board to share their passion of horror with the crowds of Odessa.

“Basically we wanted to tap into a different genre,” Slatosch said. “We have a lot of horror fans around here and the nearest convention we have is about five hours away. So this is something for the horror fans.”

At the convention Slatosch said vendors will be selling merchandise, haunted houses will be set up, there will be a zombie transformation booth, and more giving people an opportunity to revel in the genre and share their own ideas on horror.

Something else that the organizer has planned for the event is a film festival and competition. Slatosch said armatures and professionals alike will have the chance to show their very own short films and give the crowd a taste of what horror is to them.

A local horror expert, who is very familiar with the genre in Odessa, will also be on hand for the event.

Billy Pon, or “Bloody Bill” as some may know him, has been running the haunted house Def-Con 1 for a number of years, and has directed three horror films, “Mister Fister,” “Doll Boy” and his current production “Circus of the Dead”.

The director said he is excited about the convention and getting the genre out to the public in Odessa.

“I think it is long overdue,” Pon said about the convention. “Everyone likes horror. To see this convention that is just for horror is cool. There can’t be enough of those types of things. I have gone to a lot of conventions and never thought there would be one in my own backyard.”

Pon will be on hand to talk about his movie “Circus of the Dead” but said he is also excited just to be among the horror fans in the area and have the opportunity to share opinions and passion during the convention.

There will also be another local draw to the event. Organizers are planning to screen an investigative look into the “Kiss of Death” slaying of Elizabeth Jean Williams, a 17-year-old Odessa High School student who was killed in 1961.

Williams’ then boyfriend Mack Herring admitted to killing Williams with a single gunshot to the temple, according to previous reports.

Herring would later lead officers to Williams’ body, which he had weighed down with 50 pounds of lead and dumped in a stock pond near Notrees, according to previous reports.

Herring reportedly told police that Williams asked him to kill her.

While there will be several frightening things to see at the convention, Slatosch said they are going to make it family friendly so fans of all ages can get in on the action.

“We will keep it PG-13 so kids can come out and have a good time too,” Slatosch said. “We range it from kids to adults so there will be something for everyone. We want everyone to come celebrate with us.”

The event is set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Ector County Coliseum.

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