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Local News: Sci-Fi Horror Fest Comes to Vernon Downs Aug. 26th and 27th

The 4th Annual “Sci-Fi Horror Fest” is coming to Vernon Downs Hotel and Casino on August 26th and 27th. Lovers of horror will be able to take part in the festival’s celebrity headliners, merchandise tables, panels and workshops, tattooing, and more. 

As a self-professed horror fan, I’m certainly excited for the festival, and am glad for an opportunity to visit one so close to my backyard. 

In preparation for the festival, I had the chance to sit down with Tiffani-Beth, event co-promoter, to talk about bringing horror to Central New York and what to expect at this year’s festival. 

Tiffani-Beth shared that the festival started — 4 years ago — as an author convention with only authors and wrestlers. But before long, they were able to bring in people from “Ghosthunters” and other horror-themed content. Said Tiffani-Beth about the horror element, “It’s a fit, and we love it. I feel like the horror community is really accepting and full of love.” 

Tiffani-Beth and her husband Dennis (whose company is called Bloody Murder Productions) are hoping this latest convention will allow people to come, have a great experience, and leave with “amazing memories.” 

Some of the On-Site Talent

Lovers of horror films will no doubt recognize some of the talent that the convention has brought to bear. Richard Masur, from the “IT” TV-Mini Series (1990) and the movie “The Thing,” by Director John Carpenter, will be at the event. Joining him will be actor C.J. Graham, who played Jason Voorhees in “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives” and actor David Howard Thornton who played Art the Clown in the horror film “Terrifier.” 

Vendors, Events, and More

In addition to celebrities who will be on hand to take photographs and offer autographs, there will also be vendors and activities for horror lovers to take part in. 

There will be a ‘Sweeney Todd’ impersonator present, who will be doing haircuts. Tiffani-Beth stated this will include custom clipper art, haircuts, and shaves for both men and women. 

“Cosplay is definitely encouraged,” Tiffani-Beth stated. 

There will also be a media corner, where podcasters — including one of the festival’s sponsors, ‘Geek Pod’ — who will be broadcasting live through the whole weekend on their respective channels. 

Vendors at the festival will include: Nevermore Tattoo Collective, who will be doing appointments during the event,  Crispy’s Toys, Twisted Imperfections Creations, Sandy Streun, psychic medium, Blondies Not So Simple Syrups, Hickering Wickheads, and more. Additionally, Grimm will be making custom horror masks. 

There will also be solid paranormal representation, featuring Cayo Industrial Horror Realm (Rome), Atrophy Escape Ward (Rome), and Agent Paranormal. According to Tiffani-Beth, Atrophy will also be offering a discount for the weekend — they will be offering a discount at their Rome location with the coupon code ‘sci-fi horror.’ 

Merchandise will of course be available for purchase. In specific, Tiffani-Beth states vendors such as Buy My Tie Dye and My Bloody Apparel will be among the most notable. 

According to the event website at, tickets are still available to purchase. Tickets are $15 for the day or $20 for a two-day pass. Vendor tables (6-foot table with two chairs) at this point have been sold out, but questions can be directed to Bloody Murder Productions via email at More information about the event can also be found on Facebook at 

For lovers of all things horror, the 4th Annual Sci-Fi Horror Fest should suit your needs. If horror, vendors, celebrities, and merch are your thing, but you crave a smaller venue, this is the event for you. 

Mark Ziobro
Mark Ziobro
Mark is the current Managing Editor for The Utica Phoenix, and a Central New York Native.

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