For the Love of Horror – BEC Arena, Trafford Park (Overview)

 For the Love of Horror – BEC Arena, Trafford Park (Overview)

Surprise! I’m back with more horror related content! (Only a few days after my Halloween Kills review, too.) This time it’s in the form of an event that I went to at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford Park, called For the Love of Horror. This is something that, since it was first held in Manchester back in 2018, I’ve always wanted to attend – as a big horror buff myself. So, as soon as I saw there were tickets still available for this year’s event, I just had to get them, and experience this marvellous convention in all its terrifying glory!

Sure, comic cons aren’t exactly something brand spanking new – they have been around for quite a while – but Monopoly Events brings the love for horror (not a pun I promise) to the public and smashes it at every turn. Their third FTLOH event was a sellout and probably one of their biggest, with guests such as Tim Cappello (The Lost Boys), Alex Vincent (the Child’s Play franchise), Rachel True (The Craft) and the one and only Tim Curry (need I say more?!) being present! 

And now with tickets already being available for next year and rapidly being bought, it’s no wonder that this event gets a fairly positive reception. Attending this year’s event, I didn’t get up to too much, as I didn’t plan on going trigger happy on spending as such, but even though my time there was a little short, it was still great – let us have a look at the things I enjoyed, shall we? 

What is For the Love of Horror Exactly?

For the Love of Horror is a celebration of everything, well, horror! It’s a convention that has been running since 2018, consistently including celebrity guest appearances from various horror films, television shows and video games, as well as a variety of traders and lots of people dressed up as their favourite horror icons.

For the Love of Horror is held exclusively at Bowlers Exhibition Centre, situated in Trafford Park, Stretford, Greater Manchester (although it’s a bit of a distance to get to if you don’t drive like me). Running from 9 am to 6 pm, there is plenty of things to do there: visiting the trader’s hall and buying merchandise, going into the scare maze (I’ll talk about how that went later), meeting guests and doing photo ops with them (sadly I did not get the chance this year). And of course, getting photos taken with all the lovely visitors in their fantastic costumes. 

The Traders

Though a little bit busy to make my way around the trader’s hall (which is to be expected with so many horror fans about!), it was a sight to see such a diverse array of vendors selling very unique items: forms skulls and props, vintage vinyl figures and toys, handmade Gothic Victorian-esque objects, movie posters and portraits, costumes, and much, much more! It was kind of like the Christmas markets in a way, except it was aimed purely at horror fans, and it just felt so exclusive and unique. As this was my first time, I wasn’t planning on spending a lot (although the temptation was killing me not to buy every creepy thing I saw – maybe next time?), but I did manage to get a couple of things, including a skull from Pigeon Creek Studio and an IT hoodie that reads “We all float down here”.

Trader’s Hall at For the Love of Horror

The Scare Maze

Now, of course I had to go into the scare maze at least for my first time there, although even from the outside I was dreading it. And of course, there were times that I wasn’t fazed at all, and then others where I just jumped out of my skin due to some scares I didn’t anticipate. But either way, I have to give props to the actors for doing a great job creeping me out (especially the one that apprehended my leg when I was in the crawl space – that legitimately frighted me). 

The Costumes 

What was my favourite thing about my first time attending For the Love of Horror, I hear you ask? The costumes, of course! Oh, there were so many to look at – just a sea of horror enthusiasts and fanatics, dressing up as some of the most memorable and respected figures in horror culture. I got quite a few photos of people who were dressed up, but we’d be here all day if I was to go through them all and show them to you. However, I have my favourites, such as Freddy Mercury Krueger – a twist on Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street that blended Freddie Mercury from the ‘I Want to Break Free’ music video to create this amazing and creative outfit. 

Aside from Krueger with their hover blasting queen down the aisles of the trader’s hall, some of my other favourite outfits include: Nadja from What We Do in the Shadows (the “No Nuns” sign made me giggle); Scarecrow from Batman (a very tall yet frightening one indeed); and of course, one of my favourite horror villains, Pyramid Head from the terrifying Silent Hill game series (just look at the size of his sword!).

Credit goes to Judia Scott, Paige Morgan Bottomley, Joe Stones and Hal Bonella (all pictured below) for their awesome costumes. Thanks, guys!

Cosplay at For the Love of Horror

My Return to For the Love of Horror for 2022

Well, it’s safe to say that for my first time, it was such a joy to be in a place filled with so many horror fans of all ranges, with a fantastical array of costumes and some interesting merchandise. Overall it was an unforgettable experience, and I am definitely returning for next year’s event. There’s such a special atmosphere within a convention, but a horror convention just increases that feel: the community is so great and caring, it feels like home.

For my return, I will most likely be dressing up – as what exactly I’m not too sure yet, but you’ll find out soon enough. And here’s hoping that I get to meet some guests next time too (with the guest announcements for next year, I have my eyes set on Damien Leone and David Howard Thornton from Terrifier!)

On the horror-related note, why not have a read of my review for Malignant, a dark and twisted tale about a woman’s past with someone she thought was in her head coming back into her life and causing all sorts of gory and grizzly mayhem. Not into gore? How about a more comedic approach to the genre: Freaky is a modern-day twist on the slasher genre, with a Freaky Friday-type feel and tons of jokes and kills.

Andrew Campbell

A book worm and film enthusiast, looking for more ways to make an impact within the creative industry. Andrew has gained experience through copywriting, blog writing, social media marketing and developing video trailers.

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