It’s barely into summer and we’re talking about Halloween! But in the haunt world, these things take time.

Winchester Mystery House Debuts New Tour for 2016 13383852_10154173118206000_1766949897_o


As autumn winds swirl, full moons rise and black cats come out to play, its time to book a visit to the legendary Winchester Mystery House, one of America’s most legendary haunted mansions, as it introduces Halloween Candlelight Tours. In a chilling and Gothic atmosphere, guests to this all-new immersive experience have just themselves, flickering candlelight and their imagination to guide them through the storied 160-room Victorian mansion noted for its “activity.”

Brave souls can experience Halloween by candlelight at Winchester Mystery House during only 10 evenings in October 2016 (Oct. 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22 and 28 – 31). Ticket prices vary from $35 – $49 and go on sale Friday, September 2 at

On this new guided tour, candlelight provides the only illumination through the bewildering maze of rooms, frozen in a state of arrested decay or still resplendent in Victorian grandeur. Although touches of festive Halloween abound, the atmosphere is heavy with foreboding as an unseen presence seems to be watching at all times. Unnerving? Perhaps, but after all, what can one expect from a home that is 132 years old, shrouded in legend and has played host to well over 10 million people from around the world (including the great Harry Houdini himself)? You never know who has decided to permanently stay behind or what may materialize. “There are numerous Halloween attractions that pop-up in October but we’re the year-round, real deal,” states Walter Magnuson, General Manager of Winchester Mystery House. “TIME magazine has called us one of the ‘Most Haunted Places in the World’ and this Halloween we’re enhancing what’s already here with an all-new macabre, atmospheric, and truly creepy overlay with our limited time only Halloween Candlelight Tour offering.”

The nighttime tour of the intimidating mansion will give visitors the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild. Guests are sure to punctuate their visit with nervous exclamations of “Did you hear that?”, “What’s that in the corner?”, “Do you see what I see!?”

“During the candlelit visit some kind of paranormal force will definitely be awakened within the house, much to the shock of guests on the tour,” states Peter Overstreet, one of the successful directors at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. “This all-new experience for guests to the Winchester Mystery House will be both a physical visit and a great example of ‘theater of the mind’ where your imagination is coerced to fill in the blanks to even more frightful effect.”

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Winchester Mystery House Coming to Midsummer Scream

Photo: Rick West
Photo Courtesy of Rick West

Midsummer Scream, Southern California’s premier Halloween, haunt and horror festival to be held July 30 – 31 at the Long Beach Convention Center, has unleashed a steady stream of announcements, from world-class theme park presentations to professional makeup demonstrations, and a massive show floor filled with artisans and vendors of the macabre. The most famous haunted house in California has now been added to the festival’s lineup; a storied mansion so legendary that its name is revered by fans and ghost hunters around the world… Winchester.

The Winchester Mystery House will be hosting an unprecedented 60-minute presentation and panel discussion on Sunday July 31 featuring rare photographs, never-before-seen footage and ghost stories from the sprawling 160-room Victorian mansion in the San Francisco Bay Area. WINCHESTER: California’s Original Haunted House will feature Walter Magnuson, General Manager Winchester Mystery House; Tim O’Day, Director of Communications for Winchester Mystery House; and Peter Overstreet, event producer of Winchester Mystery House’s all-new Halloween Candlelight Tours.


During the spirited presentation, Winchester Mystery House representatives will discuss the history of the property, its reputation for being a paranormal activity hotspot, an upcoming episode of Ghost Adventures, their recent James Van Praagh séance, brand-new Halloween Candlelight Tours, plans for winter events, and feature film Winchester, by Michael and Peter Spierig, starring Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren.

Courtesy Fathom Events
Whom we saw just a couple weeks ago on Fab News, in The Shakespeare Show. Courtesy Fathom Events

“We’re so excited to be bringing the incredible story and legend of the Winchester Mystery House to Midsummer Scream attendees,” said Walter Magnuson, General Manager of Winchester Mystery House. “Our estate is considered one of America’s foremost and most legendary haunted homes, so it’s fitting that we are a part of this inaugural event and we’re eager to share never-before-seen imagery and never-before-heard paranormal tales.”

Winchester Mystery House’s presence will be felt throughout the Midsummer Scream weekend as well at their booth in the Museum of Paranormal History, a curated section of the show floor featuring all things paranormal.

The Museum of Paranormal History

The Museum of Paranormal History will feature more than a dozen exhibitors on the show floor including Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum which will be showcasing their vintage Ouija boards, ParaXplorer ProjectDearly Departed Tours,Haunted Vegas ToursPlanet Paranormal known for their wide variety of fantastic radio talk shows, Orange County Ghosts and Legends tour and paranormal investigation group, and the Winchester Mystery House which will be featured in a major presentation on Sunday July 31 and will have actual pieces from the famous Northern California mansion on display – some for sale – at their booth. To ensure nothing gets out of hand, members of the Southland Ghostbusters cosplay group will be present throughout the weekend.

Spearheading the Museum of Paranormal History at Midsummer Scream are Richard Carradine, Founder of GHOULA – Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles – and Connor Bright, historian and owner of the popular blog What’s YOUR Ghost Story?

Here’s the Info on Midsummer Scream:

Presentations Include (but are subject to change, you know the drill):

Walt Disney Imagineering Presents: The Art of Illusioneering

An unprecedented look at the history and future of special effects illusions within its theme parks, from Yale Gracey and The Haunted Mansion to modern-day Imagineers creating galaxies far, far away!

Universal Studios® Halloween Horror Nights® presentation

John Murdy (Creative Director) and Chris Williams (Art Director) will take the Midsummer Scream stage to discuss the process behind creating Universal Studios® Halloween Horror Nights®.

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor presentation

Members of the wildly-popular Halloween event’s creative team will discuss what fans can expect for Dark Harbor 2016, including a major new maze reveal, along with the brand-new character it’s based on!

Haunted Theme Parks

Forget mazes and scare zones set up for the Halloween season — SoCal’s favorite theme parks are haunted by real ghosts year round. Hear the legends and true stories tied to the hauntings of Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm, and Disneyland. Hosted by GHOULA (the Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles).

Knott’s Scary Farm presentation

Meet the team behind the granddaddy of theme park haunts as they discuss what will be emerging from the haunt veil when Knott’s Scary Farm returns for its 44th year.

Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest presentation

The sprawling landscape and world class roller coasters of Six Flags Magic Mountain provides unique opportunities to frighten Halloween crowds. Join their team as they talk about what it takes to put on their annual Fright Fest.

Spooky Science!

See the science of a bleeding pumpkin! Witness the chemistry of disappearing ghost writing! Thrill to the creeps of invisible worms! These and more are presented for your wonder and edification as the Columbia Memorial Space Center melds science with spooks for this Halloween season! Our scientists have never been so mad!

Spirits with Spirits: Haunted Bars of Southern California

Ghost story experts discuss their personal encounters with the supernatural at local watering holes. Presented by GHOULA (the Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles).

That’s all fine and good, but the thing that’s going to get me to crack my wallet and let the moths fly free is the classes and workshops. They’re actually FREE with admission to Midsummer Scream, though some have a materials fee if you’re going to make a macabre masterpiece to take home to the loved ones. This isn’t glue some sparkles on craft paper, either. There’s over two dozen classes, all taught by Haunt and showbiz pros. I will see you there with my messiest apron on. 

  • How to Make Trees for Your Yard Display or Haunted House
    • CalHaunts, Diane Meyer, Shannon Thompson
  • Deadly Delectables with The Homicidal Homemaker
    • Kaci Hansen, The Homicidal Homemaker
  • Make Your Own Tombstone
    • SoCal Valley Haunters
  • Paper Mache Halloween Madness
    • CalHaunts, Sandie Schneider
  • Silicone Mold Making Basics
    • SoCal Valley Haunters
  • Fog Machines 101: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
    • Fog it Up!, Joey Olaerts
  • Swamp/Witch Lanterns
    • SoCal Valley Haunters
  • Faux Stone Walls Demo
    • CalHaunts, Diane Meyer
  • Haunt Design for Effective Scares and Great Flow
    • Roger Hayes
  • Make Your Own Tombstone
    • SoCal Valley Haunters
  • A Haunter’s Guide to Scare Acting
    • Cierra Skelton
  • Yard Display to Home Haunt Walk-Through
    • CalHaunts, Diane Meyer, Jason Thompson, Melissa Thompson, Preston Meyer
  • Foam Fabrication 101
    • CalHaunts, Diane Meyer, Preston Meyer
  • Faux Finishes for Facades and Props
    • Hollywood Haunter, Jeanna Docter
  • Beginners Guide to Online Marketing
    • Haunt Store, Isidro Hernandez, Jaycen Tee
  • Swamp/Witch Lanterns
    • SoCal Valley Haunters
  • How to Make Glowing Embers
    • CalHaunts, Guy Myers
  • Behind the Screams! of Paranormal Inc. at Knott’s Scary Farm
    • Ian Barnette, James Sidler, Jen Hernandez, Jon Cooke, Maria “Pasta” Rago
  • Make Your Own Tombstone
    • SoCal Valley Haunters
  • Chill Out and Fog It Up!
    • Fog it Up!, Joey Olaerts
  • Home to Pro Haunt with the Bloodshed Brothers
  • Silicone Mold Making Basics
    • SoCal Valley Haunters
  • Foam Fabrication Using L200
    • CalHaunts, David King
  • How to Write Scares That Jump Off the Page (and Screen)!
    • Horror Writers Association Los Angeles
  • Mid-Century Macabre Decor with The Homicidal Homemaker
    • Kaci Hansen, The Homicidal Homemaker

Tickets are now on sale, with new information regarding Midsummer Scream being updated frequently at

Oingo Boingo Dance Party Announced as Headliner for Midsummer Scream’s Noche de los Muertos Bash


Let’s have a party, there’s a full moon in the sky! Midsummer Scream is thrilled to announce Oingo Boingo Dance Party will headline its Noche de los Muertos (Night of the Dead) celebration and costume contest at the Long Beach Convention Center Saturday evening July 30th, 2016.

Oingo Boingo Dance Party is comprised of former Oingo Boingo members Johnny VatosSteve BartekJohn AvilaSam “Sluggo” PhippsCarl Graves and Doug Lacy, along with a host of other wildly-talented musicians that keep the legacy of the iconic band alive and thriving for fans of multiple generations.

Known for their unique sound which includes explosive percussion, electrifying guitar riffs and a full horns section, Oingo Boingo Dance Party’s extensive song catalogue includes Only a LadLittle GirlsWeird ScienceNo One Lives Forever, and the venerable Dead Man’s Party. The band hosted Halloween shows in Irvine each year at the height of its popularity, with thousands of “Tender Lumplings” – the given nickname for their adoring fans – showing up in costumes and skeletal makeup, as the underlying thematic style of the group commonly centered around Dia de los Muertos.

 Elhoffer Designs Makes Bounding WORK


Do you hate adulting as much as I do? Or do you not mind it, but hate the clothes you have to wear to do it in your average, traditional office environment? Catherine Elhoffer feels our pain, and has just the remedy – with no stomach-knotting side effects: office-friendly designs that are flattering to any size, easy to care for (because if you work full-time, or full-time PLUS like many/most, who has time, right?) and give callouts to your favorite fandom while leaving your clueless boss…well, clueless. Blissfully so.

“Mischief” Office Wear

Launch of Mischief Blazer and Dress Elhoffer Designs brings Geek Bound to the office!
It’s finally here. It’s a bird, it’s a plane; no, it’s office Geek Chic. Elhoffer Design’s Geek-Inspired women’s blazers lets fangirls dress themselves in pieces color-blocked and inspired by powerful characters to take on just about anything.

As a small business of one, Elhoffer Design is creating luxury geek-inspired fashion for the modern fangirl. Catherine, the founder and creator, is on a mission to bring street fashion to the geek world, using color, lines, and texture to create fashion pieces that will empower fangirls while helping them fit in while in the mortal realm. Each collection she releases is a limited run, with small quantities being produced to ensure quality is maintained at the Los Angeles-based factory she teams with to bring her fashions to customers around the world.

It’s been Elhoffer Design’s goal for the past few years to bring geek blazers to the market, and she’s finally been able to do so on her own. This two-piece collection is her first entry into luxury office wear, but it won’t be her last.

“The blazer and matching dress are made from a heavyweight Ponte fabric, which provides a great stretch while maintaining body and structure. They both feature gold zipper trimmings and vinyl accents, too. The blazer includes two functional front pockets, and both are fitted to women’s sizes. The blazer also features a Lo-Hi design, the front looking like a traditional pointed blazer, and the back is curved up toward the waist to reduce fit problems in the hips! It also includes a removable Epaulette for added punk-power. The matching dress, sold separately or in a combo pack, can be worn with the blazer or on its own, “ says Catherine Elhoffer, founder and designer.

Both the Mischief Blazer and Dress are available for pre-order now, with ship dates in Late August. The first 25 customers to use the coupon code ‘GeekBound’ at checkout on will get an additional 25% off their purchase! This code works on any of her pieces, so if you’ve been wanting a few of her dresses, grab them now! Both of these pieces are limited runs, so be sure to grab them while they’re still available.

“Mischief” Gallery

Even better, the clothes are designed and made right here in the good-old USA, just like Cap wanted before he… before he… anyway, the company is owned and operated here in Los Angeles by costume designer Catherine Elhoffer, who knows her stuff, let me tell you. Okay, I’ll let Ashley Eckstein tell you. Here she is in Elhoffer’s Totoro Gown.

photo by pat loika
Photo by Pat Loika


Elhoffer has also designed for WeLoveFine: (We so have some of her stuff in our closets already)

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So she’s branched off on her own, and she’s doing some fantastic fashion. Here’s some less office-oriented examples. Right now, on Elhoffer Design Shop’s website, she’s offering the Mischief office collection, the Mercenary dress collection and the Galactic dress collection as well as custom orders, but there’s more to come. See the galleries below for examples:

“Civil War”


If this reminds you of a recent Marvel film, you’re Dead on.


Fighter, Knight and Scavenger

 Custom Work

She has done some amazing costumes as well, for movies, TV, and cosplay. There’s a Briar Rose on her website that’s amazing, but she’s no longer in the costume biz – she’s devoted to opening a portal from fandom into the real world to make the workday just a bit more bearable for us geeks…but when a con rolls around, we can always attach epaulets to the Lok…er, I mean, “Mischief” jacket, because why not?


Later this summer, I’m going to take a look at the process behind making one of these masterpieces. Check out her website at

Main Street Art Corner Gets a Fresh Look

Main Street Art Corner has a new website up at and it’s quite pretty. The Cheshire Cat print set is there, if you remember it from last year. It’s so incredible! Plus there’s some awesome new collectible and personalize-able Disney art there that’s just amazing.


Go look at the baby stuff. I’m not a baby and I want it. I WANT IT ALL!

Congratulations on the shiny new digs, Michael, et al!

The Autumn of What is Futile is Ever Closer

Director Rian Johnson posted this photo, with the caption “In the home stretch”, indicating that filming is almost completed for Episode VIII, “The Fall of the Resistance“, and that months of effects and editing are all that stand between now and the release in December 2018. I want it now. 


Be Our Guest Celebrates Beauty and the Beast 25th

This years “Be Our Guest” Disney Legends Dinner Event Celebrates Beauty and the Beast’s 25th Anniversary !

It’s THIS SUNDAY, June 12, 3:00 PM at the M3 in Anaheim, and there are just a few tickets left!
For a Once In A Lifetime opportunity to meet & dine with the Amazing people that helped create the Magic of Beauty and the Beast. It will be an evening of Storytelling & Fun !

“Be Our Guest” Event is bringing you something NEW & EXCITING !
As they are honoring the 25th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast, there will be a panel discussion with many of the artistic & talented people that created this classic award winning film! This panel discussion, moderated by Tom Sito will take place just before the “Be Our Guest” 14th Annual Dinner Event. Come join us as the crew reminisces over the making of the film & enjoy a Beauty and the Beast inspired dessert
Participating in the panel are Tom Sito, Nik Ranieri, Rick Farmiloe, Rubén Procopio, Will Finn, Mike Cedeno, Gary Trousdale & Ron Husband.
You can celebrate by purchasing 1 of 3 choices. Enjoy the panel only, enjoy the panel then join us for the dinner in a package deal or enjoy the “Be our Guest” Dinner separately.

Cal Arts, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Woodbury University & any student of the fine arts receive a DISCOUNTED price on the panel.

Panel discussion only $20.
Student price panel only $15.
Panel & dinner event pkg $130 Premium $170 VIP pkg.
Dinner event only $120 Premium $160. VIP

This promises to be an Evening you’ll NEVER forget !!

Be Our Guest Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Celebration

See Fab Talk About Stuff!

On Saturday, June 11, I’m going to be filling in for my pal Ken Pellman, who got into a knife fight in a dive bar in Bora Bora and is unable to utter anything but guttural sounds, and give a talk about Harper Goff and Adventureland to the Chapter at the Park for the Disneyana Fan Club Meeting at Trinity Episcopal Church 2400 N. Canal Street. Orange. The meeting is at 12:30, and I am strongly considering trying to convince Alice to bring her banjo. If you would like to see me stand in front a room full of people and forget Harper Goff’s name, please feel free to show up!

Al banjo
She taught herself to play last winter when she was back East. Took her about three weeks. I couldn’t play the triangle if you sent me to Julliard for four years.

Thank you!

Thanks for all the great comments Tuesday! Also, thanks for reading, for the Facebook and Twitter comments – it’s great to know that someone’s reading this! Thank you to my Patreon supporters, and thanks to Nick Cotton at You and your team are swell!


There was some discussion Tuesday about whether or not the new hotel being built at Disneyland would have DVC units, and someone said that they wanted to buy additional Grand Californian Villas points, but were having trouble getting them, because they would get snapped up as soon as they went on sale. I suggested that they get hold of – with years of experience, they know people inside Disney and can keep an ear to the ground for clients, and let them know when something that they are looking for becomes available. Visit them at and see what they can do for you.

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Sponsorship for this edition of Fab News was provided by DVC Resale Market.