Countdown to Halloween: Hammond Horror Fest Returns

The Hammond Horror Fest is returning for its sixth year on October 14-15.

The festival will feature a series of events in and around downtown Hammond, including a masquerade show, screenings of independent horror films, and an original theatrical performance.

“This year we have two nights of events that give opportunities for performance artists of all kinds to get their work shown. Working with strong partnerships within the arts community around town has allowed us to assemble a festival that will give everyone a new way to be entertained around Halloween,” said Taylor McLellan, one of the artistic directors for the festival.

Hammond Horror Fest was originally created by McLellan and James Winter, an assistant professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, to provide a way for local artists to have their work shown, as well as a means for alternative entertainment in the Hammond community.

“The goal is to give the community a unique experience. Hammond should come out to support the local art scene, and be entertained by something more than your iPhone,” said McLellan.

“The festival grew considerably last year. Involvement doubled as did attendance at the various events. People seem to genuinely like the HHF. It is becoming something the community looks forward to each year,” said Winter.

The Hammond Horror Fest is also an opportunity for attendees to donate to the American Cancer Society’s Tangipahoa Relay for Life.

“This year, on both nights of events, we will also be accepting donations of all kinds to aide in the recovery efforts for flood victims in our community,” McLellan.

Photo Courtesy: Hammond Horror Fest
Photo Courtesy: Hammond Horror Fest

On October 14, a Macabre Showcase will be held at the Gnarly Barley Brewing Company, located at 1709 Corbin Rd. from 6 to 11 p.m. Participants are welcome to wear costumes. Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the event for $20 per person.

Festivities will include a performance by the LA Tribal Belly Dance Troupe in honor of the 30th anniversary of the film, Labyrinth. There will also be performances by Lightwire Theatre and the Wicked Little Voodoo Dolls. A horror-themed arts market will be set up, with vendors selling everything from props to tarot readings.

“This year we have changed things up a bit. We have re-imagined our annual Masquerade Ball, and have moved venues from the Hammond Regional Arts Center to the Gnarly Barley Brewery, all to create our new event: A Macabre Showcase. There will not be a Zombie Fashion Show this year, however we do have some fun tricks in store to keep the zombies alive and well at the HHF! This year we have also partnered with the NOLA Horror Film Festival, and will be featuring our appreciation for their hard work within the horror within the horror genre as well as at our Macabre Showcase,” said McLellan.

On October 15, the festival will feature the theatrical production 7 Tales from the Labyrinth. Seven ten-minute plays will be written, designed, and directed all in one day. This event is sponsored by the Southeastern campus theatre honor society Alpha Psi Omega.

Winter says the playwrights are given five to six hours to write plays, and then the directors, actors, and designers have about 12 to 15 hours to rehearse before the plays are performed before a live audience. The theme this year is based on the idea of a labyrinth.

Tickets for 7 Tales from the Labyrinth are $7 and will be sold at the Pottle Auditorium on Southeastern’s main campus. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

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