Does this convention glorify or idolize serial killers and criminals?
Absolutely not! Throughout history, and in academic or media-based settings, imagery of criminals is used to link the public and students to disturbing and destructive events more commonly than images of the victims and suffering. Often, mug shots or the destruction resulting from horrific events become symbols of the event and make them recognizable icons.
We use this same imagery not to glorify the individual or group perpetrators, but to garner interest and to inform people wishing to learn more. Then, we can bring the victims forward, study the psychology and circumstances that lead to murders, crimes, and the unimaginable, and look at how these events shape parts of our pop culture.
Our goal has always been to highlight the psychology behind these acts, and we do this by bringing in witnesses and experts such as people directly affected, authors and filmmakers who have conducted extensive research, and specialists in the fields of forensic psychology, abhorrent behavior, and sociology.
In turn, we also bring in actors, authors, and vendors across the horror genre whose roots are undoubtedly embedded in, and informed by, these types of events that form the darker side of history.
To learn more about how this Convention came about, check out our section about our showrunner, Brian Ward!
Where is the Convention?
The Dark History & Horror Convention is at the I Hotel & Conference Center, 1900 S 1st St, Champaign, IL. The address is sometimes listed as in Urbana, but it is in Champaign off of First Street. The Conference Center door is located on St. Mary's Road. A map and further information may be found on our About the Convention page.
The Convention is family friendly, but what about the Screaming Mad Film Fest?
The Convention does aim to be family friendly and we've see many kids enjoy it as much as adults! We've seen kids interested in growing up to work in forensics to wee ones all dolled up and trick or treating (which is back this year!). But. The Screaming Mad Films are generally not rated, are usually aimed at a mature audience, and we do strongly encourage viewer discretion. Several of this year's submissions include content that most would consider not suitable for children and we encourage parents to take this into consideration.