ScareLA 2017: A place to play, learn, explore, and grow

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    Rizzos Haunted Attraction is a privately run, very fun event. Photo by David Carpenter
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Living their Dreams………..ScareLA Founder Lora Ivanova is interviewed by Writer/Producer of The Metamorphosis Experiment and Knott’s Network Reporter Mary Rangel. Photo by lmc.

ScareLA 2017 took place August 5th and 6th, at the beautiful LA Convention center.  It was a homecoming for the event, and a dream come true for a least a few special folks in the LA Horror industry.  As we prepare for the upcoming Halloween season, let’s take a look back a few weeks ago to a weekend event that prepared us for this year’s festivities.  It was a weekend for playing, learning, and exploring, and growing.  I am so excited to be able to share some of the details with our readers.

I first spoke with Lora Ivanova, founder and creator of ScareLA in June in a phone interview, ( ).  She was passionate and excited about the changes they had made for 2017, including the move back to the Los Angeles Convention Center, a dream of hers.  I had the privilege of interviewing Lora Ivanova in person during the convention, on Sunday afternoon.  We spoke about, among other things, how her vision of the convention had played out.


So let’s check out some of the things that took place at ScareLA.  When Lora and I spoke back in June, I had asked her what she wanted guest to take from ScareLA.  So let’s look at those goals, and how it worked out.

1.)  Have a blast at this amazing event.

I can’t imagine how anyone didn’t have a blast at this event.  There was so many things to experience.  However, this was not an experience that did not require participation.  I feel that the more you put into the experience, the more you would get from it.  There were a variety of  play opportunities:

DystopiaRising was an interactive maze where you were slaying zombies with a sword. The rules were simple, as was the maze, but it was amazingly fun. The cast was super helpful and friendly. For me, it put me on a playing field were I felt comfortable interacting with people I normally would not have. Photo David Carpenter, (I think?)


In this interactive activity, you are armed with a rose, and a knife. You get points by either touching your partner with the rose, (6 points) or slaying your enemy with the knife. (3 points). As you are blind folded, this can be rather challenging. Watching others play, it looked a little boring, but it was really quite fun to use your wits, and your hearing only to work your way through this obstacle course. Photo LMC


Flatline ER is a VR experience where you are place in an ambulance and experience what it is like to die, and then come back. David and I both tried it. Image courtesy of David Carpenter.


Here I am inside of the ambulance, having an out of body experience. Photography by David Carpenter.


It’s David’s turn. This was of particular interest to him, as he is working on a book that deals with near death experiences. That was one of the cool things about ScareLA, there was something for everyone. All you needed to do was be open to it. Photo LMC

2.)  Learn something new about their self.

There were so many opportunities to learn!  Makeup, costuming, new ways to experience Halloween!  One of the most interesting things I experienced was a presentation on VR, (Virtual Reality).  David and I attended a seminar on VR and the numerous applications it has in today’s world.

Albert Rizzo speaks about applications for VR in medicine and in the treatment of mental illness. He explained about treatment of, among other things, PSD. He also spoke about creating VR experiences to help Autistic people practice interviewing for jobs. Photo LMC

Kevin Williams, KWP Limited speaks on VR in the entertainment industry, especially regarding Digital out of home entertainment including VR roller coasters, robot rides, bumper cars, and casinos. The vision is for immersive entertainment in VR that is linked to the physical world.  I asked for the time frame for this, and he estimated 20 years. Photo LMC

Flatline ER developer listens as Albert Rizzo makes his presentation. There are a total of six experiences, go to for more information.

Learn more about Flatline at

3.)  Know a new skill, be excited to do more, inspire the next generation.

My entire ScareLA experience was about being excited to do more, and to inspire the next generation to become more involved with the world of horror.  I didn’t exactly learn a new skill, but I did learn more about myself, my interest, and my passions.  By sharing the experience with my friend David, I learned to see things from another’s view point.  His interest in movies is not one I previously shared, and my love of VR experiences was not one of his, but because of the merging of VR and the new movies “Annabelle” and “It” so brilliantly presented by Warner Brothers, a commonality was established.

Set in a school bus, the VR experience for the upcoming Warner Bros. movie “It” combined visuals and physical movement to tell the story of the little boy trapped in the storm drain. Photo David Carpenter.

Waiting in line to experience “It”. Photo by David Carpenter.

Annabelle, the VR experience is set in her bedroom of course. The little shack we stepped into to do this experience was like leaving the showroom and entering Annabelle’s world. Photo LMC

On Sunday, July 30th, the world premiere of Mary Rangel’s “The Metamorphosis Experiment” took place.  This is Mary’s first short film, and it is brilliant. Set at a community college, it tells the story of a young professors experiments, that just maybe got carried away.  The story is told with a charm, humor, and sensitivity.  Mary was kind enough to spend several minutes speaking with me regarding her dream, and I will be adding that to this piece shortly, (technical issue.)

Timothy Dennison, myself, and Mary Rangel. photo LMC

There were so many amazing images to capture at the convention.  Here are just a few collaguges, photography and collagues created by David Carpenter.

Women in Horror


Horror movie characters.


Men in Horror


ScareLA was entertaining, educational, and just fun!  I had a blast, and I would like to thank Lora Ivanova, Robert Hernandez, and the entire ScareLA team for a wonderful weekend!


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