Image: David Markland

This Saturday, December 7 from 10 am to 6 pm, horror comes to the holidays (in a good way, of course) in the form of “Season’s Screamings,” a “Dark Holiday Popup Market” at Sweet! Hollywood, where assorted vendors will sell their spooky wares and darker-themed holiday gift items.

The event was organized by the same team that founded the world-famous Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival in Long Beach, CA: The event was organized by the same team that founded the world-famous Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival in Long Beach: Executive Director David Markland; Executive Producer Gary Baker; Creative Director Rick West; and Producer Claire Dunlap.

We recently caught up with Markland and Dunlap, who were gracious enough to answer some questions about the event, and share what’s in store for visitors!

Image: David Markland

TOM HOLLAND’S TERROR TIME: Could you describe the Dark Holiday Popup event to those of our readers who may be unfamiliar?

CLAIRE DUNLAP: It’s a pop-up Christmas Bizarre (that’s not a spelling error, and pun very much intended) for those inclined toward the strange and unusual. The location, Sweet! Hollywood, is a ginormous candy and novelty store located at the Hollywood & Highland Center in the heart of Hollywood. David has curated our vendors, who will be selling items that make for unique gift offerings from macabre to cute… always with an edge toward Halloween and horror fans.

THTT: What inspired you to create this particular event?

DAVID MARKLAND: I’ve wanted to do some holiday-themed event for a few years, but after some Midsummer Scream vendors told me they had “Creepy Christmas” themed products but no perfect place to sell them, it became apparent there was a need for an event like this.

Image: David Markland

THTT: How many vendors will be present?

DM: Around 40.

THTT: Will there be special guests or additional events planned?

CD: We honestly consider all of our vendors special, but team Elvira will be selling a number of her limited-release Elvira Funko Pop! dolls, some of them signed, solely at this event.

DM: Leeanna Vamp will be with us, and several horror themed cosplayers are expected to join in on the fun, including 7 Hells’ Krampus and Danielle Bradford as Christmas Elvira… and Madame Tussaud’s [Wax Museum] will be bringing their Alfred Hitchcock wax figure for photo ops.

Image: David Markland

THTT: Any big changes from last year?

CD: Vendors present for 2019 is double from 2018, which was our first year doing the event as a test run. David opened it up for more involvement when we saw how much fun everyone had… including us! Also, we’re holding a toy drive for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In lieu of event admission, we’re asking for a suggested donation of a new but unwrapped toy to be donated to kids at Children’s Hospital this holiday season. Event admission is free no matter what, but we hope people will participate and give to this terrific organization.

DM: As Claire said, a lot more vendors. A few favorites will be returning, along with some new vendors who haven’t even been seen at Midsummer Scream before.

Image: David Markland

THTT: What attracted you to this particular location?

DM: Michelle Ghoulmore, the owner of Kreepsville 666, has a year-round popup store in Sweet!, and suggested the location. From my first meeting with the management they were incredibly receptive and supportive of hosting. Sweet! also have a year-round Elvira popup shop inside, so it seemed like a perfect fit!

THTT: What do you like most about combining elements of Christmas and Halloween?

CD: Halloween is my very favorite holiday, and we go all out in terms of decorating our home. Christmastime is a close second… and merging the two just creates that much more joy! Season’s Screamings is a way to carry that spooky vibe we so love from Halloween all through the Holiday season.

DM: I will take Halloween blended with any holiday or any day. What’s not to like?

Image: David Markland

THTT: What’s your favorite holiday-themed horror movie?

CD: The original version of Black Christmas with Margot Kidder. It’s so incredibly creepy, with very little in terms of gore. Much of the horror is suggested rather than displayed, which is my very favorite type of scary movie. I’m not a fan of gore… I much prefer the psychological creepy stories. Ghosts, suspense and mystery horror… those are generally my favorites, and Black Christmas hits that mystery-suspense-horror nail on the head.

DM: Every version of A Christmas Carol ever made… [it’s] a ghost story that happens to be the most adapted holiday movie ever, and I love every one.

Season’s Screamings takes place this Saturday, December 7 from 10am to 6pm at Sweet! Hollywood. You can learn more at their Facebook event page.

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