Heroic Age File Photo

In this October 2015 file photo, a family attends The Art of Fear at the Heroic Age Art Center. The event's attendance has grown every year, and organizers hope more than 1,000 people will take part this weekend. 

MOUNT ZION — Organizers for The Art of Fear have found families seem to enjoy the festivities and its brand of horror.

Well, it’s baaack.

The fourth annual holiday event will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at Heroic Age Art Center in Mount Zion. Admission is free. Visitors will be able to purchase food from a food truck and spooky items from more than 20 art and craft vendors.

Eric Hector, creative director for Heroic Age Art Center, has allowed the entire campus to be used for the event.

“Everything will be out on the lawn or inside the building,” he said. “There is fun inside and out.”

One of the highlights of past events has been the celebrity guest panel, which will return this year. All of the featured guests are associated with the horror genre, whether in films, research or artistry.

One of the panel members is Andrew Rothenberg, who performed as the character Jim in the first season of AMC’s “Walking Dead.” He has also had a recurring role in “True Blood” on HBO and has appeared in FOX’s “Exorcist,” “American Horror Story” on FX and CW’s “Supernatural.”

“He has a pretty long list of horror shows,” said Laura Richter, event coordinator.

Kitsie Duncan is a paranormal investigator who created a web show titled “Oddity Files.” Duncan and her team will be visiting The Art of Fear to discuss their ghost hunting experiences.

Organizers of the event often invite contestants from the special effects competition show SYFY's “Face Off.” This year Logan Long, from seasons 8 and 11, will be available for guests to discuss his experience as a makeup artist.

Movie production is an important aspect for the Heroic Age Art Center. A portion of their business is Heroic Age Studios, focused on creating films for national audiences. The studio also offers the public opportunities to view their current work in a personal theater.

Attendees will have the opportunity to test out virtual reality games, as well as rent them for their own parties. “It has always been popular, and now it’s mobile,” Richter said. “I call it the real-life zombie experience."

Organizers have an opened the studio allowing guests to learn more about the movie making process. A tour of the working movie set will be available during The Art of Fear.

“You will be able to see the progress,” Richter said about the studio's next film. Since 2013, Heroic Age Studios has been developing their first Frightful 5000 film. The original movie is being created through contributions of 5,000 horror fans, financially as well as artistically. Although the film is still in production, The Art of Fear visitors will be able to see the latest contributions.

Organizers of The Art of Fear have seen the number of attendees rise as the years progress. In 2014, they welcomed 300 people on their first attempt. Last year, the number rose to 800. Richter and Hector are hoping to have more than 1,000 people attend Saturday.

“It is seasonal and around Halloween, but is for the family,” Richter said.

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Staff Writer

“Together Decatur” columnist, food and entertainment reporter for the Herald & Review.

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