Attendance for the weekly coffeehouse at Windber’s Grand Midway Hotel rebounded sharply from the somewhat lackluster turnout of the 11th.
I should note that Dracula Con 2018 took place in between the two–on Saturday, October 13–and was a considerable success. Unlike the coffeehouse, this year’s Dracula Con was an over-21 event, due to the local volunteer fire company selling beer and wine on the front porch (and thereby raising money for themselves). The event ran from 7:30 PM till 2 AM. Soft drinks (served from a coffin converted to a giant ice-filled cooler), t-shirts, horror-themed necklaces, voodoo dolls and more were available for sale in the building. Four musical acts performed on stage (two local artists, along with one group from Pittsburgh and another from Florida) and there was a midnight showing of the silent vampire classic Nosferatu (with live music accompaniment from members of the Florida-based group, Seven Shadows).
Dressed as a creepy if enthusiastic bell boy, my main activity was conducting limited tours. With all the themed AirBNB rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors rented out for the evening, we could only visit a few of these. But I pointed out items of interest along hallways. The highlight, of course, was ascending the 3rd flight of stairs to the viewing platform where people got to see the (Guiness Records-certified) World’s Largest Ouija Board painted on the building’s roof and lit for the occasion by a couple floodlights.
In any case, the 18th saw the place back to the usual more-or-less (the coffin/cooler was still on scene, but the cold drinks were back in the usual refrigerator). Two additional decorative coffins were still in other 1st floor rooms (one had to be CAREFULLY lifted from dining room table, so the role players could continue their Pathfinder pen and paper game). As usual, I filled in for Blair for the 1st few hours running the coffee bar and playing movies.
First up was William Marshall’s turn as African transformed into a vampire and unleashed centuries later on an unsuspecting, 1970s Los Angeles:
Inevitably, our 2nd feature had to be the sequel:
A voodoo priest unwisely conjures Blacula back to undead ‘life,’ freeing Marshall (and that majestic voice) to stalk the likes of Pam Grier!
Besides the movies and sipping hot coffee with the choice of four different delicious creamers and/or sugar, cold sodas were drunk, and at least one pack of crackers were munched (once I finished the Taco Bell goodies I had for supper). A couple regulars played chess in a corner booth, people chatted over assorted subjects, a DVD of Blair’s movie ZOMBIE DREAM was bought and autographed by a few local cast members who were present (Syn, myself and, upon his return, Blair himself). Predictably, there was much talk of how Dracula Con went, by those who were there and those who missed it. A young lady from over the mountain in Bedford returned, the horror convention having been her introduction to the haunted hotel. She seemed quite taken with the place.
Blair returned shortly after I put on the night’s last DVD, from 1959–Vincent Price in:
As the night ran down, several role players volunteered to lug the coffins in the dining room and the living room up the steps to their new permanent resting place (an offshoot of the Vampire Suite). Know anyone who might like a BNB experience that included sleeping the night away in an actual coffin?
The cooler/coffin is still atop part of the coffee bar–at least for the time being.