• 52°

Harlan Haunt Fest kicks off October this Saturday

The Harlan Haunt Fest is set to kick off October at the Harlan Center this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. This year’s event features a freaky amount of horror and fun to last all the way up until midnight in the mountains.

For the sixth year in a row, Haunt Fest is bringing in horror movie stars and TV celebrities to keep things spiced up, as well as a host of vendors, art, comics, food and other pop-culture fun and games.

Model and actress Emma Bellomy, known for her role as Dollface in “The Strangers: Prey at Night,” will be one special guest making an appearance at the event. Bellomy will be available to meet fans and sign autographs. Bellomy’s roots are well established in Kentucky since she was born in Lexington and now she is bringing the spirit of Halloween to Harlan.

Also making an appearance is Pat Miller, otherwise known as Joey from the Stephen King film “Maximum Overdrive.” Miller will be a guest speaker, talking about the 1986 cult-classic movie and other topics in the horror genre with author Stephen J. Semones.

In addition, Haunt Fest will host actors from “The Walking Dead,” such as Santiago Cirilo, Amber Dawn Fox and Mike Mundy. The crew will be rolling through Harlan in a 1967 Chevy Impala loaded with equipment to hunt down the supernatural. Fans can also meet Ralph from “Rampage: The Movie,” which starred Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Local filmmaker Austin J. Rutherford is presenting his latest film “Ice Cold Evil” at the event as well, along with screenings of other independent films.

“It will be an exclusive alternate cut for Harlan Haunt Fest,” Rutherford said, “presented in terrifying black and white to mimic the classic horror films that inspired it.”

A Halloween masquerade will also take place Saturday, giving those who enjoy dressing in costumes a chance to dance the night away to music performed by The Tripps, one of Harlan’s local bands.

If meeting famous actors and dances aren’t quite your thing, perhaps a re-enactment of a 1942 courthouse murder and ghost hunt can set the mood for such a spooky season.

Local historical researcher Tony Felosi will lead those who dare on a legendary “ghost walk” through the streets of downtown Harlan. Of course, the tour will meet a dead end when the group reaches the location of Manzo Shepherd’s murder that happened in the Harlan County Courthouse.

While at the location, the group can witness the scene unfold through a re-enactment of the horrific event.

If you’re brave enough to continue, you can take part in an actual ghost hunt.

Rain or shine, the ghost walk and hunt will continue. If rain presents an issue, people can meet at the old courthouse at 6 p.m. where the re-enactment and ghost hunt will take place as scheduled.

Sound like a terrifyingly fun time?

Entry for the all-day event is $10 with children under 12 accompanied by an adult free. For more information regarding the Harlan Haunt Fest, go to www.harlanhauntfest.com.