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first horror con: Preview by Katie Haigh

This April Heywood will be holding its first very own Horror Convention. This is quite an achievement for this smallish town in the North Manchester region of the UK.

Two local residents Chris Williams and Kimberley Goldie had the amazing idea of hosting Heywood’s first Horror Con. This is a family friendly event with lots of stalls, characters, and things to do and see.

There will be a cosplay competition and over 30 traders selling everything from t-shirts to handmade props.

In attendance will be four independent horror authors, who will be participating in a Q and A and book signing session.

There will be two tattooists offering flash sheet of specially designed tattoos which you can have there and then.

There will be a local ghost hunting team doing some equipment demonstrations and The Museum of Horrors will be delivering a talk on what they do and showing off some artefacts.

Also, delicious hot food from local business The Lancashire Wellness Kitchen and last but definitely not least a variety of scare actors ready to take a selfie with you if you dare.

This is a newly formed event, but with support, it could become something Horror fans look forward to year, on year.

Heywood Horror Con will be held at Heywood Sports Village on April 7th from 10 am. to 5 pm.

Entry is £3.50 on advanced tickets or £5 on the door. A percentage of the ticket cost is being donated to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

The murder of Sophie Lancaster occurred in England in August 2007. The victim and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were attacked by a group of teenage boys while walking through Stubbylee Park in Bacup, Rossendale, Lancashire, on 11 August 2007. As a result of the severe head injuries Lancaster sustained in the attack, she went into a coma from which she never regained consciousness, and died of her injuries thirteen days later. The police said the attack may have been linked to the couple wearing gothic fashion and being members of the goth subculture.

Five teenage boys were later arrested and charged with murder. Two of them, Ryan Herbert and Brendon Harris were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. The other three were convicted and jailed for grievous bodily harm (GBH). A memorial fund was established in Lancaster’s name, and numerous events have paid tribute to her locally, nationally and internationally. Plays, films, art and books have covered the issues surrounding the murder.

This is not the first time that Heywood (and Rochdale) have helped raise funds and awareness for this excellently focussed charity.

Produced by Leaky Shed Films, And She Cried was a film that explored the complexities of the lives of two teenage girls – Sara & Laura. Sara is a Goth teenager whose humble upbringing and passion for photography is overshadowed by the recent and painful loss of her mother and the uneasy relationship with her father. Laura lives as a popular and trendy teenager whose edgy relationship with her parents has led to her developing disturbing and dark thoughts. Unwittingly intertwined in the lives of these two dissimilar girls sits Kate, a young woman attached to both but struggling to find her own identity. What is often seen as black and white is shown to cover the whole spectrum of grey, and this leads the young girls to an explosive denouement.

The late John Farrington was the local film-producer behind this short cinematic work, The cast and crew were all local volunteers and the film was shot at various locations in the towns of Heywood and Rochdale.

The local Odeon cinema facilitated the showing of the film as a fund raiser for its premier, which was attended by several of Sophie´s friends and family.

Also in attendance were the cast and crew, comprised of local Rochdale artists, producers and technicians recruited by Steve Cooke, John Farrington and Norman Warwick.

Sidetracks And Detours know that the excellent poet, Katie Haigh, is a very busy supporter of so many good causes and we are certain she will enjoy a memorable and successful time at the Heywood Horror Con. She is a poet and writer of wide repute and a regular performer at poetry slams and readings.

Find more information on Facebook group ‘Heywood Horror Con’.

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