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The Salem Horror Fest returns October 3 with a series of premieres, panels, podcasts, parties, celebrity appearances and live performances featuring John Waters, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, John Kassir (“Tales From the Crypt”), Quinn Lord (Trick r’ Treat), Rachel True (The Craft), Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead), Amelia Kinkade (Night of the Demons), Jason Marsden (Hocus Pocus), Mark Patton (A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge), and Maurizio Guarini (Goblin).

New this year will be a mini-convention on Pickering Wharf called “Haunted Harbor at Salem Waterfront Hotel” where parties, panels, vendors and celebrity meet-and-greets will be held during the first two weekends of October. Guests will be able to have their picture taken with Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and pay tribute to 30 years of HBO’s groundbreaking “Tales From the Crypt” with the Cryptkeeper himself, John Kassir with the Shock Waves podcast.

The festival will premiere fourteen films – more than double its 2018 lineup —including Antrum, Daniel Isn’t Real, Horror Noire: A Black History of Horror, In Fabric, Joker, Mass Hysteria, Nevrland, Porno, Scream Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street, That’s La Morte: Italian Cult Cinema and the Years of Lead, The Girl on the Third Floor, V.F.W., Villains and Zombieland 2.

Salem Horror Fest will also present a program of repertory screenings which include Attack the Block, The Blob, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Under the Skin, Ed Wood, Serial Mom, Trick r’ Treat, Trick or Treat, Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, Funny Games, The Strangers, and a marathon screening of all four films in the Critters franchise on National Indigenous Peoples Day. In partnership with Essex National Heritage Area, a series of film screenings based on literary works will be featured as part of a reading campaign called “Feed Your Brain” to include Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown, Island of Lost Souls, The Invisible Man, War of the Worlds, Stephen King’s It, Cujo, Carrie, Christine, Misery, The Dead Zone and Pet Sematary.

Other programs include a one-man show by John Waters, the third annual Faculty of Horror live podcast, private tarot readings with The Craft star Rachel True, the 1911 silent Italian film Dante’s Inferno with a live score by Goblin’s Maurizio Guarini, a Night of the Demons reunion photo op, celebrity book readings for children, academic lectures, trivia, and industry panels with leading horror authors and video game creators.

Salem Horror Fest will also expand its program of horror shorts with selections played before films throughout the run. The best shorts selected for competition will be showcased in a free screening at CinemaSalem on Thursday, October 10th including Audiobook of the Dead, Basket Case, CHICKENS, The Ebbing, Five Course Meal, Helix, Here There Be Monsters, Kissed, Monster Family, Noctámbulos (Night Owls), The Office Is Mine, Orbit, The Stain, and Swipe

Salem Horror Fest runs Thursday, October 3 through Sunday, October 27 in the Halloween capital of the world: Salem, Massachusetts. Screenings and programs will be hosted at CinemaSalem, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Salem Visitor Center. New this year: Haunted Harbor at Salem Waterfront Hotel featuring vendors and celebrities. For tickets and more information, please visit