DCU's 1st All Hallows Horrorcon
The 2023 All Hallows Horrorcon was the first of it's kind in Ireland – a dedicated horror con. Hosted by the DCU School of English in collaboration with the DCU Arts & Culture Office, this day-long event saw a diverse group of leading Irish talents of page and screen take to the stage to discuss the vast and ever-evolving genre of horror.
The timetable of events included panels on gore and content warnings, as well as an in-depth interview with horror director, Lee Cronin (Evil Dead Rise) who was in conversation with broadcaster, Rick O'Shea.
Novelists Dave Rudden (author of the Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy among many other books) and
Disha Bose (author of Dirty Laundry) discussed the role of trigger warnings with Cassie Delaney and Jen O'Dwyer, co-hosts of the hit podcast the Creep Dive.
On the gore panel (given the highbrow name of The Lure of Revulsion), director Kate Dolan (You Are Not My Mother) and novelists, Sarah Davis-Goff (Last Ones Left Alive and Silent City) and Conner Habib (Hawk Mountain) discussed how they each draw on body horror, disgust and violence in their work.
All Hallows Horrorcon concluded with a screening of Tobe Hooper's seminal classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre, introduced by columnist and activist, Aoife Martin and DCU writer-in-residence, Sophie White.
Attendees dove into the spirit of All Hallows Horrorcon with all the fervour only a true horror fan possesses. In attendance were Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers and many other ghoulish entities! The intimacy of the event meant that by the end of the day both contributors and the audience were one big, happy, horrifying family.
Food, wine and movie snacks were served throughout the day and these breaks were a wonderful opportunity for getting to know one another and giving space for further discussion of the genre we all know and love. Hosting Horrorcon was also a wonderful celebration of the beautiful and storied, All Hallows campus.
During discussions, the audience were highly engaged and made incisive and thought-provoking contributions which further enhanced the lively and informal atmosphere. At the end of the event, many of the attendees were swapping phone numbers and several expressed to me that they had not only enjoyed the whole day but that they had made new friends.
As the writer-in-residence, having the opportunity to create this event was one of the most creatively enriching experiences of my time as DCU writer-in-residence and I couldn’t have done it without the invaluable help from Keith O’Sullivan, Dave Rudden, Marcella Bannon, Susan Byrne, DCU catering and the wonderful volunteers from the faculty and student body.
What they said:
“I had an absolute ball [at Horrorcon] and I am so glad I was there for the entire day. The panels were absolutely fascinating.I would love to see this become an annual event. Horror is such a fascinating and vast genre and I would happily attend every year.” Aoife Martin (contributor)
“I had an amazing time, at the most perfect venue with incredible people. The panel was brilliant, gave me so much to think about.” Dishe Bose (contributor)
“Seriously, grateful and delighted to be included, thank you so much for having me. Sophie was an amazing chair, it was so skillfully done, and the day seemed to go just incredibly smoothly.” Sarah Davis-Goff (contributor)
“I had an incredible day today hanging out with other horror fans and meeting Lee Cronin, he’s awesome. I had a blast and made loads of friends. I will definitely be returning for the next horrorcon!” Jack (attendee)
“Horrorcon was lovely, they had some amazing guests and I got to meet some very cool people.” @mightykraken (attendee)
“I had an absolutely amazing day at DCU All Hallows Horror Con! Listened to some amazing horror panels, met so many amazing people who expressed their love and passion for the genre in different ways! Then to cap it all off, we finished with a screening of one of my all time favourite movies THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE! Thank you to Sophie White who organised the whole event, kept us fed and watered and facilitated this amazing bunch of terrifically horrific ghouls hanging out together! Can't wait 'till the next one!” Aaron (attendee)