Guests of Honor

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Lucky McKee is a director, writer, and actor, responsible for horror favorite, May, inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. He then went on to direct The Woods, The Woman, and most recently Old Man, as well as the Masters of Horror season one episode “Sick Girl” and the “Ding Dong” segment of the anthology film Tales of Halloween, and more. As a writer, he co-authored The Secret Life of Souls, and I’m Not Sam, both with the late great Jack Ketchum. And he wrote and acted in Roman, a twisted reversal of his film May.


Henry Thomas began as a child actor in E.T. Extra-Terrestrial and gone on to star in such genre gems as The Haunting of Hill House, Doctor Sleep, The Midnight Club, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, Gerald’s Game, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, and more.


Marc Senter has starred in various award-winning films including psychological thriller The Lost (based on the book by Jack Ketchum), the anthology Tales of Halloween, and cult hits Starry Eyes and the musical The Devil’s Carnival. Marc’s recent efforts include Old Man, supernatural thriller Trim Season, and Blackout.


Annabeth Gish is a versatile, award-winning actress who appears in every genre across film and television including roles in cult hits X-Files and Sons of Anarchy. In horror, she has appeared in Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass, and most recently in Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches.


Alex Essoe has found a home in horror films. Her first lead role was in Starry Eyes, followed by Midnighters. She has collaborated several times with director Mike Flanagan, as Wendy Torrance in Doctor Sleep, and in supporting roles in three of his Netflix series: The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, and The Midnight Club. She can also be found in the “Grim Grinning Ghost” segment of Tales of Halloween anthology film and the upcoming The Pope’s Exorcist.


Tim Lebbon is a New York Times-bestselling writer from South Wales with over forty novels, including The Last Storm, Eden, and The Silence, and hundreds of novellas and short stories. Winner of four British Fantasy Awards, as well as Bram Stoker, Scribe and Dragon Awards, he has been shortlisted for World Fantasy, International Horror Guild and Shirley Jackson Awards. He has had two novels adapted to film (so far)—The Silence, starring Stanley Tucci and Kiernan Shipka, and Pay the Ghost, starring Nicolas Cage. Tim is currently developing more novels, short stories, audio dramas, video games, and projects for TV and the big screen.


Robin Atkin Downes is an English actor known for his work across film, television, animation, and video games. His voice was behind the master in The Strain, the demon in The Conjuring 2, and appeared in The Last of Us (video game), in both the tv series and animated version of Constantine, and much more.


Stephen McHattie is a Canadian actor and director who has amassed over 200 film and television credits, including Pontypool, The Strain, Pay the Ghost, Watchmen, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax, 12 Monkeys, and much more. He has won a Genie Award for both a supporting role and leading role.


Samantha Mathis is more than an actress, as a trade union leader who previously served as the Vice President of Actors/Performers of SAG-AFTRA. She has appeared in American Psycho, The Strain, Under the Dome, Salem’s Lot, and more. Fun fact: she portrayed Ellie Whedon in the original Hulu pilot for Locke and Key.


Camden Toy is often found behind the make-up and prosthetics and is best known for playing some of the creepiest villains on the television series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, including one of the Gentlemen in the Emmy Award nominated episode Hush, the recurring Ubervamp, and the skin-eating demon Gnarl, as well as The Prince of Lies on the spin-off series Angel. He also appeared as The Prankster in the Uncanny Annie episode of Blumhouse’s series Into The Dark, as the Shape in Boogey-Man, and the tall clown in Bedeviled, among many other roles.


Nick Apostolides is a video game motion-capture and voice actor, best known for his role as Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil’s reboot (part 2 remake), as well as the Netflix series RE: Infinite Darkness. The RE2 Remake won *Best in Show” at E3, nabbed “Ultimate GOTY 2019” at the UK’s 37th Golden Joystick Awards, and was nominated for “GOTY” at the USA Game Awards. His voice work has also appeared in the Life is Strange franchise as Frank Bowers and Charles Eriksen.


Jeffrey Kramer is best known for his role as Deputy Hendricks in Jaws and Jaws 2. (Trivia tidbit: The first name of his character in Jaws changes between the original and the sequel, from Lenny to Jeff.) He also appeared in Halloween II, Clue, and was a voice-over in The ‘Burbs, among other credits. As a producer, he has been nominated for eight Emmy awards and won five.


Carl Gottlieb not only acted in JAWS, as reporter Harry Meadows, he also co-wrote the screenplay for JAWS, JAWS 2, and JAWS 3D, among other movie credits. He is the author of The Jaws Log, which chronicles the yearlong production of the original movie and has sold more than two million copies. The JAWS screenplay won an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for both a Golden Globe and BAFTA award. Gottlieb was Secretary/Treasurer and Vice President of the Writers Guild of America West, where he’s served since 1983 as both officer and member of the board of directors.


Vincent M. Ward is currently touring with the New Jack City play, and has previously portrayed the prisoner Oscar in The Walking Dead. He wrote and acted in both The Step Daddy (also a book) and Devilreaux (based on his comic book version). Coming up, he appears in several movies, including Seven Cemeteries with Danny Trejo.



Gary J. Tunnicliffe spent three years working for Image Animation (the company behind the make up effects on the original HELLRAISER movies) before starting his own FX company Two Hours in the Dark, and has designed or been involved with the make up effects on over 100 feature films, including some of the most well known franchises in the horror genre—Candyman, Scream, Halloween, Mimic, Prophecy, Pumpkinhead, Pulse, Blade, of course, Hellraiser, and more. Working on eight Hellraiser movies as make up and special effects, prop maker, actor, writer, he also directed HELLRAISER JUDGEMENT, which introduced The Auditor and The Stygian Inquisition. Though semi-retired, Gary continues to work with Director Patrick Lussier, their working relationship includes Dracula 2000, Dracula Ascension, Dracula Legacy, White Noise 2, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Drive Angry, Trick and the soon-to-be released Play Dead.


Clay McLeod Chapman writes books, comic books, children’s books, and for film/TV. His most recent horror novels include Ghost Eaters, Whisper Down the Lane, and The Remaking. In comics, he wrote of the Marvel series Scream: Curse of Carnage, Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire, Absolute Carnage: Separation Anxiety, Iron Fist: Phantom Limb, Typhoid Fever, as well as for Edge of Spider-Verse and Venomverse, The Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, American Vampire, Scream: King In Black, and Origins among others. He is the creator of Self Storage (451 Media) and Lazaretto (BOOM! Studios).

Meg Hafdahl is a Bram Stoker Award nominated author and podcaster. Her female driven horror fiction has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library. She is the author of the novels Her Dark Inheritance, Daughters of Darkness, The Darkest Hunger, and the short story series Twisted Reveries.
Kelly Florence is a teacher, mother, and horror film lover. She teaches at Lake Superior College in Duluth, MN and is the co-host of the Horror Rewind podcast.
Together they are the co-authors of the 5-volume Science of Horror book series, including The Science of Women in Horror, and The Science of Witchcraft, and co-host the Horror Rewind podcast.

Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears poisonous flowers in her hair. Author of Darling, Pretty Little Dead Girls, Love is a Crematorium, and more, she won the Bram Stoker Award for Little Dead Red and was nominated for her short story “Loving You Darkly” and for the Arterial Bloom anthology which she edited.



Jeff Strand recently ended his Bram Stoker Award losing streak when his novella Twentieth Anniversary Screening won! He’s the author of over 50 other books, including Pressure, Clowns Vs. Spiders, A Bad Day For Voodoo, and My Pretties. Cemetery Dance Magazine said “No author working today comes close to Jeff Strand’s perfect mixture of comedy and terror.” Several of his books are being adapted into motion pictures, and though he’s not allowed to blab the details in this bio, he promises you there’s really cool stuff happening with them. Jeff lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


Ronald Kelly has been an author of Southern-Fried horror fiction for 36 years, with 15 novels, 12 short story collections, and a Grammy-nominated audio collection to his credit. Setting his tales of rural darkness in the hills and hollow of his native Tennessee and other American South locales, his works include Fear, The Dark’Un, Haunt of the Southern-Fried Fear, his memoir/writing guide Southern Fried & Horrified, and his 2021 Splatterpunk Award-winning collection The Essential Sick Stuff.


Jessica McHugh is a 2x Bram Stoker Award-nominated poet, a multi-genre novelist, & an internationally-produced playwright who spends her days surrounded by artistic inspiration at a Maryland tattoo shop. She’s had twenty-nine books published in fourteen years, including her Elgin Award-nominated blackout poetry collections, “A Complex Accident of Life” and “Strange Nests,” her sci-fi bizarro romp, “The Green Kangaroos,” and her cross-generational horror series, “The Gardening Guidebooks Trilogy.” Explore the growing worlds of Jessica McHugh at


Lynne Hansen is a horror artist who specializes in book covers. Her art has appeared on the cover of the legendary Weird Tales Magazine multiple times, and she was selected to create the cover for the 125th Anniversary Edition of Dracula. Her clients include Valancourt Books, Cemetery Dance PublicationsThunderstorm Books and Raw Dog Screaming Press. She has illustrated works by New York Times bestselling authors including Jonathan Maberry, George Romero, and Christopher Golden. Her art has been commissioned and collected throughout the United States and overseas.


Dead Sky Publishing (previously Stygian Sky Media, rebranded but retaining the award-winning horror fiction imprint Death’s Head Press) finds joy in discovering new voices and new talent for books and art and more—as well as giving quality and legendary backlist titles a new life. Giving authors an opportunity to start a publishing career—and giving readers the very best books in the world—is paramount. Lead by acclaimed author and musician, Jeremy Wagner (CEO), and (CCO) Steve Wands, DSP is home to authors such as Peter Blauner, Peg Tyre, Nuzo Onoh, Brian Keene, Hailey Piper, Joe R. Lansdale, Gene Ambo, Rebecca Rowland, John Boden and many more.

. . . More to come . . .



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