“It’s a Graveyard Smash” – Hanford Sentinel

It’s a graveyard smash

(Link to online article)

By Heather Halsey
hhalsey@hanfordsentinel.com

’Tis the season when vampires, zombies and monsters come out to play, but 24-year-old Kaci Hansen doesn’t need Halloween for an excuse to dress up.

Hansen and other members of the Central Valley Horror Club dress up year-round for events that have included a Zombie Ball and Vampire Ball in the past, and a Monster Mash Saturday.

“We just like to dress up and have fun,” said Hansen, who plans to attend as Elvira.

The event is open to all ages and is free to attend, and though costumes are not mandatory, those who dress up can win prizes.

“We really pay attention to how people apply their makeup and how their costumes are crafted,” Hansen said. “If they make their costumes themselves or craft their costume on their own, that really makes a difference.”

The Visalia resident founded the club in 2008, when a group of her friends would gather to watch horror flicks and bond over their passion for the genre’s gore, makeup and costumes.

“At first I was into the really, really cheesy movies that would make you laugh more than scare you,” Hansen said. “But I just started getting into other sub-genres; I really like the creativity that goes into a lot of them.”

The club is still fairly informal and doesn’t have official members or require dues, but through the use of social networking sites, it has grown to include hundreds of followers.

Hansen hosted the club’s first all-ages movie night in January and screened “Day of the Dead” at Visalia’s All Pro Pizza.

“One goal of the club is to expose people to movies they haven’t seen,” she said.

Since then they’ve held several more movie nights at the pizza restaurant, where its owner Eric Williams, allows it because it boosts his business.

More than 200 people attended the club’s Zombie Ball in August at the venue.

“We had no idea how that was going to turn out,” Hansen said. “But to have that many people get into zombie costume in August, is a pretty big deal.”

The event was used as a trial run for the club’s Vampire Ball that happened Oct. 23 and the Monster Mash that starts at 7:30 Saturday.

Hansen works as a graphic and Web designer for a Visalia advertising agency, and is a student at College of the Sequoias. Planning and organizing the club’s events hasn’t been easy to fit into her already-busy schedule, but her love for horror keeps her motivated.

“It’s fun to unite people with similar interests who appreciate the special effects and the production and everything that goes into making horror films,” she said.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427.

(Oct. 30, 2009)

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