Soooo....wy do we do this?
Well....duh....because we love Halloween!
But seriously...we do this because we care about you and your creepy desire to do all things Halloween.
My boring story...
My name is Jennifer Johnsey and I am the creator of Creepycon Halloween & Horror Convention. I also run Creepy Knoxville and Night Moon Productions. I live in Powell, Tennessee and I have lived in Knoxville for over 30 years. I know this town and I know the people who live here.
I started my Halloween Career in 1988 as a Junior at Farragut High School when I volunteered for the Jaycee's Haunted House on Kingston Pike. I think there is a liquor store there now. I found out they needed volunteers to act in their haunted house and I jumped at it. My first role was getting my head chopped off over and over in a guillotine scene. The next year I went back and played Lizzie Borden. I learned that I am a horrible actress, but I really had a great time. Watching people laugh and jump and scream was a lot of fun!
In 1993, I was caving with some friends and heard about the Haunted Cave at Cherokee Caverns on Oak Ridge Highway. WHAT? Seriously? Sign me up! I went to the cave and talked to them about signing up as a volunteer. They needed guides to lead groups through the Haunted Cave. I remember being a little bit shy at first but found that ultimately, I loved that part of participating in a Haunted Attraction much more than acting. Over the course of the next few years at the Haunted Cave, I found myself more and more interested in the behind the scenes planning. Jim Whidby is the caretaker at the cave and started the Haunted Cave in 1987 as a fundraiser to help preserve the cave. He encouraged me to join in the planning. I really liked that. I thrived on it. I became more confident in my ideas and my abilities to plan and organize as Jim let me take on more and more responsibility. I created a couple of "themed" haunts at the cave including BioHazard and the Rigor & Mortis Brothers Traveling Sideshow. The Sideshow was the "last year" of the Haunted Cave. It was the 20th year in the year 2008. We were all getting a little older and a little more tired and I was ready to start a family. The challenges we faced each year putting on an event of this size became a bit of a burden and I knew that it was time for me to step away.
I participated each year on the side as a Volunteer at Frightworks Haunted House too! I mean, we must have all the Halloween fun we can each year, right? I also launched the Halloween Cake Design Competition which has found a new home at Creepycon. Also during this time, my friend and fellow Halloween enthusiast, Rob Knolton and I created Scream Seeker magazine which ran for 4 years as a guide to Halloween events in East Tennessee. We may bring it back someday, who knows?
In 2009, I had my son Alex , so I stepped back from adult Halloween activities and focused on enjoying Halloween through a child's eyes. This helped me learn more how to appeal to all ages and demographics in my event planning, along with a successful 20 year Broadcasting career. When Alex turned 2, I was bitten by the Entrepreneur bug. I quit my broadcasting career and opened up a children's toy store/birthday party & event venue called Imagination Forest. Sadly, we made it 2 years and I decided it was not financially stable and took too much time away from my family. I chose to close it in September of 2016.
In 2015, I created a Halloween event concept called Creepycon. I put some feelers out to my fellow haunted attraction enthusiasts but no one was interested in it so I let it rest for a bit.
When I closed my business and started looking for a job I found that process exhausting and discouraging. No one seemed to want me. I couldn't get interviews. I was waiting tables and that was actually fine with me. I rather enjoyed it. But it wasn't fulfilling me creatively, nor was it financially stable. (A lot of people do not tip the way they should when they go out to dinner. Shame...shame...shame.)
I decided that if I could not get someone to hire me, I would try again to create my own career. I had owned/operated Night Moon Productions for years as a way to put all of my side ventures in one place. I put this back into place and focus solely on Event Planning. (I also helped bring Chocolatefest back 5 years ago and that is every year in January).
And finally....how in the heck did Creepycon come to exist?
I decided I was not having anymore children and gave birth to Creepycon. It is my 3rd child. Chocolatefest was my 2nd child. I created it, nurtured it and brought it forth into the world.
I figured I would put it out there and if people liked it, wonderful. If not, who cares, at least I tried? I created the website and facebook page and put the event on facebook. Within 48 hours it had over 600 people interested in it. I knew that the event had enough interest to at least try it. I booked the convention center and launched the 1st Creepycon on September 7th, 2017 as a one day event. We had almost 2000 people in 6 hours. Everyone was really excited about it so I knew this was something I needed to keep going with. We have a two-day show this year and so many things to see...you will need both days to do it!
I have a great team that I work with on Creepycon. No one can do it by themselves. I have worked with most of these people for several years and we are all Halloween/Horror enthusiasts. Collectively, we have around 40 years experience in the Halloween & Haunted Attraction industry. We have lived it. Now we want you to live it and love it as we do.
Join us at Creepycon 2018.
Questions for me? Comments? Criticisms? Suggestions?
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Managed by Night Moon Productions