One of the most exciting genre celebrations in recent years, the Salem Horror Fest returns for another round of special guests, epic events, and must-see screenings this October. Daily Dead is thrilled to once again be a media sponsor of the horror celebration, and in case you missed their announcements throughout the past year, the talented team at Salem Horror Fest just released a recap of their full schedule for this year's festival, including appearances by John Waters, Cassandra Peterson (as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), and the Crypt Keeper himself, John Kassir.

Salem Horror Fest 2019 will begin on Thursday, October 3rd and run through Sunday, October 13th. Go here to catch up on all of our Salem Horror Fest 2019 coverage, read the official press release below with full details on what to look forward to this year, and be sure to visit the festival's official website for more information:

Press Release: Salem MA - Salem Horror Fest returns this October 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 (The 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 Tales From the Crypt with the Cryptkeeper himself, John Kassir with the Shock Waves podcast.

The festival will premiere fourteen films - more than double their 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 Rachel True, Dante’s Inferno with live score by Goblin’s Maurizio Guarini, 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

[Photo Credit: Above John Waters photo by Greg Gorman.]

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.