Sunshine City Scare, a major horror convention, arrives in St. Pete this weekend

Sunshine City Scare, a major horror convention, arrives in St. Pete this weekend

a man stands in front of a glass case with monster figurines displayed.

Calling all scream queens, horror buffs, and final girls! A new breed of horror convention called ‘Sunshine City Scare‘ is coming to St. Petersburg this weekend, May 13-14, at the Coliseum and surrounding area. And the inaugural event is making several firsts for the city, state, and universe.

St. Petersburg, “The Sunshine City,” joins other large Florida cities like Orlando and Tampa as well as smaller municipalities like Ocala and Cocoa in hosting a horror convention. While many Florida cities have comic conventions, far fewer can boast of hosting a horror con. 


“St. Pete is ready for an annual horror con, after showing tremendous support for our comic con and anime festival,” said convention organizer Dewey Caruthers, who also created St. Pete Comic Con and Anime St. Pete that draw more than 3,500 per event, also held at the Coliseum.

Horror legends gather in St. Pete for one spooky weekend

Sunshine City Scare features four horror subgenres: Anime horror and video game horror as well as horror in movies & TV and a very special guest. Celebrity guests include voice actors and live-action actors from popular anime shows, video games, and movies like Chainsaw Man, Tokyo Ghoul, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Cabin in the Woods, and Sleepy Hollow. And the very special guest is the creator of the iconic Monster High.

The firsts to the city, state and universe include:


  • St. Petersburg’s first horror convention.
  • Florida’s first horror convention to feature anime horror as a main focus, which includes anime voice actors, an evil maid cafe, frightening idol performers, and more than 20 hours of panel discussions.
  • First-ever convention visit to Florida by the creator of the iconic Monster High.
  • The universe’s first ‘Happy Murder’s Day,’ which celebrates Mother’s Day in a unique way. (and it’s far better than a boring ham dinner and soon-to-be-dead flowers). 

And the event’s focus on video game horror that includes voice actors, a gaming section, and  competitions further adds to the distinction of the event.

Multiple contests held throughout the weekend

This first-of-its-kind horror con will feature five contests with a total of $1,500 in cash prizes. There will be two cosplay contests (Craftsmanship on Saturday and Runway on Sunday), as well as a lip sync contest, a fan art competition, and a Tiktok film festival

In addition, the convention will honor mothers, since May 14 is Mother’s Day. For the special day, Sunshine City Scare crafted a concoction called “Happy Murder’s Day,” celebrating mothers who are murderers or who have birthed murderers in horror movies, which includes films ranging from Psycho to Pearl, and everything in-between. 

“We believe mothers deserve better than a boring ham dinner and soon-to-be-dead flowers, so we created Happy Murder’s Day,” Caruthers said. All weekend will feature card-crafting (Happy Murder’s Day cards), a special photo space, panel discussions, and a cosplay contest — all around the theme of mothers who murder. 

Top tier guests and panelists at Sunshine City Scare

Top guests include:

  • Ryan Colt Levy is a voice actor known for voicing the main character from the most popular show: Denji from Chainsaw Man. Levy also voices characters from Attack on Titan, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and My Hero Academia.
  • Linsday Seidel is a voice actor known for voicing Pochita from Chainsaw Man, Eto from Tokyo Ghoul, Gabi Braun from Attack on Titan, and Celestia Ludenburg from Dangonronpa: The Animation.
  • Stephanie Panisello is a voice actor known for voicing Claire Redfield in the iconic video horror game Resident Evil. She also voices characters in other major gaming franchises like Final Fantasy.
  • Garrett Sander is the creator of the iconic Monster High dolls, which spawned a franchise that includes the tv seriesfilmsweb series, and other content for a fan-base that spans two generations.
  • Jodelle Ferland is a live-action actor known for the roles of Alessa and Dark Alessa from the Silent Hill movie based on the iconic video game. Also, she played minor but significant roles in movies such as in the major franchise Twilight, the critically-acclaimed Cabin in the Woods, and the popular animation ParaNorman.


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