Flint, MI — In a living room in north Flint, 8-year-old Paul Counelis watched Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein for the first time in the 1980s.
He was terrified, but he looked up at his dad, and he didn’t seem so scared.
“I look over at my dad and he has a big smile and he winks at me and then I know it’s okay,” he said.
From there, it became a regular thing. Counelis’ dad would make breakfast, and Counelis would sit in front of the television, watching whichever Abbott and Costello movie was on that day.
“I couldn’t get enough of it,” Counelis said.
And he’s not kidding, he really couldn’t get enough of it.
Several decades later, Counelis is now an organizer with the Flint Horror Collective.
The collective started in 2011 when they hosted the Flint Horror Con for four years. Now, they do events like MAYhem at the Market, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20, 2023, at the Flint Farmers’ Market.
Normally, Counelis said they host an “April Ghouls Day” event, but this year they decided to do it a little later.
Vendors from all throughout the state will come, bearing horror-themed items like posters, art, toys, films and more.
There will be crafters, authors, musicians and even a caricature artist.
He said it’s an event for the family, but for parents to remember that it is horror-themed.
While there are a lot of people who come consistently to events with the Flint Horror Collective, Counelis said new people tend to be interested in joining in on the fun too.
“It’s generally such a family feel in there,” he said. “All the vendors feel that too and extend it. It’s all just one big, weird family.”
Counelis said he loves the aspect of horror and he enjoys learning about something different than the everyday normal. He said this kind of activity is especially important in Flint.
“I think in Flint especially, that’s something that we need. Something to, you know, take your mind off of every day, so that’s kind of it for me,” he said.
Outside of the Flint Horror Collective, Counelis is a writer and an editor for magazines and books. He is also in a horror-themed band called “Lords of October”.