The spookiest event of the season is back from its not-so-final resting place, and people are dying to get in.
Gearheads and lovers of the macabre are headed to Weston September 21–23 for a frighteningly fun time at the fifth annual Hearsemania.
Three words sum up this unique gathering best: “Hearses, history, and Halloween,” says John Ehmer, the man behind the madness. And from what we can tell, he’s dead on.
Hearsemania started out as a car club for those who have unique tastes. “We share our love of funeral vehicles, or ‘professional cars,’” says Ehmer. “Professional cars” are distinguished by their unique wheelbases and uses, such as hearses, flower cars, service cars, ambulances, and limos. What started as four separate hearse groups coming together—now sponsors of the car show—has grown into a dedicated community of people celebrating the mysterious sides of life. “We have everyone from every walk of life—funeral directors, retirees, young teens. We all get along,” he says, and they are always happy to welcome newcomers.
You might have come across these ghosts and ghouls at their previous haunt in Moundsville when Hearsemania was still a one-day event. It has now grown into three days of celebrations hosted at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a fantastic backdrop for any type of show, Ehmer says.
And it’s not just the car show you have to look forward to. A plethora of activities on the schedule will rattle your bones, from haunted houses to costume contests to guest speakers. The fun kicks off Thursday at 11 a.m. with a tour of Machpelah Cemetery in Weston. Visit notable locales, like the Barbour County Historical Museum, where a few mummies have found their eternal rest.
Friday is the perfect time to tour the TALA and see a part of West Virginia’s darker—and more supernatural—history. Lucky Stiff’s Post Mortem Ball is scheduled for that night, with live music, fire spinning, and catering by South Texas Barbecue Co.
Catch the professional cars decked out for the season at the Hearsemania car show on Saturday starting at 10 a.m., with food trucks and art and craft vendors. At 6 p.m., don your best black and watch the procession of professional vehicles make its way through downtown Weston before returning to the Asylum grounds, where attendees can join in an attempt to break the world record for the most mourners at a funeral for a fictional character: Hearsemania’s late friend, Lucky Stiff. Spend the evening exploring the haunted house, playing Zombie Paintball, shopping at the night market, and seeing the cars lit up in the ultimate professional car light show.
Ehmer and the crew are looking forward to welcoming new guests into the fray. “Hearsemania includes a lot of people’s interests: cemeteries, horror, and history. Our type of people weren’t always invited places, and we want people to join in with us. We’re building friendship through the community, the car club, and the oddballs we associate with.”
Follow “Hearsemania” on Facebook for the full schedule of events and ways you can get involved in the marvelous mayhem.