Bands | Performers & Guests | Panels | Events | DJs

The Brother of Death: Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Goth Culture
Since its publication in the late ’80s, the Sandman comics have transformed into a modern classic of Gothic literature with people today still cosplaying as the now familiar characters known as the Endless. This panel will bring together fans of this epic work to talk about their own relationships to the graphic novel as well as its significance in Gothic culture as a whole.
Speakers: Raina Sinclair; Stormageddon; Caitlin S.


Cemetery Time—Architecture, Symbolism, & Energy
If you walk through a cemetery, especially one with an old burial section, and you will notice stories in the symbols carved into the gravestones. There is a variety of common and not-so-common cemetery symbols and final impressions of how the deceased wished to be remembered. Cemeteries are places of quiet repose where the dead are left to their eternal rest, but energies change from daytime to night-time; some energies are forceful and dark, while some just want to be acknowledged. This panel will discuss the architecture and symbolism of the dead and why some burial sites become so charged with paranormal energy.
Speaker: Lady D


Connecting Goths: New Goth City
Meet’s founder and creator, Sir William Welles, as he describes his 10+ year venture of creating an ever-growing nationwide Goth culture information nexus & U.S. travel guide, plus hear about his exciting upcoming projects and his personal take on the future of Goth culture as a whole! Ask him your burning questions during the special Q&A session at the end.
Speaker: Sir William Welles


Consent and Goth Culture: A Roundtable Discussion
How does the goth subculture compare to the mainstream in terms of addressing consent and dismantling rape culture? How do these topics apply specifically to our scene, and how can we make the scene safer for everyone? Con-goers are invited to join in this moderated discussion.
Moderators: Syndey Clifford; Julia O’Connell; Jade Luna; Linsey Ray


Corporate Goth
Can you be a goth in the corporate world? Join us for a discussion on how to express yourself in the office while still maintaining an air of professionalism.
Speakers: Tina Phillips; Stacey Campbell; Cyndie Myst; Sharon; Amaya Booker; Paul M. Graham


Crafting: Ceramic Skulls
Paint and decorate your own ceramic skull to take home! We provide paints, markers, jewels, feathers and other supplies. This is a free craft activity with a limit of 36 people, kids get first dibs! Goth parent Rudy and his little monster Lidia will be hosting.
Presented by: Rudy Heydt


Crafting: Halloween Coloring Books
Bring your baby bats of all ages for some relaxing coloring time! Goth parent Rudy and his little monster Lidia host an hour of coloring and spooktacular fun, with crayons, markers, and a variety of Halloween-themed coloring books to choose from.
Presented by: Rudy Heydt


Dark Side Awakens – Morning Yoga (Hangover Relief)
You made it to the last day of the con! Start it off right with some conscious breathing & stretches. After the session you’ll feel rejuvenated, clear headed and ready to rage the day away. Dress to stretch and impress.
Presented by: Valerie Abbey of Abbey Death


Dark Visual Arts: Illustrators and Painters
The goth scene has always been associated with an emphasis on aesthetics and dramatic visuals, so it’s not surprising that we would find quite a few professional artists in our midst. In this panel, we bring together a variety of illustrators and painters from different backgrounds and styles to share with you their experiences creating and marketing spooky artwork on a professional level. Meet Steven Archer, a fine artist (as well being as a member of the band Ego Likeness) whose paintings have been shown in galleries across the country; Kimberlee Traub, a creator of dark pen-and-ink illustrations and imaginative art installations; Dr. Calyn Pickens Rich, the cartoonist behind “Dining with Dana,” a popular web comic featuring a plus-sized black goth girl; and Kenny Harris, who creates eerie, stylized renditions of mythological figures and arranges them in intriguing theatrical installations.
Speakers: Steven Archer; Kimberlee Traub; Dr. Calyn Pickens Rich; Kenny Harris


EBM Bootcamp – An Introduction to Computer Generated Music
Ever wanted to make your own electronic music but don’t know how to get started? Then this workshop is for you! Join Distortion Production’s artist Paul M. Graham of Tragic Impulse for an overview of the hardware, software, and tools you need to begin your journey into creating your own electronic music. Covered topics will also include basic song-writing techniques and real-life electronic music experiences to help unlock your creative energies.
Presented by Paul M. Graham


Growing up doesn’t mean you need to abandon the culture, style, music, and interests you appreciated in younger days. How does your lifestyle change as you mature? What are the benefits of maturity and are there any drawbacks? Who are the Goth Elders of our community and what are they doing to build? Get ready to engage in an entertaining discussion of music, fashion, travel, family, and community that touches on the past, seizes the present, and aims to the future because being Goth has no age limit.
Speakers: Madame X; Herr Wülfsunus; Doktor John; Thom Truelove; Night Mary


Fabricators Anonymous
This cosplay discussion by professional cosplayers will cover techniques for working with all sorts of mediums, working within your budget, performance art, and putting your best face forward.
Speakers: Katie Lee (White Rabbit Cosplays); Minnie d’Moocha; Zadra


Fetish 201 (18+)
You had an intro to fetish at the last Dark Side Of The Con–this panel will cover more advanced fetish topics and kinks.
Speakers: Xris SMack!; Ashley Bad; and guests


Glitches of the Goth: Gothic Subculture Throughout Video Games
An introspect on the darker side of video games that explores their occult, macabre, and grim themes and aesthetics. From Castlevania to Bloodborne, American McGee’s Alice to Vampire the Masquerade, and even the Cyberpunk wastes of Shadowrun to Deus Ex, the video game world is rife with the elixirs of sorrow.
Speaker: Kyle Lynch


Gothic Fashion for ALL Shapes and Sizes
Are you feeling bored with the mass-produced alternative clothing you see online? Are you discouraged by the fact that most clothing is ill-fitting and comes only in Small/Medium/Large? Do you often wish you felt more confident in your wardrobe when you step outside your door? Well, Miss E is here to help you! A mostly self-taught seamstress and creator of OOAK fashion items, Miss E (known as Madame Absinthe online) believes that people of ALL sizes and body types should have amazing fashion choices. In this panel, she will teach you to upcycle/alter your clothing and fully express yourself through your unique fashion to feel more confident and powerful.
Speaker: Miss E


Gothic History: The Original Goths, and How They Shaped the World
Historian John Lestrange will give an overview of the history of how the Gothic people (as in, the Germanic tribes) influenced the modern world: from architecture to conquering Rome, and everything in between.
Speaker: John Lestrange


Gothic Horror in Cinema
In this panel, fans of horror films will discuss the genre, from the era of silent cinema through to modern day releases. They will field questions about their favorites throughout time and debate the merits of originals vs. remakes.
Speakers: Roteal; Donna Lynch; Andy Deane; Patrick McGowan; Angel Metro


Gothic Literature: The Female Gothic
Women have been at the center of the Gothic literary movement since its very beginnings, from early adopters like Clara Reeve, to trendsetters like Ann Radcliffe and Mary Shelley, who wrote one of the most enduring Gothic novels of all time. Join Julia O’Connell of The Gothic Library to learn about how female authors and readers in the 1700s and 1800s helped to define the genre.
Speaker: Julia O’Connell, The Gothic Librarian


Goths of Color: Exploring Race in the Alternative Scene
In a subculture that tends to uplift paleness as its prototypical beauty standard, what is it like to be a person of color? On one side, you might encounter prejudice and erasure within the goth scene. On the other side, you may face disapproval and misunderstanding from your family and community. Join us for an open dialogue as the panelists discuss their experiences, both good and bad, and how race intersects with alternative subcultures.
Speakers: Kitty Deane; Olivia Trotman; Savvie Ruthless; Eva Montas; Luna Minuit


History Of Horror
This panel will trace the evolution of horror literature from the Gothic novels of the 18th century to the ghost stories and penny dreadfuls of the Victorian era, the Weird Fiction of the early 20th century, and on to the many forms that horror takes today. Join Julia O’Connell of The Gothic Library to learn how this genre has changed through the ages.
Speaker: Julia O’Connell, The Gothic Librarian


How to Put Spikes on Anything
You can put can put an edgy, alternative twist on almost any piece of clothing, accessory, or other item just by adding a few spikes. Amber O’Boyle of Kiss Designs will walk you through how to engineer spikes onto all sorts of new and upcycled items and not have them fall out or sag at weird angles.
Speaker: Amber O’Boyle


Iron Garden Special Gathering
The Iron Garden is a New Jersey-based organization providing a safe haven for gathering, socialization, education, promotion of the arts, charity-work, and fun for the New Jersey Nightkind Community. We are comprised of mature, discrete, intelligent, like-minded folk. We welcome Houses, Covens, Dens and Ronin Independents who are Pagan, Vampires, Witches, Therians, Otherkin, Black Swans, Life-stylers, Poets, and Scholars alike. The Iron Garden is a safe haven and neutral ground for fun, pleasure, entertainment, socialization, creative expression, interpersonal growth, and networking. This 2-hour special gathering will include a conclave discussion on “From The Dark Night of the Soul onto Awakening” by Kevin Lindahl; a keynote speech by Madame X on Otherkin; and a Limpia Equinox Ceremony led by Krystal Martinez. You will also be given the opportunity to meet Iron Garden’s featured artist Maura Donahue and featured author Brian McKinley.
Presenters: Kevin Lindahl; Madame X; Krystal Martinez; Maura Donahue; Brian McKinley


It’s Black Friday presents: How to be a Successful Youtuber
Gothic Youtube sensation “It’s Black Friday” has over 600k followers on Youtube and is perhaps the most successful Gothic Youtuber. She talks about her career as a successful Youtuber and teaches tips and tricks on how to become an internet sensation on Youtube.
Speaker: It’s Black Friday


Meet & Greet Session with It’s Black Friday
Come and meet your favorite Goth YouTuber, “Its Black Friday”! This Meet & Greet gives you the opportunity to connect with her in person instead of your computer screen. Ask her about her favorite black lipstick, or pose for a spooky photo together!
Speaker: It’s Black Friday


Nightmare-Eater: Dream Catchers from the Dark Side
Learn the origins of the dream catcher and how to construct your own under the guidance of Wolf, who learned the craft directly from the Lenape leader Quiet Thunder. Then, build your very own dream catcher with a contemporary Dark Side twist, while learning about passive magick. You’ll have the option to make an industrial dream catcher out of barbed wire, to incorporate silk flowers, and to decorate with skull-shaped beads or animal bones. Participants are encouraged to bring a personal item of their own to work into the design.
*This is a ticketed event to cover materials cost. The $20 Nightmare-Eater add-on can be purchased at checkout (see Tickets tab). Tickets are limited and may not be available at the door.*
Presented by Wolf (of Solstice Born Pottery)

Reignite Presents: Vampires in Video Games—Hunt or Be Hunted
MJ and Matt, hosts of the podcast Reignite, make it their business to get overly invested in videogames. Join them as they take a break from epic sci-fi dramas to discuss something else they love—vampires! They will talk about different games where you can hunt or be hunted, give you recommendations and reviews, and then take a closer look at the vampire representations they like best. This panel will be recorded as a live show for Reignite Podcast.
Speakers: MJ Bradley; Stormageddon

Sensuous Subtexts of Gothic Literature
Join Chelsea Goodwin, host of the radio show In Goth We Trust, for a discussion of Gothic Literature (from the late 18th century to the present) as a subversive means of discussing sensuality in a repressed culture.
Speaker: Chelsea Goodwin

Spooky Storytime for Kids
Bring your little ones and listen as MJ Bradley reads aloud from some favorite spooky picture books, including Vampirina Ballerina and Neil Gaiman’s Dangerous Alphabet.
Presented by MJ Bradley


Trans and Non-Binary Goth Culture
Trans/non-binary attendees and allies are welcome to join this facilitated discussion about the role of gender-nonconforming folk in goth culture.
Speakers: Chelsea Goodwin; Dr. Rusty Mae Moore; Jade Luna; Fin Lumino


Transcend into Divination
Have you ever felt energy exchanges and just knew how another person was feeling? Do you feel drawn to certain people without knowing why? You might be an Empath and have the gift of divination! Come learn more about aura readings, tarot readings, and how to be more in tune with your inner spirit.
Speakers: Jade Luna; Madame X; Fin Lumino; Anka; Chloe Alexis; Linsey Ray


VIP Feedback Session
This is the end of the road! Give us your feedback and suggestions on Dark Side Of The Con! Tell us how we can improve for future events!
Speakers: Jet; Chloe Alexis; Julia O’Connell


What Is Love?: Polyamory
Have you ever felt that monogamy shouldn’t be the norm in today’s society? That it should be possible and acceptable to love more than one person at a time? At this panel, we’ll answer all of your questions about what it’s like to be in a polyamorous relationship, from how to deal with jealousy to how similar or different it may be from how polyamory is portrayed in the mainstream media.
Speakers: Jade Luna; Phoenix; MJ Bradley; John Lestrange; Khrys Exposito


Witchcraft 101
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to cast a spell or to will your wants and needs into existence? Then my friend, you may want to look into witchcraft! In this panel, your fellow practitioners will be guiding you through the basics of witchcraft, from choosing a path to casting your first spell! All your questions will be answered at Witchcraft 101.
Speakers: Hades; Rivetwitch; Justin


Women in Goth/Industrial Music
Join Donna of Ego Likeness, Valerie of Abbey Death, Stacey of Spider Lilies, Mari of Helix, Anka of The Long Losts, and Amelia Arsenic as they talk about their experiences as artists and musicians in our scene.
Speakers: Donna Lynch, Valerie Gentile; Stacey Campbell; Mari Kattman; Anka; Amelia Arsenic


Write A Song With Bella Morte
The audience gives suggestions on song styles, lyrics and more as you collectively write a song with Bella Morte.
Speakers: Bella Morte