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October 7-9 2022 at the Hilton Bloomington, 3900 American Blvd W, Bloomington, MN 55437

Decongestant 5 / ARCANA 2022 Progress Report 1

Hello fellow fans!

After postponing Decongestant 5 for two years, we are really truly having it this time. It is October 7-9, 2022, and it is in the same place as previous Decongestants, the Hilton Bloomington (3900 American Blvd W).

You may notice that the dates are not very long from now! The deadline for reserving hotel rooms at our rate is very soon, Tuesday Sept 6. You really do want to reserve by then, because there's a Vikings/Bears game that weekend, and it's likely you won't be able to get a room, for any money, afterwards.

The second deadline is to register by Sept 21. Preferably don't wait that long because we'd really like to know how many people are coming. for info on how to do both of those!

You probably know what Decongestant is, because otherwise you probably wouldn't be getting this e-mail. But maybe not! It's our mostly-a-relax-a-con. We'll have a weekend of hanging out with food and drink, and also a surprisingly complete track of programming.

This year, for the second time, we are partnering with ARCANA, a convention "Celebrating the Weird, the Macabre & the Dark Fantastic", and they are bringing programming in that vein, including Vampire GoH Brian Forrest.

That URL again, ! Hope to see you there!

Fannishly yours,
Matt Strait
Decongestant 5 chair

And for you ARCANIANS, a bit of what you can expect for your fannish tastes: GoH Brian Forrest isn't really a vampire, as Matt suggested. Under the name Toothpickings, Brian has been vlogging and blogging for five years about the intersection of vampire fiction, folklore, and popular culture, including film & TV. He has interviewed such vampire luminaries as John Edgar Browning, J Gordon Melton, Dacre Stoker, William Crain, Michelle Belanger, Jonathan Maberry, and Rose Sinister. Presenting at numerous conventions, he has been a guest on John Gaspard's "The Occasional Film Podcast" and the Rosenbach Museum's "Sunday With Dracula". His paper on Blacula will appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal "Dracula Beyond Stoker" and "Studies In The Fantastic" and will be presented at the Children of the Night Dracula Congress in November.

I attended Brian's presentation on BLACULA at the last CONvergence and was very impressed. Anyone who knows me understands that I can be very critical of convention programming, but Brian approached his subject matter in a way that approached enlightenment. I was thrilled that Brian accepted my invitation to present at and participate in ARCANA 2022! You do not want to miss what he has to say on vampires in literature and media. Speaking of media, I've also wrangled a number of top notch films that I'll be screening between panels & presentations throughout the weekend. I wish I could mention them by name ahead of time, but you know I can't. What I can say is "You won't be disappointed". I'll also be bringing the giant 2' x 3' Fastner & Larson promo poster for our cancelled 2020 con for you F&L fans to ogle. Yeah, you know who you are! What I CAN reveal are the synopses of the ARCANA-themed programming items below and leave you with this Bauhaus-Moody Blues mash up: "Bela Lugosi's dead. No, no, no, no ... He's outside ... looking in." Cue the dizzying Mellotron, Mike! as the audience groans.

Greg Larsen
Arcana Programming Guru
DeCONgestant 5

Well? Sign up already! Don't wait for Bela to stare you in the eye and exclaim "OBEY!"


2022 is a year of significant vampire anniversaries. Varney = 175, Carmilla = 150, Dracula = 125, Nosferatu = 100, Blacula = 50, Buffy = 25, and an unholy host of others. Come discuss these & others and stack your read/watch list for the year. Presenter: Brian Forrest

If you've never seen it, it was MUCH MORE than a novel twist on the vampire movie. Often mistaken for a mere Blaxploitation film of its time, the groundbreaking "Blacula" has turned 50!
Starring William Marshall (Richard Daystrom from Star Trek's "The Ultimate Computer" and The King of Cartoons from Pee-Wee's Playhouse), it was both praised and derided. This low-budget film set new trends in the horror and vampire genres, with a strong political undercurrent that is as relevant today as it was in 1972, only most people missed it. Come discuss the film's approach, where it succeeded and failed, and its legacy. An audio/visual presentation by Brian Forrest

A century ago, this silent cinematic original spawned an entire genre of horror movies, from the iconic Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee in their evening wear and capes, to Buffy's Angel and The Lost Boys. Yet, the original model still continues to rise again, casting his SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE over Werner Herzog's 1979 remake and in places like SALEM'S LOT. Come learn of Count Orlok's legacy! Greg Larsen (mod), Brian Forrest, [more]

As movie fans hesitantly return to theaters, there have been some genre gems on the big screen, but they've had a very short shelf life. Spoiler Alert if you have not seen MEN, NOPE or Cronenberg's return to his roots, CRIMES OF THE FUTURE, along with some that keep coming back, like MANDY with Nicolas Cage. You've been warned! Greg Larsen (mod), [more]

Covid changed the convention landscape more profoundly than we could have imagined, on top of all the other challenges of hosting a convention, big or small. Does Arcana have a future? Do you, the fans, want it to have one? Tell us what you think and we'll tell you what we know. Dwayne Olson, Greg Larsen


Register today at to experience Aracana 2022 programming!

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