While your feet are comfortably submerged in the sand, digest this thought: It's only two months before Halloween season begins. This weekend, Long Islanders get a head start at the inaugural Haunt-Faire at the Upsky Long Island Hotel in Hauppauge. This two-day event, Saturday and Sunday, is centered on smarter spooking. Panel discussions will cover the art of putting together a haunted house or creating costumes, and local horror attractions are seeking new ghouls.
"We are bringing in very knowledgeable folks from the haunted house industry to educate people on the dos and don'ts, plus local haunts that offer employment opportunities," says Elsie Ginsberg of TwitchTwitch Productions, which is putting on the event. "There are a lot of serious die-hard horror fans on Long Island."
Here are some activities you will encounter, if you dare to partake.
SPFX MAKEUP WARS COMPETITION
2 p.m. Saturday
Watch eight special-effects makeup artists go head-to-head in a 90-minute makeup faceoff competition in which each has to design a post-apocalyptic character.
One of the competitors is Stephanie Sabolenko of Mastic Beach, who goes by the nickname Bloody Sabo. Although she's always been an artist, Sabolenko only started getting into the makeup game two years ago.
"I do all kinds of makeup, but the gory stuff is my favorite," says Sabolenko, who will also host a panel, "Makeup 101: Blood, Guts & Gore!" Sunday at noon. "I started watching 'The Walking Dead' and thought, 'I can do that!' "
She has her design ready to go and is unfazed by the contest's time constraint.
"Being a mother of six kids, there's no such thing as time," says Sabolenko. "I've learned how to work very fast."
GHOUL SCHOOL 101
12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Get educated on how to properly frighten the living daylights out of another human being while maintaining a safe environment.
"There are two types of actors: the perpetrator and the victim. You have to determine which one you are," says Mike Meola, owner of Darkside Haunted House in Wading River, who will co-host the panel. He's also looking for new blood for his haunt (translation: he's hiring now for fall). "There are people who are shy and reserved," Meola says. "But once they get into character, they really come out of their shell."
GHOST HUNTING AND SPIRITUAL ENERGY CONNECTION
4 p.m. Saturday
Venture into the world of the unknown with the "Queen of the Paranormal" -- Kadrolsha Ona Carole -- who stars in "CC The Huntress" TV/web series and claims to have channeled spirits since the age of 8.
"I thought it was normal to talk to spirits as a child. I'd just keep digging to get information," says Carole. "I believe everybody is born with God-given intuition. Some people don't know they have it. It's how you develop it. I want to pass on that knowledge."
'INSIDIOUS' SCREENING AND Q&A
11:30 a.m. Saturday
One of the most celebrated horror films in recent years is James Wan's "Insidious," a story about parents who strive to prevent evil spirits from claiming their child.
A screening of the 2010 film is followed by a Q&A with featured actors Philip Friedman and J. LaRose.
One of the shuttering moments comes from Friedman, who played a treacherous old woman, an image that's hard to forget.
Friedman, who grew up in Glen Cove, admits, "At every convention I have people coming over saying, 'I'm so happy to meet you in person. Now, I don't have to have nightmares about your character!' "
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday at the Upsky Long Island Hotel, 110 Motor Pkwy., Hauppauge
INFO 516-395-3049, haunt-faire.com
ADMISSION $20 Saturday, $15 Sunday, $25 weekend pass
2 p.m.-1:15 a.m. Macabre Faire Film Festival
4:30 p.m. Haunted Hotties contest
5 p.m. Corpse Couture Fashion Show
6 p.m. Movie museum, haunted car show, costume contest
7 p.m. Things That Never Were After-party with rock bands Demon Boy, Voodoo Terror Tribe and Born of Scars
11:45 a.m. Screening of Dario Argento's "Suspiria" followed by Q&A with actress Barbara Magnolfi at 1:30 p.m.