What A Lovely Day For A Transforming Exorcism...

A few weeks ago, I found myself down in the DC area for a fun afternoon of toy robots and legendary voices. I must be in town for TFCon, the annual Transformers convention! I also attended the Toronto edition in July with my longtime buddy, JD of General Geekery, where I met voice actors Michael Bell and Arthur Burghardt, but this show was a bit different. Toronto was a lot of fun and I hope to make it back next year, especially if the caliber of voice actors is what it was this year!

Arthur Burghardt aka Destro

Michael Bell aka Duke, The Hulk, Chucky's Dad on Rugrats, jeez I wish I had more space...

Whereas the Toronto edition overtook the entire hotel, this show was only given two ballrooms for the voice actors, panels, and vendor area. Obviously, there was a giant difference. Now this sounds like a bad thing on paper, but the show was packed on a Sunday, which is very hard to do for most shows. Of course not attending the show on the busy day, Saturday, didn't give me the opportunity to witness just how big it could be. For me, the main draw is always meeting the voice actors and getting a chance to shake the hands of those who provided me with such entertainment in my youth. In my opinion, voice actors just don't get enough credit for what they do and the volume of work they amassed int heir careers, so it's always an honor for me to shake their hands and say thank you.

The guests in attendance for this show? Neil Ross and Jack Angel.

Neil Ross aka Shipwreck from GI Joe, among his other amazing roles!

Jack Angel aka The Flash, Hawkman, Ultra Magnus, WetSuit and so many countless others!
You definitely know them from Transformers, GI Joe, Hannah Barbera and just every cartoon in existence. Both men have worked extensively in animation and have some of the most impressive resumes ever. I only spent a few moments with each, but I got them to sign my GI Joe The Movie DVD, which is running out of room, and even told me a fun story or two about working on them. I was absolutely thrilled to finally meet them.

So after the show, my friend Andrew and I headed to Taco Bell for some lunch and a suggestion came out of me:

"Hey, Andrew. We're 30 minutes away. Why don't we hit the Exorcist Stairs once and for all?"

Andrew looked at his taco, looked at me, took a sip of his Mountain Dew Baja Blast and replied:

"Let's f'ing do this, man.".

Well now. Andrew has a had a busy weekend, was probably a little worn out from my bachelor party, his NY Giants were about to play this afternoon, so I didn't expect him to be so open. Not that I would've been upset had he said he just wanted to go home considering how busy he's been carting me around all week, but hey we once drove 3 hours for White Castles, what's a 30 minute trip to see a famous movie location? Nonetheless, after some nachos and stopping at a gas station for a cigar and some bottled waters, we were off.  For years when I lived in MD, I've talked about hitting these legendary steps before but never made my way out to Georgetown to do so. I just never made it my highest priority. But, once I moved up to NY I started to regret never going. So it made perfect sense that if we were only 30 minutes away, we should at least  attempt to head over.

Well...after a drive on the beltway, which apparently they were doing work, because this drive was not 30 minutes after all, we pulled in to a small parking lot adjacent to a gas station and lo and behold...WE'RE HERE!

 And so were many other locals to check it out as well!

First impression of the steps? Man, these suckers are HIGH!  I was expecting a lot of steps, but if you've never been here, the pictures you see don't do it justice. There's a lot of steps here and they're STEEP too.  People in better physical shape than me were having toruble conquering the devilish creation. I tried my hardest to walk up and down these things 3 times and I needed a nap afterwards. It wasn't common to see people walk or jog up, and take a breather halfway.

At the bottom of these iconic stairs is a plaque, recognizing it's legendary status as well as it's role in the movie. Not bad for a horror movie icon, eh?

I swear I'm not urinating

So of course, being a big ham, I had to wear my Exorcist 3 hoodie from Fright Rags and that lead to lots of locals asking me to play tour guide and wanting to know more about the movie. Now, that wasn't my intention, I just wanted some cool photos but hey, you wear a cape, you gotta be prepared to save people I guess!

Again: STEEP. For someone who's completely uncoordinated and trips over his own rabbits when they race around the apartment, I got a little overwhelmed here.

Just don't look down. You WILL feel like you're about to fall and plummet to your doom. Looking down from the top to bottom can especially cause a little fright. Not like Vertigo, of course but it's still a lot to take in. Thankfully I didn't fall to my death like Father Merrin...

Oh wait...

slipped on a banana peel...

I'm so glad I finally had the chance to check these stairs out. If you're a horror fan and are in the area, stop by. It's well worth the drive, and the visit! Of course, if it's at night, I bet they're even creepier...

Big thanks to Andrew for being willing to travel this day to both TFCon and The Exorcist steps. I wouldn't have been able to have as much fun without him!


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