Where 'weirdos' unite: Duluthian launches Twin Ports Horror Society
“People are fascinated with true crime, and they won’t go anywhere near a ‘Friday the 13th’ movie, and that’s weird to me," said Cory Jezierski.
TWIN PORTS — Finding the Twin Ports Horror Society was a nightmare come true for Jason Zissos.
The Duluth man had been acting as online administrator of an all-things-horror group with folks across the U.S., but he quickly found what he wanted was buried in his own backyard.
It’s where “us weirdos” get together without being shamed for liking things that aren’t the norm, Zissos said. “You can drop your guard a little bit and not worry about people judging you for liking a murderous, possessed doll.”
This is what Cory Jezierski had in mind when he created the Facebook group. Five years later, the horror society has nearly 1,000 members.
Its hearty discussions and memes snowballed into horror-themed trivia nights, an annual Ghoulish Gala and a YouTube show “Twin Ports Horror Society Presents…” in which Jezierski interviews local horror-core hip-hop artist ILL Fortune , Ghostbusters North and Duluth Paranormal Society members, and a Duluth native running his own West Coast special effects studio, among others.
The key to keeping it light online, Jezierski said, is making it local. If you’re talking to someone you might see at the grocery store, there’s a better chance you’ll avoid impoliteness or over-opinionated commentary, he said. This good-naturedness virtual space is a draw for its members.
Kala Moria, of Duluth, has had her fair share of in-depth group conversations — on special effects vs. CGI; or if it’s zombies or infected humans in “28 Days Later.” Whatever the topic, it always stays respectful, she said.
When Moria joined in 2019, there were plenty of online crafting and sports groups, but the horror society was for her. She and fellow members have done Haunted Ship meetups; she helps host horror trivia nights; and she cultivated new relationships, which she didn’t see coming.
You meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise, find more things in common and make new friends. And for Moria, having the horror society during the evolving stages of COVID-19 was a lifesaver.
“I’m an extremely extroverted, social person, so just being able to have people I could talk to regularly, even if it was just online, was very important to my mental health,” she recalled.
The horror society introduced Mandy Lozon, of Superior, to a “very vocal” local camaraderie. “You’ll get your memes, your discussion — you’ll get everything,” she said.
Horror isn’t always viewed as a reputable industry, said Lozon. Still, she appreciates it because it’s a vacation from life’s chaos.“I've never felt so disconnected from reality than when watching a horror movie. It’s a great way to disconnect and dive right into something so different than my own reality,” she said.
Horror can be dismissed as just violence and gore, but it’s more than that, said Jezierski. “People are fascinated with true crime, and they won’t go anywhere near a ‘Friday the 13th’ movie, and that’s weird to me," he said. “I don’t need 10 more movies on Jeffrey Dahmer. That stuff doesn’t fascinate me beyond hearing it the first time."
The draw of the genre is its variety; sci-fi, folklore, action, comedy all fall under the umbrella — and, “it doesn’t take itself seriously.”
Moria gravitates to horror for the escapism. “There’s plenty in the real world that’s scary or real-world creepy for not-fun reasons. It’s nice to be scared and know it’s fake,” she said.
Learn more about the Twin Ports Horror Society on Facebook at tinyurl.com/ytnkse23 .
Cory Jezierski's top flicks
- “The Exorcist”
- “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
- “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark”
- “The Greasy Strangler”
- “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”
Kala Moria's top flicks
- “28 Days Later”
- “Nightmare on Elm Street”
- “The Grudge”
Jason Zissos' top flicks
- “An American Werewolf in London”
- “The Lost Boys”
- “Army of Darkness”
- “House of 1,000 Corpses”
Mandy Lozon's top flicks
- “Army of Darkness”
- “Hell House LLC”
- “Event Horizon”
- “The Fly”