Last chance to vote on local Jessica Chisum, aka Black Betty, for Miss Horrorfest
photos by Heathervescent
While as a child in Alaska, Jessica Chisum used to stage her own gruesome death scenes for her parents to arrive home to. “Most scenarios involved laying in a terribly uncomfortable position with a large kitchen knife, and lots of ketchup. The first time my Mother found me, she was horrified. After that, they seemed to catch on.”
More recently, Chisum is better known as her alterego, Black Betty, one of four finalists in the Miss Horrorfest scream queen contest(previously mentioned here). The winner becomes “the face of 8 Films To Die For… and receive $50,000.00 as well as making appearances on TV & Radio and have their likeness splattered on posters and billboards around the country.”
Before making the move to Los Angeles five years ago, Chisum earned her acting degree in Seattle, after being born and raised in “The Land of the Midnight Sun,” Fairbanks, Alaska. “It is a little known fact that Vampires often vacation in Alaska during the winters,” Jessica says. “In fact, they fit right in amongst the white-faced black-clothed hibernating masses.”
Perhaps as a way to avoid those same vampires, during “those long, dark, cold (-65) winters”, she “cultivated a curious obsession with horror movies.” Chisum explains that one of the reasons she deserves the Miss Horrorfest crown is due to her love of those films, as well as being “a whiz at horror trivia” and being able to stage “clever re-enactments.”
And then, “there’s that scream.” Chisum describes hers as “a piercing, too-long lasting shriek that dies out in a blood-curdling moan. As any screamer knows, the key is to be completely relaxed yet terrified at the same time.”
Black Betty didn’t even exist until half an hour before the Los Angeles audition for Miss Horrorfest. At the urging of some friends, Chisum only tried out after being assured “she was perfect for it”.
(another pic of Black Betty after the jump)
“I had no plan, no gimmick, no special effects.. just a wig and a little black dress. All I knew was, I could scream. But as soon as I walked in, Black Betty took over. Definitely a Jekyll and Hyde scenario. Part pin-up, part dominatrix, part goth girl. She’s Bettie Page meets Elvira and Vampira in a dark alley in the redlight district.”
Slipping into the Black Betty persona, she says that what keeps her in Los Angeles are the “friendly little beetles that adorn all the sidewalks. That and the multitude of other bizarre personalities; a person might even start to feel normal.”
To give our hometown ghoul an edge in the Miss Horrorfest competition, check out and rank her videos BY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT at YouTube:
While it was originally planned to have the winner announced this past Halloween, some poltergeists apparently caused problems, and the winner of the Miss Horrorfest contest is scheduled to be announced tomorrow. Black Betty promises me she’ll send a messenger beetle to tell me the news.