On Oct. 12 and 13, Mahnomen, Minnesota is going to get a little bit spookier.
ParaCon is an annual convention that celebrates all things paranormal at the Shooting Star Casino. The convention features three days of speakers, booths and merchandise to buy.
Special guests at this year’s ParaCon include Austin Amelio from AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; Nick Groff and Elizabeth Saint from Destination America’s “Ghosts of Shepherdstown”; Grant Wilson, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango from SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters”; and John Zaffis from Syfy’s “Haunted Collector.”
Overall, the lineup is spooky, with plenty of enjoyment for cryptid connoisseurs to ghost gurus and magic maniacs to haunted hobbyists.
ParaCon is now in its eighth year.
“I had been watching all these guys for years,” Bob Stevens, entertainment manager for Shooting Star, said at last year’s ParaCon. “When Bill Marsh, who’s our general manager now, he first came to work for us as our marketing manager. One of the first things, he came to me and asked would I be interested in putting together some kind of paranormal convention. I jumped at it, of course, and took it on from there.”
ParaCon isn’t just for those who believe in the other side: it also sees a wide range of fans who are interested in all things unknown or unexplained.
Included in the presenters and booth participants are cryptozoologists, or those who study and explore cryptids (creatures that have yet to be proven to exist), UFO experts that watch the skies for extraterrestrial visitors and a wide range of sellers with crystals and sage to keep away bad spirits or keep in good vibes.
ParaCon is also situated safely in October, a month where the weird and unexplained become more accepted, which is by no means an accident.
Loren Coleman, a cryptozoologist who’s been a part of ParaCon for the past six years, said at last year’s convention, “It’s interesting; this is the most open-minded month. October and Halloween brings a lot of people out about ghosts. They’re not afraid to talk about Bigfoot.”
Tickets for ParaCon range from $110, which includes passes to the VIP dinner on Thursday evening, to $75 for a two-day presentation pass.
To purchase tickets or to see a full schedule of events and speakers, visit www.starcasino.com or the Facebook event page.
WHAT: ParaCon 2018
WHEN: Oct. 11 – 13, times vary
WHERE: Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minnesota
PRICE: $75 – $110
ADDITIONAL INFO: Facebook event page