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I had a great time at the SW PA HauntedCon!
This past weekend I hopped into my little car and tootled down to Waynesburg, PA, a town I hadn’t been to since the 2010 Sheep & Fiber Festival....and I can’t believe how quickly time flies now I say that. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for an indoor/outdoor event. This was the second SW PA HauntedCon, and I hope this will be an annual event for many years to come. It's worth the trip!
HauntedCon was hosted at the Greene County Historical Society Museum, which is located at the site of the old county poor house and has a lot of history and hauntings associated with it.
The museum is situated on grounds with many outbuildings. There is the main house, originally under private ownership, then it was sold to the county and expanded to become the poor house in the mid-1800s. Then there are several cabins and outbuildings behind that, a large barn, and another cabin to the front of the barn. There is even a railroad restoration workshop of some kind, but I didn’t have time to explore that.
The event featured speakers in the barn area, vendors in the main house, and refreshments were served in the cabin in front of the barn.
There was also a Native American cultural interpreter — Todd Johnson of Ghost in the Head — reenacting in the cabins behind the main house. The gentleman told me he is Huron and spends his days as a living history educator and actor who demonstrates what living in a particular period would have been like, and everything on display in the cabin was made by him. For instance, he showed me a pump drill, which I’d never seen before. And because I’m a crafter, I really enjoyed looking at the beadwork on display as well.
Here’s the lecture lineup:
- Ron Murphy spoke about witches and witchcraft, both from a broader historical perspective and a local perspective, including a really spooky encounter he once had with an entity that may related to a local witch story. Ask him to tell you about his scarf if you ever bump into him — it’s a good one!
- Kevin Paul gave a preview of his upcoming book (full disclosure: I edited it) and while doing so, he let the audience know he didn’t realize he’d written 13 chapters until I pointed it out to him. I will never not notice 13 of anything; it’s in my blood! :) Look for Vol. 2 of Haunted Hills & Hollows soon.
- Stan Gordon spoke about continued anomalies in Pennsylvania. Stan couldn’t attend in person, but I have a lot of respect for how he called in and gave the lecture over the phone, hooked up to the sound system via Google Voice and a laptop.
- Northern Appalachian Paranormal Society (N.A.P.S.) gave a lecture on some of their findings from investigating the museum. I unfortunately missed most of this one due to needing a break for water.
- Joey & Tonya Madia gave a lecture on their experiences investigating the museum and also the Earle W. Webb, Jr., Memorial Library in Morehead, NC, which they spent two years investigating, as well as some time they spent in Point Pleasant, WV (scene of the famous Mothman phenomenon).
- Panel discussion with all the speakers, which was very interactive. Instead of just taking audience questions, the panel treated it like a roundtable discussion that included the room at large. Topics touched on having respect for the subjects and properties in paranormal investigations, including how if an entity makes it known investigators aren’t wanted, they’ll stop investigating that area. (This reminded me of the time an entity escorted me politely out of a building in Gettysburg, but that’s a story for another time). Also discussed were NDEs and “Summerland” (in which I found out my NDE experience is not necessarily unique, so now I’m curious for more info about that—also a story for another time); and general questions/comments from the audience.
The vendors were located inside the main building. Books, candles, luminaries, masks/notebook covers/tea towels, whimsical birdhouses, tarot readings, unique accessories, awesome art, T-shirts, and some really cool soaps. Below are some pictures of the items I bought (because of course I bought a book and a journal and some art for my office), and I'm including some links to books you can check out by authors who were at the event. (I’m an editor, okay? I’m always going to recommend good books. 📚)
The weather was nice and the scenery was breathtaking. Everyone seemed to have fun, too! I think even the ghosts were enjoying it, because until I got upstairs into a particular section of the building, the house itself felt light as a spring breeze — for the most part. There were a few heavy spots here and there — and at least one room I did not want to go into. And at one point I heard footsteps that were not exactly possible—someone was coming up behind me, and there wasn’t anyone there, but I could feel the approach through the floor as well as hear the steps—so I just excused myself to whoever (or whatever) and continued on my way.
Oh, and someone living has a macabre sense of humor: I got a kick out of the private office where a fully-dressed skeleton was sitting in a chair, complete with floral dress and sun hat.
|Ron Murphy gave a great talk |
about topics covered in this book
|Kevin Paul's book with |
Rosemary Ellen Guiley
about Greene County.
Look for Vol. 2 soon!
|The Madias discussed the |
investigation covered in this book
If SW PA HauntedCon happens again next year, go! And I think I would like to return some day to see the museum when there isn’t an event going on, as I really didn’t have enough time to view the exhibits. The building and grounds have a lot to offer.
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