If ghosts do exist, they’re going to stay far away from Auburn High School next weekend.
The first Paranormal Expo possesses the campus June 18, and about 35 ghost-hunting teams from the region will be represented. Psychics, tarot readers, UFO investigators and more will also venture to Auburn for presentations in the school’s auditorium. In its student lounge will be artisan vendors, local food and live music.
Organizer Lorna Reynolds is a certified hypnotherapist and an intuitive who moved to Moravia from outside Nashville, Tenn. in October. For her, the event is every bit as much a friendly reunion as a public expo.
“I’ve worked with a lot of my guests, and what’s unique is that everyone had that weekend free. We joke about this being a whole universal guidance thing because for us, too, it’s a big get-together,” she said.
Among Reynolds’ partners in paranormal investigation who are coming to Auburn: Patrick Burns, who stars in “Haunting Evidence” on TruTV; Marley Harbuck Gibson, author of the “Ghost Huntress” book series; and Ed Craft, a self-described “anomalist” who’s been interviewed about his reported encounter with the Florida Swamp Ape on “Destination Truth” and “Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.”
Ghost-hunting groups in attendance include the Finger Lakes Shadow Society, the New York Shadow Chasers and the Upstate N.Y. Truth Hunters. Groton’s own Paranormal Quest will display its ghost-hunting vehicle, which Reynolds describes as “a converted bakery truck that looks like a SWAT van.” Expo visitors will be able to see its array of audio and visual equipment for catching unexplainable lights, noises and other possible evidence of ghostly existence.
The groups themselves get something out of the expo, too. Johnny Graves, of Keepers of the Circle Paranormal Research Society in Albany, is coming to the expo with two tractor trailer-loads of equipment for stamping a ghost-hunting group’s logo or other graphics on its vehicles and equipment.
For paranormal enthusiasts keen on seeing some ghost-hunting equipment in action, a mystery tour of three historical locations in Auburn will take place the night before the expo. All proceeds from the tour will support the maintenance and preservation of the sites.
Reynolds stresses that the event is no hunt, nor are the locations presumed to be haunted. She and other investigators will simply be demonstrating equipment like the “talkback box,” which converts electromagnetic fields and other forms of energy into vocalizations.
“It’s kind of a robot thing, you can’t tell if it’s male or female,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds finds it appropriate that such devices will be showcased in Auburn, where Theodore Case pioneered the technology that led to “talking movies.”
“If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have this equipment,” she said. “It all connects.”
Though it’ll be widely represented at the expo, ghost-hunting is but a small part of the paranormal. The director of the Mutual UFO Network in New York state, Sam Flavo, will present recent UFO research with Bernard Mendez in the Auburn High School auditorium at about 10:30 a.m. The expo will also feature psychics Ted Silverhand, Sarina, Wanda Winters and more, as well as tarot readers, stone readers and spiritual guiders.
Speedy Greens, of Cicero, the Village Eatery, of Moravia, and Auburn’s Underground Cafe and Mema’s will serve cuisine in a food court set up in the school’s student lounge area. They’ll share space with henna artists, artisan potters, holistic health workers and other vendors and presenters, as well as a roster of performing musicians that includes Shane Avery, of Nashville, the Miller Street Band and Ron Van Nostrand.
Reynolds already expects enough of a crowd to turn the expo into an annual Auburn happening.
“With the whole paranormal thing, ’Ghost Hunters’ kind of broke out, and sci-fi started getting really big ... it became a family, after-dinner thing,” she said. “It reaches out to everybody.”
Lake Life editor David Wilcox can be reached at 282-2245 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @drwilcox
If you go
What: Paranormal Expo 2011
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 18
Where: Auburn High School, 250 Lake Ave., Auburn
Info: Search for “Paranormal Expo 2011 New York” on Facebook
What: “Unlocking the Doors of Time,” a mystery tour of three historical locations in Auburn
When: 9 p.m. Friday, June 17 to 2 a.m. Saturday, June 18
Where: Departs from Auburn Parking Garage, Loop Road, Auburn
Cost: Tickets $100; money supports the locations on the tour
Info: Call 497-1638