Paranormal fans flock to unique event

PARKERSBURG — On Saturday, residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley ventured to the Dils Center in downtown Parkersburg for the Paranorm MOV event in search of local monsters and ghosts.

“This is a new event to this area. It’s something we feel has the interest of a lot of people,” said Phil Waterman, circulation director for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and The Marietta Times, event sponsors along with the Dils Center.

Event guests set up booths with merchandise, paranormal detection tools and other items they felt contributed to the event. The featured guests for the event were the members of the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings, the cast of the Destination America show “Mountain Monsters.”

On the show, members of A.I.M.S. can be found venturing into the woods in search of Bigfoot, Sheepsquatch and other cryptozoological creatures.

Although their work has garnered a national audience through five seasons of the show, the men of “Mountain Monsters” primarily hail from the Mid-Ohio Valley region, including Wirt County native Joe “Huckleberry” Lott and Waterford resident Jeff Headlee. Both men say they’ve experienced up-close encounters with cryptids in the local area and beyond.

Local monster hunters weren’t the only investigators at Saturday’s event. There were also a handful of paranormal investigators in attendance as well.

Among the local paranormal experts was Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tour founder, medium and astrologer Susan Sheppard and Hidden Marietta Tour Company owner Jessica Wielitzka.

“Marietta is the oldest town in Ohio,” said Wielitzka.

She shared some of her favorite ghost stories from the Lafayette Hotel, Peoples Bank Theater and the Anchorage.

Jeff Wamsley, founder of the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, and Steve Hummel, owner of the Archive of the Afterlife paranormal museum in Moundsville, set up booths as well to share stories at Saturday’s event.

“Annie is by far one of our most active and powerful entities within the Archive,” said Hummel.

“Over the years Annie has made direct contact with me, museum volunteers and our guests. We have a class A EVP of her stating her name and Annie even activating a REM POD with her energy,” said Hummel.