Paranormal Expo returns to Lafayette Hotel
By Michele Newbanks
Those people into the unusual and unexplained have a chance to meet like-minded people this Saturday at the Hidden Marietta Paranormal Expo.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lafayette Hotel ballroom. The price is $12 per person in advance and $15 per person at the door.
Megan Keller, co-owner of Hidden Marietta, said this is the second year for the expo and last year went better than expected. They hope for even better this year.
“We had more than 300 people last year,” she said. “That was probably double what we were expecting. We’re expecting at least that this year.”
The event was a brainstorm between everyone at Hidden Marietta. They wanted to hold the expo as there isn’t another event like this is Marietta, said Keller.
“It caters to a variety of people. There’s a market for it as there are not a lot of events like this,” Keller said. “Having it this time of year is perfect, as we can pour ourselves into planning it. This is our off-season.”
At least 30 vendors have signed up, along with six speakers, Keller said. Some of the vendors include Meta Rocks, the History & Haunts Investigation Team, Phantom IDC Engineering, Witch House Leather and Grandiose Glitches.
Dalen Spratt of the TV show “Ghost Brothers” will be on hand for the Thursday night hotel lock down.
The Lights Out Lockdown will be held Friday and Saturday nights. After a haunted history tour of the hotel, participants will have the opportunity to explore the reportedly haunted building on their own to look for spirits.
Participants will meet in the Gun Room at 8 p.m. with a ghost tour of the hotel at 9 p.m. Individual or group investigations will begin at 10 p.m. The cost of the lockdown will depend on the price of the room. Included in the room price is the ghost hunt, a pizza dinner and breakfast. Lockdown participants can attend the paranormal expo for 50 percent off.
Keller said a little bit of everything will be at the show.
“There are unique handmade pieces from crafters. They cater to the paranormal or strange or unique in general,” she said. “There will be different paranormal groups and ghost hunters.”
Some of the paranormal investigators from around Ohio and West Virginia will be on hand to tell their stories of paranormal encounters.
Cory Seymour, owner of Seymour’s Shop of Horrors in Hilliard, will have a booth at the expo this weekend. This will be the first year he will attend.
“I primarily make latex masks based on cryptid, which is a biological entity believed to exist, but science has yet to accept or found enough proof of, such as the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot,” he said.
He said he decided to sign up for as many shows as possible this year, and Marietta’s expo is the first one of 10 or 12 he is planning for this year.
“I’m excited, but nervous. I’m my only employee, so the better I do, the more work I’ll have to do,” he said. He will be taking one or two copies of each mask to the expo and he can take orders while there. The masks will be of Bigfoot, Yeti, Wendigo, Chupacabra, Mothman and Jersey Devil.
Seymour said when he was younger, he watched horror and science fiction movies and wanted to work in special effects for the movies. When he realized having a job like that in Ohio wasn’t an option, he learned how to make masks and loved it.
“I did it on the side, but in September I quit my day job and decided to make it my full-time job,” he said.
He said he’s always been into the weird and paranormal, and working events like this weekend’s expo was an “awesome opportunity” to meet other people who are like minded.
Michele Newbanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go:
¯ What: Hidden Marietta Paranormal Expo.
¯ When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
¯ Where: Lafayette Hotel ballroom.
¯ Cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the door.
Source: Hidden Marietta Tours.