The Woodward News

Features

August 2, 2012

Ghost hunters to converge in Enid

Woodward, Okla. — ENID - Ghostlahoma 2012, a conference addressing paranormal activity and mysterious creatures, will be held in Enid this year.

The annual paranormal conference will be held August 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cherokee Strip Conference Center in Enid.

"Several different speakers come and cover various topics," said Tammy Wilson, event coordinator.

One of the keynote speakers includes Troy Taylor, who specializes in history and crime. Wilson said he will be talking about the history of one of New Orleans' most famous female murderer and other women who died at the hands of serial killers.

"It's a fun way to look at history," she said. "Some people are learning about history and they don't even know it."

Another keynote speaker will address the reports of monsters and mysterious animals around the world. Ken Gerhard, a cryptozoologist and field researcher for The Centre for Fortean Zoology and Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organiza-tion, investigates these mysteries.

Gerhard will address reporting of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabras, winged creatures and werewolves. He has been featured on several television shows including "Hunters" on the Travel Channel, "Ultimate Encounters" on truTV, "William Shatner's Weird or What?" on History Television and more.

There will also be several speakers from Oklahoma.

Wilson herself will be talking about the "ghost stories" and local legends of Enid including haunted bars and the legend of the death of John Wilkes Booth. She also coordinates and takes people on Eerie Enid tours and an Oklahoma ghost town tour by appointment.

Tonya Hacker, founder of Ghost Haunts of Oklahoma and Urban Legend Investigations (GHOULI), will be talking about evidence acquired during paranormal activity. This includes photos, EVP, video and other evidence.

Other individuals featured at the conference will include:

Teri White, adjunct instructor at Tulsa University, who teaches various classes on the paranormal. White is also the founder and director of the Paranormal Investigation Team of Tulsa (P.I.T.T.) and founder of Tulsa Spirit Tours, Oklahoma's longest running ghost tour.

Chris Harrington of the Denton Area Paranormal Society, now relocated to Enid, sharing his experiences as a paranormal investigation including the ins, outs, what to do's and what not to do's.

Josh Stebbins, local Enid artist and featured artist for Ghostlahoma 2012, will have his work available and on display at the conference.

"For us, it's entertainment," Wilson said. "Everyone has a story, even the skeptics will say 'well this one time."

She said paranormal activity can also go hand in hand with your city's tourism.  She has even talked to Oklahoma Main Street directors about using the paranormal to bring visitors to their communities.

"It's one of those things that can be a boost to your economy if you present it correctly," she said. "It's good for community tourism dollars."

Wilson said attendance varies from year to year.  Sometimes there will be 75 people and sometimes there will be close to 300, she said.

Kathy Whenry, a local paranormal enthusiast, attended the conference in El Reno 3 years ago and is thinking about attending this year's conference as well.

"There's been a lot of people I respect that have had things happened to them that they can't explain," Whenry said. "Aberrations, angelic beings, UFO's, stuff like that."

It is those stories that have sparked her own interest in the paranormal, she said.

Whenry said she found the last paranormal conference she attended to be very informative.  She said the speakers at the conference can tell you what things are normal versus paranormal.  For example, someone may think their radio is possessed, but in reality it just might be a short in the wiring, she said.

Those who would like to attend Ghostlahoma 2012 are encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time but tickets will also be available at the door.  To purchase advance tickets visit www.iloveenid.com or call (580) 402-6732. Vendor space is also available.

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