What is an online paracon?
Paranormal conventions or paracon’s have become common place in the paranormal community now. We all look forward to meeting up with like minded people to chat about our favourite subject, listen to talks by many out there in the field and of course from our preferred paranormal TV shows. There’s certainly something about a paracon that allows us to have a little more connection with people outside of our own groups/teams who we might see more regularly; that helps growth within the paranormal community.
Until 2014 (I think) I personally hadn’t experienced a paracon here in the UK. We had a few smaller gatherings, but nothing that was comparable to some of the popular paracon’s in the US. However, it was around 2014 that I was fortunate to join a great bunch of people, to help deliver what I guess has been seen as the UK’s first paracon. The event allowed me to make a great number of friends in the field and expand my own network too. This aspect is something that often goes unmentioned, or at least remains further down the list below the announcements regarding the guest speakers or on-site investigations. However, it is also those connections that make a paracon a great event to attend, especially if you’re seeking to meet more people within the paranormal field.
The events, which often last at least a weekend, submerge us in a topic we are passionate about with people we are interested to spend time with and have certainly left me with numerous ideas rattling around my head when I’ve left the event. They can be incredibly positive events for many of us.
Here’s the problem right now though, we are social distancing and now (at the time of writing this) we are in lockdown. We don’t have the option to visit family and friends close to use, many are not even attending work either, certainly events such as a paracon are way off the agenda right now. However, we are adaptive and the paranormal community has mostly risen to this challenge in coming up with a method to provide everyone with their paranormal fix. Something that many are currently craving.
Don’t worry though and clear your diaries – just in case you have anything planned – because this weekend will see two online paracon’s attempt to give you something of what you’re missing currently. Two events staged online for you to watch and connect with various speakers, covering al your favourite paranormal stuff.
The first online paracon kicks off on Saturday (2nd May 2020) morning around 10:30am GMT and runs till around 9pm. The Paranormal Investigator Virtual Conference (PIVC 2020) looks like it will be covering numerous topics like skepticism, ITC, intense paranormal experience, researching haunted histories and more. The talks appear to be well spread out and should keep you engaged all day too.
The second online paracon kicks off on Sunday (3rd May 2020) morning at 10am CDT (thats about 3pm GMT I think) and runs for a full 12 hours. The Paranormal Quarantine-acon has a massive 25 speakers over the 12 hours with a fantastic line-up very much what you would expect from a normal paracon. This includes the likes of Jayne Harris, Barri Ghai, Richard Estep, Paul Stevenson, Sara & Phil Whyman; to name only a few. These guys have gathered a large number of speakers to help give you that true paracon experience, albeit remotely and whilst maintaining social distancing. Its also a great example of collaboration between all involved across the world during these troubled times.
I am not going to dive into immense details about these two paracon’s, simply because I would like you to follow the links and check them out yourself. That way you will see what a great couple of events these are and how they could help you with your paranormal fix this coming weekend.
Adapting for Lockdown
As I mentioned earlier we are all doing our best to continue to social distance and remain at home, doing our bit to flatten the curve, which means that adapting to these circumstances is key right now.
However, this adaptation has come thick and fast through social media and the net, and the paranormal community has also stepped up to do their part too. This includes some incredible content, both free and for a small charge. I have seen some mini talks on various subjects via Facebook or YouTube Live, but also quite a bit of Patreon content too. However, its the Live sessions that I am quickly going to touch on here. Many groups have managed to get up and running using web apps like Stream Yard to push multiple person discussions to Facebook. Some have been a little questionable in regards to supporting the directive of staying home and safe, but lets not tarnish the positivity of the collaborations we are seeing here with those. Most have been brilliant little nuggets, discussing various aspects of the paranormal or interviewing people from the field. I’ve caught a couple by the Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre, Jayne Harris and Jeff Belanger, to name a few. Beth Darlington (Access Paranormal) was also providing daily videos too, which were really helpful. The point being is that there are many out there that have adapted and continue to provide plenty of content to help feed your paranormal thirst.
Obviously as a blogger myself, I am not going to fail to mention the good old paranormal blog. Something that Sarah Chumacero (Living Life In Full Spectrum) continues to deliver on, and which often hits various different subject areas within the paranormal too. Its more than just ghosts, so check it out.
Something else which has been brilliant has been the SPR’s Psi Encyclopedia, which has a huge amount of information worth checking out and they have been posting links almost daily via Twitter.
There is without doubt a huge amount of stuff available at the moment to feed your paranormal thirst, whilst we all wait to get back out there.
Beat the Lockdown
So, if you’re looking to beat the lockdown at the moment, this weekend is without doubt going to give you that ability. Kicking off on Saturday (2nd May 2020) with PIVC 2020 for a nice day with a few speakers covering a range of topics. Then after a bit of a break, on Sunday (3rd May 2020) the Paranormal Quarantine-acon gives us all 25 speakers over 12 hours. That is one heck of an intense paranormal fueled weekend, so click the link and check them out and clear that diary.
It is fantastic to see all these amazing ideas coming out to help us adapt in these trying times. There is some real out of the box thinking going on right now, the box being the four walls of your home, so anything we can do to help us plug back in to our paranormal passion is great.
Whilst these two online paracon’s are not the only two out there, and I hope we begin to see more of them to fill the time until lockdown lifts, they are up this weekend together – so I just wanted to shout them out to highlight these awesome events. Actually, I would like to see these kind of events continue online in future outside of lockdown, to help make some aspects more accessible. That would help provide loads of information online and possibly begin to push the field forward.
These events are brilliant for the paranormal and show some real amazing collaboration that has been achieved during lockdown. Something that I think is a great achievement to call out. Great work and thank you to all of those involved.
Lastly, with great ideas like these events, there is no reason not to make the most of staying home and staying safe!