6 Things We Learnt From The Paranormal Day Paracon

May 04, 2020 6:00 AM ‐ Paranormal

This article is more than four years old and was last updated in April 2022.

Troy Taylor - Paranormal Day Paracon
The Paranormal Day Paracon took place yesterday and gave those locked down at home around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic the chance to get a much-needed paranormal fix.

The 12-hour-long free online event brought together a huge list of paranormal experts, ghost hunters and prominent figures from the community in a series of live video streams, interviews and Q&As on Facebook.

The event was the brainchild of Courtney Mroch, who runs the website Haunt Jaunts and was made possible by Haunted Magazine and the Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre (HARPRC).

If you missed any of the online event, we've collated every guest, speaker and session so you can re-live the whole event in full. You can re-watch the day's sessions here.

With more than 20 guests and speakers from the paranormal world both from Great Britain and the United States, there were obviously plenty of interesting facts and revelations shared as part of the virtual event. Below are some of the most memorable moments from the convention.

1. Ghosts Might Be Missing Us During The Lockdown

Richard Estep & Courtney Mroch - Paranormal Day Paracon

Courtney kicked off the event with author and star of 'Haunted Hospitals' and 'Paranormal 911', Richard Estep. Richard thinks that spirits might be missing our constant stream of energy while haunted locations around the world are locked down.

The event's host asked Richard if he thought that the decrease in people visiting haunted locations will result in an increase in paranormal activity once we're all allowed back in. Richard said "I know a lot of the haunted places that are used to seeing this constant stream of ghost hunters come in, there's the constant sort of stream of energy coming in. People come through, they're expecting to see something or experience something. I do believe that spirits can feed off that kind of thing using it as an energy source."

However, Richard doesn't think this means ghosts are simply going to run out of energy without the living around to fuel them. He added, "it kind of reminds me of when farmers leave a field fallow. They won't plant crops in them for a year or two to allow the soil to get more mineral rich again - almost to allow it to recover. I kind of think some of these haunted locations may do the same thing."

Richard, who is also known as the "haunted hospitals guy" and works full time as a paramedic, told Courtney that "the ghosts are getting a well-deserved break from the living, which I think a few of them will enjoy, but I also suspect that when the floodgates open again and we start going back to these haunted places we'll see some of them are more active than ever before."

The author likened the lockdown to a paranormal experiment, the likes of which we've never seen before. He said, "this is really a huge experiment. This has not happened before. In my knowledge, I don't know of any cases in which all paranormal investigations and visits have pretty much stopped." He added, "I'm really interested in seeing what members of the paranormal research community will report once they do start going back after a few months away."

2. Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm

Jayne Harris - Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm?

Jayne Harris didn't exactly teach us who put Bell in the wych elm, but she did examine the question in great detail in a brilliant online presentation which was described by one virtual paracon attendee as "the best thing I've seen on Facebook in a very long time."

Jayne, one of the lead investigators on the British paranormal show 'Help! My House Is Haunted', tackled an English mystery that dates back to 1944 when some graffiti appeared in Hagley that read "who put Bella in the Wych Elm?."

Jayne, who also runs the paranormal events company HD Paranormal, talked about the significance of the words and the reason why they have become a lasting mystery. The words appeared in the English village shortly after unidentified skeletal remains of a woman were discovered inside the hollow trunk of a wych elm tree. An autopsy discover that she was murdered in 1941.

Jayne's talk was brilliantly produced, informative and engaging. If the presentation fired up your curiosity for the mystery and you want to find out more about the case of Bella, then check out Jayne's full documentary 'Who put Bella in The Wych-Elm? - The Untold Secrets' on Amazon Prime Video.

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3. Barri Ghai's Favourite Haunted Location

Help! My House Is Haunted: Uncle Tom's Cabin

Barri Ghai is a prominent British paranormal investigator known for his appearances in 'Unexplained: Caught on Camera' and 'Celebrity Haunted Hotel Live'. More recently Barri, who also runs the events company Ghostfinder Paranormal Society, has starred in two seasons of Really's 'Help! My House Is Haunted'. In his online presentation, Barri talked us through five of the most memorable locations from the series.

Despite having a few technical issues, which Barri joked was as a result of ghosts in his house, Barri soldiered on with his top five list which included Chillingham Castle in Northumberland which appeared in the show's first episode, 39 De Grey Street in Hull, a historic 16th century cottage in the small mid-Devon village of Morchard Bishop, and a modern council house which is built on the site of an old coal mine in Bedworth, Nuneaton.

However the location that excited the paranormal investigator the most was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Barri says the oldest pub in the town of Wincanton was his favourite place he visited. Barri not only tells us a little bit about the history of the building, but also shares a strange incident that occurred there while filming that didn't make it in to the television show.

4. Ghost Hunting May Never Be The Same Again

Dudley Castle Ghost Hunt

Amy Hickman from Dudley Castle told us that ghost hunting may not be the same again after the coronavirus lockdown, or at least not for a long time. Amy, who hosts the public ghost hunting events at the historic castle, was a guest on Kelly J Ellis's 'Haunted Advisor' show.

The chat was the first of three paracon shows to come from the team at the HARPRC. Kelly and Amy were joined by HARPRC's founder Neil Packer and Karin Beasant who runs paranormal events at Cornwall's famous Jamaica Inn.

Amy says that the castle relies on money coming in from public ghost hunting events that are hosted there in order to maintain it and carry out preservation work. Amy says, "October is a really busy time for us, we're just hoping that this lockdown is over and we can get back to some degree of normal."

But when asked by Kelly what "some degree of normal" might mean for paranormal events with some amount of social distancing still in place, Amy said "it looks like the indoor areas might have to stay closed." This would make some of the historic landmark's most haunted areas inaccessible to ghost hunters. Although there's no official word from Dudley Castle right now, Amy is hopeful that they'll be able to resume investigations this year, even if it means operating with limited numbers of guests.

All the guests on Kelly's panel agreed with Karin when she added, "with this virus, everything has changed now. It will never go back to the same."

5. Abraham Lincoln Was Very In Tune With The Paranormal

Troy Taylor - Paranormal Day Paracon

Troy Taylor, founder of American Hauntings Ink and an author, hosted a brilliant presentation on one of America's former presidents and his famous link to the paranormal. Troy, who came across as very knowledgeable about American history impressed virtual paracon attendees with his faultless delivery of his presentation on Abraham Lincoln.

The author, who recently collaborated with celebrity ghost hunter Zak Bagans on his 'Ghost-Hunting For Dummies' book, opened his 30-minute live stream by telling viewers "Abraham Lincoln is one of those fascinations I've had my entire life," the author said that "there was no president in our history that is more closely connected to the supernatural than Abraham Lincoln."

Troy tells us, "it can't be disputed that spiritualism, precognitive dreams, premonition and clairvoyance all played important roles in Lincoln's life." Troy then gave us the details of a time when Lincoln was seven years old and the moment that many believe was the catalyst that caused the 16th president's psychic abilities to develop.

Troy also gave us a run down of President Lincoln's early paranormal experiences, details of a premonition he had about his own assassination, and how after his death his ghostly apparition has reportedly been seen several times near the crypt where his body lies.

6. The Importance Of Photo Preservation

Mystic Mitten Paranormal - Paranormal Day Paracon

In one of the day's most interesting presentations, Hillary Stone and Jessica Krutell talked to viewers about their passion for preserving old photos and how photos can play an important role in researching and validating hauntings. Hillary and Jessica head up Mystic Mitten Paranormal, a female lead paranormal investigation team based out of St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

To those who are new to Hillary and Jessica's work, the link between old photos and the paranormal may not be an obvious one, and you might have been surprised to learn that collecting old photos can be a rewarding hobby. The hosts of the stream told us how they're always on the look out for old photos from house clearances, antique stores and on online auction sites.

Jessica said "it's so satisfying to be able to display that picture proudly of that moment in time that has some really deep meaning to somebody."

Hillary added that there's also a great sense of satisfaction in tracking down families and returning photos to them. She said, "I see if I can't find some information about the family they belong to and see if any of the other relatives might be interested in keeping these photos or having me send them."

Of course when it comes to the paranormal, a photograph tells investigators more than any psychic medium ever could about a haunting. Not only can a photo tell you about the history of the people who used to live in a haunted location, but it can also help you identify ghosts.

Jessica said "with one case in particular where there were apparitions that were seen in that general area, we were able to research the family that had owned that land many years ago and show these pictures of a father and his daughter, and people were saying 'yeah, that's exactly what I saw'."

The duo went on to tell us how you can utilise the resources available through public libraries to research photos, and talked about how antique photos have aided them in their paranormal research. They ended their live stream with an intuitive exercise that online viewers could participate with and take away to use in their own investigations. It revolved around photo scrying, a technique more commonly associated with a mirror, but the principle is the same.

Hillary explains that it requires the practitioner to gaze at a photograph and "allowing your vision to shift from your eye-vision to your third-eye-vision". Hillary recommends taking an old photo and sitting with it in a comfortable position, perhaps with a candle. She says "sit for several minutes, or as long as you can and just try and clear your mind and stare at the photo, stare at the person."

The idea is to absorb the photo and look at it, not as you normally would and allow yourself to receive different messages and information from it. You then obviously need to research or verify that information to find out how successful your experiment has been.

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