I live just 15 minutes outside of Kent, Ohio. Kent is a college town, housing the fairly well-known Kent State University. Kent is also known in the paranormal circles for being a haunted hotspot. I was glancing through some of my ghost books before the event and when discussing haunted areas in Ohio, Kent took up a good portion of nearly every Ohio focused chapter.
The conference, simply called the Kent Paranormal Weekend, was held at the infamously haunted Kent Stage - a theater that supposedly boasts several ghosts. I was surprised to find out about it because before this year, I had never heard of the event, despite this being its third year.
Some of the speakers on this year's lineup included Nick Redfern (author of dozens of books about nearly every weird topic under the sun), Jeff Belanger (incredibly awesome ghost researcher that always has a smile on his face), Jim Harold (host of one of the best podcasts on the strange: The Paranormal Podcast), the Ohio Bigfoot Hunters (local group of like-minded individuals who are very nice), and the Haunted Housewives (two lovely ladies who spend their time ghost hunting and leading ghost walks).
I had a great time. I was wondering if I would go to many of the talks simply because I am slightly less interested in ghosts, which was the main topic of discussion, but I did attend quite a few of the talks and panel discussions and found them quite enjoyable.
I was also extremely excited to meet Jim Harold and Jeff Belanger for the first time. I love Jim's podcasts and have looked up to Jeff as a researcher for a long time. I wasn't disappointed. Jeff and Jim couldn't have been nicer. We talked quite a bit throughout the weekend about ghosts, cryptids, and pretty much anything weird and I feel like I came out of it with quite a bit of newfound knowledge.
I also have to give a shoutout to the people at the Kent Stage for hosting such a fantastic conference and running it so smoothly. I will definitely be attending next year and would recommend it to anyone else in the area!