MANSFIELD -- October is drawing the Halloween crowd to north central Ohio, and it's not just to the Ohio State Reformatory.
Psychics, ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts from around Ohio and beyond will come together for Mansfield's first Paranormal Convention this weekend at the Holiday Inn & Suites on Park Avenue West.
Halloween 2012: Expanded coverage
Guests will meet a number of psychics and mediums, attend lectures on supernatural subjects and learn the secrets behind horror movie effects from Hollywood expert Robert Kurtzman, of Precinct 13 Entertainment.
"Before I started planning this, I attended some conventions, looked at everything and talked to a lot of people," said event organizer Sheila Dean. "I hand-picked everyone. This wasn't a free-for-all for just anyone to come to."
Ryan Michaels, from A&E's "Psychic Kids, Children of the Paranormal," is one subject Dean is particularly excited about. The 18-year-old from Pennsylvania has been a psychic/medium since age 10, and was featured on the season 3 finale of the popular A&E program.
According to his website, Michaels' abilities consist of premonitions, psychometry, remote viewing and empathy. He will be joined by other psychics, who will offer readings for guests.
From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, paranormal investigations will take place at Malabar Farm, the Mansfield Women's Club, the Mansfield Fire Museum, Brownella Cottage and the Charles Schroer Mortuary Building.
Dean said anyone who registers will be entered for a drawing to win passes to a ghost hunt at the Ohio State Reformatory.
Each ghost hunt will be conducted by an investigative group such as Historical Paranormal from Sandusky; B2B Paranormal from Mansfield; Cryptic and Paranormal Explorations from Bellville; Greater Ohio Spirit Trackers from Columbus; Off the Trails Paranormal from Florida; or the Ohio Paranormal Detective Agency, which consists of a group of police officers from central Ohio.
Participation costs $30 per person, due Thursday.
"People don't have to bring their own equipment. Many of these teams will be bringing extra stuff," she said. "You could do one Friday and one Saturday if you want."
Dean encourages guests to come with an open mind.
"When I think about Mansfield, you can't help but think about all the great haunted places we have here," Dean said. "We have the perfect setting for a convention like this. If it goes well, we look forward to making it bigger and better next year."
By Jami Kinton, Mansfield News Journal
Online: Mansfield News Journal: http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/
Mansfield News Journal