Parafest 2013: Melding Horror And Paranormal With Aaron Sagers [Interview]

As August is upon us and September is quickly approaching, that only means one thing — Horror Conventions! I know what you’re thinking, “But, Hack, horror conventions happen all year!” Yes, yes they do, but really, who wants to go to a horror convention in July or December? Horror is synonymous, at least to me, with the fall and with Halloween. All the great ones happen during the beginning of September and the first to second month of November. You know I’m right.

But with all of these conventions happening, how do you decide which one to go to? They’re not the cheapest thing going and the economy is still in the toilet so you have to really weigh your pros and cons (Ha! See what I did there? Huh? Huh?).

If you are in the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, area — even Allentown, New Jersey or New York — I would check out the Parafest convention. Especially if you have a love for both the Paranormal and horror. Personally, I have always enjoyed these types of conventions because you get the best of both worlds! Psychics, mediums, horror stars, cosplayers, oh my!

aaron sagersThe Parafest takes place at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, beginning September 6th and running until the 8th, guaranteeing you an entire weekend of awesome. The ticket prices for this event are a lot more reasonable than many of the other conventions you can go to, plus you have the added benefit of it being at a casino. Need some down time? Hit the slots. Drinks are always flowing and you never know who you might meet along the way! Oh yeah, this is Parafest’s first year, so you know it’s gonna be wild!

Aaron Sagers, the host of Parafest, was kind enough to give an interview about Parafest and what it’s like to run one of these events. As a longtime attendee I was fascinated by how these types of events come out, how they are run, and the headaches that go along with it. Let’s face the facts, these are the unsung heroes of these things that we love.

So this is what I asked Aaron Sagers about Parafest:

How did ParaFest come about existing?

A collection of organizers — including Scott Gerhart, a paranormal investigator and fan of all things paranormal and horror — decided the Lehigh Valley needed an awesome convention of its own for fans. And the interest has grown so much that there is interest being generated in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and all over the region. We already know of fans from Oregon, Texas, Minnesota — and France!

What sort of difficulties, if any, exist in melding the worlds of horror movies and the scientific-based paranormal?

The goal is to attract fans and friends of paranormal, horror, and all of pop culture. As long as people are excited and willing to show up and have fun, everything will meld perfectly. Parafest isn’t a convention just for paranormal believer or investigators; it is for anyone who has ever loved a scary movie, tuned in to watch The Walking Dead, True Blood, Supernatural, or another show like those — as well as Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, or Haunted Collector. And these worlds fit perfectly. As I can attest to, because I cover that “melding” every day at my paranormal entertainment site

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What do you look forward to the day of the convention?

I am fortunate enough to appear as a speaker or moderator at a number of large-scale fan events, and, for me, the excitement of the first day comes from seeing people show up in costumes who are anticipating meeting their favorite actor, writer, etc. There is a palpable energy in the room when everyone gathers for this kind of celebration.

What don’t you look forward to?

Well I, of course, always hate for these events to be over. It feels like the day after Christmas when you have to wait another year for the next one. But I know I’ll be up late having a good time, so I guess I don’t look forward to the sleep deprivation I’ll eventually feel.

Who do you think is your favorite guest? Why?

It is hard for me to list a favorite guest among all the people that will be attending. But I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Also, I’m a big fan of the people involved in giving us these excellent TV shows and movies, so I’ll be right there in the autograph line with everyone else.

What makes the ParaFest unique?

Parafest is unique because it will have an intimate feel with the large-scale presence of other cons. There is a chance to hang out and interact with faces you recognize from TV and movies, but there will be a lot of recognizable authors and amazing vendors and speakers on hand. I think we’ve assembled a great lineup and I can’t wait for everyone to think the best of Parafest.

To sum it all up, Parafest is bringing together a tremendous lineup of guests from both the Paranormal field and the industry of film. Guys like Brian and Jason from SyFy’s Haunted Collector series as well as Grant, Steve, and Tango from Ghost Hunters. Psychic Chip Coffey will also be on hand to give gallery readings. There’s also a ghost hunt you can attend. Now, if horror is your bad you’re in luck there as well. Between a mini Walking Dead reunion with IronE and Lew Temple to Wednesday Addams herself, Lisa Loring, and our favorite ball of fur, Cousin It, Felix Silva, you’ll be ready to enjoy the weekend!

For all information regarding Parafest just check out their website at:!

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