Tag Archives: paracon

254 – Hawaii Paracon: Ancient Wisdom Meets Parapsychology

Last July at the inaugural Hawaii ParaCon, I felt an unmistakable spark, sadly lacking at most conventions of this kind. Oahu’s annual and only paranormal conference returns July 19-21, 2019 to offer a fresh, cross-cultural approach. This year the conference has expanded to include an exploration of the history and practices of parapsychology.

Organized by native Hawaiian Lopaka Kapanui, Hawaii ParaCon unites seldom explored cultural teachings with the scientific boundary work that dares to study the paranormal. Our keynote speaker for the event, July 19-21, is Loyd Auerbach. Professor Auerbach brings with him a vast knowledge of parapsychology as we learned in Episode #27. What will happen when the scientific study of the paranormal steps out of the laboratory and into such a spiritually powerful place as Hawaii? I hope you’ll be there to find out.

Although it’s harmful and cliche to see native Hawaiians as some exotic other, it’s undeniable that different cultures, especially long-silenced indigenous cultures, have something to teach us. Hawaii ParaCon offers us an opportunity to bridge this gap.

One of my favorite presentations from 2018 was delivered by the kind, soft-spoken Keli’i Makua. Hawaiian traditional tattoos are a symbolic way to connect with ancestors, a continuous prayer for protection, and a constant reminder of your place in the spiritual cosmos that surrounds us and gives us life. I was humbled to learn of the incredible importance of a practice that I had always overlooked. Such surprises abound when you come into contact with perspectives that are completely unfamiliar. For those of us on the bleeding edge of materialist reality such glimpses of other paradigms can better inform our research.

Keli’i Makua shares surprising teachings about the spiritual significance of traditional Hawaiian tattooing.

I came to Hawaii to reignite my sense of wonder and to reconnect with the Earth, and I was not disappointed. Then I went out for pizza with the gang. Although Honolulu often feels like the Chicago of the Pacific, the magic in the land is still abundant. On Oahu, you can rub shoulders with the profound one minute, and the next, go hang out at Zippy’s (Hawaii’s answer to Denny’s). My point is that the cultural teachings of Hawaii are not as inaccessible as they may seem.

Whereas in most places in the continental U.S., I feel a need to breathe life back into the lore of the land, in Hawaii, a persuasive presence of belief breathes life into you. In Episode #57, I recount my some of my paranormal experiences from my first visit to Hawaii and include an audio clip from Lopaka. He shares a supernatural tale that illustrates a connection with nature that many of us are detached from in the dominant materialist culture.

My first experiences in Oahu included what seemed to be messages from the spirits of the land.

The potential for reconnection with something beyond yourself, especially in the jungle of the windward side of the island, feels immense, eternal, and dangerous. When I step foot on a Hawaiian island, I get a strong sense that anything could happen — surprising and drastic changes for good or ill. Explorers beware because there’s a power in the atmosphere of the place that is alive and vital. Make no mistake, the Hawaiian Islands are a paranormal paradise as described in Episode # 136, but when you visit prepare act with the utmost respect or else.

In this episode, Lopaka shares his origin story and other incredible tales including that time a pro-wrestling match became an unintended distraction in the middle of a haunted bus tour.

When you visit Hawaii, besides instructive cultural differences, you may also notice some startling similarities in the reported paranormal phenomena, as I did in a recent blog article. Such curious parallels evident in such a far-flung culture hint at a nebulous, yet undeniable reality.

Hawaii ParaCon, unlike so many other paranormal conferences, offers a unique prospect, a chance to grow as both a paranormal investigator and a person. Enjoy our latest episode with behind-the-scenes stories from 2018 like the time the speakers separately encountered a mysterious hitchhiker on the road to an awa ceremony. We also provide a sneak peek of some of the new opportunities, ceremonies, and workshops awaiting you this year.

Because Hawaii was just voted the Happiest STate according to website WalletHub.com (Hey, Madison came in as the third happiest city, so we must be doing something right!) we decided to put our goofiest song in this episode. It’s pretty simple, it’s “The Happy Song”!

I want to know, 
How far to go, 
Before you see, 
What you mean to me. 

On you. On you. 
I appreciate you. 

Make me happy, 
I feel sappy, 
When you’re around. 
Make me queasy, 
Because loving’s so easy, 
When you’re around.

218 – Ghosts of the Shooting Star – Stories from Minnesota ParaCon 2018

And I would drive 500 miles and I would drive 500 more…

So, we hopped in the Sunspot van and Wendy, Scott from WhatsYourGhostStory.com, and I drove a thousand miles this weekend to the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minnesota for their 2018 Paracon. It was a fun-filled three days where we made dozens of new friends, talked about hundreds of paranormal experiences, and even got to play some Blackjack (Wendy has a system, in case you were wondering!)

Mike, Wendy, and Scott manning the booth!

Now, we’ve had vendor tables at several different paranormal conventions before and it is hard to stand out. You’re competing with celebrities (we had two lovely actresses right next to us and Chip frickin’ Coffey right across the way), paranormal presentations, a bar open all day, and gambling. How are we going to get people’s attention with our little podcast? Well, we decided to create a paranormal quest where people could enter to win a sweet prize package of ghost tour tickets, Sunspot CDs, books on Chicago ghost stories, and a haunted Gingerbread house.

Chuck Woolery, eat your heart out!

So, how were we going to get everyone to come on by and get weird with us? Well, we tried to do a little “paranormal quest” game where we had three sections:

The eyeball test tubes we used to conduct our “favorite paranormal topic” poll

Once people answered our questions, then we entered them into the drawing! So, what did we discover about the Paracon attendees?

  • “Purple Rain” is their favorite Prince song by a huge margin
  • There’s not as many Vikings fans as you’d think, most of them couldn’t even name a player
  • Ghosts are the most popular topic, followed by demons, then UFOs (I know, right? Unexpected.). Cryptids came in last, which broke Bigfoot’s heart.
  • More than three-quarters of the people we met had a personal ghostly encounter and a majority of them were about their family and loved ones. That was really nice. They were mainly positive and comforting experiences. 
Daniel, the winner of the paranormal prize pack! He shared several of his paranormal experiences with us as well…
Here’s a compilation of ghost stories you guys told at our booth!

So, since ghosts were the topic that most people were interested in, we decided to interview a few of the presenters  about some of their most memorable ghostly encounters. In this episode, we have personal ghost stories from:

Darkness Radio‘s Dave Schrader interviewing Jael De Pardo and Erin Ryder from Destination Truth
Mike talking with cryptozoology author, Nick Redfern
Scott and Mike talking to actress, Erin Marie Hogan

For the song this week, we used the name of the place, the Shooting Star Casino, as the initial inspiration. Time flies like a shooting star and as John Lennon said on Double Fantasy:

Before you cross the street take my hand.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy”

When we’re young and we think about the future, there’s a sense of wonder. I saw a lot of that this weekend. There were psychics making predictions and mediums who say they can talk to the dead. We dream about what might happen and wish for something better. Some nights seem like they’ll last forever, but they don’t, before we know it the future is here, whether we’re ready or not and the important part is to try and not lose that sense of wonder that makes the whole thing worthwhile. That’s the idea behind this quick rock track, “Best-Laid Plans”.

Staring at the sky til dawn
laid out in front of your piece of crap car
this getaway could not go wrong
so we made a wish on every single star

And all those summer nights
that weren’t meant to last
like a shooting star
they just burn so fast
Yeah, we ran away
but the best-laid plans
are fantasies
So if you make that wish, I will believe.

And then we tried to tell the future
We looked at our palms and studied all the lines
When every kiss was an adventure
and we laughed at all the hearts we’d leave behind

And all those summer nights
that weren’t meant to last
like a shooting star
they just burn so fast
Yeah, we ran away
but the best-laid plans
are fantasies
So if you make that wish, I will believe.