Ghost stories

W.Va. group holds first paranormal conference this weekend

W.Va. group holds first paranormal conference this weekend

August 27, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.- Anthony Atha, 20, was 5 years old when he had his first paranormal experience.

"I woke up two nights in a row and saw a full-body apparition," said the Williamsport native.

Since then, he's been a believer in the paranormal.

Those who also have an interest in things that go bump in the night can join Atha at the inaugural Eastern Panhandle Paranormal Conference. Set at the Apollo Civic Theatre in downtown Martinsburg, the conference opens its doors at 9 a.m. The all-day event concludes with a Victorian sance/message circle.

Atha is the founder of APG Conferences, which specializes in paranormal events. This is his fourth event with APG, which he runs with his fiance.

"We basically wanted to bring a quality conference to the public," Atha said.

The conference, he said, is a way to bring people with all levels of interest in the paranormal. Because he's based in Morgantown, W.Va., where he's pursuing a business degree at West Virginia University, most of the conferences are based within the state. Because of Panhandle residents' interest of the paranormal, Atha said he hopes to fill the 550 seats at the Apollo.


Experts in the paranormal field will be on hand to give presentations. Alexis Rolnick, pastor of the Church of Joyous Living in Charles Town, W.Va., will be the event's spiritual medium.

For those who may be a little skeptical, Vince Wilson will lead a discussion and demonstrate how he uses a scientific approach in his ghost hunting. Wilson is founder of Maryland Paranormal Investigators Coalition and has authored "Ghost Tech" and "Ghost Science."

John Sabol, known as "the Ghost Excavator," will present a lecture, "The Rehaunting of Gettysburg."

Sharon Kincaid of Southern Atlantic Paranormal will present two discussions - "Do Spirits Exist?" and "Improving the Study of the Paranormal." Rie Sadler of Eastern Paranormal Research will discuss nearby haunts. Joey Ward of West Georgia Paranormal Research Society and Russ Noratel of Baltimore Society of Paranormal Research will also lead discussions.

Atha said he wants the conference to offer good, solid information about a mysterious topic.

"I really hope people can come together and feel comfortable with the paranormal," he said.

If you go...

What: Eastern Panhandle Paranormal Conference

When: Saturday, Aug. 29; doors open at 9 a.m., conference begins at 10 a.m.

Where: Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 E. Martin St., Martinsburg, W.Va.

Cost: $25; $30 at the door. $35 to participate in sance/message circle. VIP package for $70 includes guaranteed seating in first three rows.

CONTACT: Register online at For more information about APG Conferences, visit

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