No, but I did get to see Butch Patrick, so there’s that.

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I got offered a “media” pass for the 2nd annual Milwaukee Paranormal Conference this past weekend. To be honest, I didn’t know the MKE Paracon was a thing until they sent me that email, but they probably didn’t know that this “media” representative writes as much about Milwaukee Lion cocktails and sexy Milwaukee-themed Halloween costumes as I do actual news. I digress.

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The conference is located at the UW-Milwaukee Student Union, which apparently tries to be Euro-friendly by numbering their floors 0 – 1 – 2 instead of the red-blooded American 1 – 2 – 3. It only took us 5 minutes extra to find the sign-in booth a floor up from our expectations.

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First stop: the vendor floor and OH MY TV LAND-LOVING GOD IT’S BUTCH PATRICK. For you Millennials out there (i.e. 100% of our readership minus my Uncle Jim), Butch here played Eddie Munster, the werewolf child in the 1960s black-and-white classic family comedy The Munsters. Is it a random ‘get’? Oh hell yeah, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t have a near-constant stream of fans at his table taking pictures and wondering what happened to Woof-Woof.

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I was impressed with the amount of booths set up on the vendor floor. This conference is only in its second year, and last year it was really just a get-together to celebrate the publishing of local author Tea Krulos‘  Monster Hunters. Obviously Milwaukee’s paranormal believers were jonesing for a public fix.

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Katie getting the low-down on the haunted Old Baraboo Inn‘s yearly “Day With the Dead“. Unfortunately, we’re busy that day…not having a cocktail with a ghost.

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We were all over these spinal cord inspired candles from Grave Digger Candles…til we found out they’re cast from real bones (but made from beeswax) and we got creeped out. But we’re weak.

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These Cult of Weird ladies were friendly while they talked to us about their website: it’s the one-stop-shop for getting “your daily dose of deranged.” And they had candy!

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Cait May Art was there showing off the goods, in particular the super-cool webcomic-turned-actual-comic Irregular.

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For the 7th year, Walker’s Point and Walker Square Neighborhood Associations are hosting their Dia De Los Muertos Festival and 5k Run/Walk. We learned all about how death can be celebrated rather than feared. We’ll do both, just to be safe.

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This Xbox Kinect was set up to catch movement of ghosts, but it caught a green stick-figure me taking its picture instead.

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Wee-gee on wee-gee on wee-gee.

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The Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee had some sweet gear on display along with their binder of cases and reports. Yeah, I’m a nerd. But they’re ghost nerds, which is actually cool.

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In addition to the vendor floor, there were numerous talks and workshops going on both days of the festival. We sat in on Allison Jornlin‘s presentation, titled “Milwaukee Fortena vol. II”, which delved into some lesser-known paranormal happenings right here in little ol’ Mil-a-wau-keh. So there goes my ability to sleep at night.

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That was followed by Mary Marshall, the Paranormal MD,  who approached it all a little differently than I would’ve expected. Rather than proving whether bigfoot and aliens and ghosts do or don’t exist, she’s looking into the science how how they might be possible just outside our current understanding of science. So now I’m leaning believer.

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Is there a term for people who go to conventions regularly, or people who love the paranormal? Like con-men, or normies? I hope so. Maybe I’m one of them now.

The whole thing was a little surreal, but also pretty interesting. There’s a larger community of intelligent and erstwhile people dedicating time and money and energy into things that you catch out of the corner of your eye and get made fun of on late night TV. It’s a cool scene, taken either seriously or a little comically.

You can help make year three happen by donating right here. Help make American bigfoot-safe again.