Explore the weird winter wonderland of Wisconsin with these true tales of a notorious frozen bigfoot, hodag encounters, a war over ice, and a frozen stonehenge.
A quick recap of the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference with appearances by Loren Coleman, Butch Patrick, Katrina Weidman, Linda S. Godfrey and more.
The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference was originally dreamed up last year by author Tea Krulos as a release party for his book Monster Hunters. Rather than take the spotlight, however, he decided to organize a celebration of the bizarre with authors, artists, vendors, filmmakers, ghost tours, and numerous experts in the fields of cryptozoology, folklore, paranormal investigation, and haunted places. Due to the success of last year’s event, Tea promised bigger and better in 2016…and he did not disappoint.
The conference was held this weekend at the University of Milwaukee Student Union with a packed vendor floor and two halls hosting panels and speakers throughout both Saturday and Sunday. The Cult of Weird table was perfectly positioned between Grave Digger Candles and J. Nathan Couch, author of Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?
Butch Patrick, the actor who played Eddie Munster, was a last minute addition since he just happened to be in the area. I couldn’t resist picking up an autographed Johnny Lightning Dragula for my fledgling diecast hearse collection.
The Munsters diecast Dragula autographed by Butch Patrick
Me with Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster)
The first speaker I caught was Linda S. Godfrey, author of Monsters Among Us, American Monsters, and many more. She covered 25 years of investigation into eyewitness accounts of dogmen in the Midwest, a phenomena she first encountered in the late 1980s when she reported on the Beast of Bray Road sightings near Delavan, Wisconsin for a local newspaper.
Linda Godfrey speaking about dogman sightings in the Midwest.
Later there was a Q&A session with Katrina Weidman from the Destination America series Paranormal Lockdown, where she talked about some of the most convincing evidence she has collected, as well as the upcoming Halloween special in which she and Nick Groff (formerly of Ghost Adventures) investigate the Black Monk House. That was followed by The Roswell Debate with Donald R. Schmitt and Mark O’Connell. Both were involved in last year’s conference, but I didn’t have a chance to catch them this time around.
Me with Loren Coleman
The day culminated in a thoroughly fascinating presentation by International Museum of Cryptozoology founder Loren Coleman on the Minnesota Iceman, reports of Bigfoot abducting dogs and children, and the current clown hysteria as it relates to a long history of phantom clown sightings. It was Coleman’s first appearance in Milwaukee, providing the opportunity to have Terry Cullen get onstage and recount his early encounter with the Iceman.
Cullen was a zoology student in Milwaukee when he found the stinking, rotting corpse of a hairy hominid at Chicago’s International Livestock Exhibition and Fair in 1968. Of course, many great hoaxes have been perpetuated in dimly lit tents. Cullen said he always paid to get into those exhibits so he could learn what fakes look like. But the Iceman was different. He had the opportunity to examine the body better than anyone since, and remains convinced it was authentic.
For more on the Iceman read Neanderthal: The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman by Bernard Heuvelmans. Coleman provided an afterword to this newly translate edition of one of the best books on the topic.
On a side note, when you have the opportunity to buy a plaster cast of a Bigfoot print from the Patterson-Gimlin filmsite signed by Loren Coleman…you do it.
Bigfoot cast from the Patterson-Gimlin filmsite signed by Loren Coleman
Wisconsin’s Wildest Urban Legends panel happened Sunday with Tea at the helm. J. Nathan Couch discussed the connection between goatman and Lover’s Lane legends. Valerie Kedrowski of the Steven’s Point Paranormal Club shed some light on roads with a ghostly reputation such as Paradise Road and Boy Scout Lane. Christina and I talked about the bizarre history of St. Nazianz and JFK Prep, as well as the circumstances surrounding the allegedly haunted cauldron believed to have been owned by Ed Gein. Tea went over some of the locations where the ghost of Al Capone are said to roam.
One of the defining moments of the afternoon was the Krampus parade, in which members of the Minnesota Krampus group stalked through the vendor hall in their traditional goat hide costumes with menacing hand-carved masks, flogging any unfortunate soul who happened to get in their way.
At the end of the day we had the pleasure of hearing the top three winners of the summer writing contest read their submissions. It was great meeting everyone and catching up with all the amazing folks we met last year.
Vintage 1940s Hasko Mystic Tray for sale from Steve and Kim of Kadywumpus
Artist Cait May. She had an amazing lake monster print I should have bought. See more of her work at www.caitmayart.com
Christina with a Krampus
Zombeans by author/illustrator Donovan Scherer
Watch for more photos from the conference at www.milwaukeeparacon.com
Katrina Weidman, Loren Coleman, Butch Patrick, and more! Here’s what’s going on today, October 15th at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference.
The first day of the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference features a Q&A with Paranormal Lockdown star Katrina Weidman, cryptozoology expert Loren Coleman on the Minnesota Iceman, and much more. Afterwards, be sure to check out The Raven’s Masquerade Ball costume contest and performances by Dead Man’s Carnival, Gnarrenschiff and Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance, Quasimondo Milwaukee Physical Theater and others.
Here’s the schedule for the day:
Milwaukee Paranormal Conference Day 1
@ University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.)
UWM Ballroom East: Vendor floor open 10:00am-5:00pm
11:00-11:45am: Linda S. Godfrey, “Midwest Manwolves: 24 Years on the Trail”
12:00-12:45pm: Allison Jornlin, “Milwaukee Forteana Vol. II”
1:00-1:45pm: Mary Marshall, “Paranormal Entanglement”
Katrina Weidman, star of Paranormal Lockdown
2:15-3:00pm: Shepherd Express presents “Q & A with Katrina Weidman of Paranormal Lockdown,” special presentation with Mike Huberty and Wendy Lynn Staats from See You On The Other Side podcast, who will talk with Katrina Weidman, star of Paranormal Lockdown and Paranormal State. Includes audience Q & A and autograph session– get an autographed photo for $20!
3:30-4:45pm: The Roswell Debate with Donald R. Schmitt and Mark O’Connell
5-6pm: Keynote: Loren Coleman, “The Minnesota Iceman: the Milwaukee Connection and More”
Loren Coleman, founder of the International Cryptozoology Museum
UWM Ballroom West
12:00-12:45pm: “Best UFO Reports 2016,” moderated by Nick Roesler, w/ Chase Kloetzke (MUFON) and Kevin Malek (UFO Wisconsin Research Team). Supporting sponsor: KGRA radio
1:00-1:45pm: Celeste Contreras, “Celebrating Dia de los Muertos”
2:00-2:45pm: Kristan T. Harris, “The Hidden History of Giants”
3:00-3:45pm: “Searching for Wisconsin’s Sasquatch,” moderated by Sanjay Singhal (Beyond the Forest radio), w/ Jay Bachochin (WPI Hunts the Truth), Linda S. Godfrey, Larry and Jen Dopke (WI- Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization)
Worshops (Room 191)
12:15-1:00pm: Brew City Paranormal, “Paranormal Investigating: NOT as seen on TV”
1:15-2:00pm: Ron Schaefer, “Dream Interpretation”
2:15- 3:00pm: Society for Anomalous Studies, “Historical Hauntings: Supporting Historical Properties through the Paranormal”
3:15-4:00pm: Dark Star Ministry, “Ouija and Tarot: Occult Tools and the Paranormal”
Third Ward Walking Tour, presented by Milwaukee Ghosts- Tours and Investigations. Meets outside Milwaukee Public Market, 7:30pm.
The Raven’s Masquerade Ball @ Irish Cultural and Heritage Center (2133 W.Wisconsin Ave.) 8pm.
More info at MilwaukeeParaCon.com