Monday, December 28, 2009

The Cost of Paranormal Events

I'm seriously behind on my blogging, so I sat down at the computer with all good intentions of catching up. I wanted to check on a few historical facts relating to one of my blogs, and the next thing you know, I'm surfing the web! Amazing how one can get swept away. Needless to say, I never did find what I was looking for. I did however, find some information on a couple of paranormal events happening in our area in the new year. I'm posting two of them to illustrate how these sort of things have become quite a money making venue for some.

The first event I ran across caused my jaw to drop. It is a 4 day event, advertised as "A Paranormal Interest Retreat". It is limited to 30 guests, all who will be staying at the St Mary's Art Center (SMAC). Other investigation sites include The Old Washoe Club, Piper's Opera House, and the Peace Officer's Museum. Sounded interesting, until I saw the cost...close to $400! Yikes! Now in defense, the organizer posted this:

"Ticket price is set at $380, which MAY sound spendy at first but please bear in mind this includes four locations and three nights of investigation, three nights of lodging, breakfast all three mornings, event t-shirts, and access to the panel/speakers".

The thing of it is, as a local, this is not a great deal. Hell, it's not even a good deal. Most of us have investigated some, most, or all of these sites. With Reno being only a 45 minute drive, there really is no need to spend the entire night up in VC even after a late night investigation. Breakfast? A bowl of oatmeal and coffee from Starbucks for around $3. I'm not too much into tees, don't wear them. As for access to the panel speakers, I have found that most speakers at these types of events are very accessible anytime via email, and are usually very open to answering questions. I suppose for someone flying in from the east coast, it's a good deal, but my advice to anyone living in Northern Nevada, spend your money elsewhere.

The second event I ran across was more to my liking, and my budget. It is a 2 day event hosted by our very own Janice Oberding. It will be taking place at the haunted Silverland Hotel, with more speakers advertised than the first. And the price for this event you ask? $79. Guess which one I will be attending?

I'm relatively new to the paranormal investigating community. I don't claim to know...anything...really. But in the short time I have spent going to workshops and conferences learning how to conduct investigations, what I have seen causes me concern. From my vantage point as a consumer, I have to break paranormal events down into 2 catagories: One, events run by sincere, experienced people with a real interest in sharing their knowledge with others for a reasonable price. And two, those events that are obviously run to make a buck. The first type of event centers around teaching people the how to's, the second type centers around providing people with AN EXPERIENCE! These types of events don't so much teach, than tempt. Come and rub elbows with ________, star of _________! Go on investigations with _________!

I can only speak for myself, but paranormal investigating is a hobby for me. I still have to punch in hours on the timeclock to pay my bills. And while I make a decent living (enough to pursue my interests in my spare time), I can't afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a hobby. As a message for those of you who do promote these types of events, take it from a potential customer, as hobbies go, I want it to be fun, interesting and engaging. What I don't want is my ego stroked by being offered the opportunity to stand in the presense of radio and TV stars, come on, it's only ghost hunting.

For information on these two events, you can go to their websites, which I will post here:

A Paranormal Interest Retreat

Virginia City Paranormal Conference

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