Cosplayers, dust off those costumes because it’s your time to shine when Sunrise Comic Con returns to the Sunrise Civic Center on Aug. 13. The highlight of the family friendly event is always the cosplay competition, but there’s also a lineup of entertainers (Pokémon and Power Rangers stars), games, panel discussions, art projects, comedy and magic shows, and musical performances.
Bill Slevin is the founder of the Coral Springs-based Paranormal Existence Research Society, a professional nonprofit paranormal research group that investigates claims of hauntings, demonic possession, ghosts, shadow figures, haunted objects, UFOs and other unexplained phenomena. A parapsychologist with over 30 years experience in the paranormal field who has participated in over 500 residential cases, Slevin will talk the gamut of ghost hunting with his team during a 1:30 pm panel discussion.
He recently talked about what attendees can expect:
What makes Sunrise Comic Con a good fit for a paranormal team to get the word out about what you do?
Anywhere is a good fit for the paranormal. I like comic cons as they bring in such a wide variety of people and I am usually the only paranormal person at a comic con so people are very intrigued to hear what I have to say. We love to reach out to as many people as we can to get the word out that we are here to help them if needed and also to help educate them a little on the paranormal.
What do you plan to discuss during your presentation?
We will be discussing as much as we can in that short one hour. We will be talking about both public investigations and residential investigations, to let people know the difference between the two and why residential investigations are much more serious as they involve people and families. We also like to talk about the dangers of ghost hunting and how to protect yourself if you go ghost hunting, and, of course, we will be telling some of our experiences and explaining some equipment we use. We will also have a booth from 11 am to 6 pm with all of our equipment and anyone can come and ask us questions or chat with us all day.
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You and your team attend other comic cons and similar events throughout the state. What is the most commonly asked question, concern or shared experience you get from attendees?
Yes, we are guests at a lot of different conventions around the state (and out of state), also libraries and schools and other events. I was recently a featured guest at Orlando MegaCon and I am also a featured guest at the upcoming Fantasm Convention in Orlando in August. We will be there with our booth for three days and will have multiple panels over the weekend along with some very special guests. Some of the most commonly asked questions are about Ouija boards and things that people have seen on TV and also about orbs [there is a theory that orbs of light are spirits]. There is always a lot of discussion about orbs because most people have been confused about what an orb actually is. I do get a lot of shared experiences when I mention Robert the Doll from Key West; there is almost always someone with a crazy Robert the Doll experience.
Are you planning to share some of the evidence you have captured during investigations?
At the end of our panels we do always show some evidence we have captured on some of our public investigations; unfortunately, we cannot show most of the things we have captured from residential investigations as they are confidential between us and the client. We have some really great EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) that we have captured while out on a few investigations that we play for everyone.
While entertainment is at the heart of the comic con setting, the help you and your team provide people who are concerned about paranormal activity in their homes and businesses is very real. What advice would you give to someone who has concerns about their own home but are reluctant to reach out?
Yes, we love to entertain everyone at the comic cons and other events, but we are also geared at educating them and letting know there is help for them if needed and that we do not charge for investigative services; if a team you contact charges, do not use them. A lot of people who believe they are experiencing some sort of paranormal activity should never be afraid to contact someone for help; sometimes it is hard as they think everyone – including us – will think they are crazy, and that is not the case at all. We never judge anyone; we are here to help them, whether it is paranormal or not. Reach out for help, but just be sure to research the team you are contacting, always make sure they have residential experience and at least one person, most likely the founder, should have years of experience and education. There are a lot of new teams out there and I support everyone in this field, but when it comes to people and their homes, you have to make sure you are contacting the best out there to help you with your situation, uncover what is going on and how to deal with it. Me and my team can be contacted anytime for help. Simply go to our website and fill out our investigation request form at persfl.com and we will contact you ASAP for an interview.
Sunrise Comic Con is at the Sunrise Civic Center, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., in Sunrise from 11 am to 6 pm Aug. 13. Discounted tickets are available until Aug. 7: $ 10 for adults at bit.ly/3PVnW52 and $ 7 for age 10 and under at the box office only, 954-747-4646. Aug. 8 and after, tickets are $ 20 adults (11 and up) and $ 14 children (age 10 and under). Visit bit.ly/3zcn3hR for a full schedule.