Why are LARPers attending a Paranormal Convention?
The LARPed.com crew attended the Hill-Con 2021 paranormal convention held at Haunted Hill View Manor in New Castle, Pa., Aug. 21. It may at first glance appear a “little out there” literally speaking for LARPers to host a table at a yearly convention that focuses on ghost hunting, psychics, mediums, bigfoot and UFOs, to name a few topics covered. However, there were two specific reasons we were there: we wanted to show our support for the release party of The Deittman Files: a Ghost Hunting RPG, and to show that there is not one stereotype for LARPing.
The Deittman Files, Tabletop RPG
The Deittman Files is a new game whose rulebook was created by local Pittsburgh author Alexandra Frund Clinton that uses the Powered by the Apocalypse game system. In the game, you can choose to play a psychic or an investigator that goes on missions to examine the supernatural. Characters range from exorcists to telepaths, skeptics and charlatans. Frund Clinton is also the author of the paranormal mystery Echoes and Ashes and the owner of Flamma Mysteries. You can purchase Echoes and Ashes by Frund Clinton on Amazon.com and a PDF of the Deittman Files on DriveThruRPG. We highly recommend The Deittman Files-not only because several of our LARPed team members assisted with the project, including Terry Crew, founder of LARPed.com, who served as editor and lead play tester, but because it is an unique and exciting game that is easily played online or in-person.
What better place to attract LARPers?
The other reason LARPed.com attended Hill-Con was to meet other people passionate about things out of the ordinary. In our experience, the best LARPers are those who have an interest and drive that perhaps many other people do not. In this case…ghost hunting and paranormal activities. You see, LARPers are not just people who enjoy cosplay or boffer events-they are individuals who are creative, explorative and open to new experiences.
At Hill-Con our booth was manned by the very social and personable Manny Hishmeh, who shared his expertise on LARPing and promoted several upcoming events LARPed.com is hosting, such as The Way of a Hero (WoaH) weekend event. This is an online LARP where players can create a superhero and take on evil-doers in adventure missions. To find out more, visit TheWayofaHero.com. Other events include Crux, www.cruxlarp.com, and Stormwrecked, www.stormwrecked.com, which is a pirate LARP that will be held over Halloween weekend of this year in North Carolina.
Attending such events that may typically be outside the “gaming” community is a great way to learn about topics that people are interested in and emerge ourselves into those communities. It broadens our knowledge both as creators of gaming materials and as individuals who are always looking for new adventures.
Some of the many speakers at Hill Con included Fred Saluga, who discussed Bigfoot; Karen Hluchan, who explored psychic gifts and how to use them; and Eric Mintel of Bucks County Paranormal Investigations. Vendors included Rachel Klaphake, creator of custom resin dice; Legendary Luminaries, Spirit Seeker Designs, and other crafters of gemstone jewelry, crystal balls and skulls, quilted items with a pop/horror theme, and Gothic décor.
There were several paranormal investigators, societies and equipment suppliers fitting for a haunted location. Phantom Hounds Paranormal, TOPS Paranormal, Oakmont Paranormal Society and Allegheny Paranormal Alliance were among the attendees. Psychics, mediums, tarot card readers and palm readers were also present.
LARPers Gone Ghost Hunting
Hill-Con allowed us to partake in a Ghost Hunt and tour of the Haunted Hill View Manor, www.hauntedhillviewmanor.com, the night before the convention. This was a surreal experience for this first-time ghost-hunter because the night gave me the chance to live out a childhood fantasy of being a “ghostbuster” but in real life.
Although we did not get any “hits” on our ghost hunt (we used a variety of tools including an EMF detector (electromagnetic field detector), a REM pod which reacts to energy and temperature changes of a location and a voice recorder; the tour was a fascinating look at a historic location and the lives (and afterlives) of some of the residents. My favorite portion of the tour was learning about Jimmy and Lester, who were roommates in life on the second floor of Hill View Manor. It is said that the two friends continue their pranks in their afterlife. The thought of two ghost best buddies just had an endearing quality to it that struck a chord. Other “afterlife residents” are described as “grumpy” from the current staff of the manor.
Overall, LARPed.com had an otherworldly experience at Hill-Con and met many people we hope to see at future events! Do you have any passions you would like to share with us at LARPed.com or any conferences you would like us to attend? Please contact us if you do!