This past weekend (June 11 & 12) saw a large Paranormal Expo hosted at Bolton Mansion (the first annual of many around the Philadelphia area) and what an amazing success it was for all involved! After a week of heat indexes hovering around and above the 100F mark, the weekend itself turned out to be far cooler, with perhaps a bit more clouds than we would have liked but far better than melting.
For those unfamiliar with Bolton Mansion, it is a historic site located in Levittown, Pennsylvania. With part of the house dating back to 1687, built by Phineas Pemberton, the house at it stands today was completed in 1790. It has seen much history and the Pemberton’s were actually neighbors of William Penn (Pennsbury Manor is not far from Bolton Mansion). Today it stands as a testament to time surrounded by more modern homes and winding roads.
Like many sites, Bolton Mansion is in need of repair and lacking funding by no fault of their own.
Board member, Florence Wharton, took it upon herself to start a paranormal program at Bolton Mansion in hopes of raising funds. The paranormal programs at Fort Delaware and Fort Mifflin have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for those sites so Florence knew this might be a feasible way to help the site while getting the history of the site to people who may not have otherwise visited, let alone heard of Bolton Mansion.
She organized a paranormal expo with the help of Dave Newman of Fairless Hills Paranormal and Dawn Sutchko-Reichard of PPI (Private Paranormal Investigators). There were, of course, many volunteers but these three really put their blood, sweat and tears into it. They booked the talents of Dustin Pari and Amy Bruni (both of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International fame), John Zaffis (Syfy’s Haunted Collector), the Scared! crew of Brian J. Cano (also currently seen on Haunted Collector) and Christopher Mancuso, author Charles J. Adams III, psychics Michele Livingston and Joseph Tittle and Pennsylvania Paranormal Association with their dog Ben, who has been featured on Animal Planet’s The Haunted. Many local paranormal organizations came out in support and shared their experiences and information as well.
One highlight was when Charles Adams dressed up for the audience as he shared some of the thousands of true ghost stories he’s learned over the years. For those unfamiliar with his work, he has authored such books as Philadelphia Ghost Stories, Montgomery County Ghost Stories, Bucks County Ghost Stories (which includes a ghost story from Bolton Mansion itself!), New York City Ghost Stories and many, many more!
John Zaffis’ new Syfy show, Haunted Collector, has only just started airing but he’s been a fan favorite for years. Coming from a family involved with the paranormal, he now runs the Paranormal and Demonology Research Society of New England. He has a museum full of items believed or thought to be possibly haunted or possessed and has spent many years helping individuals in need.
Overall, the expo was a success because of all those who came out to support Bolton Mansion, to meet old friends, make new ones and overall have fun while raising money for a great site.
If you missed it this year, fear not, there is already talk of next year’s expo ;).
Be sure to stop by the Friends of Bolton Mansion site!