9/8/18-9/9/18 This was my first year at the two day, monster-themed conference, CryptidCon, and CryptidCon's second year running in Frankfort, Kentucky. This event is run in whole or in part, I'm not certain, by Nick Groff from Paranormal Lockdown and previously Ghost Adventures. I found it interesting that he would endorse a monster related event although we mostly see him engaging in ghost investigations. Nick was present throughout the conference but he did not speak or introduce any of the speakers. It seemed like he was behind the scenes making sure everything went smoothly and it certainly did. This conference is very well organized. Most people received a typical wrist band for entrance, except the Legendary Pass holders who got a lanyard. The Legendary Pass entitled you to sit in the first couple rows of seats in the speaker rooms and go on a Bigfoot Hunt one night. Unfortunately the Bigfoot Hunt was canceled due to the weather but those people received a refund on that portion which I give a two thumbs up to the event for being so considerate.
Speakers were presenting at the same time in two different rooms which made it hard at times to decide who to see but I appreciated the choice and it enabled the event to have many speakers who were all top notch quality. I've been to many conferences and have seen some pretty bad speakers. Not here. There were well known names like Linda Godfrey, Robert Murch, Travis Walton, Cliff Barackman and Bobo Fay from Finding Bigfoot. There was a half hour break scheduled after each speaker which was a great idea in case someone went over the allotted time and gave you a chance to change rooms, hit the bathroom, or get a drink if you wished.
The first speaker I saw was Cliff Barackman. I've seen Cliff speak many times and honestly he has been boring in the past but this time I loved his presentation. He spoke about what he's doing now that Finding Bigfoot is over. He seemed happier now that he can concentrate on doing what he loves to do. One of the things I look for in a speaker is I want to learn something new. I did indeed learn a couple new approaches to Bigfoot hunting and appreciated that he didn't talk down to the audience. He used big terms but explained what they meant. I plan to use this strategy in the future.
Derek Hayes, founder of the Cryptid Crate (see my review here), and host of Monsters Among Us podcast, hosted a Town Hall Meeting in which people from the audience told their paranormal and monster encounters. I really enjoyed this and spoke with Derek at his table in the vendor room. He is a great guy and I love his Cryptid Crates.
I was very excited to see David Paulides, author of the Missing 411 books. He researches the mysterious circumstances of missing people in our national parks, a very interesting subject. He did not have an explanation for the missing people although I feel he is not willing to publicly state his opinion at this time. For some reason his books on Amazon are very expensive and that is the reason I had never read one but he told us to go directly to his website for a reasonable price. I did purchase a book at his table, signed in person by him, and they were going fast.
The new Small Town Monsters movie, The Bray Road Beast was shown along with an introduction by Linda Godfrey. I've seen three of the Small Town Monsters documentaries and this was was your typical documentary. I've hunted for the Beast myself on two occasions so this was of interest to me. Personally, I like to see people actually go out and investigate themselves, not just story tell, but it was overall a good movie.
The vendor room had anything you could think of relating to monsters, hand drawn pictures, clothing, candles, and my very favorite badges. The first monster badge I received was in a cryptid crate, another reason to get one. I was so excited to see the company that makes them had a whole table of badges representing any monster you could think of. Here are the ones that I have. Get your own at Monsterologist. You could also meet your favorite speakers in the vending room and get a photo or autograph. Nobody ever charges for photos or autographs at these events. There was a monster-sized Bigfoot and Dogman for photo ops and an appearance by the Scooby gang's Mystery Machine.
late night monsters
Saturday night there was an after party with a live DJ and cash bar. Quite a few people attended. In my opinion the best part about these conferences is meeting new people with the same interests. I hung out with old friends, Chris and Wes, met new friends, Heather and Brandy, along with Blake Smith, host of Monster Talk podcast, who also gave a presentation during the conference on Kentucky goblins but I missed it since I did not meet him until after his talk, and his friend, Jeb Card, author of Spooky Archeology. It's fascinating to hear everyone's stories of the strange and weird, especially after a few drinks.
where monster hunters sleep
The past two years have taken place at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Frankfort, Kentucky. I had a "mini suite." I have no idea what was "suite" about it expect it had a mini refrigerator. The rooms were OK, nothing to write home about. The breakfast buffet was not that great but it was free. Service at the only bar and restaurant in the hotel was horrible. There was only one waitress and she was frazzled by the influx of conference goers. You would think if there was a big event at the hotel, they would have more help. The only thing I ate at the bar was chips and salsa. I don't think anyone can mess that up so I don't really have an opinion on the food.
It sounds like the conference is becoming too big for this hotel and they are talking about moving it to Louisville or Lexington next year. I say yes! I've been to many conferences and this was a good one, quality speakers and well organized. I hope to return in the future.