If you ever need ghost-hunting tools, healing stones, or safe house-blessing kits, the Supernatural Expo in Lewisville, Texas is the place for you. It draws believers from all spectrums of the unknown to share tips and sell stuff under the fluorescent lights of a convention center. Laura Buckman was there to document it all.
The inaugural event was held on a hot Saturday in July. It was hosted by 24 Hour Paranormal, a team of investigators determined “to find the truth and help those who need answers to unexplained events that are happening around or to them.” Buckman happened upon the expo while researching a long-term project about the supernatural, and decided to check it out. She went for the spectacle, but also to meet the people. “I’m really interested in people that can put aside that skepticism and fear and believe in these seemingly unknowable things,” Buckman says.
The convention was a grab bag of every type of paranormal professional and hobbyist you could imagine: energy healers, psychics, mediums, cryptid investigators, fortune tellers and UFO researchers. Each paid $7 to enter the event, and $99 for a display to peddle their wares. Panelists pontificated from folding tables and guest speakers like Sheta Kaey offered lessons in “house cleansing” to “banish unwanted spirits.” One couple even decided to get married, right there at the expo. Everyone Buckman approached was only too happy to be photographed and share their stories. “Everyone was friendly and very educated about their particular area of interest. I learned quite a lot,” she says.
Buckman considers herself a “people photographer,” but was drawn to the paranormal paraphernalia. Vendors offered everything from amulets and crystals to holy water. She was particularly interested in ghost hunting gear. “I did consider buying divining rods, and I regret not doing it,” she says.
Before the expo, Buckman had minimal experience with the supernatural. She grew up in a devoutly religious home where ghosts weren’t exactly family dinner conversation. Despite her skepticism, she’s always felt a pull toward the unknown. The photographer did have a brush with the paranormal while at the event. Several mediums posing for a portrait mentioned being distracted by the spirit of a kindly grandparent who was following Buckman. Now, Buckman does have a dearly departed grandmother, but she certainly hadn’t mentioned her to anyone at the expo. Yet these mediums knew her name and how she died. “I still don’t really know what to think,” she says of the experience. “Maybe the X-Files said it best: ‘I want to believe.'”Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.