EAST LIVERPOOL–Sightings of Bigfoot aficionados spiked over the weekend at Beaver Creek State Park, which hosted its second annual Bigfoot Day on Sunday.
Among them were investigators of paranormal phenomena, specialists in cryptozoology, and experts in UFOs. And then there were the everyday fans, like the man whose T-shirt read, “Bigfoot saw me but nobody believes him.”
The fact that there is such a thing as Bigfoot Day is a sign that, along with the sightings, there is an increase in public interest in cryptozoology (the study of unknown animals), parapsychology (the study of ghosts and spirits) and ufology (the study of UFOs), said Thomas Curtin, a paranormal investigator and researcher from Warren, Ohio.
“I think there’s been an increase in interest. A lot of people don’t realize how many sightings there are in Ohio,” he said, noting that Ohio is fourth or fifth in the country for numbers of Bigfoot sightings.
Curtin heads Eerie Ohio, an organization that investigates and documents claims of the paranormal in Mahoning, Portage and Trumbull counties. “I do it strictly for the passion of it and to help people,” he said.
An enthusiast for 25 years, Curtin belongs to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and assesses properties upon request.
Another Bigfoot Day vendor, Ed Kelemen, of New Florence, Pa., described himself as a paranormal documentarian–someone who accompanies psychics on visits to haunted locales.
“I don’t have any psychic abilities myself, although I have seen spirits. I have seen ghosts,” he said. “My own house is haunted.”
Kelemen takes notes and recordings when he assists with an investigation. Some of his experiences he has turned into fiction–“creepy stories from my creepy mind”–which he sold on Sunday.
Jordan Lowe, proprietor of Asylum Comics in Marietta, Ohio, learned about Bigfoot Day from organizer Brian Seech, whom he met at the Cambridge Creature Weekend. “He was giving out applications,” he said.
Lowe’s comic book “Bluff Creek” is about a young Bigfoot and his growing-up years.
Other participants included the Ohio Bigfoot Co-op, Robin Devine, of Chippewa, Pa., fiction author Jim Beard, of Sylvania, Ohio, and the Center for Cryptozoological Studies. The latter co-organized the event with the Friends of Beaver Creek State Park.
Among the speakers were Doug Waller, of the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation, and Fred Saluga, a West Virginia-based paranormal investigator.