Paranormal, horror convention comes to Mattoon

Chris Picazo, Staff Reporter

The Illinois Metaphysical and Paranormal Society, founded in 2011, is hosting its fifth annual Central Illinois Convention, or Cil-Con, on Aug. 21 and 22 at Cross County Mall in Mattoon.

This will be the first year the convention, which will raise awareness for paranormal metaphysical fields, will be held at Cross County Mall, located at 700 Broadway Ave. East.

Event Coordinator Becky Guymon said people usually get the wrong impression of these subjects and she wants to give a better understanding of these things to the community.

“With the popularity of the TV shows right now, everybody just kind of instantly goes towards we’re the crazy people that are on TV running around looking for demons and all these other stupid things, and we’re really not,” Guymon said. “We’re just normal everyday people with normal everyday jobs.”

Guymon said the convention was previously only a paranormal and horror convention but has added things such as anime and gaming as well.

Guymon and the IMPS committee are fans of both gaming and anime, and they decided to expand the convention with these things to make it an “all big encompassing event.”

The convention will feature guest speakers, special guests, gallery readings, a performance from illusionist Master Ron Fitzgerald, a professional wresting show presented by Zero 1 Pro Wrestling, a gamer’s heaven room and many other events.

Cil-Con will be free of charge for entrance for everyone who attends.

“It gives everybody a chance to meet everyone one-on-one,” Guymon said. “Most conventions charge between $50 and $70 a person to get in, and something we strive for is to have no admittance charge, so that anybody who wants to get in and talk to the readers or actors or authors to participate can.”

Not everything at Cil-Con will be free. Guymon said all events occurring at the mall will be free, but the after-hours events will charge admittance.

The Mattoon Moose Lodge, 1200 Broadway Ave. in Mattoon, will host an after party with $5 admittance that will feature live entertainment and a bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Aug. 22.

Events with Benny Reed and Jonathon Hodges of “Deep South Paranormal,” and Christopher Saint and Rachel Marie Booth will be held at Ashmore Estates, 22645 E Co Rd 1050 N, Ashmore, on that Friday and Saturday as well.

Guymon said everything that Cil-Con sponsors will be free, and individual gallery readings may charge.

The convention in previous years has seen between 200 to 300 people, and with the change in venue, additional events, inclusion of national stars and more advertising, Guymon is hoping for at least 1,000 people in attendance.

The IMPS received grants from both the Charleston and Mattoon tourism boards to help with promotion and hopes the convention will attract many people to come and visit.

People may attend Cil-Con with free admittance from 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 21 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 22 at Cross County Mall in Mattoon.

Chris Picazo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].