Paranormal Research Society to re-invent 'UNIV-CON: The National Paranormal Conference'

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The Paranormal Research Society (and stars of the hit A&E TV series, "Paranormal State") announce plans to change the format for its national paranormal conference, called UNIV-CON, which is entering its seventh year.

The Penn State Paranormal Research Society (PRS) has come along way since organizing in 2001. And so has UNIV-CON, a nationally renowned paranormal conference that, in 2007, saw attendance reach well over 1,200 people.

What started out as a small college program has evolved in to a grand scale event, dubbed by many in the paranormal community as one of the largest paranormal conferences of its kind.

And it has a lot of history.

Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of "Ghost Hunters" fame frequented the conference well before their TV series took off.     Before passing, both George Lutz of "The Amityville Horror" and Roman Catholic exorcist Father James Lebar gave one of their last public lectures at UNIV-CON (Lutz in 2003, Lebar in 2007, respectively). UNIV-CON was the first conference to successfully assemble many of the paranormal pioneers of the 21st century under one roof for panel discussions, both in 2006 and 2007. And of course, the PRS finally got its due by holding the world premiere of "Paranormal State" in 2007.

UNIV-CON has worked hard to become a staple in the paranormal community by offering diverse and groundbreaking workshops, as well as discovering "new blood" in the community. In short, UNIV-CON has consistently pushed the bar and grown to new heights year after year.

And now, after establishing a successful formula, UNIV-CON will re-invent itself by moving in a brand new direction.

"People want a change," said PRS/UNIV-CON founder Ryan Buell. "And so do we."

UNIV-CON will be moving away from the convention-feel that it developed over the past few years, moving more towards research and education. However, Buell says that there will still be entertainment found at the conference. UNIV-CON is also teaming up with an historical and internationally renowned scientific research center for an undisclosed project.

"Some of the people we're bringing in this year are really extraordinary," said 2008 conference manager Topher Young. "This year's conference is all about change and a new direction."

For the first time ever, UNIV-CON will abandon its usual October placement for mid-September (September 11 - 14th, to be exact). Returning attendees will also find new venue space for the growing conference, which will now be held at the award-winning Penn Stater hotel. This will be the first time the conference will not be held on-campus.

"We ran out of room," said Sergey Poberezhny, who managed the conference for the past three years. "It's a good problem to have."

The full, official website for 2008's UNIV-CON is expected to go live sometime this month. Until then, PRS and UNIV-CON will unveil very little about its lineup and plans.

"UNIV-CON is my brainchild," said Buell. "For the past six years, we've made little progress in the direction that we truly wanted to take. I feel that the time is now to move in that direction. I feel like we are ready."

UNIV-CON: The National Paranormal Conference will be held September 11 - 14th, 2008 at University Park, Pa. Please visit for more information.


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