Psychic fair showcases paranormal talents

Laura Jones, compassionate psychic guidance intuitive mentor and life coach, used her skills to help others. Jones and others took place in the 2014 Ames Psychic and Paranormal Expo on Oct. 18 at the Scheman Building. The fair brought vendors, speakers, healers and others.

Emily Eppens

Psychic readings and paranormal vibes swirled throughout the Scheman Building as psychics provided guidance to people of all ages at the Ames Psychic and Paranormal Expo.

Celebrating the Halloween season, members of the Des Moines area pagan and psychic communities took the opportunity to share their wares to the general public.

The second annual expo took place in the Scheman Building on Oct. 18.

Tarot card readings, essential healing techniques, animal communication and vibration therapy were just a few of the psychic services offered.

More than 50 vendors from around Iowa came to sell their wares and share their craft. Mystic and new age shops selling jewelry, crystals and books were also set up.

“I always like it here,” said Alicia Anspaugh, the owner of the Des Moines New Age Shop. “It always has a peaceful vibe.”

Though many of the vendors were pagan, the event attracted many others to its doors. Speakers spoke about topics such as removing unwanted energies and shared true ghost story experiences. Ghost hunters made an appearance and mediums also provided guests with paranormal readings.

Amy Bruni, an actress from the reality TV show “Ghost Hunters,” spoke after the event.

“We have shows that we do in the Quad Cities, another one that we do in Marion, [Iowa] in addition to the Ames expo,” said Kelly McCarville, one of the expo hosts. “I do spotty readings, but I’m not at my booth the whole time because my main role is to be the host.”

McCarville said she enjoyed the events because they were more open to the public than other pagan events.

“I don’t attend events when they feel totally boxed in,” McCarville said. “It’s too restrictive. It should be open so the energies can flow around.”

Toni Marlatt, the high priestess of a pagan coven in Nevada, offered her insight into why the pagan community can sometimes tend to be closed off to the public.

“I think a lot of it is misinterpreted and a lot of it is misunderstood. People don’t know what to expect,” Marlatt said. “I teach my students to be patient and compassionate to all religions. We respect everyone’s rights to their own path. Magic is just science that has not been understood yet.”

Anspaugh said the pagan community is slowly beginning to become more accepted by and open to the public. Resources for services similar to those at the expo are becoming easier to find, Anspaugh said.

“The main goal of my store is to pay the bills obviously, but it is more to connect with the general public,” Anspaugh said. “No matter where you go, you’ll find someone who has had a hunch or a gut instinct and maybe brushed the subject [of paganism], but they don’t know exactly what it is. As long as I’m willing to teach and explain, I find that people have a curiosity, which is great.”

Laura Jones, an intuitive reader from Des Moines and also known as Lauracle, mentors people who are searching for answers on the mystic side.

“My ideal world is that everyone would feel connected in some personal way for them,” Jones said. “It’s almost another way for them to be closer to God or feeling personally that there is something greater than themselves.”

Lenore Hamill, the owner of Morning Light Bookstore in Windsor Heights, Iowa, said she loves open events like the expo as a way to meet and connect with people with all different mindsets.

“It’s awesome here because there is such a mix of people,” Hamill said. “There [are] Asian, Wiccan and astrology practices and even people who specialize in crystal rocks. There’s all different methodologies — it’s all spiritual, but it’s all different.”

Ray Bonebreak, who refers to himself as the crystal guy and was a vendor at a booth, said the best part about the expo and other new age shows, was that he knows just about everyone.

“We are a family,” Bonebreak said.

McCarville hopes that in the future her show and other similar shows will continue to grow and reach out.

“I think that a lot of time people don’t know where to go to get these types of services,” McCarville said. “It also gives the vendors an opportunity to offer their services, there’s only so many places these people can go to put themselves out there. This event gives the community a way to connect.”