There was plenty of banging, knocking and strange sounds at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center Friday. And that was only the construction crews. Organizers of the Oregon Coast Conference, back in Seaside for the fourth year, visitors may find a different kind of astral experience, with classes in alchemy, paranormal research, paranormal viewing and "ghostbusting," courtesy of the Portland Ghostbusters.
"It's been great in Seaside," organizer Rocky Smith said. "With spring break, there are so many people in town, we draw many people we don't normally have."
Having Seaside's local history is "incredible," Smith said. "Whenever you have an event that's tied to the past, you want to have a good history. Seaside has an incredible past as a vacation town, a history of the 'Daddy Train,' people coming from Portland, and the native history."
Seaside has been a "very easy city to work with," he said, with staff at the convention center and City Hall proactive in helping as much as needed.
The late night ghost tours have been a big focus, with tours along the Promenade, down Seaside, Broadway and the Bridge Tender. "We're doing two tours Friday night, and four Saturday night," he said. Tickets are still available.
Will you see an apparition? In past years, visitors have had experiences at the Bridge Tender and at the convention center, Smith said. "Even the Times Theatre. They have mentioned there are ghost stories there."
Ghosts may be drawn from native American burial sites or early Seaside settlers, he said.
Along with tours, an array of speakers will be sharing classes and lectures for convention visitors. Events for kids are also on the agenda, with "Aura for Kids," "Paranormal Equipment Show and Tell" and "Haunted Toys."
Box office hours are 3 to 7:15 p.m. Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Classes are ticketed. General admission allows access to all speakers, general admission events and the vendor area.