Cryptid Con 2019

Bigfoot Cryptid Con 2019
Mel, Bigfoot, T. S. Mart

This was our second year attending Cryptid Con. Never in my life did I dream I would be hanging out with cryptid fans every fall. I used to attend craft shows with family and shop for cute wood and fabric decorations to put around the house. I’m still shopping, but now it’s for cute cryptid items to decorate our office or give away to newsletter subscribers. I love this environment where scientists, entertainers, artists, and fans come together to talk about the world of these unknown creepy critters.

While we didn’t attend any of the speaker sessions this year, we had fun catching up with friends and meeting other incredibly nice people. Here are a few highlights from Cryptid Con 2019.

What is Cryptid Con?

From Cryptid Con’s Facebook Page:

“Cryptid Con is a weekend-long adventure for all you crypto-enthusiasts! Meet television personalities. Learn from seasoned researchers. Shop from unique vendors. Network with others in search of elusive creatures. Two full days of mysterious mayhem! From media celebrities to professional cryptozoologists, authors to artists, Cryptid Con brings you some of the most experienced and influential names in the community. Whether you’re a casual fan whose interest was sparked by a TV show or a seasoned researcher who has logged thousands of hours in the field, we have something and someone for you!”

Cryptid Con Directors

Jennifer and Lee Kirkland are the founders of Cryptid Con which is managed by Nick Groff Tour, LLC, a company which hosts celebrity events around the country and for whom both are producers. Lee and Jennifer are a dynamic couple who started Cryptid Con three ago. Each year the conference grows a little more, garnering more attention and attendees. You can find pictures of the event on their Facebook page.

Cryptid Con Directors
L to R: Lee Kirkland-Co-founder, Mel Ayers, T. S. Mart, Brad Blair-Yoopernatural Haunts, co host at Creaking Door Paranormal Radio Show

Our goal is that we’ll be signing books at Cryptid Con 2020! How fun would that be?

Seth Breedlove and Small Town Monsters

We had to have their new Momo (the Bigfoot) poster that is a throw back to the drive-in movie era of the 70’s. It’s already up on the wall along with the very cool, “Terror in the Skies” poster. I recommend both of these films. Catching up with Seth Breedlove, Director of Small Town Monsters, is always a highlight of the con. His entire team of people are so friendly. I’ll be writing up a review on their new film “Momo: The Missouri Monster” in a couple weeks. I watched it last night for the first time. It has all the spooky feels. You can read about “Terror in the Skies” here. Their next project to release will be “On the Trail of…UFO’s” in the early spring. You don’t have to be a believer to watch Seth’s films. His objective approach focuses on the history and challenges communities face in the wake of unusual circumstances. You can find Small Town Monsters here. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Seth and his co-producing wife, Adrienne, are both active on Instagram @adgebreedlove and @sethbreedslove.

Seth Breedlove from Small Town Monsters, Mel Ayers, T. S. Mart
Seth Breedlove, Mel Ayers, T. S. Mart. And some very cool art work

Monsters Among Us and Cryptid Crate

I’m not a big Podcast listener. I need silence when I write, and I pretty much write all the time. When I do house or yard work, I listen to writing and marketing podcasts. But Mel listens while she illustrates. One podcast on her list is “Monsters Among Us”. Show host, Derek Hayes, said he was drawing and listening to podcasts when he came up with the idea for “Monsters Among Us.” The next two paragraphs are from his website.

Monsters Among Us Bio

Monsters Among Us Podcast is a show about cryptid creatures and those lucky enough to have witnessed them.  Our focus is to provide a platform for witnesses to tell their tale in a safe and encouraging environment.  Our mission is to give those with a tale to tell the stage to do so.  All stories presented are true to the best of our knowledge so grab a seat, turn off the lights and tune in, boy do we have a story for you!

Host Bio

Derek Hayes, the host of Monsters Among Us Podcast currently calls the mountains above Los Angeles, California home but originates from the backwoods of Southeast Ohio.  He’s worked in the film industry for 10 years in addition to producing oddity inspired artwork on the side.  A chance encounter when he was 10 years old drives his passion in the cryptozoology world and inspired him to create Monsters Among Us Podcast as a way to learn more and hear stories from all over the world.

Derek and Sarah Carter-Hayes from Monsters Among Us and Cryptid Crate
Mel Ayers, T. S. Mart, Derek Hayes, Sarah Carter-Hayes
Cryptid Crate

Derek and his wife Sarah started Cryptid Crate a couple years ago due to a void in the market. The only subscription box of it’s kind, Cryptid Crate comes packed with cryptid related goodies. You can see last months box here. We’re subscribers, but not every month. We’re able to control our subscription month to month. A feature I very much appreciate.

I spoke with Sarah about purchasing crates to give to our newsletter subscribers in a quarterly drawing. If all goes well, our first giveaway/drawing will be in October as a way to celebrate the one year anniversary of our newsletter. We may also give away a few more items (including some original artwork by Mel), so if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet, now would be a good time. We’re going to throw all the names of every subscriber (even those who previously won last year) back in the hat and start over. It’s easy, free, and I hope worthwhile.

Cryptid Studies Institute

I loved connecting with this family of Cryptid researchers and investigators. They’re creationists, and like us, they approach cryptids from a faith-based worldview. Here is their mission from their website:

Cryptid Studies Institute is a fellowship of dedicated , ethical , non kill researchers who strive daily in an environment friendly, fellow human being friendly, animal friendly, benevolent manner to further the  study and understanding of wild life creatures that have yet to be documented into the fossil record, we also strive to be a drama free, judgment free safe haven for fellow researchers , who hold opinion that are at variance with our own, and we covenant to follow the science wherever it may lead, leaving pride behind.”

Blog Talk Radio

Also from their website (because they describe themselves better than I could): “Cryptid Studies Institute has a thought provoking radio show dedicated to bringing you high quality and truthful information in the field of fringe studies whether it be in the arena of, Cryptids, the paranormal, history’s mysteries, religion, black science or many other things. If it is strange, if it is bizarre, or down right freaky we have probably got you covered, Cryptid Studies Institute is sometimes shocking, sometimes controversial, but always informed and on the edge.” You can access their radio show here at Blog Talk Radio.  

Listening to their radio is on my to do list this next week as well as checking out their Facebook Page.

Johnny and Elijah Henderson, Cryptid Studies Institute
T. S. Mart, Johnny Henderson, Elijah Henderson, Mel Ayers

Hillbilly Horror Stories Podcast

Jerry and Tracy Paulley

I loved meeting this husband and wife duo. They seem like so much fun. I believe I listened to one of their podcasts awhile back because I loved the idea that he tells the story and then she acts the skeptic by asking all the questions the audience would ask. In talking with them, I learned they put an enormous amount of research into each show, and they’re highly entertaining. Support them!! Here is the link:

We met and talked with many others and had a great time learning and connecting with individuals who share a similar fascination. We all approach the subject a little differently, but there is still an element of respect and acceptance throughout the field. I came away feeling jazzed and ready to continue writing about those cryptids that fly.

If you’d like to know more about the books we’re working on for Indiana University Press, check out our home page. You can read more about cryptids and see original creature designs by Mel Ayers by clicking here. Also check out our recent article “5 Famous Creepy Cryptid Encounters.” For our most recent updates and news, subscribe to our newsletter. You can check it out here or simply sign up below.

Would you rather watch an informative documentary about cryptids, hunt them in the woods at night, or listen to scary stories about them?

Everyone have a great week!