July 28, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
63°F

Library event happens in good spirits

MEDINA — The Rev. Tony Myles said he didn’t go to the Medina Public Library to protest the “Paranormal Fest” events Saturday.

“I went to build relationships,” he said.

Myles, the lead pastor of Connection Church in Sharon Township, was one of at least a dozen people who complained to the library, urging the library to cancel the event or add a Christian perspective to the program.

The Halloween-themed festival featured presentations on psychic abilities and stories of the unexplained and finished with an after-hours ghost hunt.

Lisa Rienerth, a library associate who was involved in planning the event, said the program “went off without a hitch.”

Rienerth said about 40 people attended each of three presentations — by El Dorado Paranormal Investigations, the Psychic Samhain and local author Michelle Belanger.

The ghost hunt, which was attended by 60 people, was geared toward teens and featured the Celestial Spirit Investigators.

Library officials chose not to cancel the event or include a Christian presenter, saying the Christians had the option to create an alternate program later in the season, or book a library room free of charge.

Heather Coontz, community relations manager for the library, previously said the Paranormal Fest, which was funded through a $150 donation from the Friends of the Medina County District Library, was meant to be “informational and entertaining” and did not focus on religion.

Myles had voiced concern about the festival in a Sept. 26 column for The Gazette, saying “the supernatural is nothing to play around with.”

Myles wrote that when he was younger, his family played with Ouija boards, psychics, horoscopes and automatic writing.

“One day everything went bad,” he wrote “…We experienced manifestations too scary and evil to write about here, all because we were naive about the paranormal, thought we were in control and viewed it all as ‘fun.’ ”

Terry Holley, a retired pastor from Heartland Community Church in Medina Township, said he had no problem with the material presented during the festival.

Holey said he attended the event Saturday as a researcher who is interested in debunking the paranormal.

“These practices are superstitions,” he said. “They have no validity to them.”

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4949 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.