Scare's no such thing

Updated: Nov 01, 2019, 07:41 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

Asia's biggest paranormal convention returns to the city this weekend with panel discussions, book launches and a music performance at a Halloween-themed venue

How often have horror movies helped you sleep at night? If your answer is close to "almost never", then you aren't one in a million. But for metaphysician and psychic Pooja Vijay and paranormal investigator and demonologist Sarbajeet Mohanty, the founders of Parapsychology And Investigations Research Society (PAIRS) India, the paranormal is an area to be explored with logic and reason. It is with this idea that they decided to start ScareCon — a paranormal convention in 2018, that they now call Asia's biggest.

"We were watching the Sand Diego Comic Con last year and thought about how we could organise such an event to create awareness about our area of work — it's one that no one takes seriously," Mohanty says. After initially organising a series of meet-ups, the first edition had a footfall of 100 people, which Mohanty states is a huge crowd for such an event in India. This year, they have widened the scale with a Halloween-themed venue, panel discussions with famous personalities and performance acts. Here are The Guide's top picks.

On November 3, 12.30 pm onwards
At MVIRDC World Trade Centre, WTC Complex, Ganesh Murti Nagar, Cuffe Parade.
Log on to
Cost Rs 800 onwards

Chetna Chakravarthy
Chetna Chakravarthy

1 Something spiritual

The alternate healing practitioner who practises bio-touch, a healing technique that involves lightly touching specific points of the body, will deliver a keynote lecture on Believing is beyond Seeing. Chakravarthy is also a chakra healer and oracle card reader and will shed light on the what Mohanty calls, 'opening up the mind'. "There are no experts in this field because it is so vast — it's like how you cannot just call someone an expert in science. The most important thing is to keep an open mind because it is an area that can disrupt your belief system," he explains.

Pooja Vijay and Sarbajeet Mohanty
Pooja Vijay and Sarbajeet Mohanty

2 Think logically

Both the founders along with exorcist Savio Furtado, and Siddhartha Bantval and Meghna Porwal members of the Indian Paranormal Society will ponder on the question, Can India accept paranormal investigations? Talking about the session, Mohanty says, "Most people in India rely on tantriks and babas. Our main aim is to make the audience question everything and save them from being fleeced. Our devices for investigation are not anything special, but industrial."

Sidharth Jain and Vishal Furia
Sidharth Jain and Vishal Furia

3 Screen and scream

In a panel titled 'Traditional Horror vs Modern Horror, The Journey', five film professionals including Sidharth Jain, the creator of Ragini MMS, and director Vishal Furia. They will elaborate on how horror movies have evolved — from ones made by The Ramsay Brothers to modern flicks that emphasise on the role of silence to spook audiences like James Wan's The Conjuring.

K Hari Kumar and Kiran Manral
K Hari Kumar and Kiran Manral

4 Booked by horror

How to write a best-selling horror book? This panel has got you covered for it will feature acclaimed authors K Hari Kumar and Kiran Manral, Faraz Kazi (who has been called the Nicholas Sparks of India) as well as popular horror writer and screenwriter Neil D'Silva. The book launch of City of Screams and India's Most Haunted will take place as well. And in sync with the vibe of the event, the venue will be decorated according to a horror theme with music and dance performances, too. Without revealing the details, Mohanty shares, "As the crowd enters, there will be surprises along the way."

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