If you’re a fan of magic and illusion, Gathering Mountain: Festival of Magick will have plenty “Wow!” moments to make the weekend one to remember. Gateway, Ark., residents Desiree Fultz and her husband, Charles, are staging events the weekend of Sept. 14 designed to have something for everyone.
“As you know, there are a lot of wizard fans around because of Harry Potter,” Desiree said. “We didn’t want to get involved with trademark infringement, so we had the idea of wizard fandom meeting real magic. We encourage fans to cosplay from favorite shows and books whether Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings or anything else that has to do with witches and wizards, or magic. What we have done is bring in metaphysical attractions, as well as magic acts. You can get healing touch with Reiki, talk to a psychic, or be hypnotized.”
Desiree said kids will be able to visit a petting booth where animals are dressed as wizards, including a horse and rabbits.
While this will largely be in the spirit of good fun, there will also be opportunities for visitors who want to connect in a spiritual way. Desiree said some prominent spiritual leaders well known in the occult world will be present, such as David Griffin and his wife, Leslie Morgan McQuade, from Arizona.
“They actually teach real magic,” she said. “People will have the opportunity to attend workshops from various vendors to learn how to use divination tools like a dowsing rod, a magic wand or a pendulum. There will be tarot card and astrology readings.”
One thing the Fultzes have noticed is that kids don’t usually like the metaphysical events because more they are more for adults, and adults don’t necessarily like the fandom because it is more for kids. “We are combining the two so it is a family event,” Desiree said.
Desiree says she will be there doing a mentalist show, mind readings, telepathy and rapid math predictions. There will be a hypnosis show by Zackery Gibson, and illusionist shows by Bobby and Jeramy Neugin, a Cherokee father and son known for incorporating Cherokee lore into their shows.
“One of the things they do is throw dust up in the air and it becomes bees,” Desiree said. “They do some really cool illusion magic with their act. And, of course, there will be ghost tours experts talking about ghost hunting and how to communicate with the paranormal. And then Vince Johari, a Eureka Springs paranormal entertainer who does seances, will do Pre-Possessed and Johari’s Window live shows. The Pre-Possessed show is for people ages 18 and over because it can be scary.”
The couple decided to have the event near Eureka Springs because the area is well known for interest in paranormal activities. An annual UFO conference draws hundreds of participants, and there are the popular Ghost Tours at the Basin Park and Crescent Hotels, plus Ghost Tours downtown. The Arkansas Metaphysical Society has meetings in Eureka Springs on a near weekly basis.
“There is a big paranormal attraction in Eureka Springs,” Desiree said. “We wanted to have it in here because people in Eureka Springs are pretty open-minded.”
Offerings at the Farm on Hwy. 187 west of Beaver include camping, RV camping, paid showers, hiking trails, disk golf, and activities provided by vendors.
“And both evenings we will have a big bonfire with a large drum circle,” Desiree said. “We encourage people to bring their drums or anything to make noise with. We are allowing dogs. But because of an earlier incident on The Farm, the dog has to be kenneled at your camp or on a leash. You must have name tags on your dog so, if the dog gets lost in camp, we can find you.”
For more information, see the website gathering-mountain.com.