Panels & Presenters

Presenters & Panels

Aether and Elder Signs: Horror in Steampunk

The Steampunk genre is steeped in magic, mystery, and the macabre. However, it often seems to be outshone by airships, top hats, gleaming goggles, and crackling electricity. Join Dr. J.R. Whitcomb and Gypsy as they delve deep into the early days of victorian horror, to discuss its roots, and the frightening fruit it has produced over the years.

Airships, Ironclads, and Arcing Electricity: The Real Life Inspirations Behind Steampunk Fantasy

Steampunk is full of all manner of contraptions that seem utterly fantastical given the time periods they are placed in. But, would you believe that many of the devices actually existed in one form or another in the Victorian era? From marvels of aviation, radio controlled robots, undersea boats, to silenced air rifles, Dr. J.R. brings you everything from vague blueprints to forgotten marvels of the victorian age.

Copyrights and Contracts for SteamPunk Artists

Perhaps you’ve written a SteamPunk novel or comic book and are now ready to meet with publishers, or maybe you’ve taken photographs of conventioneers in cosplay and want to make merchandise from your pictures. How do you protect your creative work? What are the limits of such legal protection? What kind of permissions do you need? What kind of rights should you keep? In this presentation, we will explore legal topics critical to creators such as the protection of ideas; copyrights and “copy wrongs”; work for hire agreements and model releases; and a multitude of unseen legal traps waiting to ensnare the unsuspecting artist.
Don’t let the icy waters of the law extinguish the Promethean spark of your creation! Join entertainment attorney and law professor Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. in a one-hour quest to demystify those shadowy areas of copyright and contract law that most impact creators.
So put on your airship goggles learn to navigate the perilous skies of copyright law! Protect your creations through the cogs and gears of carefully-crafted contract clauses!

Creating your Steampunk Persona

What kind of a character do you see yourself becoming in a Steampunk world? Are you a daring adventurer? A scheming inventor? Do you work through minions, or do you fly solo? Do you rise from humble beginnings, or are you royalty that wants to sample the life of an air pirate? Here we can express ourselves without limitation in neo-Victorian fashion. Here we are surrounded unique daring fashion and historical costumes; many find a piece that speaks to them, and flourishes into a memorable outfit and persona. It is here that we will speak on the very genesis of who…and what you are to become in the neo-Victorian worlds of yesterday’s tomorrow. Join us for a discussion on what makes a steampunk character, as we sip from a freshly-brewed cup of Earl Grey!
Hosts: Sophia Sakelakos, Lucy Schmidt, Kuriak Isepeth, John Bardy

The Development of Knightly Armor and Chivalry from an Arthurian Perspective

The concept of the chivalrous knight in shining armor has been a romantic ideal for a long time, but from where did that ideal come? How did it develop? Did armor always “shine?” where knights always “chivalrous?” and how did the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table vary and evolve to reflect the ever-changing ideals and principles of knighthood? Join Captain Zorikh on this fast-paced, exciting technological and sociological history that will reveal knighthood and and King Arthur as you have never seen them before!
Host: Captain Zorikh

Edison’s PsycoPhone

Who was the creative genius and shrewd businessman known as the Wizard of Menlo Park? Why was this scientific mind obsessed with psychic phenomenon and determined to unlock the secrets of the dead? Discover Edison’s invention to communicate and record messages with the dead & decide if it was just his morbid fascination or if he did have an experience that had him questing for more?
Hosts: Lady D, Madame X

Fighting Exhibition: Medieval Armored Combat

Join members of a modern medieval combat group as they engage in an exhibition of their style of fighting and talk with the audience about medieval combat.


Sinister stories and hellish historical accounts of freaks, fakirs, illusionists, snake oil salesmen and all matters odd. Modern day practitioners of the art of the circus sideshow Dr. J.R. and Gypsy of “Karnevil” will guide you through the crowded tents of yesteryear, full of mummies, spinsters, six legged men and other circus freaks! Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

From Concept to Story

Do you have an idea that you’ve always wanted to turn into a novel? Have you started a novel but can’t figure out where to take the story next? Join Amazon Bestselling Author Brian McKinley For A Presentation That Will Take You Step-By-Step Through Three Different Plot Structuring Techniques.
Host: Brian McKinley

The Ghost of Sherlock Holmes

Can the memory of the world’s greatest detective ever really fade away? The answer is a resounding NO!
It is elementary! A very special dinner party is being hosted by a dubious Sherlock Holmes collector. During the course of this mysterious evening, the host will demonstrate the peculiar mind-powers of Dr. Joseph Bell, the personality profiling prowess of the Great Detective himself, the esoteric attributes of a deck of cards rumored to have belonged to Jack the Ripper, the haunted finger rings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Cottingley Fairies, and much more!
Delve into the mysteries surrounding the real life Diogenes Club and the murder that happened there! Was Sherlock Homes a real person? Some say he died in 1957 at the age of 103! Others that he was the before mentioned Dr. Joseph Bell. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of Holmes as a fictional character) met Bell in 1877, and served as his clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Contact the spirit of the great detective!
Explore the history of the Diogenes Club!
Solve a mystery just like Holmes might have!
Look for clues and solve the case!
Host: Vince Wilson

Ghosts & Spirit Crossings (16+)

In this exploration of the mysteries of death and the soul, we explore what lies beyond physical life, what happens to the soul as the body is dying and what waits for us on the other side. We will discuss what are earthbound spirits, poltergeist and other astral entities; why some spirits cannot, or will not, crossover and what can be done to help.

Lady Dis professional Psychic Medium, Necromancer and Paranormal Investigator who has been helping both the living and the dead for over 25 years. Specializing in hauntings, spirit communication and divination, she is a candid advisor with no fear of the dark. Lady D is the Host of Iron Garden for 2019, but this is only one of the many ways she builds community.
Host: Lady D

The History of Jack the Ripper

Past life regression and artifacts from the past will finally reveal who Jack the Ripper really was! Look at actual newspaper clippings from 1888 London, reproduction documents and photos from the murder scenes while deciphering a puzzle that has taken more than a century to solve!
In the mid-19th century, England experienced an influx of Irish immigrants, who swelled the populations of England’s major cities, including the East End of London. From 1882, Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe and Tsarist Russia moved into the same area. The civil parish of Whitechapel in London’s East End became increasingly overcrowded. Work and housing conditions worsened, and a significant economic underclass developed. Robbery, violence and alcohol dependency were commonplace, and the endemic poverty drove many women to prostitution.
In October 1888, London’s Metropolitan Police Service estimated that there were 1200 prostitutes and about 62 brothels in Whitechapel. The economic problems were accompanied by a steady rise in social tensions. Between 1886 and 1889, frequent demonstrations, such as that of 13 November 1887, led to police intervention and further public unrest. Racism, crime, social disturbance, and real deprivation fed public perceptions that Whitechapel was a notorious den of immorality. In 1888, such perceptions were strengthened when a series of vicious and grotesque murders attributed to “Jack the Ripper” received unprecedented coverage in the media.
Join Parapsychologist and Ripperologist Vince Wilson and his colleagues as they use real CSI-type skills and Victorian era Spiritualism to find a historic killer before he gets you! When things start going wrong, you can’t call 911. How can the police help you against the supernatural?
Travel back in time with hypnosis to visit his last victim!
A seance may help you or make things a little more dangerous!
Handle items from 19th Century England!
Five guests will play the part of the victims of Jack the Ripper in the thrilling conclusion!
A story straight From Hell!
90 minutes.
Host: Vince Wilson

Macabre Obsolescence: From grief to the grave

Traditions, superstitions and the objects of death have changed greatly over the decades. Learn about lacrimosa, grave bells and other strange objects related to the fine art of “passing on”

Medieval Martial Arts in the Modern World

In recent years, the worlds ot full-contact medeival armored combat, Historical European Martial Arts, and LARPing have taken the word by storm, and the Society for Creative Anachronism and stage combat just keep on trucking along. But what are these things? How do they relate to each other as forms of the arts of war o the European middle ages today? And what are the key differences between the groups? This lecture examines this phenomena, and, if it ever interested you, may help you find the sort of group you would like the most!
Guests from some of the groups involved in the subject matter may be present. (this goes well with the exhibition below)
Speaker: Captain Zorikh

The Museum Of Interesting Things

The Museum of Interesting Things is a traveling interactive demonstration/exhibition of antiques and inventions that goes to schools, libraries and events and inspires kids and adults to be curious. Curator and founder Denny Daniel brings his traveling interactive demonstration/exhibition of antiques and inventions, inspiring innovation and creativity for all. Heralded in the NY Times and Smithsonian Magazine, appeared on the PBS, History Channel, The Science Channel, NY1 News and over 20 publications and presented at 3 TEDx talks, Daniel, an NYU Grad who often lectures there, teaches through touch and feel allowing participants to actually interact with historical items and learn from the past to invent a better future. The Museum includes specialties in Science, Math, Literature, Medical, Toys, Music, Household and Photography, plus many themed exhibitions. “We bring back tinkering and show kids and adults their iPods did not pop out of thin air! Like a circus…just no elephants.”

The Rules of Writing (And When to Break Them)

A fun and informative workshop for beginning and intermediate writers. There are so many books and articles that try to lay down rules for successful writing. Author Brian Mckinley discusses the most common ones and explains what they really mean and when to ignore them.
Host: Brian McKinley

Steampunk Makeup Transformations

Complete your transformation into your ever-evolving Steampunk Persona with body art and make-up artistry by Sophia Sakelakos of Delightful Hydra Designs. Explore a deeper level or creativity using your skin as a vehicle for extraordinary expression. Blur the lines between reality and fiction and delve further into steampunk, merge with it, become the automaton, fuse into the machine, elevate your fantasy to new surreal heights of man, monster or machine. Sophia brings her dynamic talents for an unparalleled imaginative experience. Are you ready to become living art?
Host: Sophia Sakelakos

Tesla Spirit Radio

The Spirit is the at the core of who we are, our out-of-body heart, the driving essence of our being. Is the spirit really persistent even in the wake of our death? And if so, can it be communicated with? Join us as we delve into discussion about the science of spirit as we demonstrate a homemade recreation of the Tesla Spirit Radio. Experience the extraordinary, listen to a part of you that you always understood but never spoke to. “The future will show that what we now call occult or the supernatural is based on a science not yet developed, but whose first infant steps are being taken as we speak!” –Nikola Tesla
Hosts: Herr Wulfsunus w/ his son the Young Vir Van-Ghan

Time Travel & The Philadelphia Experiment

Join us to discuss the possibilities of Time Travel. From Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to Tesla’s Zero Time Generator; from Wormholes to Blackholes; from folding time and space to remote viewing and etheric projection, we are determined to cross the speed of light. We will discuss the USS Eldridge, involved in the infamous Philadelphia Experiment of 1943 and of course the more recent Project Pegasus and the Montauk Project. Is Time Travel possible? Have time machines ignored the motion of the Earth between departure and arrival time? Do we already have this technology? Is it a one way trip? Best bring your flux capacitor!
Hosts: Madame X, Wulfsunus, David Whitman, George Drabinsky, Thom Truelove

Trans and Non Binary Panel

A facilitated panel discussion for trans identified attendees and their allies
Host: Chelsea Goodwin and Jade Luna

Vampires in Folklore, Literature, and Film

A fun and informative look at the history of vampire mythology, from ancient times to the modern archetype.
Host: Brian McKinley

Treatment or Torment: Stories of life in a Victorian Sanitarium

Treatments, ailments, wrongful commitments and transorbital lobotomies. Enter the frightening world that was the early years of mental health, where your illness was nothing more than a moral failing and if you could not earn your release in under 12 months, you would likely not leave in anything other than a pine box.

Victoriana Silver Pictures – from Heliography to Photography

Discover the birth of the scientific wonder we know as Photography. Look through the lens of time into the first ever technique to stop & capture it in place, and how this innovative invention allows anyone to be transported back in time to exotic destinations, forever changing the face of the world. Focusing on Camera Obscura, Tintype, Daguerreotype, Photograms, the development of the original 3D experience – Stereo Cards, smoke & mirrors, chemistry, special effects, and disasters. Together lets expose the unexpected uses of 19th century photography: the invisible mothers, bizarre portraiture of the living & the dead … even spirits. Pioneers struggled to reconcile aesthetics with technical innovations, was it an art or a secret science?
Hosts: Dario Valdivia, John Gavin, David Ryzman, Sandra Silva, Karen Anderson, Janet N. Zappasodi

Victorians and the Birth of Genre Fiction

Genre fiction as we think of it today first came into being during the Victorian era, when the novel emerged as the dominant form of popular literature. A few core authors wrote seminal texts that established entire categories of literature, which continue to define the way books are sold and shelved today. From science fiction, to mystery, to true crime and more, come learn about how your favorite genre was first invented and the key works that paved the way!

Weird Weapons of the Wild West

During the era of the Wild West, revolving cylinders, metallic cartridges, and a variety of other kinds weapon technologies were becoming widely available. As a result, many strange and unusual innovations were made in weaponry, ranging from the weird to the downright wacky. Some were nigh upon fantastical and fearsome, while many others were just as dangerous to the wielder as they were their opponent. Join Dr. J.R Whitcomb for an interesting look at the weird and forgotten weapons of the Wild West.

Witches and Vampires in 19th century Literature

A panel discussion of Witches and Vampires in 19th century literature and how they’ve made their way into classic horror movies, tv shows, role playing games, etc.
Host: Chelsea Goodwin