With Halloween fast approaching, Michelle Murphy found herself mulling over the idea of spirits and the afterlife, a concept she has mixed feelings about. So she met up with two psychics to find out, for once and for all, if some people do have psychic powers?
When it comes to psychic mediums I have mixed emotions. First up, I have to admit to being a card carrying, unashamed believer in an afterlife. It is my personal opinion that we go somewhere after we die or to use psychic medium parlance ‘pass over’. Just where we go however and whether it really is possible to make contact with loved ones who have died, well, that’s a harder question to answer.
In addition, I absolutely believe that it is possible to read someone’s mind and that some people possess psychic abilities – you only need look to numerous studies carried out on identical twins for proof of this.
Over the years I myself have proven very adept at ‘tuning in’ to (living) friends but do I think that this also means I could potentially contact spirits? Personally speaking, I don’t think it does.
So, with this mind I decided to visit two psychic mediums to see in true X-Files style if the truth really is out there......
First up was Annette Singleton.
I decide to play devil’s advocate and ask Annette what she would say to the many people who think that psychic mediums are, well, basically, a bunch of chancers:
“Psychics get a bad name because of cold reading – it’s a learnt skill - you can cold read the past but you can’t cold read the future! So, you should be telling people stuff that they do not know and that they will not know until it happens. I think people should be aware of that - go and ask them about your future” says Annette, a Kilkenny native, now living in Cork city.
While having scaled back on her mediumship work in recent years in order to concentrate on a writing career – her debut novel is currently with an agent - I was impressed at how quickly she was able to get down to business!
Within seconds of asking me to choose whether I wanted to connect with a loved one or receive a future reading - I chose the former – Annette had told me she had made connections with “mums’ father.... who’s connected to January in your family? - my mother, brother and sister have birthdays in January.
“.... he also tells me about January 7 or there could be seven in the family? ....”
- there were seven in my mothers’ family but sadly one passed away (of which more later...)
“He talks about Eileen/Ellen and Bridget....
– my grandmother was called Ellen and Bridget was the name of a girl that used to work in my grandfather’s home when he was a small child.
“... what would the connection to North Cork be?”
- my grandmother and mother were born in North Cork.
“.... he’s telling me about a baby that’s passed but the baby was already born....
- My grandmother’ first born child was premature and died shortly after birth.
“.... he talks about whomever’s breath was very short – very short. The chest is very shallow – very shallow breathing. He’s putting his hands up; he says that is his own fault he says he can’t be giving out to anybody for that....
-My grandfather was a lifelong smoker and suffered from emphysema in his final years.
Again to be fair, there were some things that Annette mentioned that did not ring true – the description of my grandfather’s personality, for example. However, Annette is quite up front in this regard:
“ They’ll give it correctly – it’s never the other side – if it’s wrong it’s the medium that’s wrong and you’d have to hold your hands up and say ‘I didn’t get it right’.”
Next up was Vicky Antoinette. Vicky claims to have seen spirits since she was a young child:
“I have an identical twin and we would have been very open as children to energies around us– we would know if there was a spirit in the house - one experience was waking up to somebody jumping on our bed and the two of us pulling the covers up over our heads!”
Some of the information Vicky fed back to me from the man she says was my deceased paternal grandfather certainly did ring true – his physical description, the house where he would have grown up, descriptions of his decease wife personality and her physical appearance. Much of it was arguably open to interpretation however - despite my poker face and despite the fact that both Vicky and Annette make a point of not asking leading questions during consultations – requiring simply a ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘I don’t know’ in order to validate messages coming through from spirit.
However, Vicky was able to provide me with specific information on recent developments in my personal life and one message she relayed to me really did cause the hair on the back of my neck to stand up!
A few nights earlier, in the name of research for this article and in the interest of balance, I was at home curled up on my sofa with my lap top, reading up on the many arguments put forward against psychic mediums.
I poured over the information ranging from Ted talks from famous sceptics such as James Randi, a former stage magician and co-founder of the Committee for Sceptical Inquiry who offers $1 million to any medium who will prove him wrong under scientific conditions, so convinced is he that all mediums are charlatans (apparently he is still waiting...) to newspaper articles claiming that certain well known TV psychics allegedly rely on ear pieces to feed them personal details of audience members.
As I waded through the trolling and sceptical comments denying the existence of spirits, the lamp on my bookcase suddenly started to flash on and off and my dog began to race around the room in circles, barking!
So, you can imagine my alarm, when mid way through our reading, Vicky randomly asks me is there a problem with the lights in my house and mimics a light bulb being changed (both Annette and Vicky receive mental images or symbols which they then convey to a client) When I relayed the incident to Vicky she was non plussed, saying that my grandfather claimed credit for that creepy occurrence adding that spirits often used electricity to get people’s attention.
So, after my foray into the twilight zone, what conclusion have I arrived upon?
Well, as I admitted at the start, I already believe in an afterlife of some sort. I also believe however that a significant number of people who claim to be mediums are fakes.
Both mediums I interviewed however, particularly Annette, were very accurate in some of the things they told me.
Both women also came recommended via word of mouth so it’s best to do some research before visiting a psychic medium.
Personally, I don’t feel any great desire to try to make further ‘connections’ with anybody who has passed over - in any event both Annette and Vicky insist on twelve month lapses between appointments so that people don’t become dependent on their services.
I can see how some people may find a sense of closure in consulting a medium but for me, with an already over active imagination feulled by the season that’s in it and spooked from watching too many horror movies I think I’d be better off leaving sleeping ghosts lie!
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