This might be a bit controversial and I don’t want to offend anyone. However, this is a subject that I am hugely interested in finding out other people’s opinions of.
From time to time I still like to go onto the loss forum boards that supported me so much after our son died. I haven’t been on for a while, but the girls were asleep and my hubby was doing some paper work, so Friday night I went to check in and see who was still around.
Tragically, but to be expected there are many new members, so I introduced myself to them and said hello to the existing members. Anyway a relatively new member started a conversation about going to see a medium or psychic if you prefer and relayed the story of the visit and reading that she had.
Personally I do not believe that any human has the power to communicate with or see the dead. Personally I do not believe that the dead can or do inhabit the earth and walk amongst us every day. If they did then there must be literally millions upon millions of them, because surely if they have the ability to do this, then we must have dead cavemen etc wandering around. At some point the earth would have more dead people on it than living – no?
I’m afraid, as I expected almost everything that this so-called psychic told her was obvious stuff, nothing specific and nothing too detailed. All things that she will have gleaned from the woman herself. She was adamant that this psychic didn’t ask her specific questions, but most of them don’t. In my opinion being a psychic is a skill and is a talent. The talent and skill though is not in beyond the grave communication, it’s in reading body language and facial expressions. No matter how hard we try, it’s extremely difficult to remain totally poker faced, especially when we are grieving and desperate for some form of acknowledgment that the person we are grieving for is alright. It can be something tiny like a raised eyebrow, a sudden look of sadness in our eyes. These people watch like hawks for any tiny flicker of emotion.
I have been, during my lifetime to mediums and psychics, mostly because a group of others were going and I went for the fun of it. I have NOT been near one since our son died, I have no desire to pay someone to guess that I might have lost a child. However, anytime I have been, I have left with nothing but a few sketchy guesses. I had one man tell me that I was a nurse, when I said no, he then turned it around to “well you should be, you have nurses hands!” What on earth is that supposed to mean. I have huge respect for nurses and the job they do, however, I could never, ever have entered that profession. I’m squeamish, I hate the smell of hospitals, I feel faint and sick every time I’m in a hospital, I get white coat syndrome. So a career in medicine would never have been an option for me.
When I was 20 a group of us from work went to a new psychic who had opened premises around the corner from us. We went at lunchtime and as we were leaving the office, a male colleague looked at me and said “he’s going to think straight away that you are a student.” I had just come back from holiday in America and was wearing a baseball jacket I’d bought, my handbag was a sort of rucksack type bag. So yes, I looked like a student. Well my colleague was dead right, the psychic told me I was a student and he saw me having further studies to complete. When I told him he was wrong, he then garbled some nonsense about further education and he saw me crossing water! I don’t know about you, but most days of my life I cross water at some point, there’s a bridge on my road with a river underneath it.
It makes my blood boil, how these people can go about their business virtually unregulated. They can prey on the vulnerable, take vast sums of money from them and they seem to be allowed to do so. I have read some horror stories of the amount of money people have lost at the hands of psychics.
One of my Canadian aunties is a prime example. She was with my uncle since she was 15 years old, he was her first and only love. 7 years ago he died at the age of 65, her world fell apart. She didn’t know how she would exist without him. The lived in the Caribbean at the time, they had retired and he had built them a lovely home there. When we were on holiday in Antigua we decided to book an island hopper and go and see her for a couple of days. She told me all about her psychic friend who lived in Florida and how she was in constant contact with her – at a price of course.
This psychic was telling her all sorts of rubbish and none of it anything with any substance. She was getting her to bury my dead uncles favourite chocolates on the beach and he would come and get them! My aunt was so convinced about this that she was doing it and going back the next day and the chocolates were gone. I couldn’t make her realise that the tide had taken them. Her smoke detector kept bleeping, the psychic told her it was my uncle communicating with her, letting her know he was there. I told her the truth, it needed the batteries replaced and it did. Still though, she throws money at this woman and has spent thousands of dollars. Yes it’s her money and she is free to spend it on whatever she wants, but I believe she is being robbed, not by a masked armed man, but by a crook of a woman on the phone.
Yes I am a total skeptic and I suspect I always will be. People can tell me some pretty convincing stories, however, I doubt I’ll ever believe they are completely true or real. Sometimes we hear what our heart wants us to hear, a sentence saying “he will always be with you” can become “he is right here now beside you, holding your hand”. I also do not believe that your destiny lies in a picture on a Tarot card. A set of cards that anyone can buy for a few pounds off the internet, read a book about how to interpret them can actually destroy some real “believers” lives. There are people out there who put every ounce of their faith in those little rectangles of cardboard and what they “say” to them. This is why I personally believe this industry, as that is what it has become, needs strong regulation.
I know there is no harm in giving people hope, a moment away from their grief. However, when that hope is false hope and it leads to the person needing more and more and spending more and more in an attempt to quell their grief, then I do think it’s harmful.
The women on the site asked my opinion and I’m ashamed to say I took the cowards way out. I said that I was a skeptic, but had no personal experience to really base that on. Why did I tell that white lie? Because I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of a woman grieving for her dead child, who believed that a psychic had made contact with them. I wasn’t going to start a debate that would only end in more upset and hurt. From that point on I stopped contributing to the conversation, but remained an observer for a while longer.
That was when I discovered that there was a forum group for paranormal activities! I had to go for a look. There were stories of hauntings and sightings and spooky goings on galore. There were photographs being posted of ghostly faces on pieces of furniture and orbs of light in bedrooms. In all honesty, I saw nothing in any of the pictures other than reflections and dust particles. There were tales of randomly squirting shower gel and tv’s turning themselves on. I actually became totally engrossed in reading these threads. I still think they were all hogwash, but like I said, that’s me and my personal view.
I live in a house that is over 200 years old. We are the first “strangers” to own it. Before us, it had been handed down through generations of the same family. I know for certain people died in this house and yet I have never so much as had the hair stand on the back of my neck.
Before the children were around, my hubby went on a golf break for a week. I stayed here alone for the entire week and at no point did I even feel afraid of being here alone. We are in the countryside and when I turn off the lights it is dark, pitch black dark. There is no ambient light, no street lights, just black darkness. I didn’t hear or imagine I’d heard anything remotely abnormal. My husband has also never, seen, heard or imagined anything and my little daughters – who are yet to become skeptical and cynical don’t talk to shadowy visitors or strange people in their room at night.
Believe me, I’d love to be able to talk to my son and know for certain that he hears me. I do talk to him, I say goodnight to him every night, I wish him happy birthday, happy Christmas and sometimes I just say hello. Do I really believe her hears me – no, I don’t. I also don’t believe that a medium or psychic can make him hear me either.
The James Randi Education Foundation offered a $1000000 prize to anyone who could prove genuine paranormal activity or genuine psychic ability. I believe this has been running since about 1996, to date no one has claimed the prize I wonder why?
I am though genuinely interested in other people’s experiences and if someone truly believes what they have seen or been told, then I’d love to hear about it. I may never get a job as a ghostbuster, but I’ll still listen. My only advice though is don’t part with your hard-earned money. I believe a true psychic should only take money if you are satisfied with the reading, the sum of money should also be up to the customer. As for those dial a psychic phone lines – they should be banned completely.