I have written several articles about the psychic phenomenon, and for the most part I have been rather defensive about the existence of such phenomenon.  Why? Because I am one.

That’s a rather bold statement, I know. For the most part I would balk at such a statement if made by others, in fact I have. When I am watching a television program or if someone at work or at a fair or in the general public tells me that they know things and can even communicate with the dead my first reaction is to automatically go on the defense.  I do not say things like, “Me too, we should totally be friends.”

I am not sure if other people with psychic abilities feel the same way. To me, it is not that I feel I am the only one on the face of the earth who is legitimate, it is just knowing that there are so many “fakes” out there which automatically makes the claim suspect. Especially when I do not go around telling people I just met about what I can do, what I see or what I hear.  It is not something to be used as party tricks or money-making opportunities.  I get a lot of flack when I say that, but I will explain.

It is my firm belief that no one should make money off of being a psychic. It automatically diminishes any credibility we may have and let’s face it, there isn’t much to begin with. I understand the “Time is Money” fallback but my response to that is, not really.  Time is time and money is money. The two should never be interchangeable. Uncles Sam doesn’t care how much time you worked when he takes a percentage of your paycheck and time was not measured so that man could determine how much money he should make.

It didn’t cost you anything to get your psychic abilities, they were given to you for some reason and you should give just as freely. It’s not a lemonade stand, you don’t have anything tangible for sale so it is wrong to take money for words that could very well be cryptic and unclear to the person receiving the message.

With that said I am going to move on to what exactly I personally experience and how it varies from psychic to psychic.

Messages are never crystal clear. Some aspects of a message might be and that portion of the message might come through strong and adamant, but the rest of what we receive can be a jumbled mess of images that we as psychics have to decipher.  Most psychic mediums adopt a symbol methodology. Since I do not ever hear voices I will never be able to pass a message along directly. I get random thoughts that are not my own, that do not apply to me, so I have to decipher whether or not what I am about to tell someone is a message from the other side or just my imagination.  It is frustrating and I often times feel like a bumbling and mumbling idiot as I try to decipher what I am picking up.

I discovered that the easiest way to do this was to allow the message to be received in mental pictures. For example, if someone passed of cancer I usually see my Grandfather since he is the only person I personally know who passed from the disease.  I will see my father in my mind if the person coming through is a father or a father-figure, likewise with mothers or mother-figures.  The trouble comes when my classification system gets jumbled.

In one instance I saw my grandfather and I told the person that I am getting someone who passed from cancer. The person said that they knew of no one who died from cancer. My first thought was that EVERYONE knows someone who died from cancer, so I pressed the issue.

They person whom I was reading was adamant that they did not know anyone who died from cancer or who currently had cancer. I pushed back and told them to think harder.  It was beginning to get a bit hostile as they continued to defend their position and I was pushing back 100% sure that they knew someone who died from cancer. Finally I said, “I am seeing my grandfather and he died from cancer so you have to know someone who died of cancer.”

They responded by saying, “My grandfather died last week and I was hoping to hear from him today, could that be the reason you are seeing your grandfather?”

It had not occurred to me that I was being shown my grandfather as a way to tell them that their grandfather was making contact.  I automatically went to cancer and latched onto it.  So this image system isn’t always 100% clear either, but I have learned to probe further before making such a strong assumption.  It is a good thing I didn’t charge then for the reading, that would have been an embarrassment, at least this way they got what they paid for.

At the end of the day, being a psychic/medium isn’t at all like what you see on television. Television programs that feature psychic/medium readings in a group environment are edited together from 12 hours of footage into a 30 or 60 minute show and are designed to make the medium look great. What you are not shown are the hours of misses, dead ends and generalizations.

Herein lies the rub. A person willing to sit down with a medium already believes somewhat in the abilities of the person sitting across from them or they would not be there in the first place. They show up with the intention of making contact with a specific person for any number of reasons; to say goodbye, to get closure, to talk one last time, to determine the location of a missing item (jewelry, will, money, etc…). What that person might not know is that the psychic in whom they are putting their trust and dollars could be ready to cold read them.

Cold Reading is a term used to define the tactic used by individuals who are not psychic to deliver relevant psychic messages from the other side (without actually making any contact).

A cold reader will typically look the part, well dressed but humble and modest. They will be charming and almost appear flirtatious. Conversely they could also be stereotypical parlor acts with crystals, incense and more. They are usually dramatic at either end of the spectrum. This dramatic whimsy is used to distract the patron like a magician does with slight of hand. They will also use what I call loophole phrases that will get them out of trouble should they head down the wrong path. Loophole phrases are “I feel”, “I sense”, “I could be wrong about the meaning of this, but…” That way if the information they are conveying is wrong or does not apply then that has already been qualified by one of the “loophole phrases”.

A cold reader is better than most real psychics because they have practiced and they give out very general information that to the recipient seems uncanny but is really nothing more than a bunch of generalizations that could apply to anyone. But because the recipient is open to the message they latch onto those things that apply to them and cast aside the things that don’t basically ensuring that when the reading is over they will have memories of all the things the reader got right.

Here are some examples:

Shotgunning: this is term used to define the reader throwing out a bunch of information in quick succession and seeing what sticks.

“I am feeling that there is someone close to you coming through.”

The recipient will usually lean in or tense up

“I am sensing that the loss was very difficult…”

What “loss” isn’t. If the recipient hated the person would they be there?

“I get the feeling that this is an older male figure,”

The recipients body language changes to a defensive posture or they lose interest

“They have brought a female with them”

The recipient covers their mouth in awe

“It is an older female…”

The recipient looks confused

“And she has a child with her…”

Tears brim in the recipients eyes.

“It is a young girl.”

The recipient nods and begins crying heavily.

“I sense that it is a young girl.”

The recipient nods quickly completely unaware that they acknowledged the gender just seconds ago. At this point the shotgunning becomes more targeted. The reader can go in for the kill now.

“I am getting the impression that this young girl is a daughter or a daughter figure. Does that make sense to you?”

At this point the recipient will usually answer and give the reader some details such as the relation.

Profiling: This is a term used to define what a reader does when they use personal information about the recipient to get false positives. It can deal with their names, what they are wearing, their body language, even physical characteristics. Everything is fair game.

I saw one female psychic at a group reading once focus on a young couple.  It was evident the two were a couple because they were the only ones in the room holding hands and they were leaning in toward each other and making googly eyes. It did not surprise me in the least when the alleged psychic latched onto them.

She started with shotgunning at a very basic level until she determined that it was an older woman who was coming through and that it was the mother of the young man. From there she went into profiling the couple. She noticed the wedding bands they wore and surprising she said, “I am getting the feeling that there was a wedding or there will be a wedding soon, does this make sense to you?”

The couple laughed and looked at each other amazed that this psychic woman was able to know this. They told her that they had just been married.

“Your mom said she was there…”

The man laughs but becomes emotional. The wife grips her husband’s hand.

“Your mother says that she approves of your wife. Did they ever meet?”

The man shakes his head. “My mom died before they met.”

“I know,” the psychic replied. “That’s why I asked.”

No, she didn’t really know that, she asked a question then followed it up by explaining why she asked. This trick goes unnoticed because everyone in the room was focused on the idea that she asked about whether or not the mom knew the woman whom her son married. It seems like the psychic knew something, but in truth, she did nothing but had the couple give her the answer and more ammunition.

“I sense your mom was picky about your girlfriends,”

The man nods and begins to cry. This is already a given by the way the man reacted to the message that the mother approved of his wife.

“No woman was ever good enough for her little boy.”

More nods and gasps from the crowd. What mother isn’t? Even if that isn’t true, surely people want to believe that their mother has their best interests at heart.

And it goes on and on, the generalizations open the door for more detailed messages and by the end of the reading which lasts about 5 to ten minutes at the most everyone is amazed and they hope the psychic comes to them next.  Which leads to…

Fishing the tactic used in group readings to hone in on the next target.  The psychic will throw out more generalizations and see who is left standing after the process of elimination.

“I feel an older male coming through, this would be a grandfather.”

A majority of hands in the room go up.

“This person died of heart failure, or some problem with their heart.”

Some hands go down.

“This person is was a laborer, they worked with their hands…maybe a mechanic or a woodworker, or…

Even more hands go down.

That is how it goes until the crowd thins to just a few people then the shotgunning begins and based on responses to the shotgunning the reader will now have one person of whom they can begin to profile. After that whole process the crowd will be in awe.

Finally, a word about dates.  using dates is a great way to get people to buy into the information being passed to them.  It is a tricky row to hoe though as there are 365 days in a standard calendar year of 12 months. Most months have 30 or 31 days.  A cold reader will NEVER claim they can give you an exact date, but they will allow you to draw your won conclusions based on giving you a random number.  Numbers are great in the sense that the brain will automatically try to make sense out of it.

“What’s the significance of 21?” The reader asks.

The recipient shrugs.

“It could be an age, a date, a time…”

“I mean, I was 21 when my uncle died.”

“Okay, that is validation that the person coming through knows you.”

“Is it my uncle, because I hated him.”

“Not your uncle, but they used this as validation but they want you to know that he is there on the other side and he is sorry for what he did to you…”

And so begins the process of cold reading. It all started with a number that had no significance until the reader dug a little deeper.

The bottom line, and the point to this post is that there are psychics/mediums out there but they are not what you see on television and they are not accurate with their work. They are uncertain at times, wrong more than once, and just as confused as to why they can do what they do as the general public is. We are amused and excited when we can validate something and we can laugh at ourselves. We hate that we can not prove that what we have exists and some of us are embarrassed, ashamed and confused because our abilities.

Questions or comments? Ask them here, or better yet, stop by one of our monthly meetings held the 2nd Saturday of every month at 7:00 p.m. for information on joining the SPIRIT Seekers click on the “Join Us” tab at the top of the page.


  1. I can’t make money off of my skills? I don’t have that right? You have crossed the line with this post. What next, saying ghost hunters can’t charge? It is a SERVICE jackass, and we should be able to make a living off of it.

  2. Irate:

    If you looked at the categories under which that article was filed you would see that it is filed under “Editorials/Opinions” and “Paranormal Phenomena” because it addresses MY opinion on that particular phenomenon. It is not under “Breaking News” so I don’t understand the overreaction to my personal opinion.

    I do appreciate the feedback though, as harsh as it is. Thanks for viewing our page and I hope I didn’t run you off.

  3. If you are psychic you should have seen this coming was great. I googled what if I’m not sure if I am psychic and should I just give up and it led me to your article. Perfect for what I needed to hear. Medium and Ghost Whisper are my favorite shows so you could understand why I could buy into the fact that society tries to have us believe that if we are not right most of the time well then we must not be psychic. Not the case! Loved the heads up on the fakes too. Thanks. with light and love darla

    1. Hello Darla:

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. We are glad that our article was able to help you better understand what you may personally be experiencing.

      As a group of paranormal investigators, we tend to use psychic/mediums in our investigations and therefore we have several that are a part of our team.

      When I wrote this article I managed to tick a lot of psychics off who were kind enough to email me off the record to berate me, there is of course the reply before yours that resorted to name calling.

      A majority of them missed the point altogether by being consumed by the fact that I say we should not charge. The real point is that we do exist, we are out there and there are more of us than anyone knows. We are not super powered people and the gifts that we have are not flawless.

      The messages are confusing, muddled, and sometimes it appears they are wholly inaccurate. But it is okay, because the information that we do get across and that is validated is important, if not to us then to the people the message is intended for. We are just normal people who know things that others don’t.

      You should see our group, we still get giddy when we get something right, or when our feelings get validated by supporting evidence or when we all feel the same thing. We are like kids who discovered something cool. It is not unprofessional, it is just fun. And it is fun to be around those like us. It’s why psychics are often drawn to others who are psychic and it is why I would encourage you to find other people in your are or on the internet to associate with. You are stronger when you around others with psychic abilities and it can help you grow.

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article, feel free to stay in touch You can email us anytime at newsletter@thespiritseekers.org

  4. Thank you for taking the time to write back to me! You are right about getting involved with other psychics. I have been studying how to connect with God since I was 11, that is 25 years! I finally ascended and what I really do is energy work. It is refered to as Thereputic Touch but I am not ‘certified’. I read about the steps to do this after I was already doing it so I know I didn’t make it up. Of course I am second degree Reiki so what I don’t understand is why do people want to make it so fancy. Why call it Thereputic Touch when in reality it is just Reiki? Anyway, not to get caught up in the jargan, I have been succesful at healing several things, including myself. I have not charged for my services yet. But it is getting really hard for me to ‘fit in’ to mainstream kind of work. I end up having to camoflauge myself so I can get my work done without everyone looking to me for guidance, which I’ve always givin freely. I will charge when I get to that point where I can’t make a living any other way and God wants me to do this full time. Just not there yet. With light and love~darla

  5. OK as a psychic I agree with you in that there are many who are frauds or who just aren’t very good psychics……what I disagree with you on, is the use of terms like “I feel”, “I sense”, “I see”……I regularly do this, it’s not to trick or deceive anyone…it’s just the best way I can explain to the sitter what I’m sensing……sometimes it’s a feeling, sometimes I see an image or get a word descriptor…sometimes I’ll even smell something..I’ve even had dreams about a reading that tied in with something that happened with the sitter. Most sitters don’t understand all the various ways that psychics get their info or the different types of psychics, mediums, clairvoyants, clairaudients, clairsentients, etc. Everyone works in different ways….sometimes if i’m not sure about something and there’s two similar possibilities….I’ll state it could be one or other…..just because I do that doesn’t make me a fraud. Also, I disagree with it being wrong to charge for readings…..it is a matter of one spending their time…..which can be spent doing “real” work or spent with family or recreation…..time IS money……otherwise people wouldn’t receive hourly wages…..psychiatrists wouldn’t get paid by how long their sessions last….and being psychic is also being an adviser…..or even a borderline psychiatrist. Now is it wrong to charge 100’s of dollars for a reading? I think so, but if people are willing to pay it, if the person is a celebrity or works for celebs….who’s to say that’s wrong? If you don’t like it, don’t go and see them or watch them on tv or buy their books…..Seriously though, you sound too judgmental and I think you value your own abilities too highly as if you’re the only one who can be a good psychic reader…and your suggestion about symbols, if that works for you–great, I don’t really use symbols, I don’t use tarot or astrology or any tools other than photos and a first name.

    1. I appreciate the feedback and thank you for stopping by the blog.

      The point of the blog entry was not to discredit true psychic phenomenon, but to point out ways certain people can manipulate others. When money is attached to a reading it makes it easy for those doing the reading to be less than ethical so as to provide value for dollar.

      I don’t think my abilities are better than anyone else’s abilities, I clearly pointed out how I am not 100% efficient.

      In fact, I downright suck at interpreting what I am getting.

      Bottom line, we all do things differently, but we should all be wise to frauds and that is what this entry was driving home.

      It is not an attack on any legit psychic.

  6. I truely believe the cards are fake and these so called on line or phone call Psychic is fake as heck,you know me Alan,and I always call it like I see it,,one thing that bugs me is why are we told not to help or ask the spirits to cross over ,I did cross some over,thats why I would go off on my own,because god gave ppl like me a gift to help them cross over,,do tell me what your veiw is on this,,and dont take this wrong,But Is this not a good question? and I do miss you all and wish you all the best,,MD…god bless

    1. I had a ridiculously long response to this typed out and WordPress belched on me, so I will give you the unfortunately abridged version.

      It should be noted first and foremost that Alan did not write the article, it is an op/ed piece written for the blog by SSI investigator Tony Harrington and does not necessarily reflect the views of the agency.

      With that said, we will let Tony reply:

      “I think that as a psychic/medium working within a group setting it is imperative that we adhere to group code of conduct, but more improtantly, we do not take it upon ourselves to determine what is best for the spirit without the implied consent of the home/business owner. We should leave the environment just as we found it if simply conducting an investigation. The caveat to this being, of course, if the home/business owner requests a cleansing or an assist to move a wayward spirit over to wherever it is we are supposed to go when we pass.”

      We will happliy forward your question to Alan though for an official standpoint on why team psychics are instructed not to help a spirit cross over.

  7. BS you dont know what your talking about. you not or never have been a psychic Tony..all your copy and pasting is lame..and so is this responce you sent..tell me Tony have you ever asked a spirit to cross over because you know thats what god wants, or are you as confused as most spirits that linger here on earth because their just as confused as you are,Hows that for your little dirty punn on adhere to group code of conduct, like I said Alan knows me, you don’t The question was to Alan wether he refuses to answer it was up to him,I dont need someone who copies and paste things on to the web site ,and I was not addressing you ,Your not a Psychic /Medium Tony.your a yes mama no mama kinda guy…so excuse me well I dont like your pun considering you was right there and seem to think it cute to throw that in to this question,but as i recall you and Jason Hall think its funny to make a laugh out of gay people.and fat women,,and to know Jason Hall was in the wrong,wether he was a leader,,he was a PIG..and I didnt find his comments as funny as you did,,,so lets talk code of conduct,,better yet just back to my answering my own question since your childish remarks makes no sence, if a confused spirit is left here on earth ,yes there is a reason,if being a psychic you would know to ask the spirit to let you help him or her cross over,,these are gods gift to real psychics who know they was given the gift to help god to help them cross over, not to keep the spirit bounded so your team and others like you can make tours and money off of them.or so people will by your T-shirts and books,and pay you money for devices that they can get cheaper at radio shack or walmart….

    1. Tony Harrington Responds:


      I assure you, nothing on this blog is cut and pasted from other sources, if we reference another source (blog, book, speech, etc…) it is credited accordingly.

      You may seem to feel that my words are copied and pasted because they are strung together while adhering to the basic concepts of grammatically correct English, something your replies are terribly lacking.

      With that said, nothing in my response was a pun, I suggest you research the definition of the word. The bottom line is, I don’t know you, I worked with you on two or three investigations at most. I never got to know you and therefore I have no reason to imply anything about you.

      Just as I don’t know anything about you, you know nothing of me. You have misguided and uninformed opinions and your reliance upon ad homenim attacks implies your overall ignorance of the group and its members. So I will not sink to your level and respond to any “point” you feel you have made, save for two:

      1. I treat people with respect. I have not made a derogatory comment about “fat women” because as a fat man it would serve no purpose. I don’t judge people based upon their looks. This hearkens back to you not dealing with facts but instead perpetrating some kind of smear campaign against SSI. Additionally, your insinuation that I am homophobic and enjoy making fun of gay people is laughable. Perhaps, if you actually knew anything about me you would understand why this is the most ridiculous of accusations.

      2. Your question was forwarded to Alan, if he chooses to answer he will.

      Now, I want to address our readers for a minute. In the interest of fair disclosure I want to explain that May is a former member of our group and clearly holds a lot of animosity over her departure. I have not known her longer than I have, so I can’t offer any insight into her life/mindset anymore than she can mine. The difference is, she tried and failed. This will be the last time that I openly address false claims from a former member of the group on the blog.

      Future rebuttals/attacks filled with deliberate misinformation will not be approved by the administrators of the blog.

  8. Tony Yes I do know you,As we All know when ever Alan had a need to talk or complain and gripe about something or someone he always called me,,why??because He knew I was honest and I always say it like it is. No Tony your rght you did not say anything about what Jason Hall” was spewing out of his trashy mouth,but your laughing and your actions sure showed and told me alot about you,,,so I also would like to say.you need to stop with your Puns. as I was asking a fair question,,not expecting you to beacting a fool. May

  9. We will agree to disagree on this May. And believe me…you may think you know me but you don’t. We don’t have a history together, we will never have a history. You only know three days of my existence on this earth.

    If you feel you know me and can make certain assumptions, then by all means, defend your stance to me off of this blog.

    I don’t know what went down between you and the group. It all happened within my first two months and did not pertain to me at all. If you have a problem with what happened, that is out of my control. I can’t apologize for any wrong you feel was done to you, but I won’t tolerate you coming on here and stirring up trouble.

    Especially, attacking me. I run this blog, I pay for it annually, I write every single article on it except for one or two guest spots. I work hard to maintain this blog and I do it all with my own money and time. So, I happen to take what shows up here very seriously and I will not allow someone who has an issue with the way the group is run to besmirch the work and dedication that I personally put into maintaining this blog.

    If you have issues with the founder of the group, then by all means take it up with him. Do not come onto my blog and disrespect me by posting blatant misinformation.

    I also saw that your husband commented, I denied the post because it is more of the same. I don’t know him, I don’t know you and I won’t allow my blog to be used for nefarious purposes.

    If you take offense to anything that has happened to you in the past, feel free to start your own blog where you can post whatever you want.

    I mean no ill will toward you, your husband, or anyone associated with you. I am simply maintaining a blog where people can come and read about the world of paranormal phenomena. It is not to be used as a bully pulpit, by me or anyone leaving a comment.

  10. hey guys,

    i have read the blog for abou a year now and I have to say that i have never seen such a level of disrespect. i have seen to many websites fall off the face of the earth because of a collapse of manners. Don’t let that happen here.

    Do you know how to ban people from this site? can that b done?

    And update the blog more often, i have to have something to read at work!

  11. Perry:

    Thank you for stopping by. Your comments are appreciated.

    It has been my main goal to provide a drama-free zone where people can come and read about the paranormal. Occasionally small drama will show up, make its presence known, then disappear from whence it came.

    With that said, I have added a new article related to civility on the blog to to provide some level of transparency with the way the blog is written. It is under the editorial/opinion header.

    To answer your question(s), I am not sure if people can be banned or not, it is not something I have felt the need to do, nor do I feel the need to do so now. Hopefully it will never come to that. But I assume there is some way of doing so.

    As for having something to read at work, I will do my best to write some more articles for you. I have one that I am looking over that was contributed to the site from an outside author. It is about Witchcraft, of which I know nothing so I am just making sure the information contained within is accurate and current with respect to the Wicca/pagan religions. It is exhausting.

    Thanks again for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

    1. Hi Perry I am May.I have done my own investigations on certain matter containing to wicca,in the old days ,yes whitchcraft was a very well known name for that type of group ,I have many friends deep into wicca or some call is wicca/ pagan.Id be more intrested into introducing you to some main ppl who have been doing this for many years,and I know one thing as I was attending a meeting,at certain ceramonies a few of us was to wait out side,while they did some kind of ceramony,,and as for the name { whitchcraft} I do know they do knot like to be called that,for a wiccan .pagan are people who do only good things,are are deep into believing earth dirt and trees an certain rocks can do certian things for you..for one instance when a wiccan.women or man feel so stressed out ,they believe in digging a hole in the earth andburying their feet,as it puts them back ass one with the earth and relaxes them,,I must say I have tried it as experiment,and it seems to give me{ a person} some type of comfort,,Iam not sure what I think of wicca,but Iam willing to believe if my friends that are into it for many years,,feel it does them good,,then Iam one to try it myself to see if i can understand their thinking,,I know alot of it has to do with mother earth,and it is not bad which craft,,Iam told they are for the good ,nothing evil.and they wish ppl would understand that,let me know if you would like to talk to a higher up preistest women,and i’ll try to get you both intouch, May…..

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