Oh boy am I hesitant about sharing THIS one: the one in which I visit a medium.
As in, someone who channels spirits.
Especially after last week's yoga one, or any of my other more New Age adventures... because this really takes the biscuit.
And at the same time, I'm certainly not judging anyone who wholeheartedly buys into this stuff, because quite honestly: I don't KNOW. I don't know whether it's possible to channel spirits of the dead, or whether there even is such a thing as spirit or soul.
But boy do I love to explore the question.
I'll preface this with a bit of an explanation: myself and a good friend (hi Rebecca!) have started a new podcast adventure, called the Seeker and the Skeptic.
If you hadn't guessed already, I'm the seeker! Yep, I'm the one standing up for a lot (though not all) of the weird things we investigate, from mediums to astrology to pyramid healing. You should be able to find it in your podcast player, just search the Seeker and the Skeptic.
Anyway, this trip to our local Spiritualist church was part of that investigation, and the plan was to go for something called a 'Demonstration of Mediumship.'
Sounded pretty harmless. I'd seen mediums on TV before, and as a kid, found it captivating... but I rapidly became suspicious. Because, logically, if I was a ghost, why on earth would I be hanging around these people? If I wanted to communicate with someone I loved, I'd surely send the message in the form of something likeable, like a cat or a donkey, not in some creep charging lots of money for the message.
Anywho, we went along, and did not pay a lot of money - it was £3 entry which seemed fair. The church itself looks very unchurchy from the outside, and any listeners from Brighton would likely recognise it's wavey concrete facade.
Inside however, it looked much like a regular church, or at least the entrance before you step into the main room... I'm sure there's a proper word for that but I don't know it. Bad Catholic.
OK so we sat down in a small room, a bit like a chapel, with 30 or so others. I assume they all came believing in spiritualism, or at least mediumship. So we were on our best behaviour: at least I think we were.
The medium was introduced, a woman with a very friendly face, a roundness I associate with a kindly aunt. She began by saying how nervous she was, which made me warm to her further - I know how nerve-wracking it is to speak to a crowd of expectant faces, but can't imagine how intense it is when those faces are expecting you to channel their dead relatives. Yikes.
Anyway, she got to it. She usually started with something like a letter, 'I'm getting an M' or something more obscure, like 'shoes' - though she's often say where the idea came from, like she said she couldn't stop looking at someone's shoes.
The first was a dud - the young girl she spoke to seemed to know nothing about the grandmother that was being channeled. But the next one blew me away in the accuracy of detail.
Whatever was going on, whether the audience were being nice and polite by agreeing with the medium's suggestions, OR there really were some spirits communicating - I did love that the medium always ended with a nice, sweet message.
'Just keep doing what you're doing' or 'Be brave, you are loved' that kind of thing. It can't hurt to hear nice, comforting words like this, regardless of what the source is, right?
Anyway, I had a lovely time - though I'm not sure my skeptic friend was convinced.
Do I recommend going to visit a medium? Um... not if it means investing your life savings, but I do think it's worth seeing these people in the flesh and judging for yourself before you make an assumptions either way. This is why I love skepticism: it never assumes, only questions. A healthy attitude to have in these days.