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Are Spirits Among Us?

Oct 16 2014

by Anna Ferguson Hall

As I write this, it’s Thursday. But the conversation from event occurring a few days prior has not stopped streaming at my home. On Tuesday, my husband and I went an hour north, to see (one my favorite guilty-pleasure TV show reality star) Theresa Caputo, a.k.a “Long Island Medium.” Her show on TLCrevolves around her skill of being able to connect with dead spirits and pass messages on to their loved ones. And she has taken her Spirit show on the roar, making a stop in Savannah.

A fair word of warning: Believe what you will.

I know, for sure, prior to being seated at the show, my husband did not believe in any of this spooky Spirit spectacular. For days leading up to the event, he drilled me during dinner or whenever we had a minute alone.

“What’s she gonna say?”

“How is this gonna work?”

“I bet they pay people to agree with her. Do they?”

“Is this a real deal thing? I bet not, right?”

What did I know? I had no answers. Maybe it’s real. Maybe it’s fake. Either way, I had to see this woman with the huge pile of hair stacked to the heavens, with her nails longer than anything tangible to me. I mean, I watch her show every week and am always in awe of her abilities. Even if it is all acting, it’s nonetheless impressive.

So on a very, very dark and stormy Tuesday evening, we headed an hour north from our home in Coastal Georgia to see this woman who talks to dead people. (As a side note, a few days prior we had been in north Georgia, with my husbad’s family. His grandmother passed away. This fact played an extra part in both our other-worldly wonders, because what if, just what if, his grandmother came through? The thought gave me chills.)

The line into the Savannah Civic Center was longer than any line I had ever stood in. The bodies formed a straight line, then staggered, then zipped around a corner and u-turned back to the mid section. What was happening, we wondered? All these people were really here to see “Long Island Medium” in the flesh? I had no idea she was this popular, but apparently, a lot of other people like maybe fake-reality TV, too.

Finally, at 7:30 p.m. sharp, the doors opened and the eager, packed crowd zipped in, bee lining for their assigned seats, getting their Kleenex ready and preparing themselves for whatever would come next.

In opening her show, Theresa explained that she, in fact, did not care if you believed in what she did. She was there for Spirit and if you wanted to believe, she encouraged you to do so. She went on to say she would only pass on positive, healing messages, and would try to keep a chipper atmosphere between Spirit and attendees. Basically, she called for us to be open, be ready, and be willing. That was a message I could get behind.

After her opening remarks, she paused, tilted her head slightly, and listened to some inaudible guide, like a canine that can hear high whistles no one else realized were being spouted. Near instantly, Theresa pointed with her claw-like nails at a woman in the front row. She mentioned a male energy, a young man who had served our country, who died with honor, and progressed into other personal bits of information only that particular family would know.

On the big screen behind Theresa, where a film crew was showing what was happening in the audience, we could see a mother, a father and a sister, all crying, the women with streaks of black mascara washing down there faces. Theresa was nailing it on the head, and they are accepting the message from the so-called other side. After they nodded along with Theresa’s messages and the soldier from beyond had finished, Teresa moved from the stage into the audience, side-stepping the many security guards monitoring from the aisle, and she started calling out random people, offering them what they needed to hear.

Hours later, about a dozen people had been read. Spirit called numerous attendees to stand, with Theresa often citing a proud parent or sibling or child on the other side. It seemed most people had lost someone due to a great or random tragedy, or from a sudden illness. Some details were gruesome, dealing with suicide or accidental overdoses. Some details were sweet, dealing with family gatherings and memories of extreme compassion. Other readings were meant for healing and helping loved ones move on.

By the end, my husband and I were no more clear on if this was real. It seemed real. It seemed like believing was the right thing. But it was also that same old snake oil salesman pitch that has been circulating for centuries.

Was she the real deal? Was she actually talking to the dead? By the end, I didn’t care. I remained fascinated, but not by her so-called abilities as a medium. I was fascinated by, first, her ability to read people, to read their body language and her understanding of deeper human behavior. That is a great skill, to tell what a person is thinking or feeling simply by their body language and the way they nod their head.

Even more than that, though, I was utterly taken aback by the way Theresa was able to offer closure to individuals and families that had been hurting for years. It was clear by the looks on many faces, even those people Theresa didn’t tag to read, that her words were, by default, healing hurting hearts. Many of these individuals had been carrying around feelings of guilt, shame and sadness for years. Their pain may have been holding them back from really living life. Theresa offered these individuals a key to unlock a new existence, to step into the present and stop rewinding to the past.

Was she a real medium? Maybe. Maybe not. Was she a great conversation starter? For sure. Was she a healer? That is without question.

So whether or not Theresa talks to Spirit, she talking spirits, to living spirits, and bringing them back to life. That, alone, was worth seeing. That, alone, made her gifted. That, alone, may even be cooler than talking to the dead.

(Oh, by the way, my husband’s grandmother did not come through. Phew. That may have just been too far out-of-the box, even for me.)

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