Talking to the Dead


I’m between books, which means it’s research time. For as long as I can remember I’ve been intrigued by the dead and ghosts and those who can talk to them. I was raised on The Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Stephen King. What can I say?

So when I started brainstorming what I wanted to explore, this element kept popping up. It’s not that I want to write paranormal, because I don’t. For me, people with abilities like being a Medium are intriguing, not solely for their abilities, but for the fact that they also live regular lives.

Therefore, I needed to speak to a professional, to try and understand how this came to be and how the process works, and to ask about skeptics and encounters that made hair stand on end and shivers rise up the spine. You know, everything you always wanted to know about talking to the dead but were too afraid to ask.

Well, I write novels, so apparently I get to ask.

I have four pages of notes, so I will not transcribe them here, but will give you the nuts and bolts, because as intriguing it is for me, I’m sure the same is true for you.



As a child she saw dead people, but dismissed this. Who wouldn’t? Then one day the form was more tangible, a deceased grandmother. And then things got real. Another family member responded to, “I saw grandma,” with, “Of course you did.”

And I think this bears noting. No one prior had said a word. It wasn’t until the medium as a child brought it up, and then was shown how she wasn’t alone.


Like any other gift or talent, one must hone it and understand how it can and should be used. The same family member assisted, guiding, but not leading. It’s a process, but one point was very clear. It was a practice of dealing with what came up, and not “this is how we fake it.”


Next came years of work deciphering, because the dead, like living human beings, don’t do what we want them to do. They do what they do, and if we’re lucky they pop in to say hey. There are various ways to communicate. The “platform work” which is what is most commonly known, is all inside the medium’s head. He or she hears what the spirits say and works to decipher. The type of sit down, conversation practice of today is used when a medium can see the spirits, which hover just above.


Of which there are many. Her response: “I’m not doing anything to hurt anyone, so there is no harm.” Plus, she has priests and nuns as clients and works alongside people of various denominations. Communing with the dead is a universal practice.

The Afterlife

It exists. It’s not necessarily how we envision it, but rather an existence of energy in a dimension separate, yet connected to our own. In it are the souls of those who have passed. These are the spirits that “come through” and talk. They are positive. They are not ghosts or malevolent. Yes, you get there via The Light.


These are “earth-bound” spirits that take a left turn when the light appears. For whatever reason they decide to stay and then get stuck, and their energy hangs around, confused. It’s relatively easy to get them to move on; they just need some reminding that the other side is an option.

Malevolent spirits

Sure, evil spirits exist. Why wouldn’t they? Evil people exist. Something tragic has possibly kept them wanting to remain here, and they do not want to be disturbed. They can be convinced to go, but it’s best to leave them alone.


To be possessed is not like what we have been taught by Hollywood. Spirits who are here want to get to the light, but that takes work. If someone has a void in his or her life, a spirit can fill that, can hang on. This is visible to a medium and the spirit can be eradicated.


There’s so much more, but I have to save some for my work, right?

And, really, this was just an initial encounter for me. There is no doubt that if I continue down this path I will have to exert the same time and energy researching as I do for all my work. But I love this part, because pieces are coming together, yet everything is up for grabs. And I get to go out and have unbelievable conversations and experience the coolest stuff ever.

It’s what writers do. We open ourselves to the possibilities, and we provide insight. Guess we’re not so different from Mediums.

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