Yet another Sensing Murder veteran struts her stuff.

AS a professed skeptic I have been unconvinced by psychics who claim they can communicate with dead people. However, those who do believe such a connection is possible invariably point out that as I have never been to a psychic session, I am not in a position to criticise. To counter that, I decided to attend an evening with the well-known psychic Sue Nicholson, who was appearing at the Glen Eden Playhouse Theatre. The price for that experience was $50 per ticket.

On her website Sue describes herself as a “gifted psychic medium”, an ability she claims to have had from early childhood. One-day psychic development workshops were available from Sue, coinciding with her current nationwide tour, $235 each, but that did include lunch. A maximum of 30 persons per session. If you want a personal reading from her, there is a three-year waiting list. There are three different CDs at $30 each, and her book A Call From The Other Side is available at $35. She can also be booked for house blessings, and claims “she successfully cleared negative energy from a large corporation in Wellington following the suicide of an employee on the premises”.

The Evening

My companion and I thought it best to take a seat near the back so we could better observe the night’s proceedings. However, as almost every seat downstairs was taken, we made our way to the upper level. By the time the show began, there were only four empty seats in the whole theatre.

Shortly after 7.30pm Sue Nicholson was introduced by her business agent, and entered the stage wearing a brightly coloured flowing outfit.

She quickly told us she could feel plenty of energy, and that there was “spirit” waiting to get through already. In fact, so much spirit about and so little time, that she would not be able to address everyone’s needs. Sue explained she is gifted with the ability to see, hear, and feel spirit, unlike many who may have only one of those gifts. She then told us about some of her earlier shows; someone’s pet pig turned up from the other side one night – animals also make it to the other side she said. Is it just people’s pets that made it there, or is it every animal that once lived? She further advised there was no Hell, and everyone, good or bad, was in the same place on the other side. A disappointment, no doubt, to those who hope that the likes of Hitler and Pol Pot are on slow roast somewhere.

She then explained that the five empty seats placed on the stage were for spirit, so we needn’t worry, she was not going to ask members of the audience to come up on stage. She had been fortunate in the past to have a spirit usherette turn up to help keep the more unruly in line she told us.
Next up was a short prayer to help us on our journey. We were asked to meditate, and Sue would transport us, and our angels, through a doorway with our name on it (or our birth name if we were adopted), which we were told we would see ahead of us, and once we had gone through to the other side, we would see the most beautiful garden we had ever seen. From there she told us to move on to the beautiful beach and park bench with our name on it that we would see in the distance. There we would spend time with our angels and deceased relatives. Some of us may be given something to take back, she advised.
After a few minutes chatting with all of them, she told us to go over to a waterfall to our right, the most beautiful waterfall we had ever seen, and to step into it, so that the waters would go through our bodies and relieve us of any aches and pains we had. Miraculously, we would notice our clothes were dry as we stepped out. Sadly, Sue said, we now had to make our way back through the doorway. She apologised for the brevity of the visit, but knew people were anxious for her to begin contact with spirit. We could spend longer on the other side – 25 minutes in fact – by using her CD (available in the foyer during the break).

Spirits aren’t maimed, they only look that way

By now the spirits were jostling to get through, so Sue’s first guest was a Tommy, or maybe Thomas – seems he wasn’t sure of his own name – who had crutches. Sue explained that people presented themselves as they were on this side – that is maimed, unwell etc, but that was just so we could identify them. There were no immediate takers for Tommy, but one woman did finally put her hand up, she said she had a grandfather, Thomas, but he didn’t use crutches. This anomaly did not deter Sue, who informed the woman, granddad Thomas had been waiting a long time to come through and so was a bit grumpy having had to push past the other spirits to be first, but he did love her, and was watching over her.

Following this Sue gave us some general descriptions of other spirits trying to get through, no names this time, just a woman or man with chest pains, breathing problems, or other vague symptoms. Once someone recognised the description and put their hand up, Sue would tell them what the spirit had to say. One spirit identified by an audience participant was a cousin, and another apparently the deceased friend of the participant’s living daughter.

At one point while Sue was conveying a message to one woman, she seemed to sense another spirit coming through and asked the woman who Margaret or Maggie was. The woman replied “Margaret is my sister” and pointed to the woman sitting next to her. After a brief chat with the spirit, it seemed there was a message for Margaret. Sue advised Margaret her angels were looking out for her, and she could expect things to improve in coming months, good news.

Sue explained that our guardian angels, whilst they look out for us, don’t actively interfere with our lives in any way. What their purpose is exactly, I am still not sure.

Sue saw a car roll over many times with four people in it. As there was no response, she clarified – not all may have died, but at least one person in the car did pass over. A hand went up. “Who died?” Sue asks. “A friend,” was the reply. “Ah, a friend,” Sue said, “Yes, that’s what they are saying to me, a friend, a friend, yes, yes, do you understand that?” Apparently they did. The friend was later revealed by the woman to have actually been her partner. The spirit then had a message for her, he said he loved her, but he understood it was time for her to move on with her life, and was happy for her to find a new partner, if she so desired.

Next she asked us about the gifts we had received during our earlier journey to the other side, and offered to interpret these for us. One person reported receiving a gold ring; Sue said she could see it above them, that it was a symbol of everlasting love. She could also see a number above them, 5, a lucky number, Sue said. Someone got a locket, another, the word love, another a gold heart and the word love.

It was time for a break, and Sue mentioned there was a new series of Sensing Murder to be screened later in the year. There was an audible “Oooh” from many in the audience.

After a chance to view the merchandise, Sue was back on stage with a pen and paper and a list of spirits who had come to her during the break, which she proceeded to work her way through. First up was someone in a navy uniform: no immediate takers, but someone did have a cousin in the navy – that must be it, because they got a message from them.
Sue then described someone with cuts to their wrists. One woman raised her hand, she had a son who overdosed and died. “Did he have cuts?” Sue asked. “No,” was the reply. No one else put their hand up, so Sue talked to the spirit again. It seemed he had wanted to cut himself, but didn’t do it – it was her son after all. He said he felt alienated and that no one understood him. “Do you understand that?” Sue asked, apparently she did.
Two people claimed one spirit, but it was the person to the right that Sue directed her information to. However it didn’t seem to be going too well. The person to the left vigorously waved their hand, it seems the information was for them instead, Sue apologised to the first person and moved to the second. An easy mistake for the spirit to make I guess.

A ghostly budgie

Others followed, and then it was back to more interpretations of our meditative gifts received on the other side. More hearts, love, flowers. Occasionally Sue saw something additional – she saw a bird arrive over one woman; it turned out she had a pet budgie as a child, so it must have been that the woman said. Another woman said her guardian angel had turned to stone on the other side. No need to worry, stone is solid and unmoving, Sue advised – it was just the angel showing her the solidity of their commitment to her.

Another spirit was identified by a gentleman in the second row as a departed relative. Sue conveyed a few messages and then remarked, “You’re thinking of going into business on your own, aren’t you?” “No, done that, and never again!” was the man’s immediate reply. Sue conversed for a moment with the spirit, yes, seems they were warning him not to go into business on his own. “Do you understand that?” Sue asked. I am sure he did.

Then it was back to Sue’s list. Another name this time, and jokingly I leant over to my companion and asked, is that your father? (still very much alive). Sue must have noticed my movement as she announced it was for the woman with glasses and looked directly towards my companion. Fortunately, a few seats away there was another woman, also with glasses, who was certain this spirit was for her. Sue’s agent, who’s job it was to take the microphone around, pointed out that this woman had already had a turn, but with my companion now trying to hide under the seat, Sue was sure it was for this woman. “Are you trying to do a family tree?” Sue asked this woman. “Yes, but I am having difficulty,” was the reply. Sue advised the spirit was telling her it was because there are several skeletons in the closet, and she should look further afield. “But they all come from Ireland,” the woman replied. No matter, you need to look in England Sue advised. I hope it helped.

Last on the list was another name that had come through – there were only three names put forward by spirit during the night. “Could be a first, or a last name, Preston.” I thought, this could be interesting, that’s not a common name. No takers. Silence. Then a woman in the third row puts her hand up. “My surname is Prescott,” she said. “No, Preston it is,” Sue repeats. More silence. Sue then conversed with the spirit. “Preston? Preston? no, no, it is Prescott, yes Prescott it is,” Sue announced, and then proceeded to convey a message to the Prescott in the audience.

The show was then concluded by Sue’s agent. It was 10.30pm. We made our way back to the foyer, and as we did I overheard one person remark, “That’s a dollar a minute”, presumably a reference to Sue’s 30-minute meditation CD.

Upon reaching the foyer we were nearly run down when a group of people clutching books saw Sue and followed her into the adjoining room for them to be signed.

Putting it all together

In summary, I noticed that when Sue got it wrong, she moved on quickly, that information she elicited from the person often became the information that the spirit then supplied back, often followed by the question “Do you understand that?”. Typically, a name or a general description of an illness would change into something else when there was no apparent connection to a member of the audience. A vague description such as “chest pains” could be interpreted as anything from heart disease to lung cancer, leaving the field wide open for a connection. If someone identified a condition as relating to that of their dearly departed, Sue still asked them what they had died of. Once the spirit had been identified by someone from this vague description, nothing else was actually revealed to further confirm the correctness of this identification.

In one instance the spirit, confirmed by a woman in the audience to be that of her deceased mother, was identified from Sue’s description of someone with a problem in the throat area. The woman revealed her mother had died from a brain tumor, but, she clarified, her mother did have difficulty swallowing in the latter part of her illness. Sue told the woman her mother had 18 variously sized brain tumors. There was no way to verify this, and interestingly the woman did not confirm it, but one has to wonder, why was the spirit not at first able to give Sue the basic information of a brain tumor, but later, after she was given this information, was then able to give a precise number to the tumors?

When anyone told Sue what gift they received during their journey to the other side, she was always able see it above them – she never told them what it was prior to her being told by the participant. Interestingly the messages Sue conveyed and the interpretation of gifts from the spirit world were generally the same – your friend/relative/partner says they love you/forgive you/never got around to telling you they love you, but they do, and it is okay to move on with your life now. There were no specific revelations from any of them, just general ‘feel good’ comments. Commendably, she put in a word of caution for anyone contemplating suicide – you should not hasten death, but wait until your time comes.

Was I convinced? Not at all, but I could see that most attending were, and with Sue not able to get to everyone, that many would be back another time.

At least I can point out the inconsistencies and errors that I observed to believers now that I had answered their criticism and attended a session.

Hopefully this may be sufficient to persuade some believers to think more critically about their experience in the future. I certainly hope so.

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