Ghosts - They're Just Like Us!

People often ask how I can not  be afraid of the things that I see and hear in my line of work. For starters, I'm pretty sure that spending seventeen years teaching hormonal teenagers leaves one immune to many of the horrors in this life and the next. The main reason for my new-found lack of fear is, however, simply that I have come to find that the dead (aside from being dead) are just like us or, more accurately, just like themselves back in the day. While a person's intentions may change the longer they are in the Spirit World (they may own up to or show remorse for their not-so-stellar actions, for example), they don't suddenly sprout wings and become an angel when they reach the Other Side. In other words, their basic personality does not change... and for a very good reason. If they were a tad gruff or salty when alive, for instance, but came through like Mary Poppins during a reading, YOU WOULDN'T RECOGNIZE THEM!?

As a medium, I am thrilled when your spirit fam spits out their name forthwith, but that *sigh* does not always happen, so the personality (be it fab or meh) that comes through is the best way for you to know who has my ear. This is especially true when there is more than one live person (aka "sitter") in front of me, or if I start picking up on two or more grandmother or grandfather energies for a single sitter. When this happens, with no names attached, it comes down to me tuning in and asking you things like, "Which one was tiny, feisty and would have slapped you in the head with her handbag if you got out of line at church?" or "Which one would be sitting in a bar, tethered to an oxygen tank but still smoking?" Personality traits and former habits like these are what clue us in as to which grandma or grandpa I've got on the spirit hotline. By the way, if I do see someone in the situation just described, it does not mean that they are stuck in some kind of saloon limbo or hell, or still suffering from emphysema in the next life, it is merely their way of showing me how they used to be so that you will recognize them. 

These little peccadillos are also of great assistance when someone comes to see me hoping to hear from a beloved relative, only to have a less-welcome spirit show up instead. I once had an extremely arrogant grandfather, whom I'll refer to here as "Grumpa", come through for a lovely young woman who was hoping to hear from her sweet, doting "Grampy". Grumpa made quite an entrance, chest puffed out like a rooster, drawing my attention to his full head of hair, and generally looking quite pleased with himself.

Me (trying to be diplomatic): "I have a grandfather figure here, dressed to the nines in all white, with one of those black western rope-like ties. He appears to be quite... uh... confident is the nicest way to describe it."

Sitter (confused but still hopeful that this might be Grampy): "That sounds more like my other grandfather (insert eye roll)... I wouldn't expect to hear from him.

Me: "He says he's the good-looking one. I think he has an "H" name?"

Sitter: "Ha! That sounds like Grumpa... but I actually think Grampy was more handsome because of his loving nature. Both of their names start with H. Does he have a beard?"

Me: "No beard... and he seems more than a touch offended that there could be any doubt as to who is better looking. He has a fancy horse with him now. Does that help?"

Sitter: "That JERK! It IS him... he owned a horse farm. He treated us like crap."

Me (relieved that I won't be offending her with what I actually think of Colonel Sanders' cocky clone): "Ah! Well then... that explains the white roses he's holding (which always symbolize an apology to come). He's still a jerk. His personality hasn't changed... but his intentions have. He wants to apologize to your family for the way he behaved towards them. They didn't need his money and therefore didn't suck up to him or stroke his ego, which annoyed him and was at the root of his bad behavior. I'm also getting that your mom is way more beautiful than your grandmother (his wife) was, which seems to have been another bone of contention. Does this make sense?"

Sitter: "Perfect sense. I can't wait to tell my parents. Those are the reasons that they gave us growing up for why we were treated differently than my cousins. They will be surprised but very happy, I think, to hear his apology."

To quote the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need." In this case what was needed was for the family to be able to let go of hurt feelings that were left unresolved at the time of Grumpy's passing. Grampy, being who he was (and still is), graciously gave up the spotlight to allow for this healing message. He did manage to share a few important details of his own during the visit, which reassured her that he is at peace and still a presence in her life. I should add that, although they do retain their basic personality, a soul who has passed on does have self-improvement opportunities in the Spirit World, much like we do. And, like us, some take advantage of this and some do not. It's my job to relay the good, the bad and the ugly as accurately as I can so that you recognize them based on who they were in life, paving the way for any messages that you might need from the better person they may have become after having had time to reflect and learn in the Spirit World.

To learn more about how the Spirit World works, read my book, Madame Medium: Unleash Your Inner Psychic with a French Teacher Turned Psychic Medium.

Before becoming a professional psychic medium, Beth taught high school French, Spanish, Italian and ESOL. In addition to conducting mediumship and general psychic readings across the country and abroad, she is also conducts paranormal investigations and offers psychic development mentoring for adults and children. Her book,
Madame Medium: Unleash Your Inner Psychic with a French Teacher Turned Psychic Medium , was written to help others uncover and hone their own intuitive abilities. Beth lives just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Scott, their dog, Waffle, and their resident house spirit.

To learn more about Beth, her book, and the other services that she offers, visit


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