Sunday, August 14, 2016

...a haunting show, a Spiritualist, and a friend from the other side...

“Can you feel me there with you?
My breath is gone but I’m not through.
Loved you then and I still do
from over on the other side.”
~Don Conoscenti
I haven't wanted to write this post. I thought that perhaps I could simply ignore the event but weeks later Eureka Springs still haunts me. 

On my very last night while I was in Eureka Springs, right before driving nine hours to our halfway point the next day, I attended the Illusionist and the Medium show at Intrigue Theater. I had not planned to attend the show since we had packed the week with so many fun events. I had walked by the building, an old church built in 1901 previously known as Gavioli Chapel, on my walk through the historic area. I followed the curbing that had been painted red as far as it went from the Crescent Hotel. Intrigue Theater wasn’t very far, a half mile from the hotel.

From the website, the show’s description:
Experience an evening of Mystery and Intrigue with Sean-Paul the Illusionist and Juliana Fay, as the Medium – featuring special guests from the other side. The evening begins as guests enter a century-old building that only seats 75 people.
Everything in this throw back production is based on Real Historical entertainment that is still so effective that it can bring even today’s most cynical audiences to the edge of their seats!
A “magic show” really wasn’t on my agenda but I thought my mother would enjoy it. Turns out, she was too tired so she opted not to go. I walked to the theater from the hotel. There is a complementary shuttle that the hotel offers but it wasn’t far and sometimes I prefer a bit less fanfare. When I arrived within a half hour of the show starting, there was a line outdoors. It was a hot summer evening and the walk had made me warm. As we were entering the building, Wyatt, who had actually been our tour guide from the Haunted Eureka Springs tour, greeted guests and explained that we would enter seven at a time to keep the doors closed and the air conditioning inside rather than outside.

I selected VIP Seating for $34.95 which guaranteed 1st row seating and a complimentary beverage, which I misunderstood thinking they meant a cocktail when it was actually a Coke. Considering that was about $10 more than the regular general seating, it wasn’t a bad deal.

As we were seated, we were asked to complete our Spirit Cards for the second half of the show. We each placed our cards in a box that was allegedly only accessed by one selected audience member, a young teen who sorted each of the cards and bound them with rubber bands. He then placed them in a birdcage on stage where they seemingly remained throughout the show.

The show began with illusions and tricks by Sean-Paul including sleight of hand and a number guessing routine. I looked for the mirrors and tried to figure out how I was being tricked. I have no idea. I enjoyed it thoroughly. He was entertaining and had great showmanship including numerous individuals from the audience.  Sean-Paul’s routine took us to the intermission.

After that Juliana Fey began with the second half of the show, which focused on spiritualism. Ms. Fey was blindfolded so that she could not see and had to rely solely on her spirit guides. Audience members were instructed to either have our purchased (during intermission) pendulums or makeshift pendulums ready for when the spirit guides would communicate with us directly. I used one of my necklaces: an owl bell with a dangling crescent moon, which I had purchased in Williamsburg. It seems liked the most-pendulum like piece of jewelry on me and I had not brought the haunted pendulum that I had purchased prior. Considering I already own a pendulum, how many can a girl own?!? That’s rhetorical ;)

The beginning of Ms. Fey’s *act* included audience members taking out objects that were on our person and having her reveal what they were while blindfolded and only based on the communication she received with the spirit guides. One audience member had searched her for earpieces. I have a knack for spotting even the tiniest of hearing aids. She did not seem to have one nor did I believe *at this point* that she was actually communicating with the other world. She was too quick and too accurate. Plus, unless there were some recent spirits assisting, I’m not sure they would have had the vocabulary for some of the recent technological items that audience members produced. Sean-Paul walked the room and if you had anything in your hand, he stopped.

Houdini explained: 
“I have spent a goodly part of my life in study and research. During the last thirty years I have read every single piece of literature on the subject of Spiritualism that I could. I have accumulated one of the largest libraries in the world on psychic phenomena, Spiritualism, magic, witchcraft, demonology, evil spirits, etc. some of the material going back as far as 1489, and I doubt if any one in the world has so complete a library on modern Spiritualism, but nothing I have ever read concerning the so-called Spiritualistic phenomena has impressed me as being genuine. It is true that some of the things I read seemed mystifying but I question if they would be were they to be reproduced under different circumstances, under test conditions, and before expert mystifiers and open minded committees. Mine has not been an investigation of a few days or weeks or months but one that has extended over thirty years and in that thirty years I have not found one incident that savoured of the genuine. If there had been any real unalloyed demonstration to work on, one that did not reek of fraud, one that could not be reproduced by earthly powers, then there would be something for a foundation, but up to the present time everything that I have investigated has been the result of deluded brains or those which were too actively and intensely willing to believe."
I considered pulling out something but the whole thing seemed too contrived so I just sat and played along with the audience members but then he came to me and asked if I had something in my hand. I actually just had my makeshift pendulum with Ms. Fey quickly shared was a necklace but then she paused and the entire room looked at me as she shared, “someone you lost is coming through.” I paused because the routine had changed and Ms. Fey was no longer guessing what was in my hand. She was preparing to go more personal. Skeptical me has often joked that I come with a great deal of dead… no family members but those friends I watched be buried in high school. By the time I graduated from high school, I had attended no fewer than four close friends’ funerals and that wasn’t the end of the deaths. And let me note, there were other classmates in my tiny town that died and I didn’t attend their funerals because they weren’t super close friends of mine so when I write that I attended their funerals I am noting that they were loved ones, a few of whom had been best friends. So if someone says in a room that someone has lost someone, I roll my eyes a bit. That doesn’t take a medium or a psychic. But Ms. Fey stopped and added that much time and healing had passed so the spirits said it was alright for me to discuss this. Umm, thanks Spirits? She slowed the entire show at this point. Her comments were not stated quickly and Sean-Paul noted that this wasn’t the routine. I still wasn’t buying it but Sean-Paul also kept inferring that I had lost a “she” when Ms. Fey had not yet noted a pronoun.

If we’re pointing to loud dead friends, I can think of two: one male from 1990 and one female from 2003. The pain has subsided (whatever that means) for both so I would not have been surprised if either spirit had come through but at this point in the *show* I wasn’t believing a thing. Ms. Fey continued by giving me information that "only the spirits and [I] would know." When she noted this, I immediately thought of my locked down Facebook account. I had posted a picture of my mother and me visiting a grave but I had not shared that I had brought flowers (which I always do but most would not know this). And, throughout most of my trip, I posted on social media with a delay (i.e. the world doesn’t really need to know exactly where I am at all times). But then Ms. Fey shared what no one could have known unless they had broken into my email account and understood a great deal of cryptic information they could not have possibly known.

Ms. Fey said that the spirit knew that I had “just” corresponded with his mother. This is not a frequent event and in fact, this is the first time that it has happened. My friend, had he lived, would have had a birthday a few days before this event. His mother had sent me an email the day before and I had replied from my mobile. I hadn’t told anyone that this occurred… not because it wasn’t important but it wasn’t the kind of thing one shares via email or social media.

Sean-Paul instructed me to write his name on a chalk board but be sure that no one could see it. I did but at that point I was clearly shaken. How would she have known this? In the end, she stated the name and was right.

On my Spirit Card, my yes/no question pertained to me having a special tattoo. I have none; I’ve terribly afraid/grossed out by needles. I don’t care how many people say, “It doesn’t hurt”… that doesn’t matter. It is the thought of it.

I wasn’t sure what to write about my big question. I am not someone who wants to know my future (let’s just ride that wave when it comes) and I’m not interested in asking questions of those on the other side… except for one burning question that I have had every day since January 1990. That is what I wrote; and, I did so in the most cryptic way possible: “Was it murder or suicide?” I had not included a name or a gender; I had not personalized it. Hell, I didn’t even put my last name on this card as we were instructed to do. But my first name isn’t super common and they could have matched it with the credit card sale that I had made less than an hour prior to the show. I figured my last name was too easy because one would instantly find me on the web in a variety of obscure places…but not here so much because I don’t think I have ever posted my last name (and a quick search of my blog confirms that).

Ms. Fey did not answer the question. She implied that the spirits believed that I had already come to an answer. That was answer enough.   

The performance ended with Sean-Paul encouraging folks to stick around to chat. I collected my things and walked back the half mile in tears. If it were a trick, it was cruel; if it were real, how the hell does one process this?

There is absolutely nothing that my dead friends could come through from the other side to say that I want to know or that I don’t already know. They’re around; at times, I ignore them. At times, I whisper back. 


  1. You know my beliefs on this kind of stuff. Who knows, maybe this whole email with his Mom stirred things up? Or maybe that vibe was in the air and she was empathetic to it, tapping in and relaying underlying mojo? I'm not 100% convinced that it's the spirit of our long dead kin. Perhaps just energy that we all can feel, but most of us ignore or trained ourselves to turn off.

    Either way, it's always interesting when stuff like this happens. All I can do is send you virtual hugs, my friend. MUAH!

  2. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Truer words may have never been spoken. I believe that there are beings of spirit that can, and sometimes do, help us or interact with us for reasons we may not understand. Perhaps they are friends or relatives, perhaps not. And I believe that some people are more able to hear/see/feel them than others are. But as The Professor says, it's always interesting!

  3. I think I would have been shaken at this as well. If nothing else, if it is true, I could see prankster Shawn wanting to play a trick on you. Did you listen for his laughter on your walk back to the hotel?

    This does sound like a crazy experience. Not for the faint of heart. But possibly something you needed to feel. Often times I find myself re-feeling things that I thought were pushed down or put away. Especially these days.