We don’t really need it, but here’s even more evidence that “psychics” are con artists. Jackie Hong, a writer for Vice, decided to test a group of “psychics” by having them contact her older sister in the afterworld for her. There was just one problem: She didn’t have an older sister and never had. But every one of the “psychics” were happy to contact her — for a fee, of course.
My first reading was via phone call—the ad said the psychic was offering free mini-readings. She asked for my full name and birthday and Emily’s. I gave her the details and almost instantly, she told me Emily wanted me to know that she’s in a good place and that she’s watching over the family. She also wanted me to be happy too, but said that my happiness only seems to last temporarily.
Could she tell me how to be happy? Or at least what’s holding me back from true happiness? No, but she did see a happiness-ripping darkness surrounding me.
But how’s Emily doing?
She’s doing well. She doesn’t want me to worry about her, but there’s something going on here… what’s going on in my love life?
“Not much,” I answered, truthfully…
The second reading, also free, was done over email, which I didn’t know was a thing. I had a response in my inbox within ten minutes of sending out a message with my name, Emily’s, and Emily’s cause of death. Even with the shift in technology, my sister was still doing fine—more than fine, in fact:
“It’s a little different than what she expected on the other side, but she is quite happy and sees things very differently. I get she had a little of a ‘wild’ streak in her,” Psychic Two wrote. She said Emily was mentioning something about clothing and I said she and I had exchanged necklaces.“She’s saying not to worry about her, she is OK. She says not to worry as she is fine and with you. [S]he wants you to live your life, a happy one,” she wrote back…
To up the difficulty for myself and to make it easier for the psychics (it’s one thing to lie over an email or call, but another to lie to someone’s face), I decided to see my next psychics IRL—who knows, maybe getting readings via email didn’t provide a strong enough spiritual connection or clues to see I was lying. I also looked for people who charged for readings (maybe you get what you pay for?) and settled on one for $20 and another for $40. Both told me to bring a photo, so I pulled one off a (very much alive) friend’s Facebook and, armed with Emily’s backstory and a few years of high school acting/improv experience, headed out for my third reading of the day. At this point, I was almost hoping to be called out soon—it was too easy…
She asked for Emily’s photo. I handed her my phone. She stared at the screen and told me to say Emily’s full name and birthday, then looked up at me. My heart dropped— would my face betray something?—and immediately jumped back into my chest when she told me she could feel Emily’s presence and that she was happy. In a new development, Emily had “passed on” and become my guardian angel.
The fourth “psychic” was the same, plus some really bad music. So afterward, she decided to contact all of them and tell her about the test. They all had excuses for it, of course, and one of them just pretended that the sister was real even though she’d just been told that she never existed. And they’ll just move on to the next sucker. There’s good money in being a fraud.