Posted by admin on June 15, 2009
A TV show where rival contestants battle it out to avoid getting the sack… sound familiar?
But this is not Sir Alan Sugar and his ruthless business proteges â€” this is a world-famous psychic with a team of apprentices who are more interested in Ouija boards than boardrooms.
Medium Tony Stockwell has been in touch with the spirit world for more than 20 years and now wants to pass on his skills to one lucky trainee. After auditioning hundreds of hopefuls for his new show, he has chosen six finalists to compete to become the nationâ€™s next top clairvoyant. And with more and more of us turning to mystics as the recession hits home, it seems there will be no shortage of demand for their services.
Click here to take part in a survey about how psychic you are for The Sun
Tony insists many of us have hidden psychic talents that can be developed with a little encouragement and practice. So I met up with him to see if he could teach me to connect with the other side. After stressing that belief is vital and that only those who have faith can succeed, Tony put me through my paces using exercises from his new show. So would I discover my mystic mojo â€” or was it all a load of crystal balls? Recalling his first paranormal experience, Tony says: â€œI grew up in Canvey Island in Essex and when I was eight I was playing with pals in the old war bunkers on the beach.
â€œRunning through one, I saw a glowing, orange light that I knew was a spirit person. I wasnâ€™t scared, more interested. â€œLater, I went along to a spiritualist church. I loved it and found I had a talent for it. From the age of 19 I was giving demonstrations there myself.â€ Now 40, Tony has written three best-selling books, appeared in three TV series and done five sell-out national tours. He also helps police around the world with investigations. â€œMost people have some intuitive ability,â€ he explains. â€œItâ€™s like a muscle â€” you have to train and practice for it to work well. â€œEven if youâ€™ve never done anything like this before, with the right instruction many people will find they have some psychic skill.â€ Hmm. At this point I fear Tony may have his work cut out with me. The only orange glow I remember from my childhood is from the bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night. However, I am fascinated by people who claim to communicate with other worlds and I am not an out-and-out sceptic. Tony starts my training by showing me two envelopes. He tells me that one of them contains a picture of a murderer, the other the victim. I close my eyes and pick up the envelopes. Tony says: â€œRelax, chill out, forget where you are and concentrate on your feelings. See if you can tell which person is in which envelope. â€œRub your hands over them and trust your instincts.â€ The cynic in me says there is a 50/50 chance I will get it right but then, oddly, I begin to â€œfeel sorryâ€ for one envelope, while the other makes me angry. After I reveal my response, Tony says: â€œWell done â€” you got them bang on. You felt sorry for the victim and felt the rage of the killer.â€ Perturbed, I open the envelopes and look at the pictures closely. I try to clear my mind and concentrate on my emotions again. â€œTell me what you feel about the killer,â€ Tony says softly. For some reason, I sense a hands-on job and a strong smell of cooking oil. I am stunned when it turns out the murderer was a chef in a hotel kitchen.
Maybe this psychic lark is easier than I thought. Next, Tony hands me coloured ribbon, then blindfolds me and asks me to identify the colours. â€œThis one is green,â€ I predict confidently. Itâ€™s red. â€œHow does this colour feel,â€ Tony asks. â€œEr, squidgy?,â€ I reply. I get the yellow ribbon right, but to be honest I think that was just a fluke. Tony then shows me a picture of three elderly women and informs me that they were all together for a historic event. He asks if I have any idea what that was. I tell him I feel they survived the Second World War together, so I am a little deflated to I learn they actually all survived the sinking of the Titanic. On this performance, Iâ€™d be fired in the first episode of his search for a psychic star. An exercise using an old sepia photo of a nine-year-old girl is more fruitful. â€œYou need to clear your mind, relax and get in touch with your feelings,â€ Tony says. â€œDonâ€™t worry about looking silly. Just search your mind for emotions and tell me what they are.â€ Shutting my eyes, I try to clear my head and feel, well, anything other than foolish. â€œI think she was taken from her family,â€ I say. â€œI donâ€™t see blood but itâ€™s scary and I think maybe she was beaten or strangled.â€ Again, it feels like Iâ€™m spouting rubbish, but Tony confirms the little girl was murdered. She disappeared after being abducted and probably strangled by a neighbour many years ago. Great, so Iâ€™m rubbish at ribbons but totally tuned in to violent killings. As my session concludes, Tony insists: â€œYou did really well, much better than a lot of people. I had one person who thought those old ladies were all ex-drag queens, so at least you didnâ€™t come out with that!
â€œIf you attended one of my psychic workshop classes, Iâ€™d definitely mark you out as having lots of potential.â€
My inner sceptic is screaming that, as a journalist, of course I can piece together bits of information and come up with some sort of story. And I have reported on enough court cases to know about the typical kinds of murders.
But as a wannabe psychic, Iâ€™m thrilled by Tonyâ€™s praise.
Perhaps my future is sitting over a crystal ball as a fortune-teller on Blackpool Pier.
Iâ€™ll have to ask Tony.