How Psychic Are You?

This may make you a believer.

jean paul gaultier
jean paul gaultier
(Image credit: Dan Lecca)

If you think ESP, mediums, and reincarnation are for the birds (and flighty ones at that), read this article--it just may make you a believer. Five women share their supernatural experiences, from seeing ghosts to seeing the light. Plus, how to tap into your inner psychic

LESLEY 32, special-events manager

About five years ago, I was working for a small company owned by a married couple. The wife was pregnant and was scheduled to have her labor induced. They went in at 9 a.m., and the husband said he'd call to check in once everything was over. The whole day went by, and people at the office were talking about how strange it was that we hadn't heard from him.

Suddenly, I just kind of sat up straight and blurted out, "Well, the baby was born without fingers." Dead silence. Nobody knew what to say. I didn't even know where those words had come from! I was so embarrassed.

The next day, my boss came in, and it was clear that something bad had happened. He looked really worn out and tired. After apologizing for not having been in touch the day before, he told us the reason: The baby had been born without fingers. Everyone turned and stared at me.

I still don't understand how I knew, though I've experienced plenty of situations where I can sense something is wrong. Or a person will be on my mind, and that's when they'll call me. I believe we're all intuitive--it's just a matter of tapping into our sense of awareness. Case in point: Parts of the house I grew up in always felt as if there was a separate presence there. Then, when my parents did some remodeling, they saw that the walls in one hallway were all singed. It turned out there had been a fire there. And in the bathroom, they found three bullets lodged in the wall! 

DAVIDA 32, account director

When I was little I used to have out-of-body dreams. I'd just sort of hover around the house, and at breakfast, to everybody's consternation, I'd rattle off things that had happened after my bedtime. I didn't know this until much later, but apparently, my grandmother used to have dreams like this, too. I was 14 when my grandmother died, and before anyone told me about her death, I just knew.

In college, I once dreamed of a bunch of kids running around my dormitory courtyard. One boy really stood out, right down to his name and the numbers on his jersey. Two years later, I became a summer-program counselor at my school, and one day, after a nap, I went to the window and actually saw the scene that I had dreamed of two years before. Even the jersey numbers were the same! I met the boy, but nothing profound happened. Maybe he has a role in my future.

Being a little bit psychic has always been a positive for me. I dreamed about someone who looked exactly like my son years before he was born. I still have a drawing I did when I was 11 years old that looks eerily like the restaurant my husband owns today. My premonitions have been going on for so long that they seem really natural. I can't control them. Sometimes I wish I could--then I would be able to talk to my grandma again. 

KELLY 26, grad student

I was in a major car accident with my mother when I was 13. We hit a deer, and our car flipped over twice. Miraculously, concussions were our only injuries. But during the few seconds in which the car was flipping, I had what I thought was a dream. My body stayed in the car, but the thinking part of me went really high up, watching the whole scene. It was as if I was in "Superman mode." I saw the ambulance arrive, my twin sister, Sarah, picking up the phone at home and finding out what had happened, the people in the nearby farmhouse coming out to look. I heard the deer panting as it ran away. I was just all-knowing. And I had no fear.

Then, it was as if somebody pressed "download," and I was aware of every detail of my life. I didn't see anybody, but there was a presence with me, and we went through my whole life, pausing at certain moments. The presence didn't judge, but listened as I evaluated those moments. At the end of my "dream," I saw my funeral. Then I heard--or felt, rather-- a voice say, "It could end this way, but there's more for you to do. We're putting you back in." Suddenly, I was zipped back into my body, and the car had stopped spinning. I never told my mother what happened.

Years later, in college, the story came up for the first time. My boyfriend, who'd been reading up on this sort of thing, gave me a book called The Light Beyond, by Raymond Moody. It was basically a psychiatrist's record of the countless, almost identical near-death experiences his patients had described. I was shocked to discover that other people have had the same "dream" I had. Comparing my experience with those of so many others awakened my curiosity. To me, it proves there is something beyond what we know. 

SARAH 26, grad student (Kelly's twin)

Kelly, my twin sister sent me a book called Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss. It deals with a psychiatrist whose patient regresses into past lives during hypnosis. I'm not a particularly religious person, and I had certainly never had anything paranormal happen to me, but when I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down.

I was a little skeptical but ultimately curious enough to go to a past-life regression class. It's a lot like meditation: You focus on relaxing every part of your body, then you visualize yourself walking on a beach--that kind of thing. Finally, the past-life therapist counts backward, telling you that when she's done, you will begin your regression. At the end of the counting, she starts asking questions about what ever you might be seeing.

Under hypnosis, my most vivid memory was of giving birth. I knew the woman was me, even though she didn't have my features or body. I awoke from that vision with a thorough understanding and detailed recollection of the physical sensations of labor and delivery, even though in this life, I've never given birth.

The majority of my regressions have been good. Then, during a weeklong retreat with Kelly, I experienced a regression in which I was a young man in Manhattan who died after getting hit by a car. At my funeral, I saw my son--who is now Kelly's fiance. I felt terrible abandoning him. I know that on the face of it, knowing my "son" is going to marry my twin sister sounds entirely bizarre. But I'm quite comfortable with it, actually. After all, I feel like I know him so well already! 

SUE 43, writer

Once, when I was a kid, I was at my paternal great-grandfather's house, sitting alone. I was probably being punished for something, because I remember feeling sorry for myself. An unfamiliar woman walked into the room. She introduced herself as my great-grandmother and told me that, whatever happened in my life, she'd always be there for me.

Years later, when my grandmother died, my grandfather and I were looking at a bunch of old pictures. I saw one of a woman I recognized immediately. My grandfather didn't seem surprised that I knew who she was-- he'd seen her that same day, and she'd told him she was taking me under her special care. Apparently, I'm her spitting image--in looks and personality.

That's not the only time a dead person has visited me: Somebody once died in the house where my husband and I live. Since we have to--and want to--live there, we don't really want to know how he died. For a long time my husband worked nights, and often, I'd wake up seeing somebody sitting on his side of the bed. I just assumed it was my husband, and I'd lean over to touch him. But instead of feeling a body, my hand would hit the bed, and the person would immediately get up and walk out. It spooked me. My kids saw him, too. So we named the guy Fred--he was, after all, part of our household. My husband was the last one to see Fred. He was alone in the kitchen. At first he thought he heard the dog, but then he saw this being walk by. He was dumbfounded. Prior to that, he'd been very skeptical.


We asked Georgia Rudolph, widely credited as one of the country's first psychic crimebusters, what it's like to have her unusual gift--and how you can become more intuitive.

How did you start working on criminal cases?

About 20 years ago. I was talking to a cop about a series of break-ins. I suddenly knew he needed to be careful for the next few days. I told him, "It's going to be dark, and you'll be stooped down, and if you're not prepared, he'll shoot." Right after that he was in a stakeout, hunched over, and remembered what I'd said-- just in time to dodge a bullet. He was amazed, and word started to spread.

What was your most memorable case?

The most notable one involved a killer named Jack McCrady, who shot his wife, then reported her missing. The Ohio cops were stumped and tracked me down in Pittsburgh. I asked them to tell me her name, and instantly, I knew that she had been shot and buried. Then, I got a feeling that the killer's name was John but that he went by Jack. I was hesitant to say the next bit--that he was a cop. Even though I'd never been to that region, I was able to give the cops directions to the spot where the body was buried.

Are you frightened, knowing about all those crimes?

I'm not afraid to know about crimes--sometimes before they even happen-- because I'm a firm believer that everybody has a specific lifeline.

What actually happens when you channel?

It's like a mind's-eye thing. There will be a little voice in my head, and I'll just know. Each time I do it, I get better and have more knowledge.

Can anybody be a psychic?

Everyone is born psychic, but we're taught to ignore it. Think about how intuitive kids are. I'm convinced I'm this way today because, when I was little, I was shuffled around a lot--so I never had an authority figure telling me my clairvoyance was bogus. I'd liken it to a window with the shades down: With conditioning, you can teach your self to pull up the shade. We're made up of mind, body, and soul. Being psychic is very much about having an awareness of all three. How can we improve our intuition? I recommend meditation, yoga, and listening to New Age music. Everything is connected, so paying more attention to earth sounds is a great way to tap into "higher forces."