“I Really Do See Dead People – And You Can Too”
A real-life medium tells BettyConfidential about communicating with Marilyn Monroe’s ghost and how to find our inner mediums.
-Kathryn H. Cusimano
With Halloween just days away and films like Paranormal Activity and the Twilight series dominating cinema, it can be hard to escape the supernatural. Imagine how a medium might feel! We talked to intuitive clairvoyant medium H. L. Schaeffer to get the dish on the dead, the not-so-dead, and what it’s like to communicate with the other side.
“Sometimes it’s a gift and sometimes it’s a curse. Everybody has a higher purpose,” Schaeffer says of his abilities, adding that he’s been able to use his gift to help both the living and the dead. He is surprisingly open and matter-of-fact about his unusual skills. Then again, such ease may come with time – Schaeffer has been dealing with the dead since he was a child. “When I’d go to a funeral with mom, I didn’t get it,” Schaeffer explains. “[She’d say] ‘So and so has gone to heaven,’ but 9 out of 10 times they’d be right there.”
Though Schaeffer has seen ghosts with his own eyes, he explains that ghosts aren’t always as clear as they seem in the movies. According to him, the term “sixth sense” really isn’t that far off – he describes his abilities as a sort of heightened extra sense that often combines the other five senses. “It’s like a faucet – when you turn it on, you can see water running, but you have to feel it to know the temperature,” Schaeffer says.
While The Sixth Sense has a very accurate title, Schaeffer says there’s one instance where pop culture nails his abilities on the head – Medium, of course. “This show is really very accurate, and it addresses the challenges of the gift,” Schaeffer says. “[The medium] is very normal, she’s flawed, she’s just going about her life, and these ghosts happen to be a part of it.”
Films like Paranormal Activity aren’t too far off either, Schaeffer tells us, though the meaner, scarier ghosts aren’t always as difficult as Hollywood would have you believe. “Everyone has a different disposition. If you were nasty in life, you’ll likely be nasty in death,” Schaeffer says, but he has a way to handle this. He encountered some tough spirits during a visit to Eastern State Penitentiary, a former prison in Philadelphia, PA – it is, after all, one of the most haunted places the well-traveled Schaeffer has ever visited.
“There was a lot of evil, and it was really creepy,” Schaeffer says. “There was one [ghost] that would keep screaming and pounding his head on the wall. I started having an argument with it, yelling ‘What do you want?’” The nasty ghost was subdued – for the moment, at least. “Evil is pathetic, so you have to laugh at it… Evil only has fear against us. It’s like watching a horror movie – you know it’s not real.”
Next: Why Marilyn Monroe’s spirit lingers, and how you can connect with your inner medium.