First of a two-part series

Lisa Williams, an internationally acclaimed medium and clairvoyant who has an amazing ability to communicate with loved ones and friends who have passed on to the “other side” — former host of Lifetime TV’s “Life Among the Dead” and author of a memoir of the same title — will return to the Twin Cities on Friday, Oct. 10, for an Edge Life presentation at Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

For one night only, she will present a special one-hour V.I.P. “Intimate Conversation with Lisa Williams” from 6:30-7:30 p.m, during which guests will enjoy an extra hour with Lisa before they join her in exclusive front seating during her Main Event from 8-10 p.m. V.I.P. tickets are $119 for three hours with Lisa Williams. Main Event tickets are $33 and $59, all available online at Edgelife.net/tickets or toll-free 1.888.810.2065. For those who wish lodging near the event, Edge Life has negotiated a flat $79 rate for single or double rooms at the nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel. Call 763.566.8000 [toll-free hotel reservations 1.800.593.5708] and ask for the Edge Life Group rate.

Lisa Williams, born in Birmingham, England, and raised just south of the city in the smaller town of Redditch, has known of her abilities as a psychic and medium since the age of 7, but she didn’t accept her psychic talents until her grandmother, who was a well-known psychic, died in 1996. After graduating from school, she traveled about London and in the north of England. Williams was discovered by Merv Griffin and she hosted the hit show “Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead” for two seasons on Lifetime TV. She also has appeared on “Oprah,” “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Her highly anticipated memoir was released in April (the paperback is due in February 2009). In her book, Lisa shares memories of her earliest psychic experiences and her gradual acceptance of her gift, and she recalls many of the amazingly accurate communications she has shared with believers and skeptics alike. Lisa reveals exactly what it’s like to live surrounded by spirits every day, and she recounts the joy she feels in bringing solace to those who have lost someone dear and the insights she has gleaned about spiritual phenomena, hauntings, psychic healing and the afterlife.

Lisa Williams was kind enough to speak by phone with us from her home in California about her upcoming event in the Twin Cities…and about life in general.

What did you want to be when you were little?
Lisa Williams:
When I was little I had no idea. But when I was probably about 12, I wanted to be a physical education teacher, which in the end I studied for and hated the job.

How old were you when you realized you were not like other children in terms of your psychic gifts?
LW:
I’d been seeing dead people like since the age of 3. It really became noticeable when I was 7 — and it was all because of an incident that happened with a friend of mine. I had no idea that she could not do it. I had no idea that no one else could do it, that it was just me.

What happened then?
LW:
We were having a sleepover and she said, “Let’s see if you’ve got the gift,” because my grandmother had the gift. I really had no idea what she was talking about. I was thinking, “What is the gift?” The next thing I know, we were playing around with a load of books that were on a shelf and she asked me to think of the book that she was holding onto the spine of. I couldn’t see the books. It was fairly dark, and suddenly I chose the book that she was holding onto. I did that eight times and it freaked us both out!

Do you think the gift is passed down in families?
LW:
Yeah, I do. I do think it’s passed down to a degree. My grandmother had it. My aunt had it, and now I’ve got it, so I do think it definitely runs in the family.

And you’ve written about your son picking up on spirits, as well.
LW:
Yeah, he does. He picks up on spirits. He’s got a very strong healing ability, as well. So yes, he’s very, very sensitive.

What would little Lisa say to the person that you have become?
LW:
Little Lisa would say, “Thank you.” Because really, as little Lisa I was born with an active imagination and was never really allowed to talk about it in front of my parents, but now I’m taking it into the mainstream. So yeah, I think that’s what she would say. It’s like, “Well done — and good for you, and thank you.”

How did your parents respond to your experiences? Were they open to psychic phenomena at all?
LW:
Well, my mum was, because obviously my grandmother did it, but she always compared me to my grandmother. It was always, “Your grandmother was brilliant.” She never really assessed my own abilities. My father just didn’t want to believe, didn’t want to go there, didn’t want to understand, and he still doesn’t because he’s very, very skeptical. If he can’t feel it or put a quadratic equation to it, then he doesn’t want to know. So, yeah, my mum is a little bit more open and my father is so very, very skeptical.

How does a Lisa Williams presentation compare with programs we have seen by John Edward or other notable mediums?
LW:
I think it’s very different. The format is very different. We all help each other in different ways. I look at John Edward and admire him. I admire James Van Praagh. But really, and I can only go with the comments that people have actually said, their comments are that I am younger and I bring it a little bit more into the mainstream. I’m normal, not the tie-dye psychic — and I’m compassionate. So I really think it’s just my personality that is the big difference between me and the others.

What can guests to your event in October in Minnesota expect to experience?
LW:
A lot of fun, first of all. It’s certainly not boring. Sometimes I’ve had people who have honestly thought I was a stand-up comedienne. I’ve even had to say, “Shut up, stop laughing, someone’s dead here!” because I always say it’s a family event. You people will find closure.

I will do readings, obviously. People will get a lot of closure. People will find that they are picking up on things from other people’s readings — but it will be a lot of fun. It will take people on a roller coaster of emotions.

I always say that even if people are skeptical, just come along and experience it, because actually it’s hilarious. My husband sits down and he’s like, “Lisa, you are just hilarious on stage.” That’s because I take on the personality of the spirit. If the spirit comes back drunk like he used to be, then I will act drunk. If someone has one leg, I will start falling over. It’s stupid things like that. But it’s actually reality for me. We’ve obviously got the serious side where we find solutions to the murders and a lot of other information.

I imagine a lot of people who come to see you hope that you’re able to help them, but you can only help a small portion of the people there, right?
LW:
Yeah, and as much as I try to help as many people as I can, I just can’t get behind everyone. I always say if you want me to get around to you all, get your sleeping bags and get in line, because you’d be there for days. I always find that the people who need readings will get them. Some spirits want to come through and say hi. Some people want to come through and tell you where they stashed all their hard-earned cash, that it’s in the mattress in the spare bedroom. And then some people just want to tell you exactly who the murderer is and what happened before they died. So, everybody’s different.

What’s the most challenging aspect of being a medium?
LW:
Of course it’s my career, it’s my job, but I see it as my vocation in life to help people. I don’t see it as challenging. I think the hardest thing for me is actually not being able to help those I’m reading for, because they don’t want to be helped. That’s really the toughest thing.

I understand that it was never your dream to be on TV and do the Hollywood thing. How did the two seasons of “Life Among the Dead” change you?
LW:
I don’t think it’s changed me as a person. All my friends tell me that I’m still the same girl that I was four or five years ago, even before I stepped on the plane to come to Hollywood. I think really what it’s done is given me the opportunity to help so many other people out there, and that’s how it’s changed. It hasn’t changed me as a person.

Of course, I live in a great place. I’m now in a better situation. I can provide for my family, but really it’s just given me the ability to help more people, which was my aim — and to really bring this out into the forefront and make it acceptable and normal, as a normal person, having a normal life, and be accepted.

Are you still working on a new television program?
LW:
We are still working on a new program, yes. It will be coming out this fall, in October. I think we’ve got a possible date slated for it. It’s going to be a daily show, just for a week. They’re just giving me a pilot, so we will be tracking it for a little while to see how it works. It’s still going to be with Lifetime TV.

I understand that you wanted a different format than “Life Among the Dead.” What can people expect to see?
LW:
I certainly thought in “Life Among the Dead” that there were a lot of parts that were a lot of fun, but I felt as though it needed to be more about everyday life. I’ll just give you a typical example. A lot of people have lost a child out there, and I really want to focus maybe one program on how to deal with the loss of a child and incorporate readings and possibly share information on support groups for these people. I think that we can deal with everyday topics, everyday tragedies, in a very light and easy way and actually give people help and encouragement along the way.

How do times of war — and even cataclysmic disasters when so many people are dying on the planet, such as what we are experiencing now — affect you as a medium?
LW:
It affects me in two ways. It affects me personally as a human being, naturally. It’s very difficult, because it’s very close to your heart. As a human being, I can’t comprehend why these things would happen.

But as a medium, I get told that things happen for a reason. It was when I predicted the tsunami that it really hit me. All those thousands of people died, but it brought the world together, working together. I do think with natural disasters and the war that it brings a lot of people together and it unites us. But as a person, I just can’t comprehend it. I just think it’s awful.

When you said that, it reminded me that when somebody passes away, it does the same thing. It brings people together.
LW:
Of course it does. They always say that things happen for a reason and that death is supposed to happen for a reason. It unites us or breaks us. I really do think that these things come to happen for these reasons, but there’s no excuse for it.

I remember my father saying, “If there was a God, he wouldn’t take children away from their parents,” and hence, that’s the reason why he’s very skeptical.

I actually said to him, “You know, I have worked with so many parents who actually believe if their child wouldn’t have died, they would not be on the pathway that they are on now. Maybe they’ve broken up and found their ultimate soulmate, or maybe the parents actually stayed together and worked together, whereas before it was all about the kid and this time it’s all about them.” I do understand it, but again, there’s no excuse for it.

Overall, why do you do what you do?
LW:
That’s a tough one, because it’s like I have no choice in many ways. If I decided to stop it, which I’ve tried before, it doesn’t go away. It continues and continues and continues. I didn’t really go out one day and say, “OK, I’m going to be a medium.” I do this because I help so many people, and I do it because I feel I have a calling to help many people.

Many years ago when I was a child, my calling was to be a nun. I always wanted to follow the pathway of spirituality, and I always thought I’d be a nun. Strange as it was. I was not brought up Catholic. I was actually Christian, but I always thought I needed to follow a pathway of spirituality and now I’m going about it, but in a totally different way.

Visit Lisa Williams’ website and blog at www.lisawilliamsmedium.com.

Go to Part Two

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Tim Miejan
Tim Miejan is editor & co-publisher of The Edge magazine. Contact him at 651.578.8969 or editor@edgemagazine.net. Visit The Edge online at www.edgemagazine.net.

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