The Real Supernatural School
Article about Craig Hamilton-Parker’s Supernatural School. We meet in the real world but also online. You can find out more about joining either the psychic school held in the chat rooms or my real world workshops and supernatural teachings here.
Article about Craig’s development circle from the Daily Mirror:
SCHOOL OF THE SUPERNATURAL
HOLDING the key-ring in his hand, Daren Stephens closes his eyes. Without pausing to think, he’s off.
“I’m getting some kind of fire. A fire extinguisher. There’s pain in the wrist. A dispute with your brother and the name Paul.”
Daren’s confidence is breath-taking. He’s the star pupil at this psychic circle run by Television’s Craig Hamilton-Parker.
On Sunday night, I joined them in a village hall in Southampton, to see if I could be psychic, too.
“You have a nice healing energy about you,” says Craig as we shake hands, which is a good start.
He and his wife Jane were actually united by the spirit world.
A three part documentary was shown on the BBC about our Supernatural School
Britain’s most famous medium, Doris Stokes, once told Craig he would meet his future wife on March 6 and that her name was Jane Wallis. Nine years later, on the appointed date, Craig met Jane Willis at a psychic show.
They have been married 14 years and Craig, who starred in the recent BBC2 series, Mediums: Talking To The Dead, chucked in his advertising business to concentrate on the supernatural.
“Everyone has natural psychic abilities,” he promises me. “They work on gut feeling and we teach people to listen to their intuition.”
Sounds simple enough, so I join the circle as Craig dims the lights. There are six regulars and all seem reassuringly normal – like Christine Harding, from Portsmouth, who works in marketing.
“My husband laughs at me,” she admits. “Tonight, when I was leaving, he said: ‘Don’t forget your wand.'”
S HE first contacted a medium seven years ago after suffering a miscarriage.
“I saw different mediums and, each time, my grandmother and grandfather came across – that gave me comfort.”
Her friend Christine Forster tells me that the first time she came to the group three years ago, one member told her she was pregnant before she knew it herself.
“I came here because I had a lot of spiritual activity at home. My kids would talk about other people in the room…”
We all start by meditating to calm our minds. We then focus on tonight’s guinea-pig, 25-year-old Carley Richards. None of the trainee psychics has met her before.
“Try to get a picture of what makes Carley tick,” Craig says. Everyone scribbles in their notebooks before announcing their findings. “I’m getting a grandmother on the spirit side. Mary. Or an M name.” “It’s a grandfather link.” “I have a connection with the countryside.”
“There are lots of horses.”
“I’ve been brought up with horses,” Carley confirms. “My granddad used to have them.”
I get nothing apart from the fact that Carley looks like she’d probably go out with someone named Darren. But I keep this to myself because it sounds daft.
Then the other Daren – the one in our group – amazes everyone when he announces, correctly, that Carley has a butterfly tattoo and that her grandfather used to carry a walking stick.
Daren is 27 and works for Southern Electric. He’s been psychic since he was a kid. “As a child, I’d speak to a gentleman in my room who my mum and dad couldn’t see,” he tells me.
“As I grew older, I started hearing voices and seeing people around me. I saw Carley’s granddad briefly over her left shoulder. But it was just a glimpse and then, when you try to focus, he’s gone.”
Daren has three spirit guides who help him see things. Do they help him pick lottery numbers, I wonder? “I’m not interested in that,” he insists. “I want to help people.”
The circle now moves on to psychometry. Carley passes us her key ring and we try to read the vibrations from it.
“You might not get anything at first but go past that,” says Craig. He must be psychic because, when it’s my turn, my mind is blank.
“You’re resisting because your logical mind tells you this isn’t possible,” says Craig. “Say the first thing that comes into your head.”
“Andrew!” I blurt at random.
“More!” Craig shouts. Incredibly, in my head I do see something – like a holiday snapshot of a guy with short, light-brown hair, sitting on a stone wall. I don’t recognise him. Neither does Carley.
“Describe her house,” orders Craig. “What’s the front door like?”
“It’s white UPVC,” I say.
“What’s the hall carpet like?”
“There isn’t any.”
Carley nods. “My dad’s front door is UPVC. And he doesn’t have carpet. He has tiles.”
Success at last! But my wild guess that the house number was 29 is way off. He lives at No.45.
Then Carley passes over a piece of jewellery. Craig tells me to describe her mother, so I say the first thing that pops into my head.
“She’s a bit argumentative, more outgoing after a drink. She did typing at school, she hasn’t traveled much. She’s had three children, can cook and takes a size-five shoe. “I feel like I’m making it up,” I I protest.
“Just let it come,” Craig reassures me. “The important thing is not to censor it.”
I’m right about not traveling and the three children but Carley’s mum doesn’t drink and is a terrible cook. Her shoe size was wrong, too.
“Give me three names that connect with her!” orders Craig.
“Patricia, Susan and Dominic,” I say. Carley blurts out: “That’s my mum’s name – Sue!” Everyone is impressed. Getting a name is the Holy Grail of mediums.
For the last exercise, everyone tries to contact Carley’s grandmother in the spirit world. Carley has brought a photo. Christine Forster goes first and immediately her hands start shaking.
“Did she have tremors?” she asks and Carley nods, amazed.
I’m picking up nothing from granny but contacting the dead is a bit of a tall order for a beginner. So instead I try to predict who the photo will be passed to next.
I get a 100 per cent success rate as the photo goes to Christine Harding – “My legs are shaking, too!”.
Afterwards, I’m disappointed I didn’t do better but Carley’s impressed with what she heard tonight. “Craig told me a lot of things that were true,” she says. “For instance, he said my boyfriend could be possessive – and Darren, my ex, was very jealous.”
I don’t say anything but the news that Carley really did have a boyfriend named Darren sends a little shiver down my spine.
Perhaps I really am more psychic than I think
Is there anybody out there?
Article about my Supernatural School from Spirit & Destiny
In a quest to find out whether psychics really can communicate with spirits, writer Emma Hibbs joined a Spiritualist circle and asked then to contact the dead.
The gentle flicker of candlelight illuminates the faces of the seven people sitting around the table. These people are psychics about to conduct a séance in a scout hut near Southampton. They claim to be able to prove what, so far, has eluded science – that there is life after death.
And I’ve come along to witness the phenomenon of talking to the dead, which is done by asking questions and receiving messages from those who have passed over into the spirit world. So I take a deep breath, push my skeptical thoughts aside and open my mind to the possibility of conversing with departed souls.
Testing the psychics
The group has been honing its psychic skills for just over a year in order to develop their ability. They explain how their combined energies allow for a much stronger connection between this world and the next.
The members close their eyes and sink into meditation. Deep breathing is all that’s audible as the room becomes silent. I take a sneaky glimpse at their serene faces. Is it my imagination or is the atmosphere in the room beginning to thicken? And there’s a buzz, like the hum of an electric pylon or the feeling of a crowded party. My fingertips start to tingle with anticipation. This goes on for 15 minutes.
Suddenly, the chime of a hand-bell cuts the silence. The group’s leader, Craig Hamilton-Parker, an author and medium, is calling everyone back to the circle. I wonder where they all went during their deep relaxation. Nowhere it seems. Daren to my left apologises for his rumbling stomach. Someone else shares a joke with the group and there’s a splutter of dinner party laughter.
All eyes turn to me as Craig asks if I will pass my bracelet to the group. On by one they read it using psychometry (the art of holding an object and using it as a tool to tap into the owner’s psychic energies)
In turn, each person relays the messages their psychic instincts are telling them. ‘You’ve had a major change of diet,’ says one of the group. Um, many women do go in for fad diets, but I’m strictly a junk food queen.
Daren says, ‘You’re a good listener.’ Well, yes, but that’s my job. ‘You’re great with children.’ True, but most women aren’t bad. I was still eager to see them demonstrate their psychic powers, but a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach told me I wasn’t going to be convinced.
Then, out of nowhere Craig announced, ‘Mary is here and she’s talking about Ann.’ I sat up. Mary was my grandmother and Ann is my mother.
Everyone around the table became animated, almost agitated, as they started firing statements about my departed grandmother across the table. It was as if they couldn’t get the information out quick enough.
‘I have a greyhound dog and racing,’ said someone. Yes, Granny Mary had often enjoyed a flutter. ‘She had a small white dog,’ said someone else. Yes, my aunts had told me this. ‘This woman had stunning blue eyes.’ Again, this I could confirm. Like fitting together pieces of a jigsaw, they built up an accurate picture of my grandmother’s life. But they lost me on other details, such as the significance of a white opal ring. I still needed convincing.
Craig bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t known her better. Give me a break. They were talking about a woman who’d been dead for 40 years! I pushed a brown envelope across the table. The photo inside was of people I’d known well. And, if it were at all possible, I wanted to hear evidence that they were, well, still knocking around.
The circle turned its attentions to the photo of a casually dressed, grey-haired man proudly holding up a baby boy, his wife with her arm around him and a young girl leaning into their legs.
‘Is that you standing with your grandparents?’ asked Craig. ‘Yes.’ An easy guess, perhaps? The photograph passed between their fingers and, like before, information about my granddad began to fly like bullets across the table. I listened in closer.
‘He was a man who worked with his hands.’ ‘Yes, a carpenter.’ Well, a French polisher, in fact. Although he spent all his life working with his hands, he was an intelligent man.’ True. A joker who liked to play practical pranks.’ He was known for his wicked sense of humour. Wow, I was encouraged. I really seemed to be able to recognise the man they were describing as my grandfather who had died of a heart attack when I was 15.
They decided to change tack. ‘I feel we’ve got a good link with this gentleman,’ said Craig. ‘I think we should focus together and try to get his name.’ There were no clues on the photograph. Working as one, they closed their eyes. Then each person said what they thought his name was. Of the seven, one said Edward and another said Ted. I was amazed, and confirmed his name was Edward, but that he’d always been known as Ted. A few minutes later, the young mum, Christine, who had announced that my grandfather was called Ted, said, ‘I’ve got the woman – it’s Elsie.’
I was in shock. Somehow, seven strangers, who I’d never met before, had been able to name my grandparents from a photo.
I couldn’t explain what had gone on. Had they really made contact with the spirits of my dead relatives, or were they reading my mind’ Either way it was impressive. Driving back to London later, I phoned my father and told him, ‘It is possible that we’re not alone…’