Crichton, Michael - from Travels - A session with a psychic
Type of Spiritual Experience
There is no indication how the medium gained her skills, but she was helped by the fact Michael believed she had them, so he was open to her reading his perceptions
A description of the experience
Michael Crichton – Travels [his autobiography]
As luck would have it, the first psychic I saw was wonderfully- suited to my plans. She was past sixty, and nearly blind. She couldn't hear very well, either, because she thought I was from London. I didn’t disagree with her. I just sat there. To make my mind blank, I concentrated on her swollen ankles.
She talked about this and that, making a few psychological comments, but nothing particularly specific. After about half an hour of rambling, she suddenly said, ..What on earth do you do for work?," with a sort of alarm in her voice. Immediately she said, ..Don't tell me, don't tell me. It's just that I can’t put it together. I’ve never seen anything like this before." Then she told me what she was seeing.
She saw me working in a room like a laundry, with huge white baskets, and there were black snakes coiling in the baskets, except that they weren’t snakes. And she heard this terrible sound, repeated over and over again, a kind of Whaaaa-whoooo, whoooo-whaaaa, and she saw pictures going forward and backward, forward and backward. And something about hats, or high hats, or old-style fashion. This was what she couldn’t put together. And she found it unpleasant, these sounds and snakes and things. She said,
"You are the most peculiar person.'
I, of course, knew exactly what she was seeing. She was seeing the place I had been virtually living in for the last two weeks, the editing room where we ran the film back and forth to the accompaniment of those hideous sounds. The film was The Great Train Robbery and, the actors all wore high hats.
There was absolutely no way this little blind lady with swollen ankles could have known about that. I left the interview feeling odd. All my careful plans now seemed irrelevant. No matter how I might have failed to control my body movement, my verbalisations and grunts, no matter how much she might have feigned blindness as she did a "cold reading" on me, I knew damned well I couldn't have conveyed to her images of what an editing room looked like images she would misconstrue as a laundry with snakes. I hadn't tipped her off about that. It wasn't possible. And not many people in the world had ever seen an editing room: it wasn't common knowledge.
So where had she gotten the information?
I could think of two possibilities. One was that she had been informed. I had made my appointment by phone under a different name, but when I walked in the building, I might conceivably have been recognized by someone at the desk, and this person might have somehow told the woman who I was, that I had something to do with movies. There wasn't any phone in the psychic's room that I could see, but you never knew. Being informed would explain everything.
The other possibility was that she was psychic, and the phenomenon was real.