Talking to dead people, understandably, draws a lot of skeptics.
Britney Lyn Buckwalter, the self-titled “Missouri Medium,” came to The Blue Note on Oct. 28, to get people in the Halloween spirit and connect attendees with dead loved ones.
For Buckwalter, 31, who first began giving readings when she was 27, talking to dead people as a profession wasn’t something she began lightly.
“I built up my confidence by going out of state and setting up my table at psychic fairs, reading strangers,” Buckwalter said.
Buckwalter paced around the stage, moving between talking to the dead and the living.
“Can we get it as cool as possible in here because I tend to get hot when I’m reading,” Buckwalter said to a showrunner. “I don’t want to sound needy; I hate making people work for me.”
She remained earnest throughout her reading, using terms of endearment like “sweetie” or “babe” with the people she was reading.
Two sisters who got a reading had been to Buckwalter’s show one time before. Buckwalter connected them with their deceased father. She presented initials, dates and method of death in order to establish who she may be talking about. She then went into details, things like specific memories, or symbols from the deceased person’s life.
Jessica Pullman, one of the sisters, became emotional while receiving her reading and said hearing from her father is invaluable.
“It’s amazing, you hear things that other people may not understand but you understand,” Pullman said.
Buckwalter discussed how being a medium has affected her own life. Her two children, ages 5 and 3, know of their mom’s career as “helping people,” Buckwalter said.
Some people aren’t as accepting as Buckwalter’s children. The medium explained how her children’s events can quickly turn once she mentions her profession.
“It’s always awkward when my kid is invited to a pastor’s kid’s birthday party,” Buckwalter said. “I always know I’m going to have to overcompensate with a huge present.”
Despite some people’s reservations, the concept of spirituality has become more relevant in the lives of Americans. According to the Pew Research Trust, 59% of Americans report a sense of spiritual connection and well-being.
“The pendulum is swinging, it’s moving, things are changing in this world and spirituality is becoming huge … [mediumship] is bringing awareness to it,” Buckwalter said.
For those attending, this was more than a “spiritual journey,” though it was a chance to reconnect with people they’ve lost. Mediums have been criticized by skeptics as taking advantage of vulnerable people who are grieving.
Buckwalter explained how she understands that people have questions and she’s open to convincing any skeptics, but she says there’s one group of people she’s not interested in attempting to change.
“Being skeptical is super normal, it’s healthy,” Buckwalter said. “Anytime we pay for services anywhere we should be skeptical, so there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re cynical, there’s nothing I can do to change your mind. There’s no reason for changing people’s minds to be my job.”
Edited by Janae McKenzie | firstname.lastname@example.org