MATAMORAS, PA — On Sunday, April 1, hundreds of people gathered at the Best Western/Hunts Landing in Matamoras to explore alternative forms of healing, thinking and living—but regardless of the calendar date, the fair was no joke. I was drawn to the event, sponsored by All Better Central (www.allbettercentral.com ), a center “dedicated to promoting physical, emotional and spiritual well-being,” by a flyer promoting “vendors, demonstrations, aura photography, psychic readers and healers.”
Coordinator and psychic medium Tina Vesely (www.tinavesely.com ) took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me over the phone prior to the event and answered some salient questions on how the whole process works. When asked how the expo, now in its fourth year, came into being, Vesely said that she had a desire to “create opportunities for alternative practitioners, vendors and the growing community of interested parties to gather, exchange information and share common experiences under one roof.”
Citing some well known paranormal investigators and authors who would be in attendance, Vesely added that a desire to raise funds for those in need was also at the heart of the event, with a portion of the proceeds from this year’s expo going to the Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deerpark (www.pjhumane.org ) in memory of her recently departed pet, Moe.
While I admitted to Vesely that my interest in the paranormal was a lifelong fascination, I had to acknowledge that my experience with “things that go bump in the night” was limited, and that I was anxious to check out some of the speakers and workshops that the day-long fair promised. “We’re still basically a hidden society” Vesely said, “but history shows that in troubled times, people tend to reach out to each other for answers that may be hidden as well.” Tina, who “comes from a generations-long line of psychics and mediums” discovered her abilities at the tender age of three, and because there were others before her, the family “encouraged, rather than dismissed” her gift.
As I wandered the various rooms filled with booths dedicated to astrology, palm reading, Tarot cards, Reiki healing, crystals and Native American medicine readings, I couldn’t help but wonder what might take place during Vesely’s workshop, “Messages from the Other Side,” which I had signed on for. “Yes, it can be overwhelming” she had said, “since everyone who attends brings spirit with them,” adding to the din that normally accompanies a group reading. “If there are 80 people in the room, multiply that by 10,” she said, “since there are often many in the spirit realm who wish to be heard as well.”
I settled into my seat with a packed house and listened as Vesely’s husband Jerry explained what was about to take place. “Tina has the ability to see, hear and feel those around her,” he said, “but has no control over who comes through. If you came here today hoping to contact particular loved ones from the other side, that might occur, but it might not.” While his wife was practicing her pre-reading meditation, Mr. Vesely answered questions from the crowd and gave us a brief history of her career to date.
As a hush fell over the room, Tina entered, appearing unassuming and down to earth, like a neighbor coming over for a cup of coffee with friends. Keenly aware of those around me, I scanned the eager faces of those who had shown up hoping for some sort of message or sign that their loved ones were still around them in some mysterious form. After delivering a few “messages from the other side,” Vesely looked at me and asked if she could approach. Nodding, I took the mike provided and listened to her questions. She said there was a “tall, light-haired man” standing behind me on my left side, who was not, according to the information she was channeling “a father, uncle or brother, but very close to me nonetheless.” She continued by admitting to the room that she normally avoided the use of initials (“since it’s an easy hit”) but was compelled to share that she was being told to say “J.P.”
Struck by that information, I listened intently as she asked very specific questions about my relationship with the departed loved one (whose name was John Paul) and continued to parcel out knowledge of experiences we had shared before his “untimely” death more than 20 years ago. Asking if I was planning a camping trip to California (yes), whether I was working on a book (yes),and if there was a reason he insisted on speaking into my left ear (I’m deaf in the right), it became impossible to chalk these questions up to chance.
Closing her conversation with me, Vesely asked if I was prone to coming across loose change, including dimes, in odd places, stating that this was my friend’s way of trying to get my attention. Nodding again while wiping a tear or two from my ashen face, I thanked her and sat in silence for the rest of her readings with the audience. As I rose to exit, a friend sitting behind me (who knew J.P. back in the day) gasped and drew my attention to the chair I had vacated. Square in the middle of the padded seat was a shiny dime, winking at me in the light.
For more information on future events and appointments with Tina Vesely, visit her web site or call 570/832-2120.