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In ghost hunting, many people use the words “psychic” and “medium” to mean the same thing.
The words are alike in popular use. However, they mean two very different things.
The word “psychic” comes from the Greek word meaning of the soul, or of life. (Paul uses it in the Bible, I Cor ii,14.)
“Psychic” can relate to the spirit or the mind, depending upon the context.
When someone is a psychic, he or she can perceive — and sometimes influence — things that are outside traditional physical laws and perceptions. For example, some psychics can bend spoons or make objects move without personal physical contact.
Moving objects at a distance can be called telekinesis or psychokinesis (PK). Tests for this usually include attempts to influence the roll of dice.
That can be amusing, but this proven ability has far wider implications.
For example, it may explain some poltergeist phenomena. There’s a pattern to many poltergeist incidents. They almost always happen in proximity to someone who is experiencing roller coaster emotions. Most often, this is a female adolescent, but there are exceptions.
Could someone unconsciously and remotely cause poltergeist activity? I believe that’s happening in some — but not all — cases.
During a ghost investigation, a psychic may be able to:
- Tell you what others (including ghosts) are thinking.
- Describe areas of residual energy.
- Detect high EMF levels without a meter, and so on.
Psychic abilities can be tested and measured in many ways. Early in the movie, Ghostbusters, Bill Murray’s character holds up cards, one by one. Each card has a specific symbol on it. The test subject — who cannot see the face of the card — guesses the image on the card.
Some psychics’ correct guesses exceeds the odds of random chance.
A wider range of psychic abilities is shown in the Cyndi Lauper movie,Vibes. Her character communicates with a spirit guide. The guide transmits messages to her, sometimes from people on the other side. Other messages pertaining to locations, the character’s personal safety… and which horse will win the race.
The word “medium” indicates something that’s in the middle. In terms of size, a medium is between a small and a large.
In ghost research, a medium is able to communicate between our world and the other side.
One early 21st century medium is John Edward of TV shows such as “Crossing Over” and “Cross Country.” He’s shared messages between people who’ve crossed over, and those who remain in this world.
Does he also receive communications from ghosts? Is there a difference? I don’t know. Some mediums have strong connections to one category of spirits but don’t communicate with other entities.
Technically speaking, most mediums are also psychics. They perceive things outside our usual physical laws.
However, not all psychics are mediums.
Some psychics can bend spoons or identify the owner of a key simply by touching it. The same psychic may not perceive anything ghostly at haunted locations.
Gifts, abilities and skills
Different people perceive psychic abilities in different ways.
Some people believe that these are spiritual gifts, as mentioned in the Bible and other Scriptural references.
Others are convinced that these are inherent abilities that some people have. Or, perhaps everyone has them but some don’t realize it yet.
Most agree that psychic sensitivity can improve with practice, so it can be described as a skill.
For some people, psychic gifts are part of their spirituality and/or religious beliefs.
In other words, these terms — psychic and medium — can mean different things to different people. They may disagree based on their individual backgrounds and beliefs.
In ghost hunting groups, remain flexible about words like “medium” and “psychic.” It’s fine to explain the difference to someone who’s genuinely confused.
However, treat the subject lightly. Instead, focus on our common interests.