Princess Diana, a Controversial Television Seance and My Own Surprising Brush with the Paranormal

By Kosviner, Tasha | The Evening Standard (London, England), March 17, 2003 | Go to article overview

Princess Diana, a Controversial Television Seance and My Own Surprising Brush with the Paranormal


Kosviner, Tasha, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: TASHA KOSVINER

THEY are the embodiment of pebble-dashed drabness. Long, glum terraces stretching away into the spring skyline in a place that has the dubious mantle of being the world's biggest council estate. Dagenham, then, would not appear to be a promising portal to the afterlife. Yet, within 30 minutes of knocking on the front door of one of the town's greyish abodes, home to a psychic, I would be in tears.

A gentle, maternal woman - with heavy makeup and her bobbed hair dyed a rich occultist red - seemed an unlikely host for a gathering of those of my family who had "crossed to the other side". But suddenly, my eyes smarting, my mind turning somersaults, I felt decidedly unsure of the world I knew.

Were there ancestral wraiths really in the room with us?

Psychics and seances are once more hot news. After the recent controversial US screening of a seance, in which the spirit of Princess Diana was supposedly conjured up, a British cable and satellite channel followed up with a debate on the subject. That the channel is called Living TV may perhaps be taken as an ironic comment.

The less spiritual among us might write off such television fare as a cynical ratings ploy - as yet another example of big business cashing in on the memory of one of Britain's most enigmatic daughters and her documented fascination for psychics, fortune tellers and the like. But should we be so sure? I set off on the road to Dagenham to find out.

A substantial portion of Dagenham's council houses - 27,000 socalled "homes for heroes" - were built in the Twenties and Thirties as a reward for families of soldiers who had fought in the First World War.

It is in one of these homes that medium Lynn Lait plies her trade. Lynn is a large lady of 45, mother of two, grandmother of one and wife to a building manager who works in the City. I have come here with my sceptic radars on full alert, expecting to leave with my self-assurance intact.

Lynn is clearly nervous when I arrive. "I've given readings for loads of celebrities and media personalities but never for a newspaper," she says, a little too loudly. "I could hardly sleep last night for worrying." I flash my best "trust me I'm a journalist" smile and sharpen my mental claws.

The reading - Lynn doesn't like to call them seances because she also uses her contact with spirits to offer health, career and relationship advice - takes place at a polished mahogany table in her lounge, all beige and chintz. On the table an incense burner emits a mild lavender scent - "for calmness," says Lynn, although it is unclear whose - and a bowl of crystals flash in the morning sun.

We sit side-by-side facing a mirror on the wall, and immediately she begins. Her reading is a stream of consciousness; breathless, unbroken, without order. There are no theatrics; from her demeanour, we could just as easily be talking about the weather.

"The spirits are telling me that you don't pay enough attention to your health," she says. "I feel that you're stressed, your life is hectic. I see you surrounded by books, like a pile of books are coming down on you. You've done a lot of studying.

"Money is a problem but there will be more money energy flowing in for you soon. There are a lot of wooden floors in your house and I see some decorating happening there. The spirits are telling me that you are intending to take better care of your health but you haven't got around to it yet."

Initially, I am not impressed. Everything Lynn says is more or less true of me but also, I'd wager, true of pretty much every other mildly harassed twentysomething professional living in London.

Furthermore, she later comes out with some glaring inaccuracies. The spirits suggest that I am single she ventures, which I am not. They suggest a nursing history in my family where there is none, and a religious background that doesn't exist. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Princess Diana, a Controversial Television Seance and My Own Surprising Brush with the Paranormal
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.