December 11, 2018

Storytime

BY BREA BERGEN

Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, visiting a psychic is definitely an experience. You could do just that at the Homer Watson House and Gallery’s fifth annual Psychic Soirée event on Oct. 24.

The sold-out fundraiser provided a comfortable yet elegant atmosphere for people to have readings with the psychics in attendance, roam the gallery sharing their experiences and admiring the displays. Proceeds went to planning and programming for the gallery.

In TV shows and movies, psychics stereotypically are shown wearing head scarves and ornate jewelry, hovering over crystal balls. These were not part of the event. The Homer Watson psychics were seated at small, round tables in all corners of the room, dressed casually, awaiting their visitors, who had scheduled 15- or 30-minute readings.

Ceceillia, one of the psychics, said her family is gifted, something she’s known her whole life. Being 16 years old, she has only been reading other people for about five years. However, she has always seen things, but wasn’t always as accepting of her gift. “Once I hit about (age) 11 or 12, I understood it more,” she said.

Lucy James, who attended the event, said her reading went really well. “She told me some things that were very accurate about my father and my two sons, particularly my younger son,” she said. She was surprised, being a bit of a skeptic, but she said she is a little bit more of a believer after the session.

Staff were also present during the event, telling the history and stories of the Homer Watson house, which they believe spirits of the Watson family still visit.

According to the staff, there have been sightings of not only Watson, a famous Canadian painter, but also his sister Phoebe. People have reported seeing a woman dressed in historic clothing, as well as a man wearing suspenders with a long beard, resembling both Phoebe and Homer Watson.

Helena Ball, director of marketing and public programs at the gallery, described an experience she had. “I just want to say, I am the biggest skeptic here,” she said before beginning her story. She had been sitting in on an interview with a transfigurationist before an event much like this one. The lights turned off, and she could see a woman in old-fashioned clothes, including a hat and a veil, staring at her. “And then I freaked,” she said, “because I’m the biggest skeptic and didn’t think I’d see anything.” After speaking with her colleagues and looking at some photographs, it is believed that the woman she saw had been Roxa Watson, Homer Watson’s wife.

Although no sightings were reported on the night of the recent event, one woman did say that her reading had been interrupted. The psychic she was speaking with told her he could not read her because there was a little boy standing beside her, interrupting him. When she looked, no one could be seen.

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