It’s a sunny October Sunday, and I’m meeting with psychic medium Kim Moore.

“I’m a hugger!” she says warmly, leaves crunching underfoot as we approach each other in front of her office.

She’s bubbly but relaxed, with an air of a psychiatrist more than a mystic — which puts me more at ease. I have plenty of experience with the former, none with the latter. Compelled by curiosity, the ghostly season, and ok, a sprinkle of existential dread, I’d recently decided to challenge my long-held nihilism with a reading from a psychic medium.

Mediums are said to communicate with the spirit world. Psychics intuit information about your life and future. All mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums.

The controversial industry of seeing into the unknown is having a pop culture moment. Just switch the channel to E! News and you’ll see Tyler Henry, the famous Hollywood Medium, making some C-list celebrity’s eyes well up in a blindingly white living room.

But that’s not why I’m here. What drew my critical, skeptical mind to mediumship is the element of proof. Good mediums are supposed to give you identifying information that they couldn’t know without communicating with your dead loved ones. I could work with that, I mentally shrugged. Kim was the only medium of about ten I reached out to that was willing to be interviewed and give an on-record reading.

In her spacious and brightly lit office she explains she’d be fidgeting with objects and closing her eyes a lot during the reading, and that I should give her “yes, no, or I-don’t-know” answers to the few questions she’d ask. Then she jumps right in, and what happens during the next half hour will leave me grappling with our session for days afterward.

At home, I told my sister about it and she cried. My boyfriend, he thought it was bullshit — and I was treading somewhere in between. What she conveyed to me that afternoon went something like this …

An older woman, maybe a grandmother, came through and brought a young man. The woman was much older, maybe passed by a long illness or decline at the end of her life. The man younger, in my peer group, recently joined the spirit world from a sudden and unexpected death. There may have been drugs or alcohol involved, but it wasn’t the cause of him being there.

He was friendly with me and put his arm around me. He said that he knows I worry about how he saw me, and I should know he never felt judged in my presence. Kim told me there was a musical bond there, he might’ve been a musician, he didn’t show her a specific song, but maybe a genre.

She asked if this resonated. It did. The older woman could have been my grandmother, and the young man, I guessed, was my friend — my boyfriend’s cousin who very recently and horribly died in a car accident. We often went to concerts together, and the last time I saw him was at a show. I did wonder what he thought of me, he was my boyfriend’s closest friend and cousin, and his approval meant the world to me.

Kim moved on from there. Did I have a father in the spirit world? She got a paternal presence, an older male mentor. She asked if it resonated. I told her no, nothing like that in my life. That’s alright, she said. Is there anyone that I specifically wanted to communicate with? I told her yes. She said to just say their name, nothing more.

“Marcia,” I said.

Kim sat with her eyes closed for a few seconds before telling me this woman is older than me, but not old when she died. She suffered from an illness that killed her quickly. She kept showing Kim her children, over and over her children surrounded her. Kim’s eyes were closed as she worked through this telling me, “You’re concerned with her children … or … oh … you are her children. This is your mother.”

She practically exclaims this rather than asks, but I confirm. She said my mom explained that she went against the grain in her life, she was very much herself despite what others may have expected or thought of her. Kim claimed my mom was showing her this because she wants me to know she sees the same in me, that I even take it one step farther, and she’s very proud of that. She then says she loves me. The reading was over.

This is all true. My mother Marcia was from a military family, and lived out her days as a hippie guidance counselor in Vermont. She was 42 when she died very quickly from a rare cancer. My two sisters and I (and our dad) surrounded her when she died. I worry often that I’m different from her, rebellious in ways that would concern her. I never connected the dots that she might have an appreciation for my rebellion because of her own.

Certain things also missed the mark entirely. Kim spent a little while on that paternal presence that went nowhere. She said my mom was showing her one of her children bringing her gifts, things that she wasn’t supposed to have like candy maybe — none of that sounded right.

Ultimately, I was surprisingly torn. On the one hand, couldn’t she be playing the odds? We’re in the midst of an opioid epidemic, a lot of young men die in relation to it, and wouldn’t I be drawn to a medium if I had someone “recently in the spirit world”?

Music is a safe bet there, and don’t we all want our friends to know we don’t judge them? Was she reading my non-verbal cues when it came to my mom? Maybe I was unintentionally showing signs of being increasingly emotional? On the other hand, Kim rarely looked at me when she was doing the reading, and didn’t prompt me often for “yes or no” answers.

The quickness of mom’s illness, her age, her children surrounding her, her mentality in life and her take on mine … it was eerily spot-on. And here’s the thing: It’s never going to be served to us on a silver platter. Skeptics will look at a reading like this and say it’s playing the odds, reading non-verbal cues, maybe some secret preliminary research. Believers will say it’s proof. There’s no way she could’ve known those private details about my life, what are the chances she’d get so much right!?

As for me, I had to admit, Kim was talented, believable and downright likable. She knocked my skepticism off its axle in the moment she identified my mother. And yet when we begin our interview, I can’t help but ask how she regards the couple of things that missed the mark.

“I may have gotten that wrong,” she says. “I'm at probably 90 percent, and to me that’s an A [laughs]. All of my communication with the spirit world is coming through the filter of my human mind, so if anything is kind of in the way, or even just my interpretation of things sometimes, can be a little off. Because I’m interpreting signs, symbols, feelings that I get. It really comes when you’re not thinking about it."

I needed to ask her more questions; find out what it's like to have this gift. 

Can you be more specific about how the information comes to you — is it auditory, visual?
"All of it. I use all of my senses and then that sixth sense. For a lot of mediums, you start off with a strength. So some people are clairvoyant, they're great at seeing things. For me I was great at hearing things. I just thought I was going a little crazy or something because it sounded like my voice but it wasn’t something I would say. So you just develop your initial strength and the other ones start to come as you work with it. But they use every aspect of us to communicate."

That sounds overwhelming. Do you ever get depleted form this type of work?
"When I’m doing it, it’s all energy, it’s all awesomeness. When I’m done, sometimes I need a long nap. But as I’m doing it, what you feel is all the love and connection from the bond that’s there. And since we’re all energy, you can still feel the imprints of the love and relationships that are left behind, and that’s really energizing. People die all different kinds of ways and a lot of them aren’t pretty or nice, and a lot of people aren’t pretty or nice when they’re alive, but they heal in the spirit world so I don’t necessarily feel them at their worst, I feel them at their best. And when people come to me they're in their best place because they want that connection so badly, so the energy that flows back and forth is a gift, and it feels really good. And when I go home I’m grounded, I don’t think about this stuff."

So you have an ability to sort of shut it all off?
"Yep. I look at this as continued intelligence. So even though we don't have a body, our energy is able to intelligently communicate with us through the filters of our mind. So they're able to tell you who they were when they were here, what happened at the end of their life, the signs they give now, and how they're still connected (whether there's a baby born, a wedding, or somebody graduated college). They show you how they're still connected and how they'll continue to connect and heal with a person that's here. So because I look at it this way, as continued intelligence, I’m also able to set up some ground rules. Which are really, don’t bother me until I have an appointment. Which is lovely, but then sometimes I’ll be running ten minutes late and they’ll start showing up in the car. But in general, they come when the person comes, and they leave when the person leaves. They don’t bother me the rest of the time. At the beginning, when you’re developing it, you just want to feel everything all the time, but now I come in and do readings, and I go back home to life."

Let’s talk about this beginning. How did you get involved in this field?
"I started doing this in 2005, because in September 2004, I was pregnant with my fourth child with my boyfriend — but he had some … other people. It wasn’t a good situation, and he committed suicide right at the end of that pregnancy. I had my youngest like 10 days after, and it was a horrible time in my life. I still had our three other kids, and [my boyfriend’s] family didn't know about me. It was just the worst time of my life. But in that time, all I wanted to do was connect with him. I just wanted to know he was okay. So I called a radio station in Denver and I got a reading on the radio. I was super skeptical, even called from my sister’s phone, but I needed help now.

She gave me the best reading ever. She was like, you had a kid after he died, you named it after him, you're his sweetheart, he loves you, he committed suicide and he's with his dog that died a little bit before. So maybe a 10-15 minute reading on the radio and I was relieved in a way I can't even explain, it was just relief.

Everything I read said you could learn how to do this, so I learned how to do it. I can’t say that when I was a kid I ever talked to dead people, nothing like that. I came to it through trauma. Some people come to mediumship through a traumatic experience, some are born with it. But the way that reading made me feel, I just wanted to give that back to people."

Do people need to be open to the experience for you to provide a reading for them? Or can you read for skeptics?
"I’ll tell you this. I’ve had many people sit in front of me with arms crossed. But if someone is coming in here, they’re open. If someone is making an appointment, coming to my office, waiting, paying me money, and sitting here, they’re open. So it’s not hard to read people in general even if they're a little skeptical or closed off. What is hard to read, is when people are actively very negative toward it and they're even expressing that in their mannerisms. I don't know if it’s because the negative energy that they're expelling around them makes things cloudy, or if it has to do with me and my feelings about that, which creates a filter for me to connect with the spirit world. The other thing is that sometimes when there's drinking involved, it's a little bit of a different experience. It's almost like I have a more sluggish experience or connection."

Have you ever had an experience that scared you or shook you up?
"You know what shakes me, is not so much the experience of the spirits I talk to, but some of the stories I hear. I have four kids and the stories I hear make me a little bit more wary of the world. When people come through from the spirit world, they're good. They're in a good place, they have no bills, they don't have to worry about getting to the doctor. Maybe they’re still healing, because your experience here leaves an imprint on your energy and so you heal it, and heal those that are left behind that still feel that. But it’s all really about love and connection. I've never had anyone say like, oh I'm burning in hell or whatever. None of that stuff seems to exist. It's all about the love and connections."

Anything you’d say to the skeptics like myself? Do you feel the need to prove them wrong?
"Skepticism is healthy! I was a skeptic. I would say just keep an open mind. I would also say for people skeptical of seeing a psychic or a medium, get a recommendation. Talk to your friends, look them up on Google or whatever, see what they’re about first. But I don't feel the need to prove anything to anybody, because I am in service to all the souls in the universe, whatever that is. Whether they’re dead, whether they’re living, whether it’s to empower them in their lives or to help them feel connected. I am in service to Spirit. So all I care about is that healing happens if someone has a need. It sits with my integrity — I can sit with myself at the end of the night and feel like I made a difference in the world."


Kim Moore is the author of the recently published book "Life After Life" and can be reached through her website,