“I was three years old when I first noticed I could see spirits…”
These words were from an interview with Melissa St. Hilaire, a dear friend and my mentor in the psychic arts. Melissa has a large online following at her AmericanWitch13 Instagram page, and can also be reached for psychic readings through her own website.
As a child, she was too young to comprehend what was happening. She still has vague memories of seeing spirits, or is perhaps by now remembering memories of the memories…
“My grandfather had just died; that’s how I know how old I was,” she shared.
An 80s latchkey kid, Melissa often stayed with her grandma when her parents were working. One day, she saw her grandma crying. Melissa asked her what was wrong; her grandma said, “Your grandfather is gone.”
“No he’s not!” the three-year-old Melissa declared. “He’s right over there!”
Then she pointed to a chair in the corner.
Later, sometime between ages five and seven, Melissa kept having a recurring dream in which she was served soda in a clear mug and saw a giant bug in it. After she told her mom about the dreams, every time they ate at a restaurant her mom would have to ask that Melissa not be served her drink in a mug. Her mom thought it was just some quirk, but one time, at a Massachusetts restaurant called Pub 99, “It turns out that the only kind of glasses they had were these clear beer mugs…”
Her mom insisted that the bug thing was just her imagination. But Melissa’s little-kid brain was not so trusting. Soon she got her drink, and swirled the straw around, and lo and behold, there it was:
A giant cockroach.
She didn’t freak out, though. She stayed calm. Kind of like: “I freaking told you so.”
But her mom was not a full-blown skeptic. Later on, she’d buy Melissa her first tarot deck. She also went to psychics all the time, which was how Melissa became acquainted with that world..
Melissa’s grandma tried to cultivate it, though. She’d take her on long walks into the forest. “If we sit here and we’re very quiet and we listen very strongly,” her grandma would say, “we can hear the spirits of the people who lived on this land before us…”
Then the two of them would put their ears up to the boulders, soaking in the whispers of the rocks.
“She was super tapped in,” Melissa shared, so much so that before Melissa was born, when her mom was worried about having a daughter, her grandma nonchalantly said to her, “Don’t worry, you’re gonna have a girl, and she’s gonna have blonde hair and brown eyes.”
All of which turned out to be true.
From age 12 onward, Melissa did free readings for family and friends, incorporating her tarot cards. But as an adult, a friend of hers invited her to the Grim Grinning Gala at Midsummer Scream, an annual Halloween and Horror convention held in Long Beach, California. They went into an area filled with fortune tellers, psychics – “whatever you want to call us.” Four little tables were set up there, and a long line of people stood near, waiting to be read.
“That was terrifying,” Melissa recalled.
Since childhood, despite having read many people with accuracy, Melissa had always maintained a level of skepticism about her abilities. But a voice inside her said she had to do this.
The guests had shown up for five-minute readings. They’d sit down, get read quickly, then make way for the next person. “And I’m just nailing it,” Melissa remembered.
It was a true test: trial by fire. “It proved to me I could do this; even though it was terrifying to do it,” Melissa said.
One standout patron was a tall, well-dressed guy with a commanding, almost intimidating presence. Instantly, Melissa flagged him as a skeptic. When he sat down, she asked him, “What would you like?”
“Just tell me what you’re getting,” he said.
She dipped in. “You’re a businessman…”
“But you’re between jobs or positions right now…”
His expression changed. “Yes…”
“And you’re looking for a job but you’ve got three different jobs you could choose from: one you really want, one you could take or leave, and one you don’t want at all.”
The man’s eyes popped out of his head.
That for her was a memorable moment of affirmation, one among countless others throughout the event.
Day in and day out, Melissa’s always tapped in: “I always kind of have one foot in it.” She added, “Meditation helps, though; it boosts the signal.”
When asked if anyone can tap their own psychic abilities, Melissa answered, “Absolutely, a hundred percent.” But when asked if anyone can be read, she said, “To a degree, yes. But that becomes tricky because then we start getting into vibrations and frequency. Scientifically, each mind has its own frequency…Sometimes you try to read for a person and your frequencies just don’t match up.” And in addition: “Another aspect of it is people who are really good at blocking themselves…”
She recalls one woman who sat down for a reading with her arms folded, staring Melissa down. Right away, Melissa sensed the block and gave the client her money back. But out of hundreds of readings, she can recall only a handful that didn’t go well. “I’m not gonna force it or lie,” she shared.
Another woman wasn’t blocked per se, but guarded. Over the phone, Melissa began to describe a man whom she was picking up on the other side. Out of context, the woman kept repeating, “My husband’s right here next to me. My husband’s right here next to me.” In other words, it seemed like Melissa had tapped into a past lover or someone similar. The woman never confirmed the details that Melissa shared, but then again, she still paid for the reading, so Melissa feels secure that it was solid.
In the meantime, like all psychics, Melissa encounters people who either don’t believe what she’s doing is real or attribute it to the devil. “You have the right to believe what you want to believe,” she said, adding that as a human being, she has feelings of skepticism about her psychicness every day. In addition, despite being a medium, “I’m profoundly afraid of death.”
Having psychic abilities doesn’t shield anyone from normal human experiences and fears.
In addition, something that Melissa and I have in common is that we’re both artists as well as psychics. She writes, draws, crafts, and paints. So I asked for her perspective on the link between her psychic and creative gifts. “To me,” she said, “being an artist is being an open channel…It’s all about tapping into the collective unconscious, or the spirit world, or inspiration, or however you want to put it, and being open enough to receive that info and put it out into the world.”
Back in high school, when assigned poems for English class, she didn’t think about what to write or brainstorm ideas, she just started writing and saw what popped out. Her gift was so apparent that her fellow classmates asked for her to write their poems, too. “Sure,” she’d say, “give me a topic.” Then – boom! Out came a poem. It was all about channeling.
In more recent days, Melissa channeled an entire science-fiction novel, an epic saga spanning hundreds of pages. “I channeled that entire story from beginning to end,” she said. “Even when I go back and read it, I’m like, That is not me.”
Learn more about Melissa St. Hilaire and her psychic services here.