ALL of us have loved ones who have passed away and some of us may even talk to them from time to time — but can the dead really talk back to us?
The answer is yes, according to Steve Holbrook, a psychic medium who claims he acts as a ‘telephone exchange’ between the living and the dead.
The Yorkshireman, who leads an evening of clairvoyance at Burton Town Hall next month, spoke to Mail reporter TIM FLETCHER.
AT the tender age of nine, Steve Holbrook had his first brush with (cue spooky music) ‘the other side’.
He tells the Mail: “I was in bed and my granddad came to visit me in the early hours of the morning, tapped me on the arm and said: ‘I’ve gone —go and tell your mother.’
“It turned out he had passed away five minutes earlier. It didn’t really scare me, I was just numb. I think because it was my granddad, it just seemed normal.”
‘Normal’ is not the first word which would come to most people’s mind to describe nocturnal liaisons with deceased relatives, and Holbrook would have to wait another seven years for his next psychic experience, as the air turned cold in a supermarket frozen food aisle.
“I leaned over to get a pizza and my hand brushed against a lady’s hand as we both reached into the freezer,” he recalls.
“The next thing I knew, I got a message from someone saying: ‘Tell her it’s her son Michael. I only died in September. Wish Chloe a happy birthday for next week.’
“Chloe was his sister. The woman burst into tears, and so did I.”
As a recipient of such otherworldly messages, Holbrook classes himself not as a clairvoyant, a word derived from the French verb ‘voir’, meaning ‘to see’ but as a ‘clairaudiant’ — someone who hears, rather than sees, the spirit world.
He has spent the last 15 years working as a professional medium, honing a live audience demonstration which he brings to Burton Town Hall and Stafford's Post House in October.
“Basically, I aim to prove as a medium that life continues after bodily death, so I listen to the spirit world, hear the voices of the spirits of people who have passed away and communicate messages back to people in the audience from their loved ones,” he says.
“People come back and deliver a message, using me as a telephone exchange between the two worlds.”
While it would be easy at this point to joke about unobtainable numbers or engaged tones, Holbrook says the messages he delivers to his audience can melt away the cynicism of even the most hardhearted of disbelievers.
Holbrook launches into a lengthy anecdote about one such sceptic who attended an event in Norfolk and was left stunned when, as she walked into the room late, he came out with the words ‘Wendy’ and ‘March 3’.
Wendy was the woman’s recently deceased mother and March 3 was her birthday, he explains, describing how the mother, in a further message, told of how she had ‘done something’ to get her daughter to the event, adding: “I came in the car with you and you fastened me in.”
Further investigation revealed that the audience member had been clearing her mother’s house when, apparently thanks to a celestial nudge from the old girl, a newspaper fell from a table open at the page containing an advertisement for Holbrook’s show, which she subsequently attended.
The ‘fastened in’ comment referred to the fact the daughter had brought her mother’s ashes along, strapped in on the back seat of the car.
Holbrook concludes: “The woman next to this lady blurted out: ‘Jesus Christ!’ and I replied: ‘No, Stephen Holbrook’. Everyone laughed.”
Whether their response is laughter or tears, Holbrook says those on the receiving end gain great comfort from the messages they believe to be from loved ones.
“It’s unbelievable,” he says. “If we go to church we are told that after we die we go to heaven and see our loved ones in eternal life.
“We hear those words but the trouble is people want proof that it’s true. That’s what I’ve been giving for 30 years.”
Holbrook promises ‘an emotional rollercoaster ride’ for those who attend his demonstrations, who can if nothing else expect to be entertained, so does he class himself as an entertainer?
“No, absolutely not,” he says. “When we place an advertisement we are told we should write ‘for entertainment purposes only’ but I’ve checked with the Advertising Standards Agency and we can get away with describing it as a ‘scientific experiment’.
“It’s real and it’s live and it’s happening.
It’s not entertainment, but it does have an entertainment value. People laugh, cry and come away feeling totally exhilarated.”
Steve Holbrook appears at Burton Town Hall on Monday, October 8th and the Post House in Stafford on the 9th, with doors opening at 6.45pm for a 7.30pm start.
Tickets are priced £17 on the door or £16 in advance, available from the Burton Mail office, in High Street, or by calling 01283 512345 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.