Published: 00:39 BST, 12 February 2013 | Updated: 00:40 BST, 12 February 2013
June Field, a 53-year-old widow, karate expert, euphonium player and the ‘world’s greatest psychic’ is perched on the edge of a slippery faux leather sofa in her Dundee semi.
She is breathing in the smell of scented candles, telling me to sit up straight because otherwise she can’t see my ‘energy’ properly and is poised to give me one of her world-class readings.
‘I’m just going to sit in your vibration for a little while,’ she says. ‘But before I begin, there’s a lady who’s been popping in and out all morning. She’s got a big smiley face, she’s quite robust — and she’s what we call the “door-opener”. Ooh, I can feel people pulling all around you . . .’
And we’re off (or at least June is) to the ‘other side’ and what sounds like a vast crowd of people (and animals), all dead, but jostling to say ‘hello’.
Good vibrations? Psychic June Field, who recently was crowned 2012 champion of the International Battle Of The Psychics, claims to read people's energy
As well as the robust door-opener, there’s a house-proud female blood relation ‘who passed with a cancerous condition’, a ‘younger male who hanged himself’, a golden Labrador (or retriever) and lots of horses — none of which rings any bells, yet.
She also tells me she knows the sex of the baby I am having in April (something I haven’t found out). And that’s just in the first 15 minutes.
It’s a lot to take in. Then again, she must know her stuff, because on December 30, June was crowned 2012 champion of the International Battle Of The Psychics.
Filmed in the Ukraine and watched by a TV audience of 34 million and a judging panel that included that great spoon-bender Uri Geller, she beat 70,000 hopefuls and 11 other finalists in a six-month contest to win first prize, a 22lb Gothic trophy that cost her £57 in excess baggage to bring home with British Airways and a £19,000 cheque — which has yet to materialise.
Week after week, she performed psychic readings on animals, photographs, celebrities and DNA samples and explained to a rapt audience how endless men, women and children had met their grisly deaths.
She won more than 50 per cent of the votes to become the first British medium to win the contest in its 11-year history. So imagine how excited I am to be here, being given a reading in her immaculate sitting room. The reading is fast, furious and very specific — if not, perhaps, to me.
There are many types of psychic. Some advise on your love life, others perform messy-sounding materialisations (where a spirit appears formed entirely of ectoplasm). June’s Great-Aunt Nelly specialised in transfigurations, where she took on the facial features of the dead.
June, meanwhile, is a medium — passing messages between this world and the next with the help of four spirit ‘guides’ or ‘angels’.
‘My job is to prove that people don’t die — that they’re living on the other side and are still connected with you.’
With the help of spirit 'guides' or 'angels': June said her 'job is to prove that people don't die - that they're living on the other side and are still connected with you'
So she tours the country giving public demonstrations in town halls and civic centres, travels to the U.S. and Canada at least twice a year for work and can manage up to four half-hour, £60 readings a day (‘but not every day’) before she feels too depleted and tearful.
At buy statement diamond ring, pendent, jewellery-international diamond day her public demonstrations, she tells me, she hones in on specific details about her audience that no one could have known.
She may make contact with a man who fed his parrot lemonade from a teaspoon, a dead woman claiming (rightly, it turned out) that her daughter-in-law had killed her pet budgie, a dead sister with an extra rib, a man with six toes and a cocker spaniel with a peg on its ears.
‘These are real specifics applying to real people,’ she says. ‘I don’t just throw something out there. My four guides are Oriental gentlemen — they must be doctors or healers because I’m particularly good on medical specifics. I can always tell if someone has an extra rib or webbed feet.’
Her remarkable ability to identify these details attracted the attention of a researcher for the Ukraine’s STB Channel, who asked her to audition for the popular International Battle Of The Psychics.
‘I wasn’t interested, but they kept chasing and eventually I went over to audition.’
Meanwhile, the 70,000 applicants were whittled down first to 250, then 150 and eventually to the dozen taking part in the show.
June worked for 14 hours a day, filming, promoting and preparing for the show. She sailed through every round as, one by one, her opponents were eliminated.
Eventually, six months later, she waltzed into first place, beating even the Ukrainian finalist to international psychic glory.
So it’s odd that my reading isn’t going terribly well. At all.
It’s not that she isn’t spreading her net wide — we cover everything from problems with my elbows to a row with my sister and an ugly willow-patterned jug that my late father apparently hated. Nothing — and I mean nothing — rings a bell.
'My job is to prove that people don't die - that they're living on the other side and are still connected with you'
Not the dog, the horses, the elbows, the music box, the teenage suicide or the blood relation with cancer. Happily, June seems undeterred — if a little tired.
Being a medium must be exhausting — all those messages to convey backwards and forwards from the dead.
For June it started when she was nine years old.
‘I always knew I was a bit different,’ she says. ‘I’d wake up in the night and there’d be all these people standing round my bed looking at me.
‘I used to take a Bible to bed open at the 23rd psalm, thinking “Please don’t come tonight”, but they always did. I’m still afraid of the dark.
‘I was like a mobile phone tuned into the right channel. Once the gift is there, you can’t switch it off.
The moment I hear someone’s ill, I know if they’re going to live or not — and that’s not a good thing. I can’t change the course of events, so it serves no purpose telling them.
‘Even in the bank the other day, I was looking at the teller and suddenly I saw her dad was behind her and he said: “My name’s David, tell her I’m OK, I passed with cancer and November 5 is my anniversary.”
So I did and she looked horrified. But now she’s ever so friendly.’
Blimey, it’s quite a responsibility. And, given June spends six months a year on the road away from her son Sam, 20, and Siamese cat Caspar, obligingly putting people in touch with their lost ones, a bit of a lonely life. Particularly since her engineer husband, Graham, died suddenly from a heart attack three years ago.
‘He’s popped up a couple of times. People think I can get all my dead relatives round a coffee table and say hello, but it doesn’t work like that.’
And, er, given her ‘gift’, did she have any inkling something dreadful was going to happen?
‘Yes! We were sitting having dinner the night before and I had a very bad feeling and kept asking if he was feeling OK. But he said he was just tired. He was only 55.’
On top of that, her mother died last year: ‘I knew she wouldn’t make it until spring. I just knew.’
Royal prediction: Ms Field said she did a prediction for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and said that Kate is 'definitely having a boy'
June is a lovely lady — warm, kind and extremely house-proud. She doesn’t strike me as a fraud or headcase.
Which is why, back among the candles, invisible golden retrievers and unidentifiable dead relatives, I’m beginning to feel a bit desperate.
Until suddenly she asks: ‘Do you suffer from reflux and indigestion?’
Yes! Yes I do! Hallelulah! (Though I am nearly seven months pregnant, so it’s sort of par for the course.)
‘And sinus problems? And your teeth — you need to get your teeth fixed.’
Bingo! I’ve had a nightmare with my teeth recently — sleepless nights of agonising toothache. Thank goodness. Clearly, her Oriental angels have leapt to the rescue.
I should add that she also (correctly) says that my late father had two funeral services and was very clever and always busy, and that I don’t suffer fools gladly.
Because we’re on such a roll, I ask the sex of my unborn baby.
‘It’s a male — it has a blue energy. When I was in the Ukraine I did predictions for the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge.’
And? ‘Kate is definitely having a boy, too — she wasn’t even pregnant then, but I know I’m right.’
And finally, what about the money — the £19,000 prize money she was hoping to spend on her son, a new boiler and some time off?
It turns out that, somehow, thanks to a dodgy-sounding clause in the small print of her contract, STB can choose whether to pay out or not. And, in this case (rumour has it because she was not Ukrainian), they have chosen not to.
Poor June. What a blow.
Some — my cynical friends and colleagues included — might say that, as the World’s Greatest Psychic, she should have seen it coming. But I like to think it was just terrifically bad luck.
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