Psychic Fair offers insights for skeptics and believers alike | New

CHESTERFIELD, Ind. – A recent visitor to a psychic fair at Camp Chesterfield hesitantly sat down for a 10-minute session with a reader and was told she was going to get pregnant soon.

“She doubted it a lot,” recalls Mary Ann Armstrong, a volunteer who helps organize the weekly psychic fairs at the camp cafeteria in the small town of Chesterfield.

“She came back today, though, and guess what?” She is pregnant. We do not know. It’s all in the hands of God, the hands of the spirit, and that’s what we do.

Connections like these are a big reason why Armstrong and other spiritually-minded people host the sessions, which take place weekly for most of the year, except for a winter break. She said those who sign up for psychic readings range from skeptics to those eager to discuss a range of spiritual topics.

“People who are new, they come in and we explain to them that everyone here … is clairvoyant, which means they speak or touch with spirit in some way,” Armstrong said. “By coming here and getting a reading, you can get healing out of it. You may be missing someone, and that person may drop by and give you a message.

Armstrong and others are far from alone in their beliefs. According to a recent Gallup survey, more than a quarter of Americans believe people possess psychic abilities, including the ability to see into the future. Others also believe in extrasensory perception, mind reading, and the ability to communicate with the dead.

“Some people understand; some people don’t understand,” said Becky Bruns, one of the organizers of the psychic fair. “Some believe; some don’t. It’s a spiritual thing.

Depending on how many readers are available — on Saturday about 10 attended, and Armstrong said some weeks up to 12 sign up for consultations — fairs can last up to three or four hours.

With political controversy swirling and many concerned about uncertainty over world events and economic turmoil, some of the readers at Saturday’s fair said it made sense for people to seek spiritual guidance through psychic readings.

“There are people who are at some point in their life, things just don’t seem to be going well,” said Reverend Terry Ryan, a member of the Indiana Association of Spiritualists. “They want to know what might happen next in their life, or they’re looking for guidance, really, on where they are now and what’s next.”

After each 10-minute interval, Armstrong rang a bell, signaling those present that it was time to switch drives. Depending on the number of readings each person paid for, attendees could meet multiple readers.

“They can see as many people as they want,” Armstrong said. “That’s the whole idea, so they can go from person to person and get to know them and then they can come back throughout the week or even later in the day and see them at the camp.”

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