Lisa Williams didn’t grow up wanting to be a psychic, nor did she have any desire to spend her life speaking with the dead.
But when she was 19 and living in a small town in England, her grandmother did a reading and told her that she would continue her work one day in the United States and be famous.
“I went, ‘Yeah, OK,’ and did not believe a word that she spoke,” she said. “The next thing I knew, she died, surprising us all, and I continued with her work. I certainly didn’t expect it. ... I think I realized that I always had this ability; that I could communicate with loved ones that have crossed over. I just didn’t know the technicalities of how it all happened.”
Williams said the first instance she used her ability was when she predicted that a friend’s boyfriend was cheating on her, which turned out to be true. Once that happened, she said it all just fell into place.
Williams, who has been working in the states since the early 2000s, will bring her show, “Voices from the Other Side,” to the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University at 8 p.m. on Nov. 20. Williams will be giving live readings to members of the audience throughout the show. Mediums purportedly are able to act as a conduit between the living and the dead.
In 2004, Williams came to the United States to do a reading for a recording artist and found herself attending a meeting with famed TV host Merv Griffin, who decided that he wanted her to have a show.
While it took about two years for Williams’ show to come about, it was eventually picked up by Lifetime, helping build its popularity. She said she didn’t know what to make of the whole situation.
“It was kind of on the shelf until two producers picked it up, and then I was on Lifetime and I was on Oprah and everything else,” Williams said. “It was kind of cool, this little girl from England. I was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy.’”
In 2006, the Lifetime network produced “Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead,” which aired for two seasons. She also had “Lisa Williams: Voices from the Other Side,” and “Lisa Williams Live.” She has also written books, “Life Among the Dead” and “The Survival of the Soul,” and is working on another one about soul mates and soul connections.
As well as performing in front of live audiences worldwide, Williams also offers workshops and courses in “mediumship,” developing psychic ability, intuition and meditation. In 2013, she launched the Lisa Williams International School of Spiritual Development, through which she delivers her classes with her own unique and very hands-on method of teaching.
While Williams said she can’t teach someone to be a medium if they don’t have the natural ability, she can teach anyone to be a psychic.
“It is quite interesting when (my students) come to me and say, ‘I want to be just like you,’ and I’m like ‘OK, I’m a bit weird, but if you want to be like me, good, we’ll try to make it happen,’” she said. “I can’t just teach someone who has never done anything at all, all of a sudden to be the world’s best psychic. But if you have the ability and you are willing to work at it, hey, I can teach you. I can teach someone to be psychic – that’s easy because we’re all psychic. ... I just can’t teach someone to speak to dead people, you’ve either got it or you haven’t.”
Williams acknowledges that what she does is a little bit out of the ordinary — her own father didn’t believe she was actually speaking with the dead until he was on tour with her in Australia. Even though it’s a strange concept for the audience to wrap their heads around, she said if someone is curious about it, they should go. But if they don’t believe, they won’t enjoy the show, so it’s not worth the time or money.
“Look, there’s always an air of skepticism about anything that you do, just come and see for yourself,” she said. “If you want to experience it, come, if not, don’t, done, that’s it. I am a normal person, and I think that’s what hits people when I come out on stage. I have a laugh, and I have a laugh because I need to, because I’m connecting with dead people. Seriously, do you want to talk about death all day long? No, it’s depressing. So I like to have a real laugh. It’s not insensitive at all. What it is, is it’s (me) being authentic. This is who I am and this is what I do, and just being true to myself.”