The talking dead

Mediums Lisa Williams and Cindy Kaza bring supernatural powers to Funny Bone

Photo: Lisa Williams is a psychic medium, as was her grandmother

By Paula Johnson

Lisa Williams is the perfect ambassador for the dead. She’s effusive, warm, vivacious, and filled with mirth, humor, and compassion. In short, the opposite of death. She saw her first dead person at age 4. Cindy Kaza saw hers at 10, and describes it as very much like the film “The Sixth Sense.” Kaza has studied mediumship (the ability to communicate with the dead) and psychic ability—yes, there’s a school for that—at The Arthur Findlay School of Intuitive Sciences in Stansted, England. The two met at the psychic colony Lily Dale in New York. They will be appearing together at The Funny Bone in Dayton on Sept. 20. The show will feature each working individually with the audience for about 45 minutes apiece, and then together at the end. According to Williams, though their abilities and what they do are similar, their approach is quite different, making for quite a lively audience experience.

I wanted to ask them both some questions about how they work, and how it—the gift of being able to communicate—works.

You’ve both described that you get information in a multi-sensory way. Can you elaborate?

Cindy Kaza: I receive the information through feeling, seeing, and hearing, but it is entirely subtler than what people may think. The feeling is called clairsentience. For example, if somebody on the other side passed of a heart attack, I may feel chest pain… but mostly I can feel the personalities of people on the other side. Clairvoyance is the seeing aspect of how I receive the information, but I don’t see people who have passed, standing right in front of me like I’d be looking at you. It comes to me like a flash, a memory or an impression. So if you were to think of an image of your loved one in your mind, that’s how I see. The hearing aspect is called clairaudience. It’s not external auditory hearing, like when you’re having a conversation with someone in the office. It’s very much like if you were to sing the words to your favorite song in your head. That’s how I hear.

Lisa Williams: Yes, I hear things, I see things, I use taste and smell. I use everything. I get information in a variety of ways. Sometimes they (the spirits) will drop a word for me to tie things all together. Basically I blend with the spirits—I become spirits. I become a true sort of energy for them to deliver messages.

Can you turn it off and on at will? Is it scary?

CK: Yes, I can absolutely turn it on and off. I don’t walk around talking to dead people all day! No, I am not afraid of my ability. I am more afraid of living people than I am afraid of people on the other side!

LW: [laughing] Oh my gosh, yes, I turn it on and off at will! I have to, and I’ve learned to, or I’d go crazy. It’s fulfilling and I feel very honored to be doing what I do, so no, it’s not scary.

Does everyone have psychic ability and can you teach people to develop it? 

CK: I think everyone has the ability, to a degree. I always say, “Everyone can play the piano, but not everyone’s going to be a concert pianist.” Yes, people can learn to develop both their psychic abilities and their mediumistic abilities. There is a difference between the two. Psychics pick up on past, present, and future, and mediums communicate with those who have passed away. Not all psychics have the same level of mediumistic ability.

LW: I can work with people to have it—there’s an element of us all being psychic, and we use our psychic senses to do this work. As for being a medium, it’s like being a singer—we can all sing so we can all see spirits and connect with spirits, whether they are our loved ones or someone else’s, but depending on how much you can develop that will depend on whether or not, or how far, we can develop our singing talents. It also depends on your belief system and whether you are a skeptic or whether you have faith in your abilities.

What is the afterlife like? Are the dead watching us like a two-way mirror in a police interrogation room? Are our pets there?

CK: I do believe there are many layers or levels on the other side. I believe there is a soul progression there as well… meaning I believe that your actions here on Earth will have an impact on your experience in the afterlife… I do believe our loved ones can see us clearly. They are aware of what we’re doing. Pets come through as well! Some people want to talk to their pets more than their parents!

LW: I like to say that they’re watching us, and I like to say it’s like they come down into our vibrations. We are in a human world and that makes it difficult—they don’t have the body, they don’t have the physicality. But they come down to us when we need them. That’s when they show you the signs that they are around. Naturally, it’s different when you come for a reading with a medium. Absolutely on the pets! I can’t tell you how many dogs, cats, donkeys, furry things I get!

There are notorious fakes in your industry who scam people out of money. How can you spot a fake?

CK: A lot of the fraudulence that has been associated with this industry comes from people who claim to be able to present physical phenomena during a reading, i.e. table tipping, moving objects without touching them, trance mediumship, etc.… I am always skeptical of physical mediumship but it does exist… it is just very rare. If you have to go into a reading and somebody demands the room be pitch black, I would say there’s fraudulence there.

LW: You know, there are a lot of people who want to make a quick buck of course, but I would say you have to go with someone you are authentically drawn to and have a connection with.

Can you discuss how predicting someone’s future intersects with the idea of free will? Is our future set in stone, or can what you tell someone set them on a different path?

CK: Psychics can see things to come in the future, but everybody does have free will. God gave us free will. Free will is specific to the human being. I do believe this life is a like a giant test. We can’t have the answers to the test while taking it. You know that saying, “God will give you the same lesson over and over again until you actually learn it”? The lesson may be presented to a person in several different ways, and each time, the person has a choice (free will) how to respond to this lesson. Sometimes, psychics can help point out the lesson or see what’s to come. Psychics can deliver the information they’re seeing, but people have the free will to change their actions or take a different path.

LW: I always say that if we’re supposed to do things in our life, we’re going to do them. I wouldn’t say anything is set in stone, but I would say although we have free will, we get led back to the things we have to do. You can keep trying and fight it, but when you do surrender you are going to be put back on the path that you’re supposed to be on.

Finally, what message do you have for people who have lost someone?

CK: The most common questions that I, as a medium, am asked are: 1. Is my loved one OK? 2. Can my loved one see me and hear me? 3. Is my loved one with others on the other side? The answer to all of these questions is ABSOLUTELY. Your loved ones are only a thought away.

Lisa Williams and Cindy Kaza will be at the Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St., on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The show is $30 for ages 18 and up. For more information, please call 937.429.5233 or visit Dayton.FunnyBone.com.

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Paula Johnson
Dayton City Paper Dining Critic Paula Johnson would like every meal to start with a champagne cocktail and end with chocolate soufflé. As long as there’s a greasy burger and fries somewhere in the middle. Talk food with Paula at PaulaJohnson@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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