Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

These four bring the afterlife down to earth

They are performing at a benefit for Peekskill Herald on January 6
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The DeMystics from left: Theresa Turetzky, Karen Breslin, Jennifer Jiles, Priscilla Keresey. (Photo by Rana Faure)

Grandma’s Italian fig cookies. Gifts tied with Mom’s thick velvet ribbon. Lighting an heirloom Hanukah menorah. A New Year’s Eve toast from Dad. Memories of holidays past are sweet, but can also evoke feelings of sadness, especially for loved ones who have passed on and are sorely missed.

Four Peekskill-area mediums have made it their mission to convey the message that deceased loved ones are always with us. Loved ones know things about our day-to-day lives, root for us, and send messages of love, the four women say.

How do these women know this? Because they connect with the dead, providing specific details in their readings to prove that the loved ones they’re talking to are who they say they are.

Priscilla Keresey, Jen Jiles, Theresa Turetsky, and Karen Breslin are evidential mediums who work together as a team called The DeMystics. An evidential medium, a relatively new term in the psychic industry, according to Keresey, provides specific details about the spirit they’re connecting with to confirm their identity. The evidence could be the deceased person’s name, physical appearance or attributes when they were alive, personality, how they died, little-known information about a past incident or event, or a message that only the person at the reading would understand.

 

It’s serious business connecting with those in the afterlife but the DeMystics don’t let that get in the way of their senses of humor. This photo was taken at the Putnam Valley Grange Hall where they did a few shows. (Photo by Rana Faure)

As interest in psychic mediumship has grown among mainstream consumers, the group aims to demystify, educate and demonstrate about connecting with the spirit world. The DeMystics give readings privately, or at public shows, similar to that of renowned TV mediums Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, or John Edward. The DeMystics’ shows are popular, including Psychic Sundays, which they present once a month in Peekskill at the Flatiron Building.

“People are looking for connection with their loved ones,” said Jiles. “The pandemic happened and people were isolated and not as busy. They started looking inside themselves, had more time on their hands, and felt a need for connection with loved ones.”

Belief in mediumship is much more prevalent now, she added, and more people around the world believe it.

The psychic services industry has grown steadily as more consumers accept the concept, according to research from IBISWorld. Over the past five years, demand has grown for psychic readings, along with a long-term shift in consumer perceptions of mediums, the group says.

Samantha Healy of Cortlandt Manor is one of those consumers who has found comfort in consulting with mediums. Healy was always interested, but became more intrigued after the death of her father four years ago. “I felt like I wanted to still be connected with him,” she said. “I’ve been to many mediums and my deceased grandmother always comes through, and usually brings a lot of people with her.” Healy has also connected with an aunt, with details so specific from the DeMystics about the aunt’s wardrobe that could only be attributed to her, she said.

Healy especially likes readings from the DeMystics because she said their information is heavily evidence-based. For example, the mediums provide details about the spirit they’re connecting with a specificity that only Healy would know. “Their details are so specific,” she said. She recalled how the DeMystics knew her dad’s name was Walter, with no prompting from her. Although they were slightly off on other family member names — “Bessie” and “Johnna” who they interpreted as “Betsy” and “Gina” — Healy was still convinced it was proof.

In a recent reading, Healy added, the DeMystics referenced a handprint that was made in cement when a house was being built that no one would’ve known besides her. (Photo by Debby Lowe)

Long-time medium Keresey has been doing this work since she was a teen, and professionally for the past 25 years. Passionate about her work, she refers to it as a skill rather than a gift, because she said that everyone has a sixth sense and can learn to access and practice it.

“I’m convinced that we all have a sixth sense,” she said. “Call it a hunch, a gut feeling, ESP, or women’s intuition; it’s an antenna that we all have. Animals and plants have it, too. Within that sixth sense are different channels through which we can receive information, through pictures, smell, taste, sound. Everyone has it.”

“Sometimes it’s not as dramatic as avoiding a car accident because you chose to take a different route home, but a sense of, ‘I’m going to go to the mall before I get gas. Or a decision that we make quickly and don’t ponder.”

Not only does everyone have a sixth sense, said Keresey, but all can learn to better use it. The process teaches people to operate with more confidence and discernment, she added.

The group did a fundraiser for Let It Shine in Verplanck in the Fall.

“None of us mediums were touched on the head by a guru,” she said with a smile. “We learned the skill. The most amazing thing about what we do is making the supernatural natural.”

As a mediumship teacher, Keresey taught the other three members of the DeMystics to access and practice their sixth sense. Jiles said she began seeing a medium after a series of losses, and eventually signed up for Keresey’s classes. When Jiles met fellow students Turetsky and Breslin, the four became friends and decided to form the DeMystics to meet the need for psychic medium services.

The group is pursuing a paranormal TV talk show, according to Jiles, an actress, and theater, film, and TV producer. “We have a paranormal talk show in the works. It’s like a John Edward show crossed with The View. We’re in the process of selling it.”

Jiles hopes that this show will educate even more people about the idea that loved ones are always present. “They’re not dead. Their body is gone as you knew it, but a person’s life goes on. There’s a thin veil between us and the spirit world. It’s a matter of raising your vibration and being in a place where you can communicate with them,” she said.

“It’s comforting and healing to know your spirit people are there giving you love,” she added.

Keresey does readings for people who come once a year or several times to connect with their loved ones. “More than half of my clients have been to mediums before and aren’t necessarily visiting one to get closure or be at peace. So many clients want a yearly phone call with Dad. A greater number of people are doing it as a regular communication in response to a deep grief.”

Whatever the reason, the DeMystics want people to know that they’re here to demystify the process. “It’s fun to think of psychic mediumship as a super-spiritual sacred thing,” said Keresey, “We bring it down to earth.”

The DeMystics frequently donate their services to help community organizations with fundraisers. They also helped Healy with a fundraiser for the Walter Panas Parent Club and did a benefit show for Let It Shine in Verplanck last Fall.

 

Wendy Healy is a freelance journalist who began her career at the Peekskill Evening Star. 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Contributor
Wendy Healy, Feature Writer
Feature writer Wendy Healy began her reporting career at the Peekskill Evening Star, the daily newspaper that covered life in Peekskill until 1985 when it was purchased by the Gannett newspaper chain and moved to Yorktown. Healy went on to a career in journalism and communications and is returning to Peekskill at the other end of her career to write feature stories about the fascinating people who call Peekskill home.