When she was 7 years old, Lisa Williams began receiving messages, inside her brain, from the dead. A decade would go by before she realized that it was a special gift, hers and hers alone; as a child, she’d thought everybody could do it.
Still, there was a bit of family history: Williams’ grandmother was Frances Glazebrook, a medium well–known in their native Great Britain. Grandmum had looked into Lisa’s future and told her she’d be famous in America one day.
Now 36 and based in California, Williams is one of the world’s best–known clairvoyants, thanks to her Lifetime TV series Voices From the Other Side and Life Among the Dead.
Williams is a chirpy, articulate woman, with no stereotypical hint of the grave about her: She has a Princess Diana hairstyle, and in conversation, she could pass for a pop star, or the effervescent host of a mid–morning chat show.
See for yourself when she brings her Voices From the Other Side tour to the Johnny Mercer Theatre Friday, Oct. 23. In this two–hour event, Williams will relay messages from the spirit world to select audience members.
She says she’ll spend the hour before showtime meditating, absorbing everything that comes to her from the other side. When she takes the stage, she’ll be ready. You don’t have to do anything. She will find you.
Does one have to be a believer for this to work?
Lisa Williams: I think you have to have an open mind somewhat. You don’t necessarily have to believe. I’ve actually done many shows where I’ve read for a skeptic, and they have actually come back and said “You know, I didn’t believe.” Which is fine. I’ve read for cynics, and they very much want to find a flaw in what you say. So cynics are a totally different thing.
In most shows, I will read for a skeptic and they will openly admit there and then, in front of 2,000 people, that they are a skeptic. And that I’ve changed their mind. My father was a skeptic, and he’s just spent the last three weeks on tour with me in Australia and New Zealand. He came up to me after the Melbourne show and went “I don’t know what you did to me tonight, but I’m believin’ ya!”
Are there always spirits there knocking on your door, all the time, or do you have to channel it and bring it in?
Lisa Williams: There are times when I will be walking down the street and just think “I’m sensing something.” But a lot of the time, certainly when I’m focused on other things, I can switch it on and off like a light switch. I think that’s probably the easiest thing to explain it. But most of the time, I do try to get into that space. Certainly before a show, I concentrate on getting into that space.
But when I’m going about in my everyday things – I’m a mum, and a wife, of course I’ve got friends, I run a business, and everything else – I don’t always have it switched on, because it can control you. It can overtake you. So I really have this philosophy: I control it, it doesn’t control me.
When you’ve got it switched off, is it like e–mails backing up, and then when you turn the switch on, there’s a hundred e–mails you have to deal with? Or is it always there hovering?
Lisa Williams: It’s always there hovering, and I do turn it on like a tap. But I try not to allow it to be a part of my everyday life, my home life. But there are times when I’ve been at dinner with my husband and then suddenly I will have this conversation with what looks to you like thin air. And my husband will say “OK, so who’s here?” and I’ll say “Oh, I just need to pass on a message.” I always have a notebook with me, and I write these messages down.
And it just happens? You get a message when, say, the waiter passes by your table?
Lisa Williams: It’s actually happened, and I’m quite embarrassed about it. My husband will say “What was that?” and I will say “Well, his grandmother or whatever it may be has just passed away, and he’s just had a new tattoo for her ...” And then, my husband is the one that pulls them over! He’ll say “Excuse me, I need to just ask you something ...” Because his curiosity gets the better of him. Coming out to dinner with us can be quite funny.
Are you always right? I’m sure there are moments where you either misunderstand it, or something doesn’t exactly fire on all pistons?
Lisa Williams: Sure, there are times when maybe I misinterpret a message, or misunderstand what I’m seeing. But I suppose I have to go with the feedback I get, which is 99 percent positive. I have a lot of people I read for in an audience, and they’ll e–mail me afterwards and say “You said this, and you said that, and I couldn’t relate to that but I went home and did my homework, and now it means this, and I understand what you were saying.”
Obviously it’s down to interpretations of messages, which is the key. But the majority of times people come back and say “You were spot on.”
Is it just a feeling? Do you have a physical image in your mind? What sort of form does it take?
Lisa Williams: I get it in three different ways. I get these feelings – maybe the feeling that someone’s had cancer, or that someone’s had a blood transfusion ... and then I get to see the physical side. So I may see how they passed. I may see what’s going on in that person’s life. I may see the spirit.
But then I will also hear the information. Personally, I would rather have the hearing because I can get more detail, I can ask more questions, and they can give me answers.
Having all three is really great. Then I have the choice of how the spirit wants to communicate with me. Because not every spirit wants to communicate verbally. Not every spirit wants to communicate through their vision. So I’m glad that I’ve got all three.
Are they around us all the time, or do they just come through you?
Lisa Williams: They come through me when they need to. And they’re actually with us when we need them. You know, there is a kind of unwritten rule that they don’t watch everything we do. They’re not with us in the bathroom, or whatever.
Thanks for saying that.
Lisa Williams: Yeah, that’s OK. There are times with me in the bathroom, but not you!
In a reading, it’s quite interesting, because I’ll come out and say to somebody, “Before you came out here tonight, you got changed three times. And you should have worn the blue top, not the red top. That’s what your father’s telling you.” And she’ll go “Oh my God – my father was watching me change?” I’ll say “He just wanted to prove that he was there.” They’ll give me silly little snippets of your life.
We all have a spirit guide. A spirit who actually is with us all the time. But these aren’t normally the people we know in life. You know when sometimes you have a gut reaction, or you have an instinct, or you just know something? That’s when your spirit guide as such, who is helping you through life, will just put something into you.
Lisa, do you understand it, in your heart of hearts?
Lisa Williams: I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. It’s so big. It’s such a vast thing. I understand what I can do. I understand what I know about. I understand the processes of life after death. But you know, I’m still learning.
I think anyone in my profession – or just anyone – who says “I know it all,” they’re lying. Because it’s such a huge subject, and there’s so many different facets of it, I don’t think anyone will ever really understand the whole workings of it. cs
Lisa Williams: Voices From the Other Side
Where: Johnny Mercer Theatre, Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.
When: At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23
Tickets: $45–$65 at www.etix.com
Phone: (800) 351–7469
See also: www.lisawilliams.com