Glasgow, Scotland- Although Gordon Smith is a highly gifted psychic and medium, he does not like that he is known as the “psychic barber”. He states that it makes it really difficult to do his daily job, such as giving haircuts, blow-dries, and shaves. “People sit down in my barber’s shop, in the West End of Glasgow, and say ‘I lost my mother last year’. I say ‘Sorry to hear that, but how much do you want off the top?’ I haven’t got the time or the energy to be a spirit messenger 24 hours a day,” he confesses.
However much he wishes to be left alone so that he can do his job, the spirits will not listen. They never cease to make contact with him. “ I was lathering up a man for a shave,” he says, “when a woman came through. She was so real. But I didn’t want to give the man a message from the other side- I had a razor at his neck. When I finished his shave, I said, ‘Do you know a Judy? She says thank you for the lollipops’. It was his wife. He visited her grave the week before- and the child left three lollipops.”
People who have interacted with Smith will tell you that he deserves the title he has earned- “most accurate medium in Britain”. He earned this title due to his unique ability to give accurate names, usually middle names, and even addresses- something most other mediums are unable to do. He is aware that he needs to prove his authenticity to people and not leave any doubts in their minds. He recalls a séance he attended once where the spirit messenger was forwarding messages from Danny La Rue. “Danny La Rue wasn’t even dead. That just makes me laugh,” he says.
Mediums have a lot of tricks up their sleeves for acquiring information about people and then using it to convince them that they are a real medium. For example, a lot of mediums have been known to look through church registers for names and addresses of patrons and some go out of their way to disguise themselves as avid churchgoers so that they can socialize with and make the acquaintance of fellow patrons in order to learn valuable personal information and gossip about each other, they then use this personal information to deceive them. Some have even stooped so low as to study and learn about church groups by going through their credit card purchases. People trust the name Gordon Smith though; he never employs any of those tactics. People can feel his authenticity when he begins talking to them.
He is so highly sought after for his psychic gifts that he doesn’t even need to work at his barbershop. He could completely give it up and just charge people for his work as a medium. That is not like him though; he refuses to charge anyone for his gift. “I want to use my gift to help people. Besides, whenever I need money, it arrives. Like the day I was having trouble with my mortgage repayments- that was the same day I won £3,000 in the casino. It’s what I call ‘pennies from heaven’.” He does not want to make a living off his special abilities, he just wants to run his barbershop and help people on the side.
Smith has performed medium demonstrations in the past. Anytime he holds a demonstration, there is always a huge turnout. People line up around the block to attend his demonstrations because they can tell he is genuine, unlike a lot of other medium demonstrations.
During his demonstrations and anytime he makes appearances pertaining to mediumship, he wears a red neckerchief given to him by the holy child of Tibet underneath his shirt. Along with being given the neckerchief by the holy child, he also received a vow from him. The vow can only be used when Smith is about to die and guarantees him life after death.
Smith has had his gift ever since he was a young boy living with his family. He began by seeing dead people. The first spirit he ever saw was that of an old family friend named Ummy. He saw Ummy walk down the road and mouth ‘I’m in Dalbeth’. “I went dashing in to tell my mother, but she said ‘Stop imagining things’. I later learned that Ummy had died, and they had buried him- one week earlier- in Dalbeth cemetery,” he says.
As Smith grew older, his psychic abilities became stronger. He kept experiencing little psychic phenomena throughout every stage of his life. For example, one night he felt his bed move, another time he was able to accurately predict the text of a letter that arrived the next day. Of the experiences he says; “Mostly I kept quiet about it. I was aware that my mother had seven children- the last thing she needed was some wacko kid saying that ‘so-and-so is here, and he wants to speak to you’. Eventually I shut up altogether.”
One night however, his psychic experience was so strong that he could not keep it to himself- his decision to share this experience forever changed his life. “I saw my friend, Brian, in the bedroom. So I turned to wake my wife. Brian had died, in a fire, the very second I saw his image. His sister asked me to join her at a Spiritualist church and, as soon as I walked in, a woman insisted I was psychic. She said that within five years I would be recognized as a medium. And she was right.”
He feels that his psychic abilities are an asset for the most part, but other times, they are more like a liability. It’s hard for him to be out in public and have personal time to himself. “I’ll be relaxing down the pub, and someone will want a sitting. That’s dangerous. With drink in you, you start to gush. So I don’t do it any more,” he says. He now knows better than to mingle his spirits together.
Smith knows that the people who come to him in hopes of contacting a deceased loved one are in a very emotional state and that he needs to have tact and sensitivity with them when relaying messages. As he says; “Mediumship requires a sensitivity. Like when people have died a horrendous death. The families always ask ‘Did they feel anything?’ Chances are they did, but I say no anyway. Some mediums milk a situation like that. They say ‘I can see the car skidding.’ But I don’t. As a parent myself I would hate for somebody to describe my child’s death in that kind of detail.”
He also regrets the fact that he cannot always give the family the closure they were hoping for. Sometimes he can, but not always. There have also been times when the family members of deceased loved ones actually resent him for his gift. For example, he met with a couple who had a 15-year-old daughter that had been stabbed in the playground of a school. She was able to crawl to her house but when the father saw her, he removed the knife from her back and she bled to death. “I established contact with the daughter, but the mother was livid. She said ‘How dare you talk to her? When I can’t?’ It was awful,” he recalls.
He describes what his medium demonstrations are like, comparing them to a sort of “psychic bingo”. He said that there is always a sea of faces just waiting for their chance to speak to him. When he enters the medium realm, his conscious mind leaves him, his eyes go out of focus, and a sepia tone takes over everything he sees. When in this state, he looks very strange, and he understands why this would scare his own mother.
Smith wastes no time when the demonstrations begin. He begins talking to himself- or at least that’s what it seems like. It is actually not himself that he is talking to though, it is the spirit world that he is communicating back and forth with. He describes it as a feeling of being “pulled” by the spirits; they are all trying to get his attention because they all want him to relate messages to people in the audience. The conversations go something like this; “Really? That’s interesting. All right. I’ll tell her. Bless you. That lady in the front row- someone’s telling me you’re having terrible trouble with your feet.”
To us, messages like those don’t seem to mean anything, but that is one of the difficulties with being a medium- the messages that the spirits are giving Smith to relay never really seem to bear any important information that can be of any real benefit to us. For example, he never gets the winning numbers to a large lottery, or answers to life’s biggest questions such as “why are we here?” Mostly, the messages are just to let someone know that everything is ok so that they can put people at ease. He finds that the most common message he relays is simply “I want you to know I’m fine.”
When communicating with spirits, Smith doesn’t always get a name from them. Instead of making up a common name, he tries to describe them; “I’m in the Abbey National. I’m playing the acoustic guitar,” is an example of something he has said out loud before in an effort to find the person who this spirit wants to talk to- if nobody responds to that, he drops it and moves on to the next message.
Another example is once when he was doing the demonstration, he said, “I’m in- I can’t pronounce it- but it ends in gogogoch,” and a woman in the audience let’s out a shriek, apparently that means something to her. Then he says, “Ellen sends her love” and she shrieks again since she knows who Ellen is.
Aside from verbal communication with the spirits, Smith also makes a physical connection with them and can feel what they felt right before they passed away. For example, he once met a spirit that died of gangrene and he felt an awful pain in his foot. Once he felt like he had a terrible pain in his lungs and discovered that the spirit died of tuberculosis. “I can often sense my body becoming paralyzed. I get a numbness for a second. That tells me the spirit suffered a heart attack or a stroke. Or a brain tumor. If I get a pain in my chest, it was usually cancer. It’s no surprise that the demonstrations are so tiring,” he says.
Smith knows that the demonstration is coming to an end once his focus comes back and he begins to feel normal again. The audience always applauds him with all their might, showing that they were very impressed with his gift. They begin to chat loudly and excitedly amongst themselves. While he is gathering his thoughts, he hears some of the things the people say- once he heard a woman say to another woman, “He’s got the gift alright. No one could argue with what happened tonight.” This is a common response to what they have just experienced during his demonstration.
As flattering as that sounds though, he knows it isn’t a fact- there are a large number of people who can and will argue whether he has the gift or not. For some people, it is very difficult to believe something that they cannot understand or have not experienced for themselves. Once these people actually speak to a medium in a personalized setting though, they are more qualified to judge him; otherwise, it does not affect Smith. At the same time, he acknowledges that he is not always right, he relays what he hears but if it doesn’t mean anything to anyone, he apologizes and moves on, never pushing the issue further.
Smith has a large fan base in Australia; the people there seem to love him and cannot get enough of him and his gift. He will be traveling there in the near future so that he can promote his new book. The last time he was there, he was asked to foretell the gender of six unborn babies (inside of their pregnant mothers bellies of course) and he predicted every single one of them correctly. The mothers were blown away, along with the rest of the audience in attendance. He laughs about how even though he can blow strangers away with his gift and accuracy, he can’t seem to impress his own son. “Once I correctly identified a stranger as Michael Hutchence’s brother. When I told my son, he said, ‘Yeah Dad, cool. Can I have some money?’” Smith doesn’t mind though, he says, “Living in Glasgow, and working as a barber- it’s the best way to keep my feet on the ground.”
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