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Psychic John Edward explores the spiritual world in Las Vegas.
Photo: PR (John Edward)
Believers and the curious will fill the Flamingo Las Vegas showroom on December 6 to hear from psychic medium John Edward, hoping they will be chosen to receive messages from those who have “crossed over to the other side.” For more than 20 years, Edward has used his books, television shows, and live appearances to—as he contends—help connect people with spirits, cope with unresolved issues, and offer assurances that life continues after death.
After watching Edward’s TV shows and listening to him answer callers on CNN’s Larry King Live, I was fascinated. I even admit to visiting a psychic once upon a time, an experience that was factual enough to creep me out a bit. When I saw Edward in action at the Flamingo during a recent show, I expected to be entertained, but also hoped for the “big answer.” I thought, “Is this guy the real deal?”
Exploring life’s tragedies doesn’t sync with the usual glitz and glamour you find in the entertainment capital of the world, so why Vegas? “People travel from all over the world to come to my events,” Edward says during a recent telephone interview. He views Southern Nevada as an accessible, easy-to-reach hub and says Vegas makes his show more of an “entertainment experience.”
He’s not concerned if his group readings are perceived as show biz. “I don’t really care what people think,” he says. “Crossing Over was on the Sci-Fi Channel, and I’ve [also] worked close to Broadway, but it has not rubbed off. No one has nominated me for a Tony.” Edward has the same nonchalant manner on stage. Dressed in Levi’s and a casual shirt, the psychic’s only prop is a microphone. He wanders freely, calling on people to participate in a reading. “It’s an energetic kind of communication,” he says. “It’s not like I see [dead] people.”
Sometimes showgoers get emotional in response to what they are hearing, as was the case when I attended. You could hear the gasp when details emerged about an audience member’s friend who was murdered by his father. A high school football coach was obviously under duress and attending the show at his wife’s urging. He and Edward argued at length about a picture on the wall of the coach’s office in order to establish whether the psychic was tuned into the coach. Edward also spent considerable time pursuing a connection to the RMS Titanic. He says he can’t move on until he resolves such nagging questions and delivers the message.
During our interview, the psychic recalls a reading in 1990 when he told a woman her ex-husband had died in a car wreck. She argued that it was not possible and that he was very much alive. The exchange became confrontational, but Edward later received an apologetic letter. The man’s family had not notified her about the accident.
Edward believes everyone has psychic abilities that can be honed through awareness, but kids come naturally equipped. “All kids under 12 are open to intuition,” he says. “My six-year-old son, Justin, has done some amazing things. Neither my son nor my wife knew my mother, who was called Princess by her grandfather.” On the anniversary of her passing, Edward says, Justin felt her presence, smiled, and said “Princess” for no apparent reason. As far as his own mortality goes, Edward says the process of dying isn’t appealing. “It doesn’t entice me, but I don’t worry about it,” he says. “Also, I don’t dwell on it.”
Edward is an exceptional motivational speaker, and the show is fascinating, but I wanted more out of our phone conversation. I asked him if he would validate something personal in my life so that I could report that in my experience he is the real deal. Citing journalistic reasons, Edward said, “Absolutely not.” It wasn’t the answer I was looking for, but I haven’t lost interest in the great beyond.
Psychic John Edward performs December 6 in the Flamingo Las Vegas showroom. Show time is 11 a.m., and tickets are $182.65, which includes tax. 702-733-3333, harrahs.com
EDWARD ON GAMING
Does his psychic ability give him an inside track in Vegas casinos? “I do like to indulge in table games,” Edward says. “I’m a fan of craps, roulette, and blackjack, but do not follow me. I’m no help. As soon as someone recognizes me, the energy will change and a player will throw a seven. It’s not scientifically documented, but it has become a joke among my family and friends.”