Since 2006 Lisa Williams has been hosting her own cable TV show, Life Among the Dead, which airs in Australia on W. On 14th September the popular medium and clairvoyant spoke to me by telephone from her home in England.
It was the evening before my 40th birthday and I was hoping Lisa Williams would deliver a message from one of my dead relatives. I don’t know what I was expecting. A birthday greeting from the other side perhaps? A few choice words of wisdom from Uncle Jack? According to her autobiography, Lisa had been delivering messages from the dead to complete strangers in supermarkets and on the street, for many years and I knew from reading Lisa’s book that her gift could extend over telephone wires. So what’s the problem? After reading Life Among the Dead, I really wanted to believe that this lady was the real deal. I wanted a sign from beyond the grave. But what I got instead was a nice chat with a bright and bubbly TV personality.
I can’t see her face but I can tell by the tone of her voice that Lisa Williams is smiling. She’s happy and she’s about to embark on a tour of Australia and New Zealand. Although her husband and son will remain at home in England, Lisa’s parents will be traveling with her on this occasion. They were there when she saw her first ghost at the age of three. They dismissed her visions as just a vivid imagination but now they know better.
Lisa Williams didn’t always welcome the intrusion of spirits into her world. As Lisa wrote in her memoir, Life Among the Dead: ‘I wanted to be like other girls, not different, so once again I dealt with it by trying to ignore it. I ignored the faces that came through the walls. I ignored the chatter in my head. I ignored the vivid dreams. I ignored the quirky feelings I picked up as I went about my day. I even ignored the pains in my legs that kicked in whenever something bad was going to happen.’ (p. 16)
In high school Lisa dreamed of becoming a physical education teacher but her grades were not good enough for university admission. She found some level of satisfaction working as a fitness instructor and then as a singer in London. But as she explained in her memoir, her talents lie elsewhere and eventually Lisa drifted towards a career as a medium and clairvoyant.
At 24 Lisa was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and although the treatment was successful, she would continue to have problems with her reproductive system for years to come. Despite this, she did have one child in 2000, a son she named Charlie, before doctors advised her to have a hysterectomy in late 2005.
In her memoir Lisa recalled carrying her baby boy from house to house to perform readings for her clients. Her former partner (Charlie’s biological father) didn’t like her doing what he called ‘witchy stuff’ in the house. At the time she thought this was unreasonable. But later, after a few frightening encounters with unfriendly spirits, including an attempted sexual assault, Lisa would decide on her own to stop doing readings at home.
Lisa said, “The majority of the spirits are funny and very positive. If they had a funny personality in life that’s how they come through. I sometimes get spooked but the negative stuff is very few and far between. I love what I do and I love the gift that I have.”
Lisa was not the first in her family to see dead people, her maternal grandmother was considered by many to be a very gifted medium and clairvoyant. Although he is proud of his daughter, Lisa says her father remains sceptical of her chosen profession. “Mum is a believer but Dad is a fierce atheist and questions everything.”
Of course if mediums like Lisa Williams really are receiving messages from the other side, you have to wonder how this impacts on their personal life. Lisa says she can switch it off when she needs a break, but sometimes the spirits still come through.