I'd like to introduce you to ghost whisperer Maureen Hancock, author of the new book, The Medium Next Door.
An Interview with Maureen Hancock
1. How did you first realize you had the ability to communicate with the dearly departed?
As a child, I had lead paint poisoning and was in a coma. I spent three years in and out of Boston’s Children’s Hospital. When I came home from the hospital at the age of Five, I could see spirits roaming around my house. One of my sister's said they would take me back to the hospital if I kept talking about “The invisible people,” so I shut it off. Cut to 1992, I fell asleep at the wheel and broke several bones in my face, including a fractured skull. After the accident, I didn't need any surgery and I believe my recently deceased grandmother was watching over me. I then started to hear voices from beyond while volunteering with cancer patients.
2. You are truly, “The Medium Next Door.” You’re a wife, mother of two young boys—a soccer mom with a twist. How do you explain what you do to your children and how do you balance family life with the demands of your work?
My children are very open to spirit and the work I do. When they were younger, they couldn’t understand why I left the house with amplifiers and microphones to do shows. When my younger son was Six, his teacher asked each of the students what their mother did for a living. My son proudly exclaimed, “My mother’s a rock star.” Now, we talk openly about spirits and their guardian angel in heaven—their cousin, Sean.
It’s not easy balancing my work and being home for the kids. My top priority is being here for my children. I make sure I’m home four nights a week, helping with homework, cooking and eating at the table (like when I grew up). Family time is so important. I do most of my non-profit work during the day when they are in school and perform to sold-out crowds three nights a week.
3. You are co-founder of two charities. Tell us about them.
"Seeds of Hope” is a foundation that provides support for those suffering with debilitating and terminal illnesses. We provide holistic healing support such as massage, Reiki hands on healing, reflexology and meditation. I help clients with their fears of death and help them pass with less pain and fear. We also support parents who have lost children through support groups and private sessions. This work is all offered free of charge.
My other non-profit is, “Mission for the Missing.” It was co-founded with a private detective two years ago. We offer help to families of children and adults who are missing and/or murdered. The detective is a ground-search coordinator and together we facilitate large-scale searches incorporating the efforts of many volunteer teams such as cadaver dogs, divers, horses, atv’s, Fish and Game, State Police, ground searchers and more. We also offer training scholarships to dogs for continuing education, as well as equipment needed for searches. I use my intuitive skills to assist in search efforts and receive calls from all over the country for assistance.
4. You help authorities in various cases, including missing children and adults. Tell us about that.
I receive requests from various parts of the country now on missing persons and murder cases. Currently, I’m assisting a female homicide detective in North Carolina on a few cases. More and more law enforcement divisions are opening up to using mediums and psychics to assist on cases, especially when the case goes cold. I also belong to a few private investigative associations in New England, and assist on cold cases. I’ve also helped find missing dogs and worked on a missing horse case (who loses a horse?)
5. Tell us about your work with parents who have lost children. We understand you don't charge for these private sessions.
Other than my work with the sick and dying, helping parents who’ve lost children is a top priority for me. I receive at least 10 new requests per week from parents who have recently lost a child. Since my sister, Rosie’s son passed, we decided to work together to help other parents to go on after the devastation of losing a child. Rosie runs a support group that meets monthly at my office and I provide free sessions to connect families for closure and peace. It feels really good to say I never charge for my private medium sessions.
6. You grew up in a strict Irish Catholic household. How does religion come into play with your work? Are there people who say this is "devils work?"
It was very hard for me to find the right words to tell my mother, a devote Catholic and playfully called, “Head of the God Squad,” that I was communicating with spirits. It didn’t take long for my mother, who is my best friend, to come on board and be my biggest fan. I trust and believe in my heart that my ability is strengthened in faith. I have been witness to many miracles and profound healing. Over the past year, I’ve had 4-5 Catholic priests and nuns attend my demonstrations. I was even asked to speak at a Catholic Church. My visit was stopped by the efforts of one “Bully” Catholic who attacked me in her “spiritual, loving” blog. She called the Cardinal, Bishop and no-doubt, a deceased Pope or two. She wanted to give me an exorcism in the church parking lot. To watch the face of a parent who has buried their child, go from extreme grief to smiling with a knowing that child is happy and at peace, is anything but evil.
7. We understand your nieces also have this ability. Are they like the "Sorcerer’s Apprentices?"
My nieces, Anastassia and Candace, are both “Mediums in Training.” After Anastassia’s brother, Sean, passed, they both started communicating with him and began helping other people. I didn’t have anyone to help me understand and embrace my abilities, so I made it my mission to assist them in learning how to handle the stresses that come with the territory.
8. You've been a witness to many deaths. In your experience, what happens when someone dies?
Well, I won’t exactly know until I get there, however, what I’m shown and told by numerous spirits is that the moment we pass, all of our relatives and friends who have passed before us are waiting for that ultimate reunion. I’ve been present when many physically leave their body, and often, they are reaching out and calling to a parent or spouse who is waiting to take their hand. I’ve seen people in comas or non-verbal; begin to talk and say, “Can’t you see them? They are standing right there.”
Spirit tells me that not long after the physical death, they are shown their, ‘Book of Life,” which acts as a life review manuscript, so to speak. We are shown our triumphs, challenges and failures. Depending on how we lived our life here, will determine the level we are on in heaven.
9. How are some ways our loved ones in spirit try to communicate with the living?
There are many ways our spirit loved ones try to communicate with us. The most popular is through dreams. Almost everyone, skeptic or not, can confirm they have had a dream of a deceased friend or family member. These dreams stay with us as lasting memories for years to come. Spirits also use things such as coins (pennies & dimes) to remind us they are with us. Sometimes they use familiar scents (clairoma) to make their presence known. Some other signs include songs on the radio, lights or anything mechanical going off, random phone calls and even texts from heaven! Birds, butterflies, dragonflies and hawks are also important reminders of spirit.
10. You are a former stand-up comedienne (sometimes referred to as the "Comedian Medium") how do you incorporate humor with such a heavy subject matter?
I think what differentiates me from many other spirit mediums is that I believe our loved ones in spirit enjoy coming through with a celebration of life and not reliving another wake. Being a former stand-up comic, I enjoyed making people smile and forget about their daily stress and heartache. When I bring through a spirit, often times the validations are so on point (names, dates, exact way of passing) the person loses it and starts to weep, sometimes uncontrollably. It is at this exact point of the reading that I jump in with humor and help the person left behind know that it’s okay to continue living, laughing and celebrating these great memories. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
11. Is there a heaven and hell?
I believe we create our own heaven and hell, depending on our attitudes, actions and inactions. Being Catholic, I was always taught about heaven and hell. For me, I do believe there is a heaven…a place where there is unconditional love, non-judgment, and profound peace. I believe the “bad people” resonate at a lower level based on the free-will choices they made.
12. Are you constantly hearing voices? How do you shut it off?
When I first realized I had this ability (which I do believe we all have), I constantly heard voices. I couldn’t sleep for months and I hated what was happening to me. It took me a long time to figure out that I could control the voices, and use a “switch” to turn them on and off when I chose to. Now, other than the occasional “drifter” in the super market, I decide when I’m going to tune in and tune out.
13. Obviously many people are skeptical about what you do. How do you handle the skeptics?
I'm a former skeptic. I refused to go to psychics when my friends would try to get me to go to either do tarot cards or tea leave readings. It's not my job to convince anyone. I can deliver the info and let them process it and decide for themselves. I've turned many skeptics into believers by giving very detailed information. My job is to deliver detailed information and hopefully, plant the seed of hope.
14. Tell us about your television show? What do you hope to achieve by being on TV?
I'm so excited about the TV show. I have an outstanding team of producers, Sander & Moses who executive produced the Ghost Whisperer, as well as some great producers from ABC Medial Productions and Disney. I'm traveling around the country, stopping in small towns offering my assistance with a variety of "matters" such as assisting detectives on missing person cases, helping a family who has lost a child, helping people to understand death and using my humor to deliver impromptu readings all over town.
15. You have a new book out. What's the book about and where can viewers get the book?
My new book, "The Medium Next Door" is about the adventures of a real life ghost whisperer. It's basically part memoir about my life as a medium, yet I'm just like your next door neighbor…only I hear and see dead people. I write about my work with the sick and dying, helping people pass, assisting detectives to help find missing children and adults, and some profound readings that have changed families’ lives. Each chapter has a reflection or suggestions to apply to your own life for healing and knowledge.
Viewers can get the book at Amazon or from Maureen's website, www.maureenhancock.com