Proof of (after)life

Angela Moore could be your sister, your next-door-neighbor, your mom. And in as matter-of-fact a way as if she were giving you a recipe for butternut-squash casserole, the Marion resident will tell you that a very large, light-infused spirit is perched just behind your body as you sit in a restaurant at the Asheville Mall.

In fact, she’ll tell you that same restaurant is literally crawling with spirits — and that it was, indeed, the first place that a spirit ever materialized in front of her eyes (a 7-foot-tall robed figure that she says her friend also saw).

Moore, a well-known and respected psychic in Western North Carolina and beyond, is among the myriad of speakers scheduled at the Third Annual Joshua P. Warren Paranormal Conference being held in Asheville this weekend.

In any case, she sure made a believer out of me.

When I contacted her via e-mail about an interview, she wrote back, “I pick up that your eyes are nice, but you may be needing some new glasses or there’s some definite eye strain.” At that point, Moore and I had never met — and I had lost a contact and had been walking around half-blind for a couple of weeks.

“I’m wondering about your blood sugar — if you don’t have blood-sugar problems,” she said seconds after we sat down at the mall restaurant. Sure enough, a blood test I had done a week before had revealed elevated an blood-sugar level.

Then it really was goose-bump time when Moore announced that I live in a house with three cats (two of which are mine), followed by, “One of them’s looking for you right now. What’s wrong with his paw?”

My young male kitten has a congenitally deformed paw.

Much of the other highly accurate information Moore revealed in the reading about my present life is too personal for public consumption, but I can share that I was likely both a circus clown and a nun in a past life (though not in the same past life). Her predictions for my future include a trip to Italy and better luck with men (though she did not say if the two are interconnected).

Moore doesn’t like to make a fuss about her extrasensory abilities (she hates the word “powers”); being able to sense things about others has just always been a part of her life.

“It’s like some people can just sit down and play piano by ear,” Moore says. “I just assumed everybody else was this way.”

It wasn’t until she was in her mid-30s and a coworker at a pharmacy put a name to it — “She told me, ‘You’re psychic'” — that Moore finally realized she was different.

The psychic process works for her in a variety of ways, she reveals.

“Sometimes I actually have glimpses or pictures,” she elaborates. “Sometimes it’s like I hear things inside and outside my head at the same time. Sometimes I just get a sense of knowing. And sometimes … I actually become a part of the person.

“It’s like I start feeling what you feel,” Moore adds. “It’s more than picking up your mood. … Very intuitive people will also pick up a lot of stuff about me while I’m doing a reading.”

She believes that everyone has the potential for such “sensitivity,” as she calls it. Moore even offers a no-nonsense, “A, B, C” (Attention, Belief, Creativity) approach to tapping into one’s own psychic abilities that centers on the concept of manipulating energy.

Near the end of our session, as calmly as if she were telling me I had a small leak in my roof, Moore says, “You have a spirit in your house.

“I don’t know who it is,” she continues. “Don’t get excited. … I don’t think it’s anybody you know. I’d be surprised if you don’t feel it from time to time. I think it’s in a hallway area outside your bathroom. It seems male, and it’s not a bad spirit.”

According to my housemate, an elderly minister died in our house, long ago.

Casual spirits

Spend a little time in the world of young Asheville supernatural guru Joshua Warren, and the paranormal starts to seem downright mundane.

“I tend to think that ghostly activity occurs around us on a fairly regular basis,” he casually notes.

Warren’s League of Energy Materialization and Unexplained Phenomena Research (L.E.M.U.R.) is sponsoring this year’s Paranormal Conference. The event is again being held at Asheville’s Grove Park Inn, itself believed to be haunted by the famous “Pink Lady” ghost. (After an official investigation, L.E.M.U.R. concluded she is most active in Room 545.)

“The word ‘paranormal’ has been used so often in connection with ghosts and goblins, space aliens, Big Foot, and the Loch Ness Monster, that these are often the only things people think about when they hear it,” notes Warren. “But actually, the word simply means ‘beyond normal.’ That covers anything we don’t fully understand.”

This year’s Paranormal Conference will feature offerings on, well, ghosts and goblins, space aliens and Big Foot — but will also include psychic readings, as well as demonstrations of energy-field and cyborg technology, and martial-arts master Tom Cameron’s Chinese Death Touch.

“He projects energy from his hands that can knock a person down without any physical contact,” explains Warren. “We’ve also watched him make lots of people pass out by simply placing his fingers on their heads.”

Warren notes that what qualifies as paranormal today will likely be considered the norm sometime in the future.

“The mysteries of dreaming, how the mind controls the body [and] the causes of disease … were [once] considered paranormal,” he elaborates. “We are constantly learning more about the mysteries of the universe, and as our understanding develops, enigmas are seized from the shadows.

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