Payton Moise can sense spiritual entities when they are in her vicinity. She said she is also an empath, which means she can feel the emotions of those around her. She said her ability is genetic — both her dad and sister can also see spirits. Some of her cousins have the ability as well.
“When I first tell someone, I usually use humor as a way to ease through it,” Moise said. “I’ll make a reference to ‘The Sixth Sense.’ I’ll just say ‘I see dead people.’”
Moise is a freshman at Webster University. She is majoring in biological science and is a part of the Scholars Learning Community. Moise said she can see and feel the dead when they are around her.
“Since I’ve grown up with it, I don’t have the idea of how foreign that might be to people,” Moise said. “Since most people are scared of such things, to imagine that someone just lives with it daily is kinda interesting.”
Mediumship is known as the practice of alleged communication with the dead. The first evidence of mediumship appeared in a cave drawing done around 13,000 BC. The practice didn’t appear in the United States until 1852, when the first association of mediums was formed. Today, the ability can been seen in both film and books. TV shows such as “Long Island Medium” showcase the ability to audiences across the country.
Unlike the rest of her family, Payton’s mother, Beth Moise, does not have the ability to see paranormal entities. She said she first knew Payton had the ability when she was an infant.
“[Payton] was in her highchair, just sitting there, talking to somebody,” Beth Moise said. “She took her hands and held them up like she wanted somebody to pick her up.”
Beth Moise said she believes spirits are attracted to their house because of her family members’ abilities.
“I think they know that they can communicate with them,” Beth Moise said. “So our house, we can get it cleared and cleansed, and it doesn’t take long until we have somebody else here.”
Payton Moise said that while she loves her ability, there are also downsides. She said she is scared to attend concerts and does not feel comfortable in crowds.
“There’s times when I think any medium is tempted to ask for it to go away,” Payton Moise said. “And while I am used to being surrounded by spirits because they know that I can tell they’re there, it does not make me immune to the fear of them.”
Beth Moise recalled a time when Payton Moise’s ability caused her to feel physical pain. Payton had been communicating with a spirit and helping him cross over to the afterlife.
“He had been in a serious car wreck,” Beth Moise said. “And she said she felt what he felt when the car was flipping numerous times. She said, ‘He had me feel what he felt when he died.’”
Though several scientific experiments have been conducted into mediumship, none have found proof it truly exists. Most psychologists believe the phenomenon is caused by psychological factors. Payton Moise said she tends to ignore those who believe her ability isn’t real.
“I usually accept that a lot of people are skeptics of the subject,” Payton Moise said. “And I stress to them that I deal with the good and the light, so not to be scared of me.”
Beth Moise said she is confident that her family members’ abilities are real.
“You know, I’ve always said ‘I won’t believe it until I’ve seen it’,” Beth Moise said. “Well, I’ve seen it.”