Western Pennsylvania

Halloween Memory #2: The Psychic


I lived in Wimmer Hall at Saint Vincent College for four years.

The college designated Wimmer as the “quiet dorm,” the “study dorm.” Wimmer Hall had a reputation for housing the college’s awkward loners. However, in Wimmer Hall I didn’t have to live next to the folks who turned into loud a-hole drunks every weekend. (And most weeknights, too.)

Wimmer Hall also had a reputation for being haunted. Seriously, a bunch of people wrote books about the ghosts of my college dorm.

I never saw any ghosts. However, I don’t notice a lot of things. Maybe the ghost of Saint Vincent founder Boniface Wimmer came into my dorm room and ate my food while I studied, and I never saw him.

Anyway, the college asked every floor in every dorm to do two group outreach projects each year. During my senior year, my floor, Wimmer Hall Floor #2, planned the following that October:

1.) We invited the children of faculty and stuff to trick-or-treat on our floor of the haunted dorm, and

2.) We invited a psychic to Floor #2 and we brought paying customers to her.

During that time, a psychic that I will call “Madam Amy” advertised on a billboard on Route 30 between Latrobe and Greensburg. This is the psychic that we brought to campus. We gave her use of our lounge for an evening, and we spread the word that anybody on campus could pay Madam Amy $35 for a private reading with her.  And Saint Vincent, a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning, approved this as Floor #2’s group outreach project.

I almost paid Madam Amy $35. However, in the end my anxiety about money won out over my need to hear about my future. Several of my friends did meet with Madam Amy. Actually, people stood in line in our dorm for several hours for their turns to pay Madam Amy $35.

My friends all came out of their Madam Amy readings and said stuff like, “Madam Amy said that if I talk about my reading, then her prediction won’t happen.”

After a few days, though, none of my friends could keep their “secret” readings a secret. So they spilled the beans on their psychic readings.

Madam Amy gave all of my friends the same predictions. They would all meet dark-haired men and live happily ever after.

A few years later, the State Police sent an undercover officer to Madam Amy for a reading and then filed charges against her. She changed her advertisements to note that her services were for “entertainment only.”

Here’s the spookiest thing about this story: I am sitting in my backyard in the dark as I write this. A huge black spider just crawled across my laptop screen. And disappeared.