The psychic reached deep into her purse.
“I brought a monster with me today,” she said. “It takes a lot of energy to raise the dead on a Sunday.”
She drew a long green and black can out of the bag. As it turned out, she was talking about the energy drink, Monster.
But how was I to know that?
Cari Roy is a psychic — according to the Travel Channel, the best in New Orleans. I had no idea what supernatural aids she would require to find the spirits haunting my old Uptown house, a centerhall raised cottage that dates to the 1870s. The house has been at the center of my family’s history for three generations. Now, I am opening its secrets to a stranger.
Let me start by saying that I don’t regularly consult with psychics. I have watched enough episodes of “The Mentalist” with Simon Baker to know that most people who pass themselves off as having paranormal abilities are pretenders, hucksters, or worse.
But I am determined to keep an open mind, and I’m glad I do. Because as we walk down the hallway and into each room, I can see she’s tuning in to both its wonderful personality and its eccentricities. She gets it.
“Usually, I like to sit still and hold hands when I do a reading,” she tells me. “But the energy in this house is so strong, I don’t need to.”
A petite blond with blue eyes, Roy wears heels that add at least 3 inches to her height. As we sit on the sofa in my living room, she is talkative and amiable as she tells me who and what she senses.
Most of the spirits she feels are members of my family — and with good reason, considering our tenure stretches back to 1943 or so.
Our imprint is too strong to make much room for spirits of those who came before us, although the faint energy of a young bride manages to register with Roy at one point.
The Travel Channel isn’t alone in showering accolades on Roy: One website, bbcamerica.com, rates her as the best psychic to see in all of the United States.
She has appeared on The Today Show, A&E and the Discovery Channel. As young as she seems, she’s been working in her field for nearly 30 years and is a third generation spiritual practitioner.
She has worked on police cases and also performed readings on many historic New Orleans homes, most notably one formerly owned by author Anne Rice.
Although my home revealed little of a dark side, Roy encounters plenty of that in her work.
In one French Quarter home, she said she found the spirits of two women still fighting over the same man. One was his wife; the other was the mistress whom the wife had murdered.
And there has been humor, too. One couple hired her to help them figure out why they kept waking up well before dawn every day. Roy said she discovered the spirits of about 10 soldiers who would reenact their Civil War battle on the site every morning at the same time. She was able to send them on their way so the couple could catch up on their sleep.
When I ask her about her abilities, she tells me she thinks it’s a brain anomaly, something that makes it harder for her to block out signals than it is for others.
“Science is beginning to catch up,” Roy explains.
Before she leaves, we talk a little about the one source of heavy energy she says she detected in the house.
“Tell him you want him to leave,” she advises me, “and if he doesn’t, give me a call. I’ll make sure he does.”