My great-grandmother was a woman named Christina.

I never knew her, she died before I was born. I didn't even know her name until very recently, when I drove out to Hobsonville Point and met with Kerry-Marie Callendar, one of the psychics from TVNZ's Sensing Murder.

It was supposed to be a bit of fun, to see if she could turn this sceptic into a believer and tell me something lame like what kind of dog I will get when I become a real grown-up.


When she described a woman in great detail who I did not recognise, I thought for sure she was a fraud, so I got a name to do some fact checking. The second I got back to my car I texted my nana to check the name and sure enough, Christina it was.

Turns out, Nana Christina is looking over me, but made a point of assuring me she is "not spying though" - something I was very paranoid about after a friend told me her own reading revealed a late loved one had been watching her in a very intimate situation (horrific, right?).

Before this visit, I was a reluctant sceptic; I wanted to believe, but I simply couldn't. I was the kind of person who thought psychics and mediums were frauds and scam artists preying on the weak and vulnerable, using vague and sweeping "predictions" that could apply to anyone to convince people to give them hundreds of dollars an hour.

I still believe the majority of "psychics" fall into this category. On a recent trip to LA I noticed there was a psychic on every second block, and it's simply not possible that they're all the real deal.

So sitting with Kerry-Marie, surrounded by crystals, listening to her explain the difference between psychic energy and mediumship, it was very hard for me keep a polite, straight face.

And quite often, she said things which made no sense, which didn't apply to me or which were straight up wrong. But the things she did get right, she got scarily right - like Nana Christina.

The second I walked in there she knew all kinds of things about me and the kind of person I am, even pointing out private things and adding: "But you don't want people to know that", which was spot on.

She told me about my pink aura, my love for animals and my clean-freak nature. She picked up on my very specific relationship with my mother, the intricacies of my family structure, and some big issues we're currently facing.


She knew about things no one else knows about. Dark things. Secret things. And she knew how they affected me and those around me.

She knew about sick family members and totally zeroed in on a current work situation, right down to who is involved and how it could pan out. And she gave me unexpectedly direct and sure predictions, including an impending birth in the family and a weirdly detailed description of a man named Michael who I will apparently fall in love with (grain of salt, taken).

Regarding the things she got wrong, Kerry-Marie explained: "What you find with readings is sometimes you don't understand everything. Sometimes you can realise later, the things I've given you. I'm just telling you what I'm hearing and feeling and I have to try and make sense of what I'm being given, and so do you."

The sceptic in me was screaming "cop out!" but there was one point where she was describing a man named John, and I don't know any Johns. But 20 minutes later, I realised my Koro's real name is John, he's just always gone by Jack. So the newfound semi-believer in me kind of gets it.

The point of all this was to see for myself what this psychic business is about. As long as Sensing Murder has been around, there have been people opposing it - usually pretty vehemently.

So after my reading with Kerry-Marie, do I think psychics should be involved in actual cold cases and police work purely for entertainment value? No.

Because even if you believe in it with all your heart, there's still - by Kerry-Marie's own admission - too much that's open to interpretation.

But if families want to go to psychics - or Sensing Murder - for comfort or closure, or a last chance to make contact, then they should.

Even if it is all a scam to get your money, people have the right to choose how they grieve and how they express their spirituality.

Kerry-Marie may not have nailed everything, but she nailed enough that I came away feeling more connected to my family, sure in my choices and a little less alone in the big wide world. And trust me, I've paid more for less.