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Featured Story

psychic stories and articles

Psychic CSI
by Barney Battles
Is there a place for spiritualism within a pathology department? The American television drama CSI has become popular on both sides of the Atlantic since its debut 10 years ago. Its graphic depiction of the role played by Crime Scene Investigators in solving criminal cases has proved a hit with audiences, and it is known for pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable to be shown on television. But with its focus on scientific method and pragmatic physical evidence, is there room for spiritualism in pathology departments, both on screen and in real life?

CSI and its spin offs, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY, feature pathologists piecing together clues to create an accurate picture of the crimes they are investigating. This often includes unflinchingly graphic autopsies of crime victims.

Of police work and spiritualism

At the core of spiritualism is the belief that when our corporeal body dies our spirit lives on. In one departure from the programs norms, an episode of CSI entitled ‘Toe Tags’ features the  stories of five victims who ‘wake up’ together in the morgue, and recount to each other the tales of how they were killed. These stories of the dead are exactly what the CSI detectives are struggling to uncover throughout the episode, yet as one of the main characters, Grissom, reveals to a group of students touring the facility, “part of being a CSI is learning to work in the absence of absolute certainty.” This uncertainty is a prominent feature of much police work, and detectives must uncover and link together whatever clues they can find in murder cases. When asked at the end of the episode why he does the job, Grissom replies, “Because the dead can’t speak for themselves.”

But is it that fantastical to incorporate elements of spiritualism into police detective work? Advocates of spiritualism assert that we all have two bodies - a corporeal one of flesh and blood that eventually dies, and a spiritual one that can’t be seen but is ever present and eternal. This spiritual being, which could perhaps be referred to as a soul, lives on after death, retaining our personalities and memories. If this is indeed true, the dead could in fact tell us about how they died, and who or what killed them.

The idea of incorporating a spiritualist element to crime scene investigation may seem abhorrent to many traditional police detectives, but in cases where there is a lack of physical evidence and a shortage of leads, the addition of a medium who can commune with the spirits of the dead might provide vital clues. Mediums provide a link between the physical world that we see every day and the spirit world hidden from the majority of living eyes.

Communion with the dead

Through the work of a reliable medium, crime scene investigators could gain direct access to the voices of the deceased, and what better witness to the crime is there than the victims themselves?

Mediums vary in their abilities, and may be able to combine a number of functions into their communion with the spirits of the deceased.

‘Clairvoyance’ refers to the ability to see the spirits of the deceased. With ‘Clairaudience’ the medium can hear the voice of the spirit talking to them. ‘Clairsentience’ meanwhile is perhaps the strongest of all psychic abilities demonstrated by mediums, and refers to the ability to perceive the thoughts and presence of nearby spirits.


Such abilities would be of great value to a team of CSI’s struggling to piece together a mysterious case in which a person had died. Through the trained and skilled medium, investigating detectives would be able to ask the deceased questions regarding their death and the nature of their demise. If using a particularly gifted and reliable medium, such a practice could eliminate much of the guess work from murder investigations.

Will mediums play a larger role in solving crimes in the future?

The episode of CSI in which the dead tell their stories was however a one off occurrence, and was treated as an offhand departure into a fantastical world. Real life CSI detectives seldom use clairvoyants to uncover the perpetrators of crimes, though such cases are not unheard of. Such unconventional activities are often frowned upon however by colleagues, and belittled as farce in the media.

Yet if there was a shift in public opinion, or some concrete evidence of the validity of spiritualism and the work of psychics, everything could change. A CSI medium could become as commonplace as an autopsy specialist or a bomb expert. This combination of the pragmatic worlds of scientific police work and the spiritual world of the psychic detective could prove an invaluable tool in uncovering the details of unsolved crimes, and in bringing the perpetrators of violent and abhorrent crimes to justice.


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