Type "Charlotte + psychic" into Google maps and 170 results will pop up for mediums in our area. That's small in Internet terms, but large for our seemingly conservative city. CL sought out one of these precogs in particular -- Sharon Brown, a self-described master psychic who reads palms, tarot cards, and crystals to see into the past, present and future of her clients. But what makes Brown a unique medium is that she is only one of many in her family to talk to spirits -- her 14-year-old daughter Alexis Brown also has the "gift."
The Browns are set up in a cozy little house off Sharon Amity. Don't expect a scene from Ghost (a gaudy room like the one in which Whoopi Goldberg's character operated, with a large crystal ball on the table) or a gypsy-like atmosphere reminiscent of an episode of Scooby-Doo. Instead, you'll find an unassuming house with a large screen TV, which comes in handy when the waiting room is full of customers sitting on the overstuffed sofas, waiting to learn their fortunes.
Sharon has been in practice for 25 years. "It's an act of God. I knew when I was very young. It's an insight -- to find people's vibes and feelings," she says while lighting a cigarette. "I feel vibes -- the character within the person." Alexis flops on the sofa opposite her mother in the way only teenagers can flop. Recently, the mother-daughter team started to do readings together. Sharon says she knew her daughter inherited the gift when Alexis was only three years old. When clients were in the house with little Alexis, Sharon says her daughter would "take over the reading. People were more interested in her reading than mine ... but she needs time to develop her gift."
According to Sharon, her mother and grandmother could also reach into the ether and communicate with spirits. And as Sharon was taught by her mother, so is she teaching Alexis. But she makes it clear that a gift like this can only be nurtured, not taught. So, what exactly are these spirits? "I won't say ghosts," says Sharon. "I can feel angels, sometimes demons -- evil influences, bad karma ... There are good spirits within that can direct what [I] say."
Being a master psychic is a full-time job. Sharon is at her "office" from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. or so, six days per week. "Except Sunday," she clarifies. "That's the Lord's day." But for Sharon and Alexis, the gift is something that happens even when they're not working. Walking down the street or in the grocery store, Sharon says she sometimes feels things from the people around her. "It's not an on/off switch. Sometimes I feel things that are unwelcome."
Come in for a reading, and Sharon will invite you back to a smaller room where there are no distractions. The readings are different for each person, and a full tarot card reading can cost up to $65. But don't expect the hype that comes with the stereotypical psychics. She doesn't ever use an Ouija board ("Too creepy. I wouldn't fool around with it."), and there are no flying tables or smoke and mirrors. It's just the customer and the psychic, one-on-one.
So can a psychic see into her own future? "No," replies Sharon, elaborating that nothing specific can be seen. "I only feel something bad or ugly coming."
"Mostly, we try to help people, direct them on their course of life," she continues, flicking the ashes off her cigarette.
"It's like psychology," Alexis chimes in.
"Except we're cheaper," adds Sharon.
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