I WOULDN’T call myself cynical, open-minded perhaps. I just need some convincing. So the chance to go down for a seance with the ‘Street Psychic’ seemed the ideal time to be convinced.
Joe Power was at the Wyeside ahead of his show The Man Who Sees Dead People.
But was Joe Power really the man to convince me? After all, if you google Joe Power his own website is number one on the search. Number three on the list is badpsychics.co.uk
So perhaps my open-mindedness was going to be the main trait I would be using.
We began to wander the historic Wyeside building. Immediately Joe suggested we needed to be heading to the toilets. Now I’d had a few coffees while I was waiting, but hang on....
However, Joe’s personality was quite infectious. As he enthusiastically began the tour, leaping from spirit to spirit, I began to warm to him. And he began throwing out interesting pieces of information.
“Was there a fire here at one time,” he asked, “because I’m smelling smoke at the moment?”
There were a few nods of the head from locals, yes, Builth’s history includes a big fire. “In this part of the building I’m sensing smoke and huge panic. And what about a prison, do you know if there were skulls?”
Joe explains that an area can just soak up history, it’s all inter-linked. To someone like Joe, Builth’s past just hangs in the area, waiting for someone to come along who can translate it for everyone.
We begin to head downstairs to the theatre. “Just here I’m seeing a lady. We’re going back in time now. I feel as if she’s usually playing music. Did there used to be a piano down here?”
The answers come from the Wyeside staff. No, but there used to be one in the cinema upstairs.
“She must be dead because she’s here now,” said Joe, “I’m asking her why she’s here. She must have been here for quite a considerable amount of time.”
At Joe’s request, we head upstairs. There’s a part of the stairs where Joe becomes uncomfortable. “I just feel like someone’s in chains here. Someone was held in chains in this part.”
At the top of the stairs the piano lady tells Joe yet more information. “This should not be here, this part? The lady is saying she does not recognise this. Can you not hear that music?”
Well no, I can’t. But the piano lady is intriguing. “Her energy has a big impact on the building.
“Does anyone know the name Jones?” Here we go, I thought. Jones. Wales. Builth Wells. Good guess. But even Joe quickly adds: “I know it’s a Welsh surname.” And one of the reporters there was a Jones.
“You’re one of three? Correct, and your mum came from a family of six? What’s the connection with water? Someone nearly died? Was it you or was it your brother?”
The reporter in question looked a little spooked. It was all true. Every last detail was correct.
Down in the theatre, a candlelit table had been set up for a seance. After warning us that things can happen, we all linked hands for the prayers.
Immediately he picked up on the surname Jones again.
But it was not the same Jones. Nothing was fitting. This Jones was an artist, a good artist by all accounts. He painted landscapes.
A second spirit seemed to be connected to a member of the Wyeside staff. Joe was asking about operations, and asked who’s John? It was her mother coming through. What’s wrong with John’s legs? he asked.
All this was validation, if you believed it. Proof the spirit was genuinely coming through.
Back to the artist, he was still trying to make his presence felt.
Thomas Jones. Suddenly a light dawned on one member of the team. A prominent local artist of that name had once lived close to her house. A successful 19th century landscape artist.
Just one more spirit was present - the piano lady. Lizzie?
Guy Roderick, the Wyeside director, had confirmed a lady had played the piano in the cinema before and after films. She’d done the job for years, so-long that no-one knew how long.
“42 years,” said Joe, “she’s telling me. She played for 42 years.”
Seance over, it was time to chat. So what can people expect from the show? “I want something exciting to happen. I like mischievous spirits,” said Joe.
“I will tell it like it is, don’t come to my show if you’ve got any secrets. I won’t keep them.”
Joe will also be doing aura readings and, be warned, he has the power to reveal the deepest, darkest secrets of the audience.
Joe’s perhaps not your normal psychic. He doesn’t seem necessarily comfortable with his abilities, and freely admits it was never part of the plan. After his brother was murdered, he suddenly became aware of people coming through to him, became aware of his unusual gift – and went with it.
Joe has worked with a number of police forces – offering his assistance for free – and runs courses for budding psychics.
“There’s a lot more spirit people coming though who have been murdered. During the 40-minute sessions they nearly always give the name of the murderer.”
Although google shows stories of police forces denying he’s helped them, Joe insists he has and can prove it. He suggests the practice is widespread – although most forces will deny it.
So was I convinced? Well I am convinced Joe is genuine. Whether he has genuine psychic powers or not I couldn’t confirm? He never gave me that vital clue that would convince me.
But I am convinced he believes in what he’s doing. I am convinced it’ll be a good show.
And given more time I’m convinced he could probably convince me – if that makes sense.
* Joe Power is at the Wyeside, Builth Wells, on Wednesday, February 24. Contact the box office on 01982 552555.