Mommy Psychic Raises Kids, Communes With Dead

Mommy Psychic Raises Kids, Communes With Dead

Spend any morning with Rebecca Rosen of Denver and you'll see she has a spirited household.

There's 1-year-old Sam, the youngest, shaking his rattle and playing with blocks. There's Jakob, 5, grabbing his lunch and heading out the door for school.

What's a little less obvious in the course of a morning with Rosen are the spirits she told us she hears in her head.

"Right around you," she tells a visitor, "are some dead loved ones. I will go through them, there's three of them."

She Hears Dead People
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Right around you. Right around her. Right around all of us. This is Rebecca's reality, and her profession: communicating with the dead.

During business hours she reports to the office like any ordinary professional. But instead of taking calls or filing reports, she works as a psychic medium.

Watch the full story tonight on "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET

"Nightline" sat in the other day on a session between Rosen and two of her regular clients, Shelly and Michael Elick. Our purpose was not to debunk or defend what Rosen does but to see what it is to believe in an invisible world that is trying to make contact.

"I'm going to say a protection prayer to make sure it's good energy coming through," Rosen said. This is how she always starts. And then, within seconds, in a matter-of-fact way, Rebecca began to relay messages from beyond.

The Elicks didn't say much, because why talk when the dead are speaking, especially when they seem to know what they're talking about?

"I'm supposed to bring up the ring," Rosen said. "Did you recently give her a new ring?"

"Yeah," said Shelly Elick, with a laugh.

"Oh Lord," said Michael Elick.

"Your father inspired him to do that," Rosen told Shelly. "[Your father] is more or less saying good work, he's patting you on the back. You will look at [the ring] differently now. That is your father's love and your husband's love."

In such sessions, only Rebecca hears the beyond -- except she says it's not really hearing.

"I do get words, but I have to say there are no sentences," she said. "It would make my life and job so much easier if they talked, actually voices in sentences. What it is it's almost like you're on the phone with a friend and you hang up and you're replaying the conversation in your mind. You can hear their voice but it's coming through your mind's voice. That's what it's like.

"People like to think it's a very Hollywood-type experience where you're actually seeing a dead body standing there and hearing their voice. They don't have bodies, they don't have voices."

'Like the Girl Next Door'

Rosen's sessions include what she calls validations -- evidence that the spirits are for real -- by eliciting some information that only the client could know.

"Feathers are coming up, I don't, I think that's your dad," said Rosen. "He's showing me finding a feather. Did your daughter, is she 2 or 3, did she?"

"Yeah, I thought it was from her boa," said Shelly Elkin. "She found a feather yesterday and brought it to me. It was purple." "That was from your dad," said Rosen.

"OK," said Shelly.

"Anyone who knows me would say I'm like the girl next door," said Rosen, who doesn't dress the part of a gypsy teller: hoop earrings, yes, but no long-flowing robes and the scarves. "That's not me," said Rosen.

Rosen said that she will go out with her kids and Brian, her husband, and thing will happen that diners at other tables don't quite register. When Rebecca gets close -- because, she says, proximity triggers psychic activity -- the other diners' dead relatives will start knocking with messages to pass on. But she never works during family time, she says.

"If I wanted to I could, I could go into it, but I'm ignoring it if it is there and I'm so distracted with my kids that it's virtually impossible for me to tune in," she said.

All this started when Rosen was a sister in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at the University of Florida. She had never heard a peep from the spirit world, she said.

"I did not grow up in a family that was into spiritual stuff," she said. "I was raised with a belief in God. I was raised as a conservative Jew. But nobody talked about psychics, that was way out of our comfort zone."

But in the middle of her sophomore year, Rosen had a bout of depression -- and that's when it happened, she said.

"I was journaling, and I always journal, since high school," Rosen said. "And all of a sudden this energy started coming through me, writing to me, but I could hear it in my head first. She was telling me she was my dead grandmother and telling me that she was here to save me from going down the same road of depression that she went down.

"I thought I was going crazy and making this up, and I know she read my thoughts and therefore [she] went ahead and offered three pieces of information that only my father would know. So I ran out of the bookstore, called my father and he was in complete shock, because the information she said were pieces he had never shared with anybody, including my mom."

'Mommy Brain'

The experience made Rosen a believer. In the years since she has explored Eastern philosophies and worked at fine-tuning her ability to hear the other side.

"I make sure I have at least a half-hour to meditate" before work, Rosen said, "so I can clear my head and get out of my Mommy brain and focus on the work."

Through a full work week with Rosen, with several different clients, we saw what seemed like "hits."

"He wants me to bring up, do you have a knee or leg problem?" Rosen asked a client named David. "He's talking about you taking it easy. Do you know what he's talking about?"

"Oh yeah," said David. "I have a bum knee."

"Does somebody have a stuffed pig animal?" Rosen asked a client named Jennifer.

"Well, my daughter just went to the stock show last night and came home talking about the pigs," Jennifer replied.

Then "Nightline" put together a group of women, none of whom had ever met Rosen. We asked for names of people members of the group hoped to contact. One participant, Jane, said she wanted to hear from her grandfather, Marvin.

During the session, a name began to come to Rosen. "Martin?" she suggested. "Martin... Marvin?"

Jane was flabbergasted.

And there were more successes with the same group.

"Did you lose a baby?" Rosen asked one woman, Carla.

"Yeah," Carla replied.

"The soul is with her," said Rosen. "Was it a boy?"

"I don't know."

"I think it's a boy. She's holding this little one trying to say ... do you have two living kids?"

The answer was yes.

Next Rosen talked to Jane. "He keeps showing me two, two, two... which means February," Rosen said. "What is in February? [The] second?

"My birthday!" said Jane.

"OK, so he keeps showing me that," said Rosen.

Next up was Pamela.

"Was he in the service?" Rosen asks. He was. "He's showing me [he's] proud of what he did here."

Then a reporter had a one-on-one session. There were more hits -- and some pretty clean ones at that.

"Did you used to work as a pizza boy?"

"Yes."

"Did you have trouble with the lights in a hotel room recently?"

"Yes." (A weird question, but we did have exactly that happen a few week back).

But to be honest, through most of the rest of the conversation -- during which Rosen said I was talking with my dad and grandfather -- the psychic said a good amount that really didn't fit terribly well. And then her style was to start exploring.

We saw that happen many other times during the week.

"This [is] about your wife's side of the family as well," she told one man, David.

"I need to clarify something in terms of wife, I'm not married," he replied.

"You're not married. But you have an ex-wife..."

"No, said David.

To Jennifer: "By any chance is your daughter named after Margaret? The answer: No.

To Carrie: "I have to start over here, I'm pretty sure this is for you. I have two males that are popping in very strongly, your Dad has passed, correct? (Carrie: "My Dad, no.")

To Pamela: "Who's the rocky road? Like loves Rocky Road? Chocolate? ... Did somebody just give you a box of chocolates? To which Pamela just shakes her head.

'It's Always Under Attack'

None of the clients we saw in a week doubted that Rebecca was short of authentic, and all came away with a badly needed spiritual uplift.

"I've been very fortunate in that directly and personally I have not had too many [hostile] encounters," Rosen said. "But, with the field that I'm in, it's always under attack. People say you're mind-reading, cold reading and I just smile and 'You know what, I'm not here to prove to the skeptics that this is real.'"

Rosen explained cold reading.

"Cold reading is simply, you know, using body language, and you know, let's say Rose is a common name, so I throw out Rose because somebody is going to have a Rose who died," she said.

It's clear there is no shortage of people who feel the need for the kind of connection they feel they get in Rebecca's office. Her fame is growing. She was featured in a photo shoot for Denver magazine and can charge $500 for a full hour. She has celebrity clients like Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston who send Christmas cards. People phone her for consultations, and she's got a book, "Spirited," coming out, which she wrote to teach other people how to do what she does for themselves.

"Everybody has the ability to tap into intuition for themselves, not everybody has the ability to tap into intuition and talk to spirits for other people," said Rosen.

And that, she says, is why she what she does. She believes she was meant for it.

"I love it because I feel I'm doing such a service, not only for the living, but for these souls," she said.

Rosen said that despite perceptions, her work is not spooky. "It is not and I'll tell you why," she said. "What I work with are souls who are happily crossed over on the other side, if you want to call it heaven. And it's usually the living who are not at peace and they're peeking in and seeing that their loved ones here are suffering. They're grieving and so they want to help them find some closure and resolution, OK? So the spirits I work with are loving and kind and funny."

And they have a lot they want to say, Rosen tells us, to those who know how to listen. So she does. But remember, she's a mom -- it's business hours only.

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