GUILFORD – Phillip Quinn knows a thing or two about the art of converwsation. And conversations overheard. He knows that listening is a magnetic, powerful force. Particularly, he says, when he is listening to the dead speak.
Quinn, 30, is a medium who claims the ability to see and hear – in startling detail – the spirits of those who have died. Clients travel to him from across the U.S. and Europe to tap his know-how in conversing with the other side.
What’s more, Quinn uses what he hears the dead say to help the living find solace, direction in their lives, and understanding.
A self-described clairvoyant/clairaudient life guide, the ability to see and hear the spirits of the dead made itself apparent to Quinn when he was a 4-year old living in Belfast, Ireland.
When he was 6 years old, he said, his journey with spirits that have crossed over began in earnest.
“It was July 29, 1985, the day my mother’s mother died,” Quinn explains. “I was resting in my bedroom hours before she passed, before I even knew she was going to die. She walked into the bedroom and said, ‘Phillip, I’m going away now.’ Shortly after, my mother came home crying, to tell the family that her mother had died.”
As was the tradition in Belfast at the time, the bodies of the deceased were kept in the house for three days and three nights. On the day of her burial, Quinn’s grandmother made another appearance, this time to tell him that he had a gift.
By the time he was 13, Quinn, the youngest of seven brothers, says he could both see and hear spirits. The shy, self-described “distracted” boy found himself living in the U.S. and attending Danbury High School. Interpreting the why and how of the spirit manifestations he was experiencing weighed heavily on his mind, until the day that help arrived.
He was 16 when his first spirit guide appeared to him. Like the spirits he had seen and heard for some 12 years by then, his guide spoke clearly and powerfully to him about his gift and how to use it.
“The question, ‘Why me?’ was never one that I thought to ask of God” Quinn, a practicing Catholic, said. “I listened to my guide and realized that this was a huge burden, one that made me feel very vulnerable. But at the same time, I recognized an opportunity – the ability to make change in other peoples’ lives, the possibility to help them grow and understand.”
Then at 19, Quinn’s second spirit guide made itself known. This guide, Quinn says, is still at his side today, urging him along and giving Quinn clarity and direction so that he may pass it along it to others.
Today, Quinn calls his bright, airy Guilford office home base, a safe, quiet zone where clients come for guidance and comfort. In one corner, a candle shrine – identical to one you may find in a Catholic church – stands under a large cross decked in rosary beads. A cluster of colorful orchid plants (orchid cultivation is a passion of Quinn’s) thrive and flank one sunny wall area; candles flicker here and there; and snug furniture fills in the gaps.
The room where readings are held is sparse but relaxing. An audio cassette recorder and a legal pad are at Quinn’s elbow.
Rule 1: Don’t reveal anything about yourself, loved ones lost, or any personal struggles or calamities. Quinn offers what he calls “pure” readings, where little more happens than the client enters the room, takes a seat, and waits.
Within a minute, Quinn speaks. One by one, he begins to identify spirits who have entered the room. First, he says, he sees figures that are decidedly male or female, young or old. The figures will often arrive in tandem, family members together, or clusters of friends. Quinn identifies spirits by name. He may ask his client if a name is familiar, particularly if it can be associated with the departed.
Within moments, the messages start pouring in. Short utterances, like, “I love you,” “I’ll be here for you,” and, “I’ll always be by your side” come through. Then, the conversations begin.
“Spirits who come through want to help,” Quinn said. “In death, they see with a clarity that they didn’t have in life. Often, they will say something that they would never have said in this life, simply because here, they never had the insight afforded them on their new plane.”
Before long, the room gets crowded. Spirits of the dead appear to Quinn at fast clip, and as he speaks to the client, conveying the messages that being relayed, more and more messages are piling up.
“Sometimes, spirits will “upload” what I call “gigabytes” of information, too much for me to sort through in mere minutes,” Quinn explains. “I take what’s coming in and try to sort out the most intelligible of them.”
Quinn invites the client to ask questions of the spirits present. Anything from a polite,” How are you doing?” to a demanding, “Why did you do this to me?” are all fair game.
Clients will often cry, laugh, and grapple with the words that the dead speak.
“Every person has a different experience,” Quinn notes. “Some struggle, some find comfort. My job, as a life guide, is to get them out of their own way, so to speak, to that they understand that despite the fact that their loved ones ‘died,’ they aren’t really dead. And to help them draw closer to God.”
Quinn provides guidance not only through readings, but lectures on chakras and archetypes. He teaches meditation, counsels bereavement groups and partners with several charities, raising funds for cancer research.
“I’m here to give people a sense of happiness and reassurance,” Quinn says. “There’s enough negative in the world and I don’t want to reinforce that. I’m not a ghost whisperer. I’m not here to frighten or entertain. This is a spiritual place. I just want to bring people hope.”
Editor’s note: A one-hour session with Quinn costs $250. His Guilford office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn more online at www.philquinn.com, e-mail Quinn at Phil@PhilQuinn.com or call (203) 453-4697 for more information.