PSYCHIC medium Tony Stockwell says he first started seeing and hearing things that other people didn’t when he was eight years old.
To the young boy growing up in an ordinary family in Walthamstow it was perfectly normal. To the rest of his family it was, to say the least, an enigma.
Perhaps one of the most telling moments of his childhood, when he realised he was “different”, was when he predicted the death of his uncle Frank.
He said: “I was watching telly when this overwhelming feeling came over me, in the pit of my stomach. I knew, there was a sense that something not good was going to happen, a real sense of foreboding.
“I concentrated hard and in my mind’s eye I saw an image of my uncle Frank and I knew that he wasn’t going to be here for very long. I went into the kitchen, I think my mum was peeling potatoes, and I told her. I remember her looking at me as if it wasn’t right.”
Shortly afterwards, when his uncle died, he remembers overhearing the adults in the family discussing him, and the strange things he said. “When he did pass it was a big thing in the family,” he says. “People were thinking I was a bit weird. It wasn’t met with hostility, it was just people not being sure.
“I spent a lot of time battling with that. I could see and hear things that other people couldn’t. Since then I have met colleagues who were asked to go to psychiatrists when they were young, while my parents didn’t take too much notice.”
At the age of 16 a friend invited him to a spiritualist church where he witnessed a medium communicating with people from “the other side” and it was then that he describes being able to put a name to the feelings that to him had become quite normal.
Stockwell has now made a career from his abilities. He travels the world talking to the living — and the dead — in stage shows and as part of his latest tour he will be dropping in at the Kenton Theatre on Thursday, January 30. This year he will also be travelling to Australia, America and China among other places. He has written four books on mediumship, and taken part in a number of television series, including Psychic Academy, The Psychic Detective, Street Psychic and Psychic School.
He describes his stage show in terms of bringing solace and peace to those who are bereaved, since he gives them hope that they will one day be reunited with lost loved ones — although it is interesting to note that recent legislative guidelines insist that these type of mediumship shows are billed “for entertainment only”.
But for the sceptics among us it is perhaps Stockwell’s work with the police that is most impressive.
“I have helped solve lots of crimes, both internationally and in the UK,” he says. “The most famous case is probably that of Sally Anne Bowman, the young model from Croydon who was murdered in her garden. I worked with police on that one. I told police the man responsible was called Mark, his surname began with D, that he was a chef and he was not from this country. I was walking in a street with Sally Anne’s mother when I heard her voice in my head and that information came to me.”
The murder took place in 2005 and the man who was convicted of the gruesome crime three years later turned out to be a serial sex offender, Mark Dixie, a chef from Australia.
Dixie was convicted on DNA evidence, and it has been said he was arrested and came under suspicion after a fight — but nevertheless Stockwell’s input is not denied by police, a fact that he is actually quite coy about.
“I don’t want to sound blasé, but it’s just what I do,” he says.
Stockwell says he believes in God, the divine and the afterlife, but says he finds religion “abhorrent” because it is man-made and divisive.
“I know what I know,” he says. “I don’t pretend to be cleverer than anyone else.
“I just know if someone has lost their mum and they speak to me, it’s just what I do.
“Whether it’s right or wrong I can’t say, it just is.”
An Evening Of Mediumship With Psychic Tony Stockwell is at the Kenton Theatre on Thursday, January 30. For tickets call the box office on (01491) 575698 or visit www.kentontheatre.co.uk