According to the blurby thing at the beginning of this documentary psychic children “struggle with issues of isolation and acceptance. This is a documentary about a group of psychic kids and their parents coming together for the first time.” I would like to point out that ALL children struggle with issues of isolation and acceptance. Jes sayin’.
Scary music plays and we’re taken to Austin, TX to meet 10 year old Cooper who has seen dead people since he was 18 months old. To protect him his mother has forbidden him from telling anyone about his abilities – and yet here he is cable television. I hope no one in Austin watches A&E.
More scary music takes us to Belchertown, MA. Hehehe. The name alone makes me laugh. This is where Sarah lives. She’s 13 and she’s seen spirits for the past 11 years. Spirits live in Sarah’s closet and they look a little gory. Her friends are skeptical and think she’s seeking attention – which, yeah. That’s not a bad theory.
We’re next taken to Virginia Beach, VA to meet Kara who is 16 and afraid of the dark. That’s okay Kara, I’m 38 and there are nights when I sleep with the lights on, too. Her grandmother says she’s been spiritual and intuitive her whole life. Spiritual and intuitive do not a psychic child make. I’m pretty good at reading a room and at knowing when someone’s been in my space or my stuff, but that doesn’t make me psychic. OR DOES IT?!
More scary music – seriously y’all. I don’t know how much more of the low, rumbling bass I can take – and we’re in Denver, CO to meet Jocelyn. She’s sees people who have just died and it terrifies her. This one I kind of believe might have “the shine.” No particular reason other than maybe her hair and native american background. She shows us a picture of the girl from The Grudge that she drew and says it’s a dead girl she saw. Fa-reak-y.
We find out that Cooper, Sarah, Kara and Jocelyn were part of a group of kids who were taking a weekend retreat hosted by A Place of Light, an established organization dedicated to helping kids with psychic abilities. It’s here that we meet Mr. Garrison’s inspiration Chip Coffey. Seriously y’all. He is the gayest psychic I’ve ever encountered and believe it or not, I’ve encountered some pretty gay psychics.
Not that his sexuality has anything to do with his ability to communicate with the dead and the demons mind you. I’m just pointing out that I’m pretty sure Trey and that other Southpark guy saw Chip and thought MR. GARRISON! Moving on…
So all these psychic and otherwise misfit kids are spending the weekend at this remote lodge to get in touch with their abilities and talk about how hard it is to be different and to summon up some spirit lurve. The parents are all commiserating about how difficult it is to have your child stand out, and I feel for them. I really do. There’s nothing funny about watching your child not fit in.
Chip sits with Sarah and she tells him about how the night before someone with a horrendous face wound came into her bedroom. She describes it as not too pleasant. I’ll bet. If it’s true. Sarah doesn’t seem like the real deal to me. She is however, very pretty and the older boys in the group are giving her a lot of attention that she doesn’t seem to hate.
Cut to Cooper’s mom who is telling a very sad story about how Cooper was so strange that he spent kindergarten and first grade sequestered from his classmates. Dude. How do you let that happen? How, as a parent, do you decide that yes, it’s okay for my kid to be singled out and taken away from his peers? She talks about it like she has no choice, but I’m pretty sure she does. Or did. Either way, it’s a sad story. I’d like to know the full story because there’s something that doesn’t make sense – especially with all the mainstreaming. We’ve got kids who require two full-time aides mixed in with my kid’s class. We’ve got children with aggression issues mixed in. I’m not sure what Cooper was doing that made him such a threat (perceived or otherwise) to the others.
Jocelyn’s mom tells us that lately Jocelyn’s become depressed and withdrawn and that her grades have slipped. In other words, she’s turning into a teenager. Jocelyn told her best friend about her abilities and her best friend was all, “see ya.” That’s harsh. That’s also life. I hate that it happened to her, but it does happen.
So now we’re all gathered in the lodge and the lights start flickering ominously and Chip informs us that it’s because of all their energy and then he intones that theyknow they’re there. The kids all nod and I find that impressive because my kids? Would have been out the door and in the car faster than a Looney Tunes character.
Now Kara and Chip (hehe.. Chip. For like a 50 year old man. Chip.) chat and nothing interesting happens. Same as when Jocelyn and he chat. Then Chip feels some supernatural mojo and calls the kids together. They’re all sitting in the great room listening to Chip tell them how psychic they are when one little boy who isn’t Cooper walks to the window and points out a face that he sees on the glass door, and yeah, it’s kind of freaky.
Kara Diary Cam’s that the spirits are in her room watching her. Spooky night vision and all. She turns the camera around so that we can see them, but all I see is her room and the ghostly illumination of the the night vision camera. It would have been awesome if something had happened, but nothing did and so the impression I’m left with is that all this talk and Coffey (hehehe) has made her feel extra vulnerable and imaginative.
The next day we meet up with Cooper who can also heal people with his hands and wants to learn to read minds. He talks about how he can hold energy between his hands like a big invisible ball. I’m a little confused as to how this makes him special because I can do that, too. And so can my kids. And all the kids I watched over in summer camp 20 years ago. My God! I made them psychic!! Alert the authorities!! Alert Chip!! Anyway, Chip and Lisa his assistant/psychologist from Columbia University and Cooper are sitting together and Chip tells Lisa to choose a number between 1 and 3 and send it to Cooper. After a few minutes of them holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes and Cooper looking like he’s gonna spew laughter, Cooper thinks he has the number. He says 2 and *gasp* he’s correct. And very, very psychic and well on his way to his own carnival booth. I mean really. A number between 1 and 3? Between??
Anyway, Doctor Lisa interviews that it was almost like Cooper was looking into the depths of her and she felt completely serene and safe. Whatever. Stop it. I hate when people do that and apparently so do the spirits because the children come pounding down the stairs saying that something was in their room and following them. Chip springs into action and the children follow and Cooper starts cracking up. Chip strides into the bedroom with purpose and informs that whoever or whatever’s bothering the kids needs to leave them alone. And then in the next breath tells the children that if it happens again to ask the spirit what it wants. Then he tells them to empower themselves. Ooookay there, Chipper.
Next we have Sarah who is doing some healing work on Brandon’s mom’s knees. I think healing is damn cool, and I think Sarah’s description of what she senses is wrong with Brandon’s mom’s knees was pretty great and authentic, and yes, I do believe in healers. I don’t believe so much in illuminated hands and whatnot, but the power of human touch? I’m all about that. We don’t spend nearly enough time with Sarah and her healing hands and intutition, and are forced back to Kara and her drama.
Kara and chip are talking yet again and she says there’s a spirit in the room with them and she can tell because her bones are shaking and she’s getting cold. Chip says it’s physically getting colder and I’m all, dude, it’s like late fall in Massachusetts and you’re in a lodge. Stop trying to freak us out. Chip doesn’t see the spirit, but of course he feels himself pulled to the window – like almost pulled through the window and I’m all shut. up. chip.
It’s night now in the lodge and we’re all together in the great room gathered around a vase of water. The fleshy lipped guy tells them that any fears they have they need to direct to the water. Then he instructs them to open themselves up to the spirits. One kid feels overwhelming sadness and heat, another says that maybe it was a fire. Fleshy lips guy jumps on that. He can smell it. Chip asks if anyone else picked up on fire and naturally everyone nods. This does not impress me. I used to teach. There are bandwagons to be jumped on. This is a social phenomena, NOT a psychic phenomena. Perhaps if he’d had them write down their observations instead of vocalize them. Chip, your process needs to be refined.
Jocelyn does a Diary Cam and is cute as a bug. She keeps adjusting her hair and talking about how the spirits wanted to hurt her earlier and then that segment ends and I get no closure. What spirits wanted to hurt her? Where? I’ll never find out because now it’s morning and we’re all by the river talking about last night’s experience. Chip asks the kids if they had any more spots or insights about the spirits that visited them in the lodge. Jocelyn saw a guy and girl in the woods and then a vision of fire in her head. Another had a vision of a log cabin (In the woods. In Massachusetts. Weird!!) that got burnt down. Jocelyn says she could taste blood in her mouth last night. Chip says that’s significant. Brandon says his eyes were watering like when you get smoke in your eyes. Brandon and Sarah are also sitting rather snuggly wuggly. I’m just sayin’ that we may have made a love match. Anyway, Cooper – whose speech pattern? Is a lot like a Canadian? Or that girl from American Pie? says the back of his arm had felt hot. And he saw this giiirl? Who was in a building on fire. Well then. That settles that.
The adults decide to look into whether or not an actual fire occurred because that validation would be amazing for the children.
At lunch the kids all bond over being outcasts. They blame people not liking them or believing in them on society and the parents in society. The parents are amazed at how comfortable and relaxed their children are around other psychic kids. Misery loves company.
Chip and Jocelyn and Doctor Lisa chat. Chip can’t get a read on her and Jocelyn simply wants to know why she got chosen. She also wants to use her gift for good. Chip asks one of his producers with a stiff neck to be a guinea pig for Jocelyn’s healing abilities. The producer has a stiff neck and Jocelyn does a laying on of hands and voice overs how her energy comes from her hands. The producer is amazed that her neck pain is gone. I am not amazed because, as I said, I believe in the healing power of touch. That’s why I whore myself out for massages.
It’s night now and we’re heading out to a campfire where Jonny a local resident validates that there was a fire on the other side of the lake that killed a man and a woman. And this part seeped into my dreams the other night and it all had a creepy vibe and I do not appreciate it Chip Coffey. Get out of my head, Chip Coffey!!! Everyone’s pretty excited about that. I’m skeptical but willing to believe in the collective subconscience I guess. Jonny also reveals that this camp used to be a camp for burn victims. This excites the kids too. I’m a little bit interested, but I still have my doubts.
It’s time to leave A Place of Light and the mothers convene and bond. Cooper’s mom is ready to go public saying that Cooper has a lot to give and she’s hoping to connect with other mothers of psychic kids in her community. Yeah, I’d like to see that Craig’s List ad. The group is led in some new age jive, they’re all best friends now, and their lives have changed forever. For the better. I guess that was the point of the camp, to make them not feel so alone, so it’s a good thing. I’m simply not convinced that all of these children are the real deal. What this show needs is for TAPS to come in with all their equipment to run experiments and take actual readings when Chip and his Chitlins say that the spirits are present. Now THAT would be awesome.