Valerie Allen is a practicing psychic medium working in Mount Morris
OLEAN — Dictionaries describe “medium” as something in between, and for Valerie Allen that means inhabiting the realm between those who have moved to the other side and those who are living in the present.
She is a psychic medium.
She has existed in that realm her entire life, from a two-year-old girl who spoke to a man her mother couldn’t see, until now, when she does mass and individual “readings” at her office and at local events. She didn’t come to the realization of her gift easily.
Sitting in her home near the old Hos-ta-gha restaurant and with her dogs crowding her legs for attention, Allen recalled, “My grandmother and my father just knew things. They didn’t call it anything. My mother didn’t like that idea. I think my grandmother realized my gift when I was a kid. I grew up on a dairy farm and I remember when I was young I didn’t like to go to my grandmother’s house, because I didn’t like seeing the hanging man that was there. Someone had committed suicide in the house and my grandmother knew that was what I was seeing. It scared me.”
As she grew up, Allen said that she knew she had a gift, but that she came to the reality of what that gift meant when her father passed away in 1991.
“I’d asked my father if I could have a photo album. He told me to wait because he wanted to go through it. I told him he didn’t have time because he would be dead before the end of the week. I just blurted it out and didn’t realize what I’d said. He died of an aneurysm a couple of days later. I’ve always regretted blurting it out like that to him,” she said with regret, adding, “but he’s forgiven me.”
Italian and a practicing Roman Catholic, Allen says her gift is not in conflict with her religious beliefs, but rather an extension.
“I had a woman who thought my being psychic was something evil and asked our priest if he agreed. He told her that no, it wasn’t evil as long as it was used to do good things," she said. "The Bible has many stories about prophets and prophecies that we believe and as Catholics we are taught to talk to the saints. I believe in God, Jesus and Mary."
But for Allen, “heaven” is not the popular image of a pearly gate or streets paved with gold. For her and her acquaintances on the “other” side, it is first “home” and then a place where those who have passed over enjoy many of the same things they did on Earth, including their pets.
“I want people to know that heaven is our real home,” she said, “When we die, we are going home and our families and friends are there waiting for us.”
Allen attended college and afterwards went to work in the corporate world where she held secretarial and managerial positions in businesses and offices in Rochester. After one unpleasant incident in the workplace, she said, “I decided that I didn’t want to work for any more crazy people and that I wanted to work for myself.”
In 2001 she opened a studio office in Mount Morris where she works daily as a medium, to “connect with those who have passed … providing messages to help people cope with a loss or succeed in life.“
Allen thinks that her gift may be the result of her Basque heritage, a genetically isolated race indigenous to the western end of the Pyrenees mountains and north-central Spain and south-western France who have a rare blood type and a 13th vertebrae, a genetic anomaly. Her father comes from Sicily and her mother from Italy.
She describes her ability to pass on messages as, “I get pictures in my mind, thoughts, pictures and then words. The hardest thing is telling someone they are dying or that a loved one is dying. I always ask if they want to know now before I say anything,” she said.
“The most fun is working in large groups. It is entertaining to see people’s reactions when I say something and see them wondering how I knew that. I like to change the minds of skeptics,” she said.
Allen does not often work with police, although she will if asked.
“I don’t call in when I see something because why is anyone going to believe this crazy woman from western New York?” she said.
She described one incident where she helped a retired state trooper solve a cold case by telling him to look at another individual they had not previously suspected of the crime, but was related to it.
She also helped a family retrieve the body of their son who was a college student who had gone missing.
“It’s emotional but it is my passion. I like helping people and giving them closure,” she said.
Along with being a psychic, Allen is an avid ghost hunter. She said she herself has died three times during this lifetime. When she was 11, she drowned, after a routine operation as an adult she developed a high fever from flesh eating bacteria and wasn’t expected to live, and while she was sleeping one night in 2014 she left her body. Each time, she said, she saw white lights and beams of white light, and in 2014 she recalls being in heaven, but also being told by her father that she couldn’t stay because she still had too much work to do.
She has also written two books, available at Amazon: “A Small Book About All Kinds of Spiritual Things" and "UFO’s and the Paranormal Are Normal.”
In her Mount Morris office she offers individual and group readings and telephone readings. She can also be hired for party readings. Her number is on her website valerieallenmedium.com where she states, “May you know that life continues on. That this earth plain is not the end only the beginning of a wonderful journey ahead on the other side. That God is there waiting and so are our loved ones.”
In the end Allen’s message resonates with what is happening in today’s society. She said, “I want people to stop seeing something they don’t know about as something bad. I want people to ask and not judge before they know more about something. In the Bible it says, ‘judge not, lest you be judged.'"