Northport medium builds a big business

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NORTHPORT — During a visit with friends to the Tremont Tearoom in the 1960s, a young man looked at Bonnie Lee Gibson‘s tea leaves and told her three things:

You’re going to see death.

You’re going to reunite with an old boyfriend.

You’re going to come into money.

At the time Gibson thought, OK, sure. She and her friends had stopped in during a break from cosmetology school. They left the tearoom’s second floor, exited the building and Gibson stepped out onto the busy Boston sidewalk.

“This little old lady, about five-three,” falls right over backward, eyes right on my face, dead,” she said. “I thought it was a hoax, to be honest.”

The police arrived. It was real enough. Dead.

Four months later, the old beau was back. Within the year, she received a $5,000 accident settlement check.

Today Gibson is 64, a psychic medium, hairdresser, hypnotist and maybe the only tea-leaf reader in Maine. She calls the Tremont experience “the most accurate reading of my life.” She also says it had nothing to do with the tea leaves. It was that young reader. He was just good.

People have asked, “Are you any good?” It’s a hard question for her to answer modestly.

“I have about a 98 percent repeat clientele,” Gibson said. “I’ve built a $340,000 house with just spirit readings.”

Gibson said she’s been able to see and hear spirits since she was 4 and growing up in Fairfield. She had readings done on herself over the years. Many mentioned that she’d someday be a medium. She didn’t believe it.

In her 40s, a doctor suggested she learn to meditate to control her high blood pressure. He recommended a class. Unbeknown to Gibson, it was a Spiritualist Church development class. And, she liked it.

“It taught me who I wanted to be and how I wanted to present myself,” she said.

Now she gives readings in a purple tent outside Perry’s Nut House in Belfast, teaches classes at the Temple Heights Spiritual Camp in Northport and hires herself out for psychic readings at parties. Her evenings are booked through September.

“I do phone readings all over the world,” Gibson said. “I have clients in Australia, Japan. I never mention names, (but) I have a client in Washington, D.C. He’s in government.”

She charges $80 an hour. Reading tea leaves is a small part of her repertoire.

The leaves, like cards and pendulums, are almost incidental, Gibson said. She believes it’s more a mix of intuition and spirit guides, hers and clients’.

After having a client steep and drink tea, she asks them to swirl the dregs three times, turn the cup upside down and look for symbols, but keep an open mind about it.

For one person, an anchor in the leaves could mean water or a trip.

“To somebody else, it could mean, ‘Oh, I’m dating a Navy man,'” Gibson said. “I tell them 100 times in a class, ‘Just because it means this to Suzanne doesn’t mean it means this to Jason.'”

Symbols can cover past, present and future; leaves can’t be pinned down on the future. Gibson said when she gives a reading, any event in question could happen anytime between that day and the client’s death.

Not everyone will walk out onto the sidewalk and into a premonition.

“My dream job is, I really want to open a tearoom,” she said. “I’ve been collecting antique teapots all my life to do that.”

Weird, Wicked Weird is a monthly feature on the strange, intriguing and unexplained in Maine. Send ideas, photos and some nice Earl Grey to [email protected]

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