You might expect a psychic detective to live in a spooky gothic mansion, but in fact Shuckleigh’s very own psychic detective lives in an unremarkable ground floor flat in a 1960s-built four-storey block.
The door is opened by a small man with sharp facial features and a decidedly old-fashioned taste in clothing – tweed suit, waistcoat and pocket watch – though he appears to be in his early forties. Inside, the flat has a modernist vibe, white walls, mid 20th century Scandinavian furnture, clean lines and clean surfaces.
I ask about his choice of decor.
‘I need a calm and uncluttered environment, or I can find myself overwhelmed by vibrations. The minimalist style allows me to focus on the work at hand, rather than being drowned in irrelevant chatter.’
‘I notice that you never put any contact details in your advertisements.’
‘No, indeed. As my ads say, if you need me, I will know – just as I knew that you wanted to interview me.’
‘Well, you turned up at my office and asked if I wanted to interview you.’
‘And you did.’
‘You had been thinking of me.’
‘So if someone thinks, “I could do with a psychic detective right now”, you pick up on that and just show up at their door?’
‘What kind of cases do you handle?’
‘Anything. Lost items are my speciality – valuables, pets, people. But I will bend my talents to whatever is required.’
‘Can you describe a case for me?’
‘Well, obviously I am unable to give details of any specific case, due to client confidentiality, which I take very seriously. Once I have made contact with a client and they have accepted my assistance, if it is a missing person case, I will ask for contact with the missing one’s belongings. It may be the case that an immediate impression comes to me, but often I then go to my meditation room,’ he indicates the bedroom, ‘and empty my mind, calling impressions to me. If the person is living, the impressions come quickly and are vivid. If deceased, which I am glad to say is not often the case, impressions are more difficult and confused, and it may take me some days to condense them into a useful narrative.’
Here he pauses and looks away into the distance.
‘There is someone hovering in your background,’ he says.
I assure him that I have no desire to know who that might be, and ask if he is a medium.
‘No, no. I do not routinely attempt to call up the spirits of those who have gone to Summerland. I think it cruel and intrusive. I only work to solve problems in this world. As I said, it is rare for a missing person to be quite that missing. I prefer to work with more concrete problems such as lost or stolen objects, and less serious crimes.
‘You heard of the outbreak of pet rabbit thefts, of course? I was instrumental in solving that case.’
‘I recall that the police found the rabbits in a hut in the woods behind the old shoe factory, but they never found out who stole them.’
‘No,’ he says, ‘and they never will. But I was the one who located the rabbits.’
‘Psychic probing and radiesthesia.’
‘If you prefer the common term.’
‘But why won’t the police ever find the culprit?’
‘I believe it to be a non-corporeal entity.’
‘A ghost stole them?’
‘Not at all. There are more things in heaven and earth than you and me and ghosts.’ He laughs and shakes his head. ‘You don’t really believe in ghosts, do you?’
‘Um, well, a lot of people do.’
‘They also believe in a great many other absurd things.’
‘I thought all psychics believed in ghosts?’
‘You are mistaking me for a medium. You keep mistaking me for a medium. I am a serious investigative agent.’
‘Can you help me find my car keys?’
‘They are in your pocket.’
At this point, he ends the interview and insists that I should not use his name in the article. But if you feel you need his help, just think of him and he will show up.
If he does, please let me know.