Sherrie Dillard, a professional psychic, disclosed last week that she had worked with Raleigh police as they tried to find the person who killed Stephanie Bennett in North Raleigh. Dillard, 46, of Durham, discussed her profession in an interview with Q editor Jane Ruffin. Here are excerpts:
Q: How does the information come to you? Do you just get a feeling, see something, hear something?
A: It can come in a feeling, like a gut feeling. It can come in a vision, seeing things. It can come just in knowing, or a thought or an idea. Mine tends to come in pretty clairvoyantly. I tend to see strong images, visions, but I also get it through sensations, feelings, knowing. I would say probably I'm one of the few people who tend to get it in most ways pretty strongly.
Q: When you see a strong image, describe what you see.
A: It's not like looking at an object in a room or a tree outside. Intuitive seeing, though, can be incredibly clear. It's almost like looking at a picture.
Q: You feel there is a religious reason you are able to do this?
A: I feel like with any gift we're given, with any talent we have, we have the free will, and it's our job to direct it in whatever way we choose. I feel like I could have this gift, and maybe I could try to win money from the lottery, or I would maybe try to gain power. That would not be a spiritual use of it. With the gift I've been given, if I can use it to help people, then, yeah, I do feel like it is a gift from God.
Q: I still can't resist the question: If you're psychic, how come you haven't won the lottery?
A: I'm stupid? My mother didn't teach me that good? I don't know. It's a good question. Sometimes I think to myself about it. I really often think I must have some kind of hang-up that I'm not capitalizing more on this. I don't seem to be.
Q: What do you charge for a session?
A: I charge a sliding scale for a reading, and that's about an hour long, and I charge anywhere from $70 to $90 for an hour reading.
Q: What does a person get for the money?
A: Usually, someone comes in or we talk on the phone. I get their birthday and I say a prayer, and then I give them everything that I get.
And after I've given information, which can take usually 30 minutes or so, maybe 40, I'll then ask [whether there are questions]. Sometimes I can do the full reading before questions, and then I'll ask if there are other questions or areas you want me to focus on. And then they'll go into, "Do you think I'm going to get fired?" or whatever.
Q: You can answer that question?
A: People ask me questions like that all the time. That's really why people come. People never come to me if life is good.
Q: If you are walking down the street and get a sense that something bad is going to happen to someone you see, do you have an ethical obligation to tell him to watch out?
A: Believe it or not, unless I'm working, I am not psychic. Unless I'm working, I have trained myself to not know because I don't want to know. ... I would walk around so overwhelmed with stuff that I would be sick.
Q: Can you tell by talking with me [by phone] what color my hair is?
A: Remember what I just said. If I'm not working, I am not going to click in and be psychic like that.