Pin It
Dr Mabuse the Gambler seance
Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)

I asked Lana Del Rey’s medium to contact my dead loved ones

New Age spirituality is more popular than ever, but communication with the deceased is still largely considered to be made-up magic. Enter Medium Fleur

As she moves a forest-green fingernail around the room, Medium Fleur zeroes in on a table near the front of the stage: “Your dog is here,” she tells a startled blonde woman, who confirms she’d had a “medium to large” dog which had indeed died. After a bit of back and forth, wherein the dog conveys he enjoyed being allowed to sleep in the otherwise banned bed before his death, the woman says, “That’s nice, but I’d rather speak to my dad... Is he there too?” 

During a sold-out live event in London, Fleur Leussinkone, a Los Angeles-based psychic medium who has worked with celebrities such as Lana Del Rey and Emma Roberts, promised to connect with audience members’ dead loved ones. Phones were switched off due to the “nature of the work”, as Fleur explained she can tap into the energy of the deceased as you tune into a radio station. All those present (and alive) were asked to do was give a yes or no response to her questions, which she said ensured she was listening to the right frequency. 

The accuracy when Fleur spoke – pinpointing specific instances only those she was directing her attention towards could have known – made it hard to deny she was doing something: she knew one woman’s mother was gardening for roses that day and that another, whose son had died by suicide, had a portrait of him on her wall. She was right that a child’s cause of death was under suspicious circumstances and spoke of a fun-loving party girl who’d popped back from the other side to tell her tear-stricken friend she is still having fun.

Psychics, mediums and astrologers have often been considered a bit “woo woo”, and there’s been a long tradition of scams. Fraudulent psychics have been known to do hot or cold readings – the former describes using sourced information found by researching the person prior, and the latter involves picking up on someone’s body language to indicate what they want to hear – but studies conducted by the Windbridge Research Centre have also found certain mediums can report accurate and specific information with no feedback during or after the readings, and without using fraud or deception.

It is impossible to scientifically prove that anything outside of our physical reality exists, but an alternative theory is that consciousness is separate from the brain, survives death, and can communicate with the bereaved or a medium. This belief, known as modern spiritualism, can be dated back to the 1840s when two sisters reported communicating with a deceased former inhabitant of their New York home. Although one of them later confessed it had been a hoax, it sparked a quasi-religious movement, with ouija boards and séances being used by the 19th-century upper classes as a source of entertainment. More recently, the uncertainty of the pandemic has resulted in a significant rise in people looking towards spirituality for answers and the New Age movement is now being embraced by young people. On TikTok, for example, ‘psychic’ videos have over 5.6 billion views.

When I was a teenager, my ex-boyfriend died in a car crash. I was devastated at the time, but it’s been a decade and going into the venue, I’d joked about whether he’d be one of those exes that slide into my DMs years later – only rather than communicate through Instagram, he’d do so via Medium Fleur. About an hour in, Fleur turned her attention to the table next to mine, saying a young man of the same generation who had died suddenly was coming through. “He’s one of two boys,” she said. “This feels important.” My ex, James, was an identical twin, but when I stayed sceptically silent and no one at the table recognised who she was speaking of, Fleur moved on.

Over Zoom a few days later during a one-to-one reading, the same man came through. Closing her eyes for a few moments and breathing deeply Fleur landed first on my paternal grandparents: ones I’d never met and have no relationship with. But instead of confirming my suspicions, Fleur instantly knew our family dynamic, mentioning specific anecdotes I didn’t know about. Later, on an emotional WhatsApp call with my mum, every detail was confirmed. Fleur then described my stepfather, who died six years ago, “revving a motorcycle and shaking his head”. “Does this mean anything to you?” she asked. I explained that two weeks ago, I was sent a photo of my mum on top of the bike she’d bought on a whim. She doesn’t know how to drive it, nor does she have a licence to ride. I hadn’t told anyone, bar laughing about it with my boyfriend. My stepdad, Fleur said, thinks the whole thing is a bad idea.

“Fleur instantly knew our family dynamic, mentioning specific anecdotes I didn’t know about”

Fleur doesn’t usually see a fully-formed person as they were when they were living, though she can often describe specific physical features or even their dress sense. She says it’s more a feeling: she knew my stepfather had died of lung cancer because she felt a pull towards her lungs when he came forward. She knew about the motorcycle because she used to ride one and felt a memory of it. This is why a yes or no response helps: it’s not as simple as your deceased loved ones chatting to her over coffee. It’s pieces of a puzzle she’s putting together and communicating as quickly as possible. 

Despite the information Fleur knew being impossible to find online, I still find it hard to get my head around what can’t be proven or seen. Fleur completely understands: her popularity lies not just in her accuracy – she has a three-year-long waitlist for personal readings and she sometimes works on criminal investigations – but in her relatability. Like me and very likely you, Fleur was, and in some ways still is, a sceptic. “It’s been 13 years of convincing myself, to be honest,” she says. “Every day is like, alright, let’s figure this out. But I'm finally at a point where I can understand the theory of it, I can understand how it works and why it works. And I'm as convinced, I think, as I'll ever be in my life.”

Later in our conversation, Fleur moves on to a young man who died in a car crash. I hadn’t mentioned anything about him, nor that we’d dated, but she goes on to describe him as a “cool” and “emo-looking” 20-year-old (it was 2006). “This is a bit random,” she continues, “but he mentioned… cheating on you?”

“Because he did,” I reply, instantly taken back to a house party gone wrong in 2007. “He says it didn’t mean anything,” she adds and I roll my eyes (it turns out it’s completely possible to fight with your ex-boyfriend from beyond the grave). Fleur adds that he’s mostly doing his own thing wherever he is: “I can’t explain it properly because I’m not deceased, but spirits still have their own ambitions on the other side... Also, perhaps you should ward your mum off from becoming a biker.” The sceptic in me undeniably shaken, I quickly passed on the message.