For the Ladies Auxiliary of Orangetown Fire Company #1, a small group of women who support firefighters from local companies during structure fires by providing food and drink while turning away prying onlookers, a typical fundraiser might look like a game of bingo. It might also look like a Pancake Breakfast, which the organization holds annually at the firehouse in December. But when pitching ideas for their most recent event, a new suggestion was thrown into the mix: a group psychic reading by Orange County medium Lisa Morrison.
Though the idea was entirely different than anything the Auxiliary had ever done before, the group decided to take a chance, scheduling the event for Friday, November 16 at the firehouse. A mix of 41 organization members and people from the community gathered to watch Morrison do her reading, resulting in an Auxiliary fundraiser like no other.
“I think one thing that pushed us (to do this) is that in the past two years, three of our members have passed,” Auxiliary member Maria Daggett-Eskinazi said before the reading. “It pushed us that we lost so many—not just auxiliary members, but firemen too. Wouldn’t it be kind of nifty to do it in the firehouse to see if any of them come from the other side?”
Standing at the front of the room with her microphone, Morrison began the evening with a speech letting the audience know what to expect. She explained that while every medium experiences spirit differently, her own process involves sensing the presence of someone departed, whether it be visually or strictly feeling. From there, she compared interpreting their communication like a game of charades with herself, trying to
make sense of certain words and symbols they provide.
“I think it’s healthy to have a little bit of skepticism. Even I’m a skeptic sometimes,” Morrison said when speaking with RCT before the event, regarding people who may not believe in what she does. “If you’re like, ‘I don’t necessarily believe this because I have no proof but I’m open to it,’ those are always the best readings, because those people come in with no expectations. Versus somebody who comes in and is like, ‘I really want my loved one to give me a code word or something.’ That’s not how this works.”
During the firehouse reading from 7 to 9 p.m., Morrison claimed to communicate with several spirits from the other side, including a beloved husband, a domestic abuse victim and a young man who died after being hit by a drunk driver. In some cases where a person’s life was taken prematurely, Morrison shared the deceased’s insight into whether or not justice would be served. In others, she simply told audience members that their loved ones were at peace.
Audience member Katie Mathsen received two readings from Morrison: one from her mother, who passed in 2015, and one from her father, who passed in 2019. She knew it was her parents by the topics they brought up,
such as her family giving away her father’s model airplane collection (which he was not too pleased about) and the irreplicable nature of her mother’s famous recipes. Morrison also communicated to Mathsen that her parents were okay, and that they loved her.
When the reading concluded, RCT spoke with Mathsen to see how it felt to hear a message from the other side.
“It was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Mathsen said. “I prayed for them to come through and really wanted to hear from them because it’s been so long. The message (Morrison) delivered was spot on. It felt like I was talking to them. It was really cool to hear.”