Universal Life Church ministers are infamous for their quirky, eccentric personalities and their innovative approach when they perform a wedding, funeral, or other minister rites. Now, a ULC minister who identifies as a psychic medium is expanding that definition even further by hosting a tour of an allegedly haunted hotel in small-town Illinois.
Finding the Dead
Self-proclaimed sensitive Mark Dorsett will be hosting the tour of the Jane Fargo Hotel on the 19th and 30th of October, just in time for Halloween. The hotel is located in the charming town center of Sycamore, in north-central Illinois, in a region dotted with small farms, bucolic fields, and grand, old Second Empire mansions. It is the sort of town where small mom-and-pop shops pack the sidewalks and the community goes all out to decorate the streets for holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But with this idyllic Midwestern setting comes a haunted history which begins with the original resident, Mary Whittlemore.
Whittlemore is one of at least two ghosts Dorsett believes haunt the halls of the hotel. According to him, she inhabited an old mansion on the property where the hotel now stands. When developers failed to convince her to sell the house, they agreed to build the hotel around it. Dorsett thinks Whittlemore lets hotel staff know what she thinks of them by humming quietly in their ears, calling them on the phone and saying nothing, or making things disappear. But the hotel’s history has a dark side too: Dorsett believes a black bellhop named Mallonee died when thrown down a flight of stairs by a racist, jealous white man who believed Mallonee was making overtures to his wife.
Mediums, Channellers, and Sensitives
It is wronged souls like Mallonee the medium hopes to help by giving voice to them. But what is a medium, what is a channeller, and what is a sensitive? They are all considered forms of psychic ability, but while a medium sees and hears ghosts, a channeller allows the ghost to speak through them, while sensitive is a euphemism for the term “psychic”, which has earned a tarnished reputation in some people’s minds. “Some people are natural athletes and musicians,” he says, adding “I’m just a natural medium”.
Like so many others, Dorsett illustrates the diversity of ministers ordained online. Perhaps you have had encounters with what you believe to have been spirits of the dead. If so, how would you describe your experience? How did it affect your beliefs about psychic abilities and the spirit realm?