by Sandy Frazier
[Originally written in 1994; updated in 1997]
In the press she has been referred to as a “Ghostbuster.” One article written about her was even titled Psychic ‘ain’t afraid of no ghost.’ Now she is fast becoming known as an exorcist. Elizabeth Baron, my mother, has been a successful psychic/trance medium for nearly twenty years. She has gained a solid reputation for her uncanny accuracy and her amazing gift as a medium all over America. She is one of America’s leading professionals of the paranormal.
My mother is also an enlightened being… not because of her special gifts, not because of her talents… simply because of the way she lives her life. She gives off a special aura that reflects a deep calm she has been blessed with so that she may do her work for a higher cause. She gives of her time and resourcefulness generously, working with the police and others extensively free of charge. But her peace of mind didn’t come easy. Her life reads just like a Hollywood film about a woman caught between spiritual thought and physical temptation; of earthly desires and the Higher purpose she came here to fulfill. Her autobiography tells of a girl borne in poverty in the back hills of Tennessee; raised a fundamentalist Baptist, she was the last person she or anybody else ever thought would become a channel for a spirit of a nun called St. Catherine of Siena. At her lowest ebb, she was visited by the spirit of the famous 14th-Century Catholic nun who prophesied that she would teach many how to become enlightened beings.
Orphaned at seven, she had already been through hell and back with her nine brothers and sisters who all were adopted and placed into separate foster homes. She had witnessed her father shooting himself almost to death and had already had her first psychic vision of her own grandfather’s death. But it wasn’t until her thirties, four marriages and seven children later that she started to really live her life purpose. Toward the late ’70s, she hit rock bottom when one night she was beaten and raped. She landed in the hospital with a skull fracture and brain concussion. That was the turning point in her life, which led her to California on a great journey of self-discovery that was to culminate in her learning that St. Catherine had chosen her to be her channel. She resisted at first, but several years later she realized that she had a great mission in life. St. Catherine was not only there to bring forth messages to people (they came in droves) but was also there to help my mother teach people to meditate and heal themselves of a lifetime of pain. She went on to help thousands of people with her gift of prophecy and the great teachings that have been led every step of the way by her great spiritual guide. At the same time, she was healing herself of the remains of the pain brought on by her traumatic childhood.
After I returned home to New York from visiting her in Charleston in 1994, my mother called to tell me Geraldo Rivera’s producer had called to ask her to come to New York City to perform an exorcism on a haunted brownstone apartment building. The live exorcism of one of his producer’s homes was aired on the program’s taping we attended on May 17th. There was another psychic on the show as well as Geraldo’s “aces in the hole” (he has these “entertainers” on the program in case his main subjects don’t pan out); but my mother stole the show. She sat on a panel of several people who claim to have experienced hauntings of various kinds; although her exorcism of the producer’s haunted Manhattan home was the central focus of the program.
My mother’s psychic visions have led her to become a part of so many different circumstances where her gift has proven most beneficial. In 1986 she humbly and respectfully warned the Secret Service to beef up security around President Reagan after having seen a vision of an attempted assassination. They did, indeed, increase security and eventually found a gun with a note on it: “Mr. President, this gun is for you.”
Her numerous incredible predictions have been documented in the press over the years since 1987. Many of her clients came forward to thank her for warning them of “many rainy days in the Fall of ’89″ prior to the devastating Hurricane Hugo which she and her own family suffered through. I remember before the hurricane, all the radio stations started calling her to ask her what would happen. She simply told them, “You’ll know what my prediction is when you see me leave town myself,” and she did. As she left town, she called the radio station where her own talk show aired and told them they needed to warn the people not to just go to the suburbs. “This hurricane will go deep into the state of South Carolina. Go at least 100 miles west and you’ll be safe.” Her “guide” had told her a month before that she would be going to the mountains during a catastrophe.
She and her guardian angel, St. Catherine, literally became celebrities in 1989 when she began doing the “morning drive time” segment of many popular rock and roll radio shows in Charleston as well as being mentioned in society columns in the paper referred to as “the controversial channel and her Saint” who had, in life, been one of the most modern women to ever live.
Her work with law enforcement is well documented in the press. Perhaps the most publicized case she ever worked on was the case of the missing bridge inspector, Ralph Terry Griggs in South Carolina. Our friend and the leading private investigator on this and many other cases, Howard Comen, consulted St. Catherine every step of the way in trying to find the missing man. Little did they know, their purpose wasn’t to actually find the missing man, but rather to expose a whole lot of serious corruption surrounding the case. She tranced and let Catherine come through to reveal to the FBI and the Department of Transportation that the pilings were done wrong on the crosstown expressway. She told them to refer to the lower half of page 121 in the 5,000 page contract. The outcome was that it was brought to their attention by State Senator Passailaigue, who they went to for help, and a complete investigation resulted. Indeed the work was stopped on a section of the bridge and the problem corrected which probably saved more lives and tax-payers’ dollars than we’ll ever know. The bridge inspector’s body was never found and she believes he is buried in the pilings; but she feels satisfied that a lot of important things were accomplished because of her and Mr. Comen’s involvement.
One of her successes was documented in the Post Courier – Disappearance of sailors still a mystery. Jean-Yves Lallinec and Isabel Seither of France were meeting with Greg Flynn, a Charleston real estate agent and sailing enthusiast, who was helping them search for two friends who had vanished while sailing a catamaran to the Caribbean. Flynn suggested my mother, Elizabeth Baron, who joined them in the search. She went into a trance asking St. Catherine to enter her body and offer spiritual guidance. With a tape recorder on, Howie Comen, private investigator and fellow-”Ghostbuster,” asked her questions.
“Where is the boat?”
“Venezuela,” she replied, adding that one of the missing men was trying to do favors for a number of people.
When Lallinec, Seither and Flynn heard the tape, they were shocked; another psychic in France had told them the same exact thing. Weeks later the boat had been spotted in Venezuelan waters. The fate of their friends is still a mystery, one that Unsolved Mysteries is still tackling.
Inside Edition covered the story of her exorcism of a haunted house in the Charleston area – the Taylor home. They “Hollywood-ized” it by including snippets of the film, Ghost. “Whether you believe in them or not, Ghost is the story of a suddenly murdered man whose spirit lingers and communicates, with a girlfriend he left behind, through a channeller… But in real life, this house in Charleston, South Carolina seems to be filled with ghosts who have unfinished business…”
Jean Taylor, the owner of the house, described the ghosts she had been experiencing. My mother told her there were actually four ghosts in her home. She was able to bring through two of them on her first visit and let them talk with their relatives and get some things straight that weren’t settled while they existed on earth. She just prayed and asked God to put the words in her mouth. Mrs. Taylor believed the deceased members of her family were still trying to work things out from the Great Beyond… right in her own house. It was a very painful and emotional experience to help her deceased relatives go into the Light. My mother actually saw the man’s spirit as he ascended and Mrs. Taylor was relieved and cried as she was released from thirty years of hauntings.
Inside Edition also featured another story about spirits returning to “clean up some unfinished business” when members of the Jones family came forward to describe how their brother’s spirit had been seen all over the house since the day he had killed himself.
“Exorcism is an ancient rite in the Catholic church designed to cast out evil from a place or a person. The church does not like to talk about exorcisms but they do occur all over the world. Recently a family in South Carolina went through a harrowing ordeal that ended in a kind of an exorcism.”
The Jones’s were kind of skeptical themselves but couldn’t deny what they had seen with their own eyes. The sounds of their brother’s funeral music and the barking of his dog had been heard. My mother told them “Our purpose is to try to help him to have some peace and to be able to say, in a kind and loving way, good-bye to his family and help him to go into the Light. That’s what we hope to accomplish. His spirit and his feelings are right here very much and so my spirit can tune in to those feelings and tell you what he is feeling.”
Then she prepared to go into trance. “Michael, my friend, you have permission to take over my body, my mind and my spirit and give a message…” (much the same way she allows St. Catherine to channel through her). Then Michael’s restless spirit came through and spoke from “the other side.” He said he was sorry and he wished he had not cut his life short. He just wanted to let them know that he was there.
Just like most other exorcisms she had been a part of, the Jones family breathed a collective sigh of relief feeling most definitely that the spirit of their brother had been somehow released into the Light and was finally at peace. They all cried tears of joy as Michael’s spirit ascended away from the earth he had chosen to leave too soon.
These and many more of her cases are documented here in this book. When her gift came full-circle during the mid-seventies and she was about to become a professional trance medium she, herself, had already been the victim of countless phonies in the business. She discovered over the years most of these “prophets” were in business just for the profits. So she was determined to work hard to become the best psychic medium in the country and offer her clients the most valuable service they can get for their money. Today she is one of America’s most outstanding, consistent, accurate and credible psychics.
You can’t imagine the hauntings that occur in the Low Country, alone – Charleston, South Carolina – where on the Battery remnants from the Civil War remain such as cannons and bulwarks – Fort Moultrie, Fort Sumter and also the battle between the British and Americans. When I asked her what percentage of the hauntings were of the old Charleston mansions, I was surprised to hear her say, “There are very few hauntings that I’ve worked on in downtown Charleston. Many of the people in the Charleston mansions don’t want their ghosts to leave. They are holding onto these souls of their past who are really just restless and need to move on to fulfill their purposes in the spirit realm. Some of them don’t even know they’re dead. The people of Charleston are really into their history, culture and heritage and things like that and they hang onto it with all they’ve got.” Nevertheless, the demand for exorcisms grows as people open up to believing in life after death.
Perhaps the most profound thing about having a mother who is an exorcist is that she is a woman and women aren’t usually known to perform exorcisms. As a medium so open to the world of the Great Beyond, my mother is like a magnet to the spirit world. People come from far and wide seeking peace of mind, regarding friends and relatives who have passed on. I know her better than anyone and have experienced it for so many years, you’d think it wouldn’t even phase me any more; but I’m still amazed at every new case that comes along…. and so is she. It takes a great deal of tolerance and acceptance of human nature, as well as a deep faith in God and the unknown, to be an exorcist. If she hadn’t gone through so many extremely difficult lessons in her life, she may not be as effective as she is in this area of her work.
Many people believe, as souls, we choose our parents before we enter into this life. I often wonder what I was thinking when I decided on this mother… I suppose even as a soul with no body, I had sense enough to know the more one learns on this earth, in this lifetime, the quicker one gets back to God. This line of thinking helps me understand why I would choose a mother with whom I could learn so much.
In Her Own Words
Following is the brief story she tells her clients over and over each day about how she came to channel the spirit of the fourteenth-century nun, St. Catherine of Siena. “I have been working full time as a psychic (a trance medium, to be specific) since 1978 when I was visited by the spirit of what appeared to be a lady in white. She came to me at 5:00 a.m. on a cold February Chicago morning just as I awoke and turned the light on by my bedside to read a little before my children got up. The “spirit” appeared in a glorious bright light that seemed to inundate my very soul! She told me I had a mission and that she would like to work through me to help others to feel good about themselves and to help the world to be a better place. My little daughter Thereasa, who was six years old at the time, came to my bedroom doorway and asked, “Who was that nun, Mommy?” My life would never be the same.
“It was only weeks before, that I had been beaten, raped and left for dead by my car in broad daylight with a skull fracture and a brain concussion. I awoke to find myself lying flat on my back, head bandaged, in a hospital bed. At the time, I felt I had reached the end of my journey. Later, I was to learn the spirit of the nun who had appeared to me was none other than the famous St. Catherine of Siena, Italy, a fourteenth-century nun who had advised and counselled many… even the Pope! She had been blessed with beautiful spiritual gifts of healing and the ability to help others in very unique ways. At first, it was bewildering to even think about why she would choose to come to me because I had just gotten a divorce from my husband, who was Chief of Police, and had really hit rock bottom in my life. But it was time for my life to change and so I accepted Catherine as my guardian angel.
“Being possessed by a Catholic saint was especially hard for me to accept because I had been raised a Baptist and was taught Catholics were somehow evil, since my parents had always told me it was wrong to worship the Virgin Mary. Only Baptists could enter into the Holy of Holies… or so I thought. So it was a special shock to me that a nun would want to work with a Baptist (and not a good one at that). She finally helped me to realize that she was something wonderful happening to me. Since 1978 I have been helping many through her… or maybe I should say, she’s been helping many through me.”
* * *
When I was sixteen years old, it was very difficult for me to understand what had gone wrong in our lives. Mom was at her lowest ebb. She had just gone through her third divorce and all our lives were in the midst of a traumatic upheaval. She knew she had no choice but to retreat and find herself; St. Catherine would literally save her from herself. I understand now that her struggles and pain led my mother to become a medium in order to help people in ways I could never have imagined back then. So my younger sisters went to live with our dad; my brother, Johnny joined the Army; and I went to work in an office by day and performed as a musician at night. My mom packed up everything she could fit in one car and left our home in Chicago to drive to San Diego.
One day, a few months later, she called me and said, “Guess what? I’m a medium.” Just like that! I was not one bit surprised because I always knew she was somehow special. I always thought she had some sort of one-of-a-kind gift but hadn’t quite found out what it was. When I was a little girl, I really thought she was going to marry Elvis Presley! I always knew she’d be famous one day for doing something really spectacular.
My mother and I have always been spiritually connected… we believe, from many lifetimes. While she was in California, we wrote each other letters and called each other all the time… always with news of something else we had learned. Our lives constantly converged as we experienced concurrent lessons. I was working for a nutritionist/healthologist who was teaching me all about wholistic health and herbs, while at the same time, my mother was learning about nutrition, herbs and vegetarianism. She was in “training” at the Spiritualist retreat in order to learn trance mediumship – a more advanced way of trancing and bringing through spirits. Here, she explains the difference:
“Let me explain what a trance is and how I am able to go into one. A trance medium is a person who allows a discarnate (one who has no physical body) spirit or spirits to use his or her vocal chords to communicate messages to someone living. This method of communicating messages from the spirit world requires more from the medium than a common psychic who may go into a light trance in order to remove him- or herself from normal consciousness.”
The trance medium must be able to discipline him- or herself to fall into a much deeper, faithful trance trusting his body to the material world for a time that he may “loan” himself to an entity. He becomes somnolent, as though hypnotized, as he “passes away” becoming absorbed into a transient state of being.
“As a medium, I am able to listen and tune in to discarnate spirits as they give me information to pass on to whomever I am reading for. Sometimes referred to as a “channel,” I am an intermediary between the earthly world and the world of the spirits in the Great Beyond.”
* * *
The person who returned back home to Chicago from San Diego definitely looked like my mother (although much healthier, tanned and thinner) but the personality inside (her spirit) had drastically changed. We became roommates and she gradually started easing time in to work as a medium. I think it was difficult for her to accept at first because people think you’re nuts when you tell them you’re a psychic or medium! I remember when my mother first started using her gift as a medium professionally. It took her a long time to realize she even had a special gift. I think she had it a long time before she ever started “tuning in” the way psychics do; but for her to accomplish the things she has since, took a great deal of faith in the Holy Spirit which filled her mind with the mission and her mouth with the words.
I remember those days well! I worked two jobs by day and would play my music in clubs at night. Mom started out doing readings for $5.00 and each time she would do a reading, we got to go out to eat! Then she’d go with me to watch me play my guitar and sing at night. She was always so supportive of me spiritually and artistically. Slowly, but surely, mom started forming little meditation groups. She started out by writing a small pamphlet on colour meditations that eventually grew into our seven-year collaboration and became a book, The Art of Silence (Meditating the Western Way), about the principles of meditation, which she was led by St. Catherine to teach.
Groups of rich women in Chicago would invite her over to their big, fancy homes for an evening to trance, channeling the spirit of St. Catherine of Siena. One of these first sessions was the only time I ever actually saw the nun transfigured over her face. I wrote about the experience in a song dedicated to my mother and St. Catherine – Holding Hands Forever.
Sitting in a circle on the floor,
the last one to enter shuts the door.
They’ve come to hear a bit about themselves
- clues to get them through another day.
Mom tells it like this:
“When I first returned to Chicago, I was amazed at how many people were interested in psychic phenomena. I was frequently invited by these rich women to their big, old homes; and they took a real interest in what I did. They would gather about ten women together and hire me for the evening to do psychic readings for them all and kind of make a party of it – I was their entertainment for the evening. I was asked to come to their churches to speak about life after death. You can imagine how shocked I was when nuns and priests began calling on me for the same reasons! But my work as an exorcist is perhaps the most fulfilling aspect of my career. I have found, in most cases, the ghost appears when the person or people living in the house have serious problems in their own lives, which attracts a like entity. I feel very pleased and content working in this capacity; and it is a real blessing and a privilege to be able to help people with spirits who have unfinished business and do not know how to go into the Light.”
* * *
In the Spring of 1995, I was busy working on projects with my mother – long distance, as always. We’d been through so much together and we both had a very strong feeling that new doors were about to open up. It was the culmination of the past nine years – all our books, ideas and projects were coming together as part of the great plan of completion. Mom had made predictions, such as the World Trade Center bombing and was predicting that much more terrorism will invade our country in the future – all centering on New York, “The New City,” as Nostradamus referred to it. She told the press in her annual predictions that we’ve been experiencing what were the beginnings of another great war. I knew it to be true; I, myself, have had so many vivid dreams over the past ten years about terrorists coming from other countries and war in our streets. “Carnage” is a word that’s just never been used to describe disasters in America. The thought of it all was sad and frightening. We were becoming more and more aware of the reality that freedom is something we should never take for granted. With the Oklahoma City bombing, we knew our country was in serious trouble.
In April, my mother came to New York so we could have a meeting with prospective agents at the William Morris Agency. We strongly believed the spirits led us to them just at that particular time. Everything seemed to be aligning just perfectly. I’d been inside many skyscrapers of New York City; in between being a starving artist and a struggling musician, I worked as a temp. It felt good to be going into a Manhattan office on our behalf instead of as a temp. I had documented so much of what she’d done – in writing, videotaping and recording. We had our presentation ready – complete with a video compilation of much of my mother’s outstanding work over the years. We were prepared to meet the opportunities that lay ahead.
It was actually the first time I’d seen the clip of what has turned out to be her amazing new spiritual gift – drawing the criminals she’d described to the police. She was able to use her artistic talents to create renderings of what she’d seen psychically, in order to help the police with cases in even more detail. Nothing was as moving about her psychic gift as that rainy afternoon in the office of William Morris – “The Agency” – when they played the videotape of the six o’clock news where they superimposed a photograph of the actual person they’d caught (the criminal) over mom’s psychic sketch! It literally gave me goose bumps!**
**She helped draw a sketch of the Low Country serial rapist six months before police caught the suspected rapist, Duncan Procter.