An Irish-born clairvoyant who has had contact with the spirit world since the age of three has put pen to paper to share her life experiences, including what it was like growing up in Ireland with her gift.
Bridget Benson, 54, grew up in Straide, Co. Mayo. When her father passed away at the age of 12, her family moved to West Yorkshire, England, where she still resides today.
Benson, who recently penned her first book, When Tomorrow Speaks to Me: Memoirs of an Irish Medium, first received contact from the spirit world when she was three-years old.
“I remember it so vividly,” Benson tells the Irish Voice from her home in West Yorkshire.
“I was asleep in a room with my sister, two brothers and aunt Bridget and I saw Harry (dead grand uncle) sitting at the bottom of the bed.”
Benson, who speaks with a strong English accent, thought “it was normal” to see people from “the other world.”
Harry told his niece that he was not from “this world but from heaven.”
“This was very comforting to me later in life especially when I was brought up in a strict Catholic religion,” she said.
Benson explains she proceeded to have a full conversation with her uncle that night -- who still appears to her to this day when she calls upon him -- until her older sister asked her who she was talking to.
“When I told her it was Harry and that he was sitting at the bottom of the bed she began to scream and woke up the whole house,” recalls Benson, a mother of three and grandmother of one.
“My parents came into the room and my father told me he would deal with me the next day, which he never did.”
Benson later in life learned that her dad too had contact with the spirit world and shared with her everything he knew until his passing in 1968.
This made it easier for her to understand what she was seeing and feeling. In fact when Benson was seven a spirit told her that her dad would die when she was 12. She shared this information with her father, and he told her that it would be true.
“He did die when I was 12 but I had five years with him that I appreciated so much because I knew his time was limited,” adds Benson.
As a child growing up in Ireland with a unique gift Benson said at times, especially within her own family, she would be looked upon strangely.
“My mother kept saying she wanted to get in the parish priest, who at the time was like God, because I must have been possessed and kept asking why I wasn’t like the rest of my brothers and sisters,” said Benson, who came from a family of 11.
“My dad kept telling her that I was special and I used to protest and tell her why would God have given me this gift if he didn’t want me to use it,” she said.
During her schooling days in Ireland, Benson would have three spirit friends accompany her to school every day. She calls them Mary Ann, Lucy and Mary Ellen.
Her neighbors and school friends used to look at her strangely when she would communicate with them, but overall accepted it and never really gave her any trouble because of it.
“It was tough, life had lots of ups and downs, tears and heartaches but I don’t have one regret that I’ve been chosen to reach out to people this way,” she said.
Benson’s life in Ireland was abuzz with people, dead and alive, since she was young. “I never had a moment. My life was very busy. By day I would do chores around the house and on the farm, and by night my other life began where I would make time for listening,” Benson added.
“The spirits told me everything that was going to happen.”
Benson also claims to have seen leprechauns and fairies as a child.
“People didn’t believe me of course but I just told them what I saw and that’s all I can do,” she said.
Benson, trying to lead a normal life, studied nursing in England and became qualified in 1976. However she was never far away from the spirit world.
“Every day since I was three I’ve had spirits with me so although I may appear alone I haven’t been alone in all that time,” she said.
During her career as a nurse, Benson found that her spiritual awareness helped her to meet, deal and listen to people from all walks of life.
It wasn’t until 1990 that Benson received the “courage and guidance” to pursue her gift professionally and now works as a full-time clairvoyant and medium.
“I have an office here but I travel all over. I go back to Ireland at least seven times a year for readings and I soon plan to bring my gift to the Irish community in New York,” said Benson.
When not doing one-on-one readings Benson facilitates large audiences and will speak to those attending whom a spirit is seeking out.
“I don’t sit on a stage, I sit with my audience because the spirits have been very clear that I’m not above anyone so I place myself right in the middle and I then speak to those who have a light over their heads,” said Benson.