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I suppose none of this would have happened to us if we hadn’t traveled to Oxford, England — to a land where eccentric scholars ponder the great questions of life while safely nestled within their Gothic walls and dreamy gardens — to a city of antiquity, where ghosts haunt the winding back streets, silent cloisters, and damp hallways of elite colleges.

My best friend Wendy Choy hoped to distinguish herself in an in international piano competition. I simply dreamed of traveling overseas to escape a tedious week of school, a seemingly endless Michigan winter, and the humiliation of an unrequited ninth-grade crush. I pictured myself snacking on tea and scones while practicing my English accent. I would impress college dons and students alike with my penchant for using British sarcasm and slang, not to mention my lively collection of interesting hats. Together, Wendy and I would bask in the warm glow applause following her piano performances.

Naturally, I was also prepared to test my psychic skills in a land where nearly every old hotel, pub, and college library has a ghost story — a tale of some lonely apparition appearing to the sleep-deprived student or drunken reveler in the wee hours of the night.

I was prepared for all of these things.

I wasn’t prepared to feel helpless as I watched my best friend experience a disturbing change. Nothing in my Master Psychic’s Handbook had prepared me to watch the most reliable person I knew become the victim of the most unusual haunting I had yet encountered.

The Chinese have a saying: “If you believe it, there will be, but if you don’t, there will not.”

But what about people like Wendy, who do their best to remain rational — even a bit skeptical — and who nevertheless find themselves haunted by an unwelcome ghost?

The English have a saying when calamity strikes: “Put the kettle on; we’ll have some tea.”

But I needed more than tea to help unravel a haunting on foreign soil. I needed every ounce of the expertise and psychic intuition I had developed in my career as Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator.

Published August, 2007