They stood facing each other with their hands outstretched almost as in prayer – but not touching each other.
They smiled and stifled giggles.
But then they started feeling heat from each other’s hands.
Or hearing humming noises.
Or seeing colors.
And that’s when they got serious.
They couldn’t believe what they were seeing and feeling, or that it was different with different partners.
“That’s wild. That’s wild, man,” said Greg Crouse, of Hanover.
Crouse was one of 60 people who attended a class called “Developing Your Sixth Sense.” The non-credit course was offered Wednesday by Harrisburg Area Community College’s Gettysburg Campus, at Emory H. Markle Intermediate School in Penn Township.
Instructor Judith Pellegrino, a Gettysburg hypnotherapist and psychic, warned the class that she could not make them clairvoyant in two hours if they aren’t naturally clairvoyant.
“I can’t teach you to bobsled in two hours, either,” she said.
But she claimed she could teach the class some skills, and split them into groups of six. The groups of six split again into pairs for the exercise that was supposed to warm them up both physically and psychically.
Pellegrino explained that everyone and everything has energy.
Since the laws of physics dictate that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed or transferred, Pellegrino said, it’s all around and people send and receive it all the time.
They just do it in different ways.
Everyone said they felt their hands warming up.
But Pellegrino said she believes the other sensations – the humming people heard or the colors they saw – indicated the type of psychic ability they have to receive energy.
People who heard humming are clairaudient – psychic listeners; people who saw colors are clairvoyant – psychic seers.
Some partners had to hold their hands fingertips to fingertips to feel anything and Pellegrino said they are clairsenient – people who feel energy physically.
Cari Martin, of Manchester, and Ian Malcolm, of Westminster, said they felt tingling sensations in their fingers when they did the exercise.
Kathy Bealing, of Hanover, said her hands started shaking uncontrollably when she and her partner held their hands fingertips to fingertips.
“Some times you’ll be doing this with somebody and feel something,” Pellegrino said. “Start adding to it. Does it feel happy? Does it feel tired?”
With two different partners, Bealing said she felt her heart tighten.
“I wish I would have had time to ask them about that,” she said, wondering if they had heart troubles.
Pellegrino said that sensation is one in series of feelings that people get when they learn to do psychic readings.
She taught them how to practice remote viewing – seeing hidden things with their minds – by adding in the same way.
“Is it a person, animal or object? Is it old or new?” she asked as they tried to see pictures hidden in envelopes.
Pellegrino also taught the class to see auras – radiant light that psychics say surrounds individuals.
She selected four women whom she said were easy to read because they had bright auras and asked them to stand against a white wall.
Pellegrino told everybody in the class to focus on one woman and do a “backwards blink” – look at the woman with their eyes closed for five seconds and then with their eyes open for a second.
“Some people see color; some people see shapes; some people see people,” Pellegrino said. “What do you see?”
Crouse said he didn’t see anything except the bright red bell on the wall above one of the women’s heads.
Another woman said she saw gray shadows behind Hanoverian Darlene Bathon. Pellegrino said she believes those shadows were dead people.
But no one should be afraid of the dead, Pellegrino said.
“You’re surrounded by dead people all the time,” she said. “You’re being communicated with by people who love you all of the time.”
Pellegrino said modern media have ruined the experience of interacting with the dead.
“If the rocking chair rocks by itself, it’s not grandma,” she said. “It’s ‘Spawn of Hell 3 Comes to Take Your Soul.'”
Pellegrino said she thinks reality is more like “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” – the 1947 film and 1968 television show about a young widow who discovers her home is haunted and forms a friendship with the ghost.
After the class, many of the students said they learned something.
But some of them weren’t sure if they’d be able to repeat it.
Cari Martin said she’s going to practice at home.
“I’m a believer,” said her friend, Ian Malcolm. “As far as me doing it and stuff like that, it’s a whole different thing.” Christina Kristofic, Evening Sun