"I'm going to ask the three of you to close your eyes, if you will," the Amazing Kreskin was saying yesterday. "And when I count three, actually let yourself become intensely sensitive to this room."
Actually, the Amazing Kreskin was going to count to 10, not three, so the three women could become intensely sensitive to the room, but even the Amazing Kreskin can get caught up in dipping into the realm of paraESPionage, a word he invented.
Anyway, there stood the self-described "world's foremost mentalist" in a bedroom of a Georgetown town house with Laura Walker, Joan Fallows and Dana McLeod, on the verge of using their minds to dip into the house's possibly spooky past.
Did Kreskin mention yet that he has a television special coming up? He did, indeed, before he and the women and the press trudged upstairs.
Back to the story: It all began two months ago when Walker, 37, stood in that very same third-floor bedroom and, for a nanosecond or so, saw a clear vision of a man feverishly doing some work. A few days later, someone named Richard M. Corbet showed up and announced he had lived in the house from 1957 to 1959 and that Army intelligence had once used that bedroom for electronic work.
Could that have been Laura Walker's vision? This called for Kreskin.
Specifically, Dana Hay called for Kreskin. An associate of Walker's, she had heard Kreskin was in the market for a "legitimately haunted house," as his news release put it, to use as a museum.
While CIA-type spooks were not the spooks he had in mind in his haunted hunt, Kreskin came anyway because he is also interested in paraESPionage, which he explained is a way to learn the other side's secret stuff by, among other ways, using the mind to soak up the "energy" left behind wherever.
When Kreskin went to the town house yesterday, Hay and Walker went, too. There were also several real estate agents. In fact, Hay and Walker are real estate agents, too.
Did anyone mention that the house on 33rd Street is for sale? It is, indeed, listed by Coldwell Banker for $324,900, and nicely written up in the brochures available at the house yesterday.
The extra real estate agents were there, said Kreskin manager Clinton Ford Billups Jr., because Kreskin needed a kind of control group in case Walker was the type who was "going to get here and say, 'And then the man got out of the UFO.' "
But she wasn't that type. Kreskin decided she and the other women, Fallows and McLeod, were "receptive," which meant he was getting good vibes from them and could use them to try to tap into the house.
It should be noted that McLeod isn't a real estate agent. She is an actress and group sales manager at the Hayloft Dinner Theatre in Manassas.
Did Kreskin mention he's booked into the Hayloft Dinner Theatre Aug. 13-19? He did, indeed.
Back to the story: After performing several other mind-relaxing exercises with the three, Kreskin took them upstairs and began counting to 10. He then urged them to be sensitive to "whatever vibrations, whatever feelings" they had, and then told them to open their eyes.
"Again," said Walker, "I had the image of the person . . . . He seemed to be working with some sort of detail. It appeared to be a notebook."
Fallows said she saw a room. McLeod saw barrenness, stillness. Kreskin did more tests. There were more images. "These people have not been rehearsed," said Kreskin and, indeed, they did not appear to have been rehearsed.
Afterward, Walker, who had seen the most, said she had been apprehensive about participating because "there are people out there who view this as crazy wacko stuff." But, "I've certainly had an enjoyable day."
Afterward, Kreskin pronounced the session a success and said it spotlights the issue of paraESPionage.
And afterward, by the way, he mentioned that he would be at the Hayloft Dinner Theatre, beginning Aug. 13.