- Tyler Henry is the 26-year-old “Hollywood Medium.”
- Now he has a new Netflix series, “Life After Death.”
- He gives a “reading” to reporter Erin Jensen, who is surprised by some of the “eerie” details.
Can Tyler Henry really connect with the dead? A reading from the supposed clairvoyant seemed to be the only way to find out.
Henry, who first gained notoriety in 2016 as E!’s “Hollywood Medium,” “reading” celebrities, says he gets messages from the deceased through his five senses. “I might get a very strong vision. I might get what feels like a song stuck in my head,” Henry, 26, says.
Our reading, arranged to promote his new Netflix series, “Life After Death with Tyler Henry” (now streaming), mirrors those of his non-celebrity clients. Though ours is conducted over video chat. The nine-episode series also attempts to solve his family’s mystery: How his mom, Theresa, ended up in the custody of a woman evil enough to commit double-homicide – whom Theresa learned only a few years ago is not her biological mother.
‘American Idol’:Formerly homeless singer blows Katy Perry away with judge’s own song
Henry says he first became aware of his ability at age 10. He says he had a premonition that his grandmother “was going to die” and was proved right. His mom was notified shortly after of his grandmother’s death. Henry’s now amassed a waiting list of more than 300,000 people seeking readings, according to the series.
“Life After Death” highlights what seems like an impressive ability, but could it be the result of skillful editing or thorough research of his subjects? Ahead of my reading, I’m assured that he has not been given my name in advance.
I ask my mom and cousin to sit in on the chat so they can verify any of Henry’s statements that I can’t. I also secretly hope that my cousin will hear from his dad, who died of a heart attack more than eight years ago.
How low can ‘AGT: Extreme’ go? Fire limbo performer sizzles, critic Simon Cowell feels the burn
Eerily Accurate: Circumstances of my cousin’s death
Sure, there are things you can Google about me or find on Ancestry.com. So when Henry sees a red rose during our reading relating to my mother’s side, I’m impressed – my middle name is Rose, after my maternal grandmother – but I’m also skeptical since my full name is in my Instagram and Twitter handles.
But Henry also knows of my diabetic aunt who lost a toe, which he says creates a sensation in his feet. “I feel almost like my circulation doesn’t go to my toes or something, and I usually attribute that to diabetes. But it’s bad, somebody literally lost blood flow through the extremities.”
He also brings up a recent educational decision for my oldest niece, who will be starting a new school in the fall, which he says is just my deceased family members’ way of proving they’re around. “This was just talked about,” Henry says (and he’s right). “It’s just validation that they’re here.”
He pulls two family members’ names out of the air. He says my mom is “is going to have a sense of responsibility, wanting to make sure everything goes smoothly for somebody else.” (My dad has multiple sclerosis, and my mom is his caregiver.)
Henry knows more about my family than I do. “If anybody in the family has gotten genetic testing, that’s a good thing,” he says. Unbeknownst to me, my mom has, after a relative died of cancer.
Henry makes several statements that are true. About 30 minutes into our reading, he asks if there’s anything specific I’m curious about. I think of two people I hope Henry can connect to: my cousin’s dad, and another cousin who drowned in 2006. I’ve seen the peace Henry’s readings can bring survivors on TV, and I desperately want that kind of healing for my family. I mention “two sudden passings” to Henry, but that’s all I give him.
Henry says my cousin’s dad is concerned about how his death affected his children and emphasizes “father-son relationships, and not wanting to leave a mess emotionally.” This tracks, as my cousin is male (but an only child).
Henry also notes “a change of plans” when it comes to how my cousin’s dad “would have been memorialized or remembered … There’s something funny there with that of like, ‘Oh, we thought we were gonna do that, then we put it off.’ But it’s like, ‘No we gotta do it. We gotta do it.'”
My cousin feels confident he knows what Henry is referring to: There’s no headstone on his father’s grave yet.
“I hope part of the healing today is relaying that message that he’s all good, even if maybe we are still not resolving things,” Henry says. “Because it’s important that that comes through for this son.”
‘Walking Dead’ walks on with ‘Isle of the Dead’ spinoff starring Maggie and Negan in Manhattan
Henry also receives information about someone who died at what he calls a “pivotal age.” “This would have been a situation where everyone was having a good time, and then very quickly things came to an abrupt halt,” Henry says. “The weird thing about his passing was that where it happened was very inaccessible.”
My cousin drowned during an event dubbed River Raft Race when hordes of college students descend upon a river in central Texas. He was 21.
“I feel like part of our reading today really is meant to deliver messages to his (immediate) family,” Henry says. “There’s just a feeling of needing it to be known that he’s OK and that he needed to show up today.”
Sunflowers with no roots
Henry saw a significance of sunflowers that I couldn’t make sense of. He also spoke about a trip – or a conversation about taking one – to my great-grandmother’s birthplace, which I am not aware of. (She is from Monterrey.)
Relating to my mom’s side, Henry sees three sisters, but my grandmother is one of five girls.
Henry also anticipates “a pretty big career change over the course of the next year, even maybe in the next six months” for my brother, which seems unlikely since he’s very successful, focusing on real estate.
Some of Henry’s other statements seem true-ish, if you leave room for interpretation: An inscribed animal statue he mentions could refer to a box that features a boy hugging a dog. Henry sees two children for my cousin’s dad and refers to an unfinished love story, which seems to fit. But statements of Henry’s that have no truth to them seem far and few between.
Henry admits he gets it wrong sometimes. But “I don’t think that invalidates when I get it right,” he says. “Even the best basketball players still miss their free throws sometimes, and we can still recognize that they have talent.”
Why that ‘Winning Time’ pickup game with Magic Johnson, Norm Nixon had real ‘fury and anger’
Final thoughts: For real or a fraud?
After my reading, I’m convinced of Henry’s ability. Like him, I believe we all have intuition. “It’s really a matter of trusting (your instincts) and refining them,” he says.
How many times have you known a relationship was unraveling or had a gut instinct that turned out to be right? If you believe in an afterlife (and I do) why couldn’t spirits have figured out a way to communicate?
My cousin whose father died, and the sister of my cousin who drowned, are convinced that Henry is the real deal.
The thing I’ll treasure most from the experience is the peace they got from themessages relayed to them.