Meet Monica, the Penn State Medium
Halloween is over, but that doesn’t mean Penn State has had its fill of the spooky and spiritual yet. Monica Ten-Kate may seem like your average 19-year-old sophomore, except for one extraordinary talent — she claims to talk to the dead.
“The best part of being a medium is the gift I get to give people that I read,” Ten-Kate said. “Just being able to see their face change from sadness to tears of joy from hearing from their loved ones is probably one of the best feelings I could ever have.”
Ten-Kate, also known as Monica the Medium or the Penn State Medium, is a communications major who has developed a successful business using her stated ability to channel the spirits of those who have passed on. Friends and family of the deceased looking for some spiritual enlightenment can schedule a reading at either her State College or northern Virginia home. Ten-Kate schedules as many online classes as she can in order to keep her schedule open for appointments and has even flown to other cities in order to perform her infamous readings.
Ten-Kate always knew she was a bit different. As a child she was extremely intuitive, often sensing the emotions of the people around her, she said. These skills only increased with age, and by high school she said she started having premonitions, which are messages or feelings of future events, in dreams and sometimes during the day. The abnormality often caused her anxiety when she was younger, Ten-Kate added.
She first felt the need to talk to another medium for guidance after continuously feeling the presence of her high school best friend’s deceased mother, Marcy.
“Then I got in a car accident in State College last December, and at the moment of impact I heard and felt Marcy call out my name,” Ten-Kate said. “That was the first time I became very aware.”
Last semester, Ten-Kate returned to her hometown in northern Virginia to speak with another medium about her developing gifts. The medium soon became Ten-Kate’s mentor.
“Within three minutes of meeting her she told me that I would be doing that same kind of work as her for the rest of my life,” Ten-Kate said. “She’s my mentor to this day.”
A week after this meeting, she had her first channeling experience, and she said her abilities have only catapulted in strength since. Ten-Kate read her friends and family at first, but she soon saw the opportunity to start a business using her unique skills after many people began offering her money to do readings.
“A lot of people have a hard time understanding or believing what I do, because it went from something that I kept to myself for so long, to becoming this full-blown thing,” Ten-Kate said. “It was such a short time that people were ‘like what the heck,’ but it was fast for me too.”
Ten-Kate said her friends and the majority of her family have been extremely supportive of her endeavors. Her biggest critic was her mother, who was extremely skeptical early on due to her strong Christian upbringing.
“My mom is very Catholic, so she has had the most difficult time accepting what I do,” Ten-Kate said. “Now she has seen me do readings, so she sees that it’s a beautiful thing.”
Getting a degree is somewhat of a backup plan for Ten-Kate, she said. After working for a large corporation for a number of years, she realized that a desk job just wouldn’t cut it. Ten-Kate hopes to be able to make a living helping people for the rest of her life. She says she does up to four readings at day at a $100-an-hour rate, although student discounts are available.
“I can’t believe that just as a 19-year-old I can have such an effect on people who are three times my age even,” she said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
I sat down with Penn State’s resident medium for a reading to experience her ghostly gifts myself. I went in with a hearty dose of skepticism, and little-to-no knowledge of mediums other than what I saw on “The Long Island Medium,” a television show in which a blond woman with huge hair and an exceedingly thick accent delivers messages from spirits. It’s safe to say that I was completely unaware of what to expect.
Ten-Kate described her communication with spirits as being similar to interpreting sign language. Rather than speaking to her conversationally they give her images, sounds, feelings, and noises, which she then must interpret.
She started off saying a prayer to cleanse the room and open her mind for communication. Then she started “reading.”
She explained that a spirit had been waiting to speak with me before I even arrived. With amazing accuracy, Ten-Kate told me a description of the first spirit coming through, including how she died and at what age, her nationality, and her relation to me. This spirit turned out to be my Canadian step-Grandmother.
She proceeded to channel four additional spirits with the same amount unbelievable detail, each with a different message for someone I knew or myself. Despite my natural skepticism, it was extremely impressive to witness and alarmingly accurate.
“I always say that skeptics should come do a reading with me before passing judgment,” Ten-Kate said. “Once they see what I can do, it changes a lot.”
If you’re up for some otherworldly fun, you can visit Monica the Medium’s website to schedule a reading for yourself.