Getting a Read

Getting a Read

Miss Patty’s voice was accented and confident as she read me. “You need more self-confidence,” she said. “You have a gift, but keep it a secret. When you need guidance, meditate.” Part of me felt Miss Patty was seeing me; another noticed her words were vague and could apply to almost anyone.

As she spoke, it became clearer why people go to psychics. To start, we want someone to see and care about us, and we want them to do so compassionately and constructively. We want them to fan our ambitions and smother our anxieties—about who we are, what will happen, where we’ll end up. Meanwhile, preternatural experiences seem common enough to give even hardy skeptics pause, at least when it’s the skeptics having those experiences. Personally, I’ve had my palm read in Union Square, my tarot cards pulled in Oregon and my aura analyzed as well, finding comfort if also confusion in the answers provided.

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Passing by Miss Patty’s windows at 59 Amity Road, there can be no confusion about her line of work. A constellation of neon and LED signs, some on, some off, reiterate it: “Psychic Reader,” “Reader,” “Psychic Reader and Adviser,” “Palm Reader.” Hand and head statues, white with black markings, line the window ledge alongside Egyptian and Buddhist symbology. To the right, another sign, this one printed, advertises “Psychic Readings by Miss Patty / Healer and Advisor / (203) 932-9150” across a crystal ball floating in a purple night sky.

Miss Patty’s website more fully lists her services while keeping them steeped in mystery: palm, crystal stone, chakra, card and energy readings, plus “Wheel of Life” and “7 Colors of Life” analyses. “Full life readings,” she said, covering “past, present and future,” cost $80. The site says Miss Patty has two physical locations but lists four, half in New Haven and half in West Haven. Since the onset of the pandemic, her storefronts have functioned only as billboards; Miss Patty is only meeting by phone for now.

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The first time I called, I left a message. The second time, she picked up. “When would be best for you to talk?” I asked. She responded, “Now is actually good for me.” Talking by phone marks a departure for her 50-year practice, which has nonetheless left little imprint online. The exception is a trove of information courtesy of “Calling on Miss Patty,” a Yale Daily News article from 2016. Eve Sneider, the author, went to Miss Patty’s home in West Haven, describing the environment, the experience and Miss Patty herself:

Inside it is dark. The lights are off, the blinds are drawn halfway, and the room reeks of cigarette smoke. One wall is covered halfway in a very large mirror. I’m led to an armchair; it squeaks when I sit down. Patty’s sister tells me the psychic herself will be out shortly and goes back to her vacuuming. I can’t help but feel like I am intruding. I am also thrilled. …

… Miss Patty looks just as I imagined. She’s middle-aged, and she has meticulously coiffed dark hair and smudged-around-the-edges eyeliner. She wears a long dress and a black fleece jacket (after all, it is a cold day), and the frames of her glasses are bright red. Her eyes are kind, but when she talks her eye contact is unwavering in a way that makes me feel nervous. I do what I can to not look away.

Those images lingered in my mind during the phone call with Miss Patty, who said the psychic arts chose her, not the other way around. Helping people seek answers and guidance, she said, is just something she was intuitively led to do. “For a child, it’s terrifying not knowing exactly what you’re being visited by or what you’re seeing. How I found out that I had the gift was being out with my mom, going wherever, going to school, and seeing visions. Seeing people’s whole entire life and not really understanding what it was.”

“Everyone needs spiritual guidance in their life,” she told me before continuing the reading. “Like I said, I need you to not share your secret with anyone, and I would like you to meditate some more until your gifts grow. There’s new opportunities coming your way, doors will be opening. Do not be afraid, go through them.” She told me that I’m a kind-hearted person who can be quick-tempered, that I should try to have more patience. Though she may have said the same words to hundreds or thousands of others, they rang true enough. As she spoke I felt unburdened, even if only until we hung up the phone.

Miss Patty, Healer & Advisor
(203) 932-9150

Written by Lindsay Skedgell. Image 1, featuring a tarot reading, photographed by vimolsiri.s (Shutterstock). Image, featuring the window array at 59 Amity Road, photographed by Lindsay Skedgell.

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