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Bonnie VentGhost Busters

"Spirit advocate" Bonnie Vent does more than believe in ghosts - she talks to them.

IT’S GETTING TO BE A BUSY TIME of year for Bonnie Vent. A paranormal researcher and professed “spirit advocate,” she says she speaks for the dead and delivers messages to the living from spirits who have passed over to the other side.

Halloween stirs interest in all things psychic, supernatural and paranormal. And as owner of the San Diego Paranormal Research Project, Vent is likely San Diego’s most famous ghostbuster. For years, she was the resident psychic at Villa Montezuma, channeling information for original owner Jesse Shepard. She’s spoken for Thomas and Anna Whaley, original occupants of the haunted Whaley House. And this summer, she traveled to Texas to work with the Phenomena Police, a group of active-duty Houston police officers who provide paranormal investigation services.

Vent says she is both clairvoyant and clairaudient, “so I receive messages either by seeing what you might describe as a video clip, or I will hear actual words in my head, or both. If I had to describe the method, I would call it telepathic communication from their dimension to ours.”

And what have local ghosts told her?

“Jesse Shepard was a spiritualist in life and remarked how funny it was to be here, trying to communicate there, and now he is there, trying to communicate here,” Vent says. “He told me about my past life in San Diego. . . . Back then, I read tea leaves and ran a tea shop with a private room in the back for readings.

“Thomas Whaley wants his personal journals located. He asks for this when his own home and a lot of Old Town is being set back to the time period he lived in. He is concerned about the historical accuracy of the representation. It is a reasonable request and still on my plate to accomplish,” she says.

In addition to speaking with A-list ghosts, Vent also offers private consultations to help people get in touch with their dearly departed. “I had a man who had recently lost his son contact me via e-mail,” she says. “I gave him some information that meant something only to him. He wrote back that he was so convinced I had spoken to his son that he wanted more information about a device called a psychophone, rumored to have been created to communicate with spirits. He was an engineer at Bell Laboratories, and he wanted to invent his own device to speak with his son.”

Most people have a misconception about ghosts, Vent says. “The term ‘ghost’ is a very broad term,” she says. “We could be talking about latent energy from a past event all the way up to those spirits who have the ability to communicate. I have run across spirits I can see, but they do not communicate. Just as communication is based on my ability to receive and send, it also is based upon their ability to receive and send. This is much the same as television, radio and our cell phones.” Some spirits simply can’t communicate, she says, “just as cell phones can dump out and have interference to the point where you can’t tell what the person is saying.”

Vent says she discovered her psychic powers when she was a child, but it wasn’t until 1987 when she began “a progression of learning to hone my abilities.” Today, she not only speaks to the dead but also claims healing powers and the ability to see into the future.

“I can see short distances ahead,” she cautions. “Predicting the future was easier before we hit the new millennium. We are much more in control of our path in life, and it is run by our own intention.”

That said, Vent sees an easy victory for Donna Frye in next month’s runoff for San Diego mayor with former police chief Jerry Sanders.

“I have a very good feeling about Donna,” Vent says. “Her integrity is very real, and she knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak.”

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