If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
It’s a familiar question. You could have been asked it during a job interview, or maybe you’ve had to think of an answer for one of those awkward icebreaker activities where you go around in a circle and introduce yourself to the group. But it’s always been more of a hypothetical question, because your chances of having an intimate dinner with Beyoncé or the pope are probably pretty slim (sorry!), and the possibility of enjoying one more meal with your long-deceased grandmother is basically nonexistent.
But at Dinner with the Dead, your grandmother’s spirit might show up at the table during the appetizer course.
Dinner with the Dead is exactly what its name implies, a dinner party that takes that once-hypothetical job interview question and transforms it into a reality. During the multi-course gourmet meal, celebrity psychic medium Thomas John serves as both your host and your connection to the other side, conversing with guests’ deceased loved ones and passing on any messages that they share with him.
The dinner party series, a collaboration between John and TV producer Jimmy Floyd, began several years ago and has since taken place dozens of times across the country. “It’s just a fun environment to get readings in,” explained John of the inspiration behind the event. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good dinner party?
At the most recent event in Los Angeles, Floyd kicks off the evening with a brief introduction, warming the guests up to what they’re about to experience. “We all know that we meet the coolest people at dinner parties,” he says.
As Floyd speaks, approximately 25 people sit in candlelight around an impeccably decorated table, eager not only to meet each other but to meet the more unconventional guests who have yet to make their presence known to the living. The audience size, which never exceeds 30 people, has been perfected over the years to ensure that each guest is able to receive a personal reading before the meal is over.
Though everyone at the table will be granted an otherworldly +1 during the dinner party, there’s no guarantee as to which of their dearly departed will respond to the invitation. John encourages people to think about all of the dead people in their life prior to attending the event, so that they’re prepared for whomever might decide to show up.
“You might have come here tonight hoping to hear from Aunt Carol,” Floyd says to the party guests. “Aunt Carol might not be speaking tonight. But sure as shooting, some other people will.”
After that, there’s not much more for Floyd to explain, because much of what happens during the meal is difficult to put into words, and the guests won’t be able to fully grasp all that Dinner with the Dead involves until they’ve actually gone through the experience themselves. Floyd leads a toast, offering one final piece of advice before John takes over: “Be open, be happy, and enjoy.”
With that, the meal begins, but John never takes a seat at the table.
Instead, he wanders around the room, often with his eyes closed, pausing whenever he feels a spirit trying to make his or her presence known. As he first begins to connect with someone, his statements tend to be vague, but he quickly begins to hone in on specifics, like names and the circumstances surrounding their deaths. John doesn’t hold anything back, even when some of the information revealed seems deeply personal. (“I pretty much trust that what a spirit brings through is what they’re supposed to bring through,” he told us after the meal.)
“So this could be symbolic, or maybe it’s literal, but your mom is showing me Joan Crawford,” John says to one woman.
“It’s both,” she says without even a hint of hesitation, immediately understanding the message.
“When I see that, it means that she wasn’t easy to deal with. Does that make sense?” he asks.
The woman nods. “Her nickname was ‘Mommie Dearest,’” she says, referring to the title of the memoir and subsequent film about the abuse that Joan Crawford inflicted on her adopted daughter. Other guests in the room gasp at the accuracy of this particular interaction, and a few begin to clap.
John’s gift for communicating with the dead dates all the way back to his early childhood, when he had a conversation with his late grandfather at the age of 4. During this encounter, his grandfather divulged the location of a missing wristwatch, and when John shared the message with his parents, they were able to locate it.
Although it took some time for John to embrace his abilities to the fullest extent and turn them into a career, he’s now a world-renowned psychic medium with a long list of celebrity clients that includes household names like Christina Aguilera and Courteney Cox. With his readings in such high demand, a waitlist can be expected for one-on-one sessions. Intimate group events, like Dinner with the Dead, offer up a chance to experience John’s abilities in a more accessible, yet still personal, way.
And it’s certainly something to be experienced, because it’s unlike any other other dinner party that you’ll ever attend.
I get images in a lot of different ways.
Since most people will never have a conversation with the dead on their own, it can be tough to imagine exactly what John is experiencing as he makes his connections with the other side. “I hear and see and feel and sense things, so it’s multisensory. I get images in a lot of different ways,” he says, in his best attempt to explain the unexplainable.
Smell also comes into play. “I smell, like, gasoline or oil. Did someone work with oil?” he asks a woman during the Los Angeles event.
She looks up at him in surprise. “There was actually a gas explosion.”
Several of the John’s interactions with guests during the meal lead to intense emotions and even tears, as John speaks about suicide, addiction, the unexpected deaths of children, and a case of medical misdiagnosis. It’s clear that a few people in the room are receiving the closure that they needed in a way that they might not have dreamed possible prior to the dinner party.
It’s understandable to have some level of skepticism when it comes to mediumship, given that it’s difficult to have faith in things that you can’t see, and even more so when dealing with the supernatural. But even if you don’t believe in ghosts, Dinner with the Dead still offers an incredibly unique evening filled with delicious food and fascinating stories. Whether or not you buy into the idea that these spirits are making their presence known throughout the meal, John himself has a captivating presence that will keep you constantly entertained.
And if you go into the event with an open mind, you just might walk away as a believer.
See more related Circa stories:
Your kiss tells all. Here's what a lip print reading can reveal about you.
Weird Jobs: Meet the bug whisperer
You can drink with taxidermied animals and decapitated dolls at this bizarre bar
While we don't claim to have any true psychic abilities ourselves, these two quizzes might just give you a glimpse into your future.
Lots of things are terrible, like single-ply toilet paper, loud chewers, and early morning alarms. But we have some good news! Even if it seems like you hate everything lately, your future has something amazing in store for you. Just tell us what you hate the most, and we'll give you a general idea about what that "something amazing" might be!
Some people might read palms to tell the future, but we can read your breakfast choices. So just take a moment to imagine that you're about to have breakfast, and make a lot of tough decisions about what exactly you want to eat! And once you've answered all of the questions, we'll reveal your future. Let's get started!