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"Mediumship" refers to the specific ability to perceive and communicate with spirits and those who are in the afterlife. In Medium, Besides Allison, Ariel, Bridgette and Marie DuBois, other characters with the gift of mediumship have appeared on the series since Season One. Below is a list of known mediums that appeared over the course of the series.
Unlike the average "normal" person, mediums are sensitive to the spirits of those who've been killed or died of natural causes. Depending on the strength of the medium's ability, they can see and hear them, or, in some cases only hear or see them. As As a result, once a spirit learns of a medium's ability to see the dead, they are often hassled and asked to give messages to the dead's loved ones.
Besides the ability to see the dead, mediums are also able to receive dreams or visions from the dead. Said dreams or visions are typically specific to how the deceased may have died or concern the matters of someone they care about that are still alive. In other cases, there are some mediums who can communicate their own distress to another, willingly or subconsciously. The messages a medium can receive from either party may not be received whole or can become muddled by the medium's own personal or emotional troubles
In other cases, when concerned with the living, if someone with a visible or known disability (blindness, deafness, physical handicap), the medium by adopt those disabilities for a short period time. When concerned with the dead, a medium's abilities can be sensitive or open enough to be possessed by the dead if the spirit is strong enough to control them.
Other unique abilities of mediums is the ability to read the energy of objects touched or owned by the dead or the living. As a result, there are few times when a person without the sensitivities of a medium can successfully lie to or surprise a medium without being found out.
Mediums who do not wish hear or see the dead often go to extremes to reject their gifts.Alcohol is a proven means of dulling a medium's abilities, often to detrimental levels that end up affecting their lives as a whole as their drinking habit can easily transform into alcoholism. A less destructive means of blocking out voices is using music to drown them out or outright denying their existence.
Publicly, individuals who claim to see the dead are thought of as mentally ill. Beverly Waller, who dreamed she was Allison DuBois (a woman had yet to be born at the time her abilities revealed themselves), was institutionalized and treated with shock therapy as a means to "cure" her. Whether influenced by their mother's alcoholism or their mother's perception of their gifts, Allison DuBois and Michael Benoit often turned to alcohol as a way to quiet the voices and dreams. When Allison was a teenager, her mother typically medicated her so that she could sleep without dreams.
Few who learn of a medium's abilities accept without judgement. Allison's grandmother, Grandma Benoit, was often thought of as "crazy" by her own daughter for believing in the death. Manuel Devalos and Lee Scanlon were initially skeptical of Allison's claims to solve crimes with visions, but were eventually convinced she was telling the truth.