Kim Russo is the star of Lifetime Movie Network’s hit TV show The Haunting Of… The Haunting Of… is a spin off of Celebrity Ghost Stories which interviews various celebrities who talk about paranormal events that touched their lives. Kim Russo takes the celebrities back to the place where they experienced their paranormal event and tries to bring closure to the haunting both for the celebrity and for the spirits.
But who is Kim Russo? Why is she known as “The Happy Medium?” Is she a real psychic medium or just another actor playing a part? Let’s find out more about Kim Russo from Kim herself.
Abby: Kim, I became aware of you by watching The Haunting Of… I don’t know much about your early life. How would you describe your childhood?
Kim: I had a very good childhood. I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, New York. My dad was an immigrant who came from Europe and started his own painting contracting business. My mom’s Italian American. I would say I don’t feel that I had anything different than anyone else and I had everything I needed. It was very average. I have no complaints.
Abby: Did your abilities affect your schooling?
Kim: It affected my thought process during school. It did not affect my grades. But I would daydream a lot and think about the night before and what I had seen and experienced. So I would say that I had this little secret that nobody knew about. None of my classmates.
Abby: Did you have many school friends?
Kim: I did. Absolutely. I always had a group of friends. A small group. I’m not one to have a lot of friends. For me less is more. It always was and it still is still today.
Abby: I read that you were a realtor. Did you have any paranormal experiences while selling homes?
Kim: Well, I was in the real estate industry which was real estate management. So I didn’t sell homes. I was in an office, so I would say no. Those days were very low key with the abilities in my late teens and in my childbearing years. The paranormal was really very calm. I often think back as to why that is and the only thing I can think of is I was supposed to get married and have children. I believe I agreed to do that prior to being born. I don’t feel that the work that I do now was supposed to take me off of that path because right after my third child was born my abilities became “off the charts.” Once I was done having children it was as if they tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Okay we’re back. We have to remind you of why you are here.” And that’s pretty much how it went.
Abby: Do any of your children have psychic abilities?
Kim: I have 3 sons and they all have psychic abilities. So does my husband. I often wonder if it intensifies because of me. We all have it and in different ways. It’s bizarre.
Abby: Do any of your siblings have paranormal abilities?
Kim: The answer to that is absolutely yes! However, they do not practice it in any way, shape, or form. I get all the phone calls from them when they freak themselves out. I find it hysterical because I just want to say to them, “The only difference between you and me is that I chose to do this as my life’s work and you didn’t.” This gift is all on my dad’s side. My female cousins that I grew up next door to, I consider them my sisters, we all have it. It’s just they think I’m very brave for taking on this work because it kind of freaks them out. But it doesn’t freak me out. It did then, not now.
Abby: Who gave you the nickname “The Happy Medium?”
Kim: A very good friend of mine did. We were just casually speaking about a situation of another friend and talking about the extremes of their life and she said, “Wow, I guess you just can’t find a happy medium.” And I said, “Yes you can. Here I am!” Ever since then it just stuck that I was “The Happy Medium.” I am a medium and so much of what I do is trying to help people find the balance. I just feel that it is very appropriate for who I am, what I stand for, and what I do.
Abby: I think it’s adorable. So being “The Happy Medium”, is that why you won’t tell clients bad news?
Kim: Well, no. Because the name “The Happy Medium” is not really meant to have me be happy all the time. I just choose not to tell people when an up and coming death will occur. It is the one rule I have with the spirit world, not to tell me about anyone’s up and coming death. I feel that it should be off limits. I also feel that if I am able to see someone’s death that is not in my family that is the same door that I will be opening to see death of people in my family and people close to me. There is no discrimination. I can’t see it for them and not for my own, so I chose not to look through that door of death. Everything else to me is fair. I only ask for information that is for the highest good of all concerned.
Abby: Would you please describe your psychic abilities?
Kim: That’s an interesting question because my psychic abilities vary. I’m not just a medium, which is someone who can connect to the other world. I’m a spirit interpreter. I am also a medical intuitive, which is where I can scan someone’s body from head to toe. Just like an X-ray machine. I will be stopped where there is an issue or some sort of concern. I do have the ability to predict the future. The spirit world does not stay with linear time like we do. So where they will know the outcome of a situation, we won’t. And they’re just able to show it to me.
Abby: Is that considered precognition?
Kim: Yes. It’s just that time does not really exist linear in that world or at all. So if something is destined to happen to a person because they agree to it before they were born, then that’s destined to happen for them no matter what. I am able to look into the place, which is called the Akashic Records, and I am able to read that person’s book of their soul. And if the person agreed to come here in this lifetime to be a nurse, let’s just say, I will see that path for the person. And I will very often know if that person is on their path or if they’re off their path. And I’m not telling them what they should do, I’m reiterating what they agreed to do prior to coming here. And it’s not foreign to them when I tell them, because each person’s soul already knows why they’re here. They just need to access it and remember it. And my forte is channeling other worlds, the spirit world, the Akashic Records, their spirit guides, my spirit guides, and their deceased loved ones. It’s not separate. Everyone works in unison to have the person complete their mission of why they came here. And if someone’s relationship is not serving them, whether it be a husband, a best friend, a coworker, or a boss, I will be shown the reason. Or if someone’s fulfilling a karmic debt with someone that they lived with in a prior life, I will explain to them that their karma is not finished with that person, or their karma is finished with that person, and they need to move forward.
Abby: What is involved in becoming a certified medium?
Kim: Good question. The two organizations that I belong to that have tested and certified my abilities are the Forever Family Foundation and the Windbridge Institute. They have developed their own battery of tests to put the medium through. They are triple blinded tests. I’ll give you an example of the Windbridge Institute testing. They had proxy sitters call me for three different tests. The first time they called me, they gave me a name of a deceased person, not connected to the proxy sitter. I had to tell them everything about that person. Physical characteristics, what they did for a living, what type of family they were from, cultural background, and how they died. The only thing I did know was that the person was deceased.
Then for the second phone call, they had a relative of that person call me, but I didn’t know it. So all they would say is, “Okay, we’re going to have a random person call you who has a deceased love one, and they will, prior to the phone call with you, instruct their deceased loved one to talk to you.” And I didn’t know that it was the same person with the first name they gave me in the prior phone call. So when the relative of the deceased loved one called, they would just say hello and their first name, and that they instructed their deceased loved one to talk to me. And the hope was that it was the same person that I had already tuned into by the first name.
Then there was a third phone call where no one spoke to me. All they did was press the phone receiver so that I would hear a beep, and then I would know that someone was on the other line. They were trying to prove that I was really communicating with that person’s loved one with instruction from the deceased, nobody else. They had instructed the deceased to come to me at a certain date and time and answer some questions that they had wondered about. I was graded on how many things I got right, wrong, or how many things were in the gray area where they weren’t sure. They had their own criteria of how they tested everybody that they certified. The stakes were high. I did pass. I was very privileged, honored and proud that I was tested in that way because my mind is also very scientific. Because I’m a Gemini, we dig deep, we like to uncover mysteries and know how things work. I think that’s what makes me a good medium. I don’t just accept that I’m able to do this, I want to know why I’m able to do this and how this can even be possible. So this is very science based, and it’s based on energy. And science has proven that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only change forms. For that, I accept what I do, because I do worry about my credibility and I always have. I never wanted to be looked at as one of those kooky psychic ladies. That’s just not who I am as a person.
Abby: How do you protect yourself against spirit attacks while awake and while sleeping?
Kim: I’m a big believer in the power of crystals and the energy that they hold. I also am a big believer in staying grounded. My children help ground me. And my very human life of all the stresses and problems that people don’t think I have because they think I know everything. I don’t. That’s a big misconception. And I very much pray to St. Michael for protection. I do rely on my spirituality and my faith to keep me protected. And I am a follower of Christ, for sure. That keeps me protected.
Abby: On your TV show, The Haunting of… you deal with celebrities. Do you ever get star struck?
Kim: No, I have not. There are very few people that I would get star struck with, and I just have not read for those people yet. Elvis Presley is one of them, but he’s not here. So if he ever channeled through me, I’d be star struck.
Abby: In an episode of The Haunting of, you visited the Queen Mary. You said that the Queen Mary is a medium’s dream. Why, and what other locations do you want to visit as a medium?
Kim: Well, the Queen Mary has been notably haunted for years, even I knew that. A mediums dream, meaning there’s all these people that are looking to have a voice with a medium. I love going back in time to see how people lived. As a medium, they bring you back to that time. I can even hear the old time music when I go back psychically. I can see what they were wearing. I can see their hairstyles. It’s as if I’m watching a movie, but nobody else can see what I see. It’s really bizarre, but at the same time, if you put the fear aside, it can be a real great experience. But for me, the dream part is being the voice for them that they didn’t have. It brings the spirit to life. And it gives them the voice they need to move on and move forward. There are some places that I might want to visit. For example, doing The Haunting of Charles Shaughnessy was my other dream. Visiting haunted castles. Because again, you dream about living in a castle and seeing how they lived and what really went on. It is like a real investigative story. And that probably would have been my other dream if I wasn’t a medium, is being a reporter. In a way I am a reporter. But I’m a reporter for the spirit world. I’m a psychic journalist!
Abby: Any other place you want to visit?
Kim: I’ll tell you a place I don’t want to visit: a lot of the prisons that they’re trying to get me to go to. I don’t want to do that because a lot of evil, a lot of sadness, a lot of pain exists in these prisons. I can go to the average home down the street, and it can have just as many ghosts as an historically-noted house has. Sometimes the most average home is more haunted than anything you would imagine.
Abby: I can imagine because I related to the episode with Kelly Carlson, because my home, like Kelly’s seems to have a revolving spirit door. What causes that?
Kim: Vortexes. Energy vortexes. Sometimes it’s where the land is situated. Sometimes it’s the person that the spirits are attracted to and not necessarily the home or the space. Sometimes it’s both. You have double trouble. I did an episode of Paranormal State with Ryan Buell. We were in Indiana, and I remember that home. The garage area was where the spirits were entering and exiting. It was like a whole vortex. It was like a funnel, it spins and it spins. It kind of traps the spirit in the vortex, in the eye of the storm, so to say. Sometimes as it’s spinning, it draws in the spirit that’s not far from the location. Even if you have a curious spirit that’s just peaking in out of curiosity, those vortexes can kind of just suck them in and keep them there. There’s no answer. It’s not clean cut. It’s either the location or the person.
Abby: In Kelly Carlson’s case, was it just her?
Kim: Yes, Kelly was a magnet. I’d be lying if I said I remembered the exact episode. So much of this work that I do causes memory problems. A lot of mediums have bad memories because we train our minds to not retain the information. Because we have so much going through our bodies and filtered through our minds, we train ourselves not to hold on to the memory of it.
Abby: The episode with Michael Rapaport was the scariest to me. Which episode was the scariest to you?
Kim: Pennhurst Insane Asylum hands down! And Pennhurst Revisited was even scarier than the first time. We shot that episode this last season. I was out of sorts, I was not myself. I was on edge. And I felt for some reason, it was more intense the second time I went than the first time. And I wonder if they knew I was coming back.
Abby: Oh, you know they knew.
Kim: They had to. That’s the episode that I brought backup, my students. Hands down Pennhurst.
Abby: Can you tell me when the next season will begin?
Kim: I was told early summer, 2014. We’re in the midst of filming everything right now. I am very pleased with the way they’re putting the shows together because it depicts who I am and what my mission is. The Haunting of … is only getting better. We are getting more well-known celebrities. And what I like and what I’m very proud about is, in the beginning, we went looking for the celebrities to help, and now the celebrities are looking for me to help them. I’m very, very honored. So big names, great shows, and more teaching is on its way very shortly.
Abby: When and where can your fans see you in person?
Kim: I have two big events that I’d love to announce. The first one is at the Bergen Theatre in New Jersey, the Bergen PAC [Performing Arts Center], and that’s April 18th. http://www.eventticketscenter.com/ResultsTicket.aspx?evtid=2280555&event=Kim+Russo The following night on Long Island, my hometown, at The Space at Westbury. http://thespaceatwestbury.com/?page=show&sid=1040 That is in Westbury, New York, and that’s on April 19th. The tickets are on sale now.
Abby: Thank you Kim Russo for spending time with me and sharing part of your life and abilities with us all. I look forward to seeing you on season 4 of The Haunting Of… on Saturday nights on the LMN network. This world is a far more interesting place with you in it.
For more on the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential: http://www.windbridge.org/mediums.htm