While friends played, Deb spoke to the dead
IT IS not unusual for Deb Webber to enter the dead zone.
In fact, you might even say she sees dead people.
Sunshine Coast mother-of-two Ms Webber says she is a psychic.
Trying to pin down her age, though, is tough.
"I have had over 50 years on earth; however, I stopped counting as I believe that belief systems are a big part of how we are meant to be at any given age. I feel today to be 34," she says.
But this blonde mum is no shrinking violet when it comes to discussing her sixth sense.
It is a talent that has landed her a television show, magazine columns and tours across Australia and overseas.
She says she has also helped police investigations and tracked down missing people.
The murder of Olive Walker about 45 years ago remains one of New Zealand's most baffling cold cases.
The 18-year-old was walking to her sister's house in Rotorua on May 15, 1970, when she disappeared.
Next day her body was found battered and beaten about 5km outside of the city.
Ms Webber looked into the shy teenager's death on her television show, Sensing Murder, in 2007, but to no avail.
While her friends were mastering the fine arts of standing on tip-toe and riding three-wheeled bikes, Ms Webber was graduating from playing with dolls to talking with spirits.
"The first sighting that I remember was when I was three, when my mother was preparing a deceased woman for her family to visit," Ms Webber, who grew up in a nursing home, recalls.
"I was sitting in the room playing with a doll and I saw the deceased woman behind mum.
"She placed her hand on my mum's shoulder and smiled at me.
"I told my mum ... and she (her mother) replied 'never be frightened at what others don't see'."
The clairvoyant believes she has helped thousands of people over the years.
"I have been doing this since I was a teen," she says.
"I have helped countless people through various different ways - readings, workshops, spiritual counselling, volunteering, feeding, charity work, seminars, through Woman's Day and Sensing Murder."
It is not unusual for Ms Webber to form a strong bond with the living and the dead.
"The ones (readings) that stay with me the longest are the ones I also learn from," she says.
"When I learn things that are universal, something about myself or the spirit world, I remember those readings.
"I also remember readings where I have fallen in love with the souls and families that I have communicated with such as Olive Walker."
Psychics say they use extra-sensory perception to connect with their subjects.
It is a controversial craft that has been around for thousands of years.
France's Michel de Nostredame, whose predictions from the 1500s still hold sway; 20th century soothsayer Edgar Cayce; and modern-day medium and pay-TV favourite John Edward are among its more famous practitioners.
However, National Academy of Sciences researchers in America found in the 1980s that there was no evidence to justify "the existence of parapsychological phenomena".
Ms Webber describes herself as a "switchboard operator" providing a conduit between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Ms Webber hits the road again this month, with appearances planned across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
Gladstone believers will get their chance to meet her on February 21 at The Grand Hotel.