Move over Theresa Caputo, the Rivertowns has its own psychic medium. Like the star of TLC’s “Long Island Medium, Melissa Spencer also relays messages from the deceased to their loved ones, offering mediumship and other healing services from her new shop in Dobbs Ferry.
“[I figured] let me go to a place where it’s artsy and I’ll be accepted,” said Spencer. “I really lucked out with this place, I love it. You never run out of weirdoes here. I feel like these are my people.”
After being turned down by other Westchester landlords, the 25-year-old Hastings-on-Hudson resident found the Rivertowns welcomed the recent opening of her first storefront The Merry Owl, a spiritual and metaphysical shop that sells items like sage, candles, crystals, books, jewelry, vegan soaps and offers mediumship, tarot readings, negative energy cleansing and Reiki—a Japanese hands-on stress reduction and healing technique that is becoming more prevelent in mainstream healthcare, including being used in hospitals.
Clairvoyance runs in Spencer’s family and she has been psychic since she was a child (having dreams, talking to animals and trees and learning the tarot at 13) and eventually adopted Wicca as her religion.
However, she never thought it would turn into a career, eventually opening her own store named after Spencer’s owl-loving grandmother Marian (merry, a word often used in Wicca, is variation of Marian).
After dropping out of New Rochelle High School at 16, then moving to Canada to start a modeling career and attend art school—Spencer returned to the U.S. to pursue a career as a musician and was asked to sign with Polydor Records, whose artist roster includes Jimi Hendrix, Elton John and The Moody Blues.
“I had an extensive music career and I let that go, the energy was bad,” said Spencer. “The reason I opened the store is because I wanted to do something with my life using my talent and I love to help people.”
Two years ago, Spencer started offering psychic readings over the phone and started gathering clients through her own website. Then a friend offered her a small loan to help Spencer fund the opening of The Merry Owl, allowing Spencer to take her career as psychic medium to the next level.
“I couldn’t believe that somebody believed in me so much and appreciated my work so much that they would extend their hand like that,” said Spencer.
As a way to pay it forward, she hopes The Merry Owl will serve as a sanctuary where the community can come to be healed and where local artists and poets can get noticed.
“There’s two main aspects, one I’d like it to be a place where the Wiccan community can go to buy what they need to do their prayers and rituals instead of going online,” said Spencer.
The Merry Owl offers sage, candles, incense, books, and elixir bottles and can also order items, like herbs and altarpieces for customers.
“When people come in here they’re hurt, they’re confused and they’re frustrated—I want people to come in here and feel safe and have it be a place for them to disconnect from all of the stress in their life,” said Spencer. “I want them to feel comfortable. What I kind of do is, I take their puzzle pieces and I make them the puzzle. I’m hearing what they are saying, but they can't see it the way I see it. So, I make it make sense for them. I want to give people power and the feeling of control. With my readings, I want them to feel like they are in control of whatever was bothering them in the first place.”
Spencer said she also hopes to hold movie nights and other events where local filmmakers and artists can present their work. The Merry Owl is inviting locals to enjoy a night of poetry reading on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Click here for the details.
“I want to give people a chance,” said Spencer. “I got a chance with this, so I don’t want to be selfish with it. I want it to be a place for everyone for good people, for good energy.”