The latest of our Absolute Michigan “Weird Wednesdays” (held the last Wednesday of every month) is an excerpt (I think) from the forthcoming Strange Michigan: More Wolverine State Weirdness by Linda S. Godfrey and Lisa Shiel. Linda is the author of Weird Michigan.
In May, 2005, in Macomb County Circuit Court, one Elaine Lee, aka Elaine Reed, age and birthplace unknown, was ordered to repay thousands of dollars to former customers of her business, Elaine’s Psychic Readings.
One woman had forked over hundreds of dollars to Lee after being told she had a “bad aura,” but that Lee could fix it as long as the woman kept making payments. She even bought Lee a $300 TV set to keep the mojo moving.
Lee told others their problems were caused by “evil spirits” hanging around them, and that she had a sure-fire method to shoo them away. She would secretly inject red dye into an egg, then place the egg on the client’s shoulder. She next suggested the client smash the egg on the floor, and if the yolk was blood-colored, that meant there had indeed been a bad spirit which now was crushed along with the spattered red egg yolk.
The method wasn’t foolproof, evidently, because at least one woman told Lee she was still bothered by her spirit despite the egg ritual. Lee then informed the woman, who had already paid over $3000 for Lee’s services, that she needed $10,000 to build a new altar to try a more sophisticated method of exorcism. Luckily the woman wised up about that time, along with another client who went to the police. Lee’s office was raided, and the self-proclaimed psychic pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obtaining between $10,000 and $20,000 under false pretenses.
So who was Lee, really? Authorities told at least one local newspaper they didn’t really know due to her lack of personal documents. But what does seem certain is that from now on, the only dyed eggs found in Utica will be the ones brought by the Easter bunny.
Image credit: Photoshoppage by Andy McFarlane, who leaned heavily on this awesome photo titled EGG by Paul Hitz.