3 Rivers Medium reaches for the other side | TribLIVE.com
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3 Rivers Medium reaches for the other side

Rex Rutkoski

Erica Altmiller’s first awareness of what she calls “the gift” came when she was 7 years old and had a conversation with her great-great grandmother who she says was visiting her room.

Talks between grandmothers and granddaughters are quite normal, of course, but Altmiller’s had died a few weeks earlier.

“She came to me. She just said to me that she was OK and she was in heaven,” she recalls.

Today, at 36, she remembers it as a physical experience, which she reported to her parents, Patrick and Dana Altmiller, now of North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County.

“I was a little taken back. I was told there were no such things as ghosts. I told my parents, ‘She was with me,’” she says.

A lifelong gift

Altmiller, who grew up in Liberty Borough near McKeesport, and resides in Monroeville, believes she has had that “gift” since birth.

She refers to herself as a clairvoyant psychic medium. “I read the energy of the past, present and future and also connect with the other side with deceased loved ones who have crossed over,” she explains.

For the past five years, as the 3 Rivers Medium, she has been doing that professionally in public and private sessions throughout the nation, including via phone, Facetime and Skype.

She is presenting what is billed as “an evening of connection and insight” March 1 in her debut at the Lamp Theatre, Irwin.

It is recommended for audiences of age 18 and over.

“It will be an emotionally moving experience in a positive way,” she assures. “It is a very interactive program. I get off the stage, walk around in the audience and receive messages from loved ones. There have been some real breakthroughs all the time.”

Her father is part of her public programs.

“We call him ‘The Medium Dad,’ ” although, she says, “The Gift,” which she estimates one percent of the population may have, was not bestowed on his side of the family. “He talks to the audience about stories when I was a kid, and me seeing things and telling things,” she explains.

Entertaining aspect

There is an entertaining aspect to the evening. “I just consider myself a psychic medium who delivers messages, but other people consider me entertaining. Apparently I have some wit to me. I make people laugh and (in a good way) cry,” she says.

In making her connections with the afterlife, she assures, “I only talk to people from heaven. If there are darker entities I don’t deal with them. They don’t want to deal with me either. I am too full of the light side of things.”

There is no reason to fear her presentations, Altmiller says.

”Nothing negative comes through,” she assures. “Sometimes people are scared and don’t want to hear something bad. I assure them nothing bad will come out of this.”

Finding satisfaction

She finds her role quite satisfying.

“I just love to help people, give them closure. That’s what they are looking for,” she says. “I pride myself in helping people find what I call their ‘new normal,’ even though they might be grieving. Knowing there is eternal life helps people get through their days. It is very gratifying to help someone.”

She doesn’t take credit for any revelations.

“The Spirit (her term for those who have “crossed over”) gives me the information. I’m in the middle, the messenger,” she explains. “It is the spirit allowing me to connect with loved ones. I trust them (the spirit) to give me the validation that people need. I tell people things I would never have a clue about, specific information about that person, revealed by the spirit.”

Welcomes skeptics

Altmiller enjoys skeptics. “It allows me to educate them on what I do and teach them to be more open,” she says.

Once a reading is completed they have a better understanding of where she comes from, she says. “They are skeptics and my job is to prove I am connecting with the afterlife,” she says. “Usually when I am done, they are no longer a skeptic.”

No forcing

It is natural to be a skeptic, she says. “We are skeptical about a lot of things in life,” she says.

For her, it is not always about trying to convince people. ”People find me if they need to. They open up and try to make sure people on other side are OK. Some people will call and say, ‘I’m not sure if I really believe what you do, and I say ‘Okay.’ I never force them. People know when they are ready for a reading,” she says.

Many people are fascinated with her field, she suggests, because it is about “just the unknown becoming so known.”

They are intrigued about the unknown and other side. “Whether they are a skeptic or a huge believer, they just want to know more and have it validated with specifics,” she adds. “That’s what I provide for them.”

Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Erica Altmiller, the 3 Rivers Medium, will appear 8 p.m. March 1 in the Lamp Theatre, 222 Main Street, Irwin.
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