When Kym Durham was 4 years old, she would describe seeing angels to her mother. “I remember the woman with the blue dress and white hair. She wore a blue crinkly dress, and she was in my bedroom. I remember seeing this woman and then talking to my mom about it. That’s my first memory.” Like a proud mother, Kym’s mom would smile at her, “Tell me more, Kimmy.” At this time, a favorite show in the Durham home was Bewitched, a sitcom about a witch named Samantha whose little girl, Tabitha, had also gotten her mom’s talents. “It was kind of like that for me. She would explain things to me and make it age appropriate. But I understood things on a higher level. Like at the age of 9, I remember reading a book that I was fascinated with called Unfinished Symphonies. It was about automatic writing. There was this knowingness that I had. I don’t know if it was a part of this ability or if it came from a previous life experience.”
As a child growing up in Woodbury Heights, Kym Durham was showing signs that she was gifted like her mother, Joan Friel Durham, a renowned New Jersey psychic medium whose work with law enforcement helped them solve over 240 murder and missing persons cases. Based in Collingswood, Kym is carrying on in that same tradition.
Her “abilities,” as she refers to them, continued to grow as she got older. The first time she saw an aura, it was Mr. Parker’s, her U.S. history teacher. “I remember sitting there and looking at him, and I could see clearly his aura. I could see the colors. I could see the light around him. I was just fascinated.”
Kym studied Kirlian photography, a collection of photographic techniques used to capture the phenomenon of electrical coronal discharges. “You cut off part of a leaf and you can still see the outline of the leaf. That’s the best way to describe what an aura looks like.”
“There was never a fear factor whenever my mom talked to me about any of this. It was never intimidating. There have been a couple of times where I had, I’ll call it a holy cow moment. I saw someone start to appear from the solar plexus out in full color. The cushion in the living room went down and then a burst of energy. Almost like in Star Trek when they put it into warp drive. That’s what I saw happening. That was like, wow. I didn’t anticipate that.”
Kym’s brothers also have some of these abilities, though she’s fine-tuned hers over the years. “My brothers and I, we would smell gardenias in the house and have a feeling of the house getting crowded. Kind of like you’re bumping into people. When we had those two things happen, my brothers would go and try on their suits because we knew that within the next two weeks that there was going to be a funeral that we would have to attend.”
Her perspective of what happens on the other side is kind of funny and assuring at the same time. “When somebody crosses, it’s called the ‘transition team’ that I see. You never cross alone. Whether you put up a hell of a battle or you go like that,” she snaps her fingers. “There are usually two to four loved ones who have predeceased you, or friends, that are here to help you cross over. I lovingly say they get you fitted for your first set of angel wings and get your butt off to angel boot camp! That’s kind of how I refer to it for people. The welcoming committee is the party that the transition team takes you to, where there’ll be other relatives of their family and such. That is what I see.”
Durham didn’t go straight into business as a psychic medium; she first became a nurse. Which offered some unexpected advantages and insight. “An example, building upon the welcoming committee or the transition team: I was a nurse extern still at this point, I hadn’t graduated or been credentialed. This was at the West Jersey Voorhees, an old hospital that’s no longer there. I was sitting at the nurses’ station, the old setup with the nursing station in the middle and a wagon wheel of hallways, I was sitting where the unit secretary would be, and I remember looking down the hallway and Mr. Smith was down in room 12. He was supposed to be discharged in the coming days. Well, I saw a bunch of angels going into his room.
“I made the suggestion that maybe we should move the crash cart down to the end of the hallway. I didn’t want to be known as the Angel of Death and be a suspect over having this ability. But he did, in fact, end up coding and crossing. I remember somebody saying to me, isn’t your mom a psychic or something like that? It put me in a precarious position having this ability and seeing what was going on, on the mediumship side.
“I often see doctors who have crossed, or healthcare providers, working through the hands of those doctors here on the physical plane. I would see them when I was in the operating room.” She’s also seen the patient that is on the operating table, standing in the corner speaking to her telepathically. “I enjoyed working in the hospital. It was an honor, a privilege to work with the teams that I did. I learned so much and have such wonderful memories, but as a medium, it’s the last place you want to be.”
Being able to talk to those on the other side, and having a famous mom as a psychic medium, you’d think visits from mom would be rather regular. “I talk to everybody else’s mom more than my own. My mom shows up a lot with business. My mom’s been crossed now for 12 years, but she makes her presence known. I’ll give an example: my mom had crossed, and she’d been crossed for about three years. I had a client come and sit with me. A few weeks prior, God, I’d had my mom’s voice recorded, and the recording got erased and I missed her voice. So, I said, ‘I just miss your voice,’ and I said it openly.
“Three weeks later, I had a client come and sit with me. Usually before I work with the client, I sit there and tell you a little bit about my background and how we’re going to both work together when we go to the desk. It was during that conversation she said, ‘Your mom was amazing. I was a client of hers.’ I said, ‘really?’ She said, ‘Yeah, in fact, you must be missing her voice,’ and she took out of her purse, the cassette tape of her first reading by my mom and gave it to me. Now what is even more special, is that my mom only allowed recordings for the first two years that she worked. So, I had my mom’s voice three weeks after I put it out there.”
Her mother, Joan, worked with Dr. Hal Fillinger, who was the chief medical examiner of Philadelphia. Through him, Joan worked on the “Boy in the Box” murder case from 1957. She was able to give the police a description of the person and a name. “I got to talk to the daughter of the lead detective, and she verified these things as well.” This relatively recent turn of events in identifying that little boy as Joseph Augustus Zarelli garnered national and international attention. Kym was interviewed last December in Texas, which put her on Hollywood’s radar. They are in development talks about a series that will focus on Durham’s life, scientifically studying her abilities and following her while she helps law enforcement, just like her mother did all those years ago.
Kym Durham is currently traveling all around the country but when she’s home, she lives with her wife, Kim Wilson, a Rowan University softball coach, and their daughter, Aubrey, in Collingswood.