"Death, despair and devastation." Before 9/11, John Edward was struck by a sudden feeling.

Mid-August 2001, John Edward was at a hall in New York’s financial district where his wife, Sandra, was running a ballroom dance competition.

His phone rung; an old friend from high school.

John wandered out into the street and answered, but the “chaos, crazy” din of lower Manhattan swallowed their conversation. He ducked into a nearby lobby. It offered welcome quiet but, as the famous psychic medium told Mamamia‘s No Filter podcast, there was something else there. A sensation.

“It was the most eerie, ominous, evil feeling. I can’t even tell you,” he said. “I get goose bumps as I tell you this. I looked around and I looked at the security guard, and then I remember looking everywhere around, and I just was like, ‘Oh’.

“I walked out of the building, and I went to my wife. I go, ‘I need to talk to you… You have to find a new place [for the competition]; you can’t do it here next year.’ And she’s like, ‘What?’ I go, ‘I don’t want you to come down here. Go talk to your boss. You’ve got to get it moved’.”

John couldn’t ‘see’ the next year’s competition happening in that hall; he knew it would have to be somewhere else in the city. His wife pressed – why?

“I go, ‘Death, despair and devastation’.”

That lobby John had been standing in was the World Trade Centre.

Listen to the full interview with John. (Post continues below.)

That feeling, the eerie feeling, the sense of death and despair, sat with John Edward long after that August day. Though then he didn’t know why.

In early September, during a weekend in New York for a friend’s birthday, Sandra suggested the World Trade Centre restaurant, View of the World, for brunch.

“I turned to her and snapped. I bit her head off, like a lunatic. She like looked at me, like, ‘I’m gonna be polite because we’re in front of other people right now, but I want to push your arse in front of an oncoming bus for the way you just spoke to me.’

“But I just really erupted. [I said] ‘There’s no way you’re getting me in that building! There’s no way I’m going up there.’ I can’t even convey to you how it came out. It was like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moment. It was really weird.”

John said he spent the next few days in a deep depression. Sandra noticed, friends noticed, even strangers – he said a driver, who recognised him from his TV program, Crossing Over, asked if he was okay.


He wondered if he was struggling with his success (his show had been syndicated, his book was a New York Times bestseller). Or perhaps it was delayed grief over the June death of a close colleague.

“I was really struggling. It was a debilitating doom-and-gloom feeling, like I didn’t want to get out of bed if I didn’t have to,” he said.

It didn’t ease until he recorded an episode of legendary CNN interview program, Larry King Live on September 10. The veteran journalist spoke to him about loss and grief and how to cope, and John said something within him shifted. Lifted.

Video by Mamamia

The following day became one that plunged a country, and much of the world, into shock and unease. John learned what was happening from his executive producer, who was driving across a bridge into Manhattan, yelling down the phone, “We’re under attack! We’re under attack!”

Two planes, hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists, were flown into the WTC twin towers, killing 2,977 people and reducing the buildings to toxic dust that continues to claim victims to this day.

In the aftermath, John Edward was contacted by several New Yorkers and people from the surrounding area.

“They literally said to me, ‘You were the last thing we watched, my husband and I. You were the last thing that we watched, us together. We had a conversation about grief. We had a conversation about the afterlife because of you. It was the last thing that we did.’

“And then it all made sense.”