From performing in intimate venues in Cumbria to haunted venues in America, one woman is taking the international psychic and paranormal scene by storm.

Magic cast a spell on Cara Hamilton, who is from Great Orton, from a young age leading her to pursue a life of fortune telling, mind reading, magic, and to become an expert in all things paranormal and the occult.

It began with an interest in two things that eventually merged to become her career.

Mystical objects such as crystal balls and tarot cards captured her attention.

But, it was through watching magicians and illusionists on television as she was growing up that helped to ignite the spark for showmanship in her.

She said: “I was very interested in crystal balls and tarot from a very early age and seeing the likes of Uri Geller on television.

“I also was seeing, about the same time, the grand illusionists on television Siegfried & Roy and so on.

“I could see how everything was done and I kept those separate for a long period of time.

“Then I thought, why don’t I use the showmanship of one to present the other and that’s exactly how I got into it - working with both at the same time.”

She began her journey into the psychic world with pendulum dowsing which is often used to help find objects or to answer questions.

The symmetrical weighted crystal moves around to determine the answer to a question.

It is often said that this is connected to our intuition and sixth sense.

After getting the hang of this, she moved onto crystal balls and tarot, learning and developing slowly until she reached the point she is at now.

“I think I was lucky in that I did these things for real before I learned ways to fake it because you can fake these things,” she said.

“I did it using a pendulum for real to start with and that changed people’s minds like college lecturers.

“I don’t believe in the word supernatural, I think everything is natural, it’s just some processes we don’t understand.”

For Cara it isn’t about the glitz and the glamour that people often associate with grand, showy magicians and psychics.

There is mystery in what she does and she likes to build on that, to get people thinking about the world around them and the possibilities.

From her teenage years, that’s been her philosophy.

“It’s making someone think, not just drop their jaw and think ‘wow’, it’s the what comes after that, what now?,” she said.

“There is mystery out there, what else is out there, what can we accomplish, what’s doable, it’s really quite an exciting thought process to think ‘what on Earth can we do from here on in if we let ourselves’.”

Cara has taken her spooky and enlightening shows to stages in Cumbria, London, Glasgow, and the United States where it has been met with rave reviews.

Unlike other performers who are more than happy to terrify their audiences, Cara is eager to give them a show that is both unsettling but thought provoking.

“I realised if you intertwine the skills of both you get quite a magical mix which really causes the chills to go down someone’s spine.

“If I can do something for real during a demonstration - brilliant.

“If it is not going to work, I can do it by other means so it’s working for me in a particular way.”

Last month, Cara had the opportunity to meet, and perform for, one of the most world renowned magicians - Uri Geller.

It was a dream come true, and in the moment, it was quite daunting as it is isn’t everyday that you get to meet one of your heroes.

“I deliberately didn’t want to act all starstruck but I was, I was completely starstruck.

“He is so charismatic, he’s 73 and you would never think he was anywhere near it.

“It was just super, it was kind of like a life’s joy to meet someone that has been such an inspiration for all those years.

“The reason I work with ESP cards is because I saw him do it so I have to emulate what my hero did.”

But it isn’t just one hero who Cara has blown away with her talents.

Whilst in America, people who she respects flocked from across the country to see her perform.

She said: “People who regularly work with the likes of Uri Geller, people who are the greatest telepathic demonstrators in the world, had flown in from other parts of the US and Canada to come and deliberately see my performance.

“When you see your heroes in the third row, you think ‘no challenge here for me then’.”

Her performances blend the historical with the fantastical to shine a light on the darker aspects of history.

One example of this is diving deep into the Nazi’s fascination and experiments with the occult.

Cara found a thread connecting the Nazis to a countess who is often linked to vampires.

She pulled on this thread and uncovered a terrifying but exciting past which she then builds on within her performances.

“What does it for me when I perform is finding a historical fact, tracing it and finding something really wonderfully mysterious or dark and being able to fashion a presentation out of it.

“Some people might think that you’re going to unleash particular things but that is not my intention.

“As long as I can educate and entertain, that’s all that it is about.”