THE smell of rubber cups filled with hot milk, a phantom grandfather and a visit from Satan himself - interviewing psychic Sally Morgan certainly takes you to unexpected places.
There are also TMI moments; the 60-year-old volunteering a tale about starting her periods one such example - too much information!
Ahead of her appearance at the Edinburgh Playhouse tonight, Morgan, who came to fame as medium to the late Princess of Wales, is recalling experiences from six decades of seeing dead people, the first of whom she encountered at the age of four.
“I was in a nursery, sitting having hot milk – I can still remember the smell of the rubber cup,” she says. “I said to one of the helpers that I wanted my grandfather with me. She replied, ‘Your grandfather brings you in the morning.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, well she’s got her granddad with her...’
“There was a girl sitting with a man in a long black coat and black hat standing next to her. I was only a tiny, little tot but I got up and walked around and pointed to him. He looked down and smiled at me... of course, no one else could see him.
“The teacher was absolutely furious, called me ‘a little liar’ and took me upstairs to where the babies were kept. She put me in a high chair where I sat sobbing my head off all day. I was very confused. I remember seeing the man, so he existed.”
That confusion remained throughout Morgan’s childhood, and she says it wasn’t until many years later that she fully understood that and other incidents.
“I was a teenager, when all of a sudden it began to dawn on me that the experiences I’d had were not the same as those that everyone else had.
“All my life, I’ve had experiences. What happens to me is random or you think it’s random. When I was about 14, I started my periods, like most young girls. Then, if I had an experience, my mother would go, ‘Are you due on? Have you got a headache?’ Before then, it was, ‘Have you got a fever? Do you think you are ill?’
“She associated all these weird random things that were happening with me not being well, hallucinating, having a temperature or whatever.”
Today, Morgan thinks it hardly surprising, as when she was young “there was no such word as psychic. That term didn’t exist.”
In her early 20s Morgan decided to harness her ‘ability’ but it wasn’t until 1992 that she came to the attention of the public when Diana, Princess of Wales, sought her guidance.
Morgan insists that her relationship with the then prospective future queen didn’t change her life at all.
“It was a complete secret. Diana actually told someone, and I don’t know if anyone knows this, so I might be giving you an exclusive here, but it was she who actually told someone at a tennis tournament who happened to be a client of mine.
“That client called me that day, it could not have been a worse person, she was the biggest gossip in the whole of London. She rang me and said, ‘Oh my god, you never told me you were seeing the Princess of Wales.’
“I said, ‘Well I don’t tell anybody I see you.’ The next thing I know it’s in the paper.”
Morgan is also quick to distance the abilities that have attracted a number of celebrities to consult her from any form of occult practice. With good cause, she believes.
“As soon as I hear the word occult, I imagine something quite dark, if not black,” she says.
“It’s very unfortunate for those like myself because people lump us together - you become ‘the occult’. I am not the occult. I would never ever, ever dabble in anything like that and truly believe that when using a ouija board you are dabbling in something that will turn around and bite you on the nose.”
Born Michelle West and brought up on Waldemar Avenue, Fulham, Morgan may steer well clear of the dark side, but it would seem that hasn’t stopped evil entities seeking her out.
“I have twice in my life come across what I would consider an evil energy, an evil force. So I know it exists out there,” she says.
“They’re two very long stories and to be honest, I really don’t like talking about them.”
Nevertheless she does and they turn out to be quite short, if creepy, recollections.
“One was when I was a tiny, tiny, tiny little girl, and I’ve never ever, ever told anyone what happened, not even my husband John, who knows everything about me.
“It happened in the bathroom at Waldemar Avenue. It wasn’t anything sexual (I have to tell everyone this as it happened in a bathroom) it was just incredibly evil, dark.... I can’t even go there. I don’t think I’ll ever tell anyone.
“The other... someone came for a reading, many, many years ago, and he was the devil... I mean, he was the devil, the man was the devil.”
Each tale, is told with an almost resigned reluctance which fades when she is asked how she reacted to having Lucifer in her home.
“First of all, I freaked. I literally lost it completely and ran around the house like a headless chicken.
“I was really lucky, John was at home and he was able to remove the man from the house.”
Of course, if Hammer Horror films are to be believed, there are ways Morgan could have protected herself from such a visitation.
“I know what you’re saying and I am going to sound very odd...” With a chuckle Morgan quips, “I am very odd,” before continuing, “...but I don’t understand when people say, ‘You have to do this or that to protect yourself.’
“I believe in god and I believe in my god that sits within my soul. I just know that somehow this faith protects me.”
That faith will be called upon tonight at the Playhouse when Morgan will, once again, commune with the spirits in the hope of bringing comfort to those in her audience awaiting a message from the other side. Not that everyone believes in her powers. So how does she cope with her sceptics and detractors.
“They’re there. I don’t,” she says, matter of factly. “I’m not trying to be clever or facetious when I say I don’t cope with them, it’s just that they can’t really enter my psyche because they are always going to be there.
“Once you polarise people, which is what this ability I have does, you are always going to get people who have to smash it to pieces – they have to in order to qualify the fact that they are sceptics and cynics.
“I’m now talking about the unreasonable cynics, the ones that write on Twitter and Facebook that they want me beheaded, or they want me hung from a tree, and that I’m a whore. Those people are not up for a debate...”
Despite those posts, Morgan chooses not to challenge the cynics. However, there are times when she will fight her corner.
“I think it’s important to fight when I’m called a liar and a cheat and a fraud, because I’m not. That’s very important,” she declares.
“I am very aware that I am Marmite, so straight away, to 50 per cent of the population, I’m saying I’m sorry, but that’s how it has to be. I have an amazing following of people.”
Sally Morgan, Edinburgh Playhouse, tonight, 7.30pm, £23.50, 0844-871 3034