Sharon Houghton was on a business trip in 1998 when she got a call that her father had an aortic aneurysm. So the woman who had been raised Catholic but hadn't truly practiced her religion in years stopped at a small-town shrine, lit a candle and said a prayer. "Let me know that my father will be OK," she pleaded.

That night, she says, she was granted a gift from God: She can see things--spirits, signs--that others can't. At first, she was the biggest cynic of all, she says. But in the dozen years since that unusual day, Houghton, who considers herself a mystic (not a psychic), has been sought out by thousands of people--from surgeons to grieving families.

She helps them through troubling times by telling them what she sees, which might be anything from a sickness inside someone's body to a person standing beside them. Houghton, who works in sales and marketing, has never charged anyone for her guidance. "It's a grace from God," she said, "to spread the word of God."

Life Style
My greatest passion is: Spreading the message of God through this grace
My biggest annoyance is: When people have all the tools to help themselves and they don't choose to
I most admire: Mary
Three things I hope people say I am: Kind, fun and I have integrity
My favorite place to be is: Rome
My ideal day includes: Going for a walk in the woods, then going to a spa, and then going out to dinner
For my last supper, I would choose: Rigatoni with marinara sauce and a meatball
When I want to truly treat myself I: Get a massage
If I was given $500 and an hour to spend it, I would go to: Ann Taylor

Favorites
Hobby: Cooking
Holiday: Christmas
Book: "Anatomy of the Spirit" by Caroline Myss
Band: Aerosmith
Movie: "The Notebook"
Gadget: My food processor
Charity or cause: St. Jude's Hospital
Saying: "Sometimes you have to light a fire in the garden to clear out the snakes."