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How to Avoid Getting Conned and Understand How Psychic Scams Work

Christoph is an actor, writer, producer, singer, and musician. In his spare time he loves writing to help consumers.

Read on to learn how psychic scams work.

Read on to learn how psychic scams work.

Is Your Clairvoyant a Fraud?

Do you believe?

According to CBS news, 57% of Americans believe in Extra Sensory Perception. Similarly, in England, the BBC reports that more than half of Britons believe in psychic powers such as psychic readings and telepathy. Whether a true believer in the psychic phenomenon or a die-hard skeptic, everyone can agree on this one universal truth: There are a great many psychic con artists running money scams, separating the uninitiated from their hard-earned cash.

No national figures show how many people fall victim to psychic scam artists. For one thing, many people never come forward out of embarrassment. Police do their best to reign in these con artist mediums, but the numbers are staggering, and there aren't enough bunko squads to go around. Googling "How many psychics arrested" returns 1,560.000 hits, which should give you some idea of the scope of the problem.

Many go to psychic readers out of a real need for help.

Many go to psychic readers out of a real need for help.

Many People Go to a Psychic Reader Out of Actual Need

Many people go to a psychic reader out of actual need. Perhaps they have lost someone very dear and are emotionally distraught. Perhaps their marriage is failing, and they are seeking answers—about career, relationships, love, sex, inner pain—some divine communication from the spirit world that answers their desperate cries and eliminates their problems or concerns. They don't know where else to turn and so seek out the mystic. God forbid they should choose a common thief.

This is where my friend comes in. His name is...well...let's call him Mr. Gullible. Mr Very Gullible. While I will relate his tale with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, there is much we can learn from his experience. By understanding how these crystal ball blackguards operate, we can avoid falling prey to psychic scam artists ourselves. If we should laugh at our human foibles along the way, so be it.

 By understanding how these crystal ball blackguards operate, we can avoid falling prey to psychic scam artists ourselves. If we should laugh at our human foibles along the way, so be it.

By understanding how these crystal ball blackguards operate, we can avoid falling prey to psychic scam artists ourselves. If we should laugh at our human foibles along the way, so be it.

Welcome to My World

Mr. Gullible had been feeling very depressed—something about his dead gold fish, Moby—and decided to seek the council of a genuine, authentic, got-a-neon-sign-in-the-window, psychic. So down to Madam Ruth's he goes for a psychic reading, and enters her storefront parlor. The light was low, but scented candles burned everywhere. Airy, gauzy fabric flowed along the walls and beads separated the front room from the darkness beyond. He stood nervously at the front door. Mysterious voices seemed to come from the walls. He could barely make out what the voices were trying to communicate. "Why can I not go to the base with you, Master?", came a woman's voice. A man replied, "We've been all through this, Jeannie. Now back in your bottle." "Oh...Master!", and then a swooshing noise. It was creepy.

Suddenly a gypsy woman appeared from nowhere. The hanging beads rattled, heralding the mystics presence. The woman held one hand open to the sky while the other clutched her throat, her weathered face turned toward the heavens with eyes closed. Suddenly, in dramatic fashion, the old woman announced, "You have come for a reading!". "Holy cow," thought my friend, "she's doing it already!"

My friend has entered the psychic's world. Everything - the scented candles, the fabrics, the look of the woman - has been carefully calculated to draw him in, to make him more susceptible to what is to come. Of course there IS the television noise in the background, but even psychics can watch I Dream Of Jeannie re-runs. Ray Hyman, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon and on the executive council of the national Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, states in the September/October issue of The Skeptical Inquirer, "Anyone who's been to a reading knows that it's quite a powerful experience. A psychic has the upper hand right from the start. You're entering their world, using their language, following their rules." For this interview, as well as a fine example of a true-life new-age psychic reading in the modern world, go to Same game, different playing field.


Let's Play 20 Questions

They take a seat at a small table with a crystal ball between them. The gypsy makes mysterious movements with her hands along the outside of the glass ball. She begins to ask simple, seemingly innocuous questions. "You have lost someone very near to you," she intones. Why, yes. Poor old Moby! "This has hurt you in a meaningful way." Yes! I loved that little fish. "I am seeing the letter B." No acknowledgment from my friend. "It could be a first name...or a last name...or a city...or a place.." Yes! Yes! Mr. Moby lived in a BOWL! She continues in this fashion until she makes a pronouncement: "You are a sincere and deeply feeling individual, but people don't understand you. You are intelligent and highly motivated, but you sometimes let other people's problems consume your thoughts. You always try to do good, even at your own expense. Women are attracted to you, but they fear your intelligence and depth. There is trouble ahead, but you will overcome it." "Holy smokes," thinks my friend, "she must be psychic."

They call this a "cold reading". This is nothing more than a cheap parlor trick and the psychic con artist is very good at it. My pal Gully wants to believe, no...needs to believe so badly, that he fails to realize that he has given her all the information she needs, and that her final proclamation is just a newspaper horoscope. My friend doesn't know it, but he has now become her "mark". In the Monday, March 5, 2001 edition of Time magazine, Leon Jaroff writes, " "It is a sophisticated form of the game 20 Questions, during which the subject, anxious to hear from the dead, seldom realizes that he, not the medium or the departed, is supplying the answers." For an example of cold readings and how they work, go to You could do it yourself. Hey, there's some free career advice. I hear the money's good.


Set The Hook

The psychic's face takes a serious turn. She is hearing voices or seeing something, but what? Finally, she reveals the mystery. "I see a darkness over you. It is evil. It is a very powerful curse! Very powerful!" Mr. Gullible is very worried now. He has already been sucked into the Psychic's world and he believes what he is hearing. Ah, well. He needn't worry. The psychic can remove the curse. She will only have to burn a special candle and purchase a prayer card, and she can get them both for only $300.00. My friend hesitates, but the gypsy woman is having none of that, so she badgers him. "Don't you want to remove the darkness? This curse can kill you! You could die! The curse must be removed!" Hesitantly, he hands over the money as the psychic tells him to return the next day to find out if the darkness has been removed...and to bring an egg with him. As in chicken. Over easy.

As soon as the old woman began speaking of the darkness and curses and death, he should have run away. Far, far away. Adios. Arrivederci. Goodbye. Threatening a person who is emotionally vulnerable is not only unprofessional, but immoral and criminal. There are no special candles and no prayer cards. Find out in advance what the cost of the reading is and don't give them one dime more, regardless of what they tell you or threaten you with.


Those Eggs Look Yummy

My friend returns to Madam Ruth the following day. Bad news. It is much worse than she thought. There is not one curse, but seven, and that requires more special candles, prayer cards, and some crystals this time. Once again, my friend hears that nagging voice in the back of his head telling him get out. She asks for the egg he brought with him. He hands it to her. She places a bowl in front of him, cracks open the egg and, TA DA!...the egg is full of blood! Or maybe there is a live slug writhing in the raw yolk. "You see!," exclaims Madam Ruth. "This is the poison...the evil that infects your soul!" My goodness, can it get any worse? My friend is shook up. He hands over the cash and promises to return in 3 days.

Scroll to Continue

Any beginning magician worth his weight in rabbits can pull this stunt. The Large, Grade An egg Gully brought has been switched with a pre-doctored egg in which red dye has been injected. The writhing slug trick is even easier. The psychic has simply palmed the slug and released it into the bowl as she cracks the raw egg. Isn't that a French dish? Snail in egg? Very simple illusions, but they can have enormous impact on the believer, even causing fear. When you hear that little voice in your head, listen to it. That's real ESP and everyone has it.

Psychic Sylvia Browne Big Fake?

Onward and Downward

The readings continue. The curses are difficult ones, Madam Ruth informs him. She has never seen anything like them. He begins to have readings at her home. At one point, the psychic instructs Mr. Gullible to place a $100 dollar bill into a sealed envelope for every year he has lived and to carry it with him at all times. For Gully, that's $3500.00 bucks. She asks him to see the envelope on several occasions but she never opens it and always gives it back. He trusts her even more for her honesty and does as he is told.

I meet my friend for lunch. I order the eggs. He tells me all about Madam Ruth and all the money he has "invested" in removing the dreadful curses. "Gully, Gully, Gully," I say to him", "the only thing you have "invested" in is the psychic's retirement plan." I show him incontrovertible evidence that it is all a scam, a con, a rip off. I produce documents that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is a con artist and he is her mark. Does he believe me? No, he does not. He is suffering from True Believer's Syndrome, a real affliction where someone continues to believe in spite of proof to the contrary. "I've been to her house," he says, "and she's not rich. How could she be stealing money?" I show him an article about a family of con artists in Chicago that owned multiple houses and several psychic parlors. Many of their houses looked like the Taj Mahal on the inside. He is pissed at me and exits the restaurant in a huff. I ask the waiter to bring me a side of escargot and I finish my eggs.

Christopher Reilly/Creative Resources

Christopher Reilly/Creative Resources

It's An Ending, But It Isn't Happy

Gully continued to see the psychic. Eventually, she declares that the $100.00 bills have absorbed the evil and must be destroyed. She appeared to tear up the money before his very eyes. Or did she have to burn it in a secret midnight ceremony? I forget. I've had a little fun with Gully's story, but this is, in fact, a serious issue. Many people—educated, intelligent, savvy—fall prey to psychic scam artists every day. They can truly feel despair due to the psychic's chicanery, and there have been many documented cases of victims committing suicide. Remember what you have learned here, and never give a psychic your full name, address or telephone number: With a little knowledge you can avoid becoming the next big payday for a psychic scam artist. At least Gully no longer sees the psychic. He's broke.

CBS News Undercover—Psychic Scam in Action

Photo Credits

From top, all on flickr: Gypsy with crystal ball/misfitgirl; Neon sign/SeraphimC; Storefront B&W/ectarama; Fortune machine/Willy Volk; Everystockphoto: Snail/tristrambrelstaff

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Lisa Godin on April 16, 2019:

You can believe in this stuff or not. YOUR choice. They say gimme this much and I'll take care if it, YOUR choice. It doesn't 'work' and they demand more money it's YOUR choice to give it! Take responsibility for your own actions! But I was scammed you say! Did they make you believe? YOUR choice.

I saw a commercial today selling some antacid pill saying having pizza at home you have control! No heartburn! But at the office a surprise pizza? Heart burn! That man was in control! He could've said no. He chose to eat that pizza and got heart burn so then he could complain? Was he scared his co workers wouldn't like him if he said no? HE was in charge of his own actions! Not the office, not his work friends!, not the office surprise pizza who refused to say no to!

You can't go yelling at some restaurant for giving you huge portions complaining it will make you fat. YOU chose to go there! They didn't tie you down and force fed you. YOU had the choice of eating half. They made you fat? Who put the food in your mouth? They or you! You can't say they misled you either!

That psychic misled you? YOU chose to believe because YOU chose not to solve the problem yourself! YOU went there! No one can make you think a certain way about things or make you do anything you don't want to do. No one can fear monger you unless you let them! Someone says jump off a cliff if you do it, YOU chose to! You can't say they made you jump!

You want to complain about losing money to a fraud psychic? YOU gave the money. YOU looked for them. YOU chose to believe! They didn't make you do or believe what you didn't want to do or believe in the first place! Stop blaming others!

angel10023 on May 15, 2018:

Please beware all not go to these people...they are all evil...especially those of the Romani gypsy culture. I was approached by a young girl in a shopping mall in NJ three years ago who claimed to be psychic. She did a very accurate cold reading on me and I was wowed by her. She came off as sweet and innocent and talked about God constantly and how we were meant to meet. I went to her for a formal reading in her office. She did a standard tarot on me and then gave me a crystal to take home, saying that it would soak up any negative energy around me that was preventing me from meeting the man I was supposed to marry. I didn't think much more of it but later that week I watched in disbelief as I saw a real life demon crawl out of the crystal and come right at me. I didn't even believe in demons, so this was a complete shock to me. I called up the psychic who told me that the demon came from my fathers side of the family and that it was angry that I brought this special crystal into my home...that is why it decided to attack me. She knew things about my fathers family no one could have I was completely confused. There was a lot of back and forth with her over the course of a month or so. She knew quite a bit about demonology and constantly talked about God and the bible. She pretended to be my friend, even came to my house to 'bless' it with incense and she took personal items from me to 'bless'...which of course I never saw again. I was getting attacked constantly by this demon, it was horrific, and I was praying a lot to Jesus...She would tell me things like, God is mad at you because you are praying to Jesus more than Him. She wanted me to read the book of Job and told me that God was punishing me because I didn't have enough faith. She wanted me to make money sacrifices to God and told me that she would have to burn the money in a private ceremony. Over time she started to show her true self and became an evil psychopath..she started to demand more money from me..threatened me with death..and then started to send more demons to attack me. She bragged that her and her aunt put people in mental hospitals and that once a demon got inside of me I would never feel love again. I was sobbing and she just laughed at me. She knew exactly what she was doing...she was pure evil. I turned to my Catholic church for help. I had a priest bless my house. I even had mass said in my house. I started praying the rosary for hours everyday. The demons would come at me with these high pitched screams that seemed to be coming from another dimension and they were literally throwing themselves at me. One even knocked me off of my sofa while I was praying. Nothing was working, they weren't going away. They started mounting onto my back and then forcefully attacked me, held me down and stabbed me repeatedly in the center of my chest and entered my chest. I was screaming out to God but could do nothing to stop it. Over time I lost my ability to feel love and human emotions. The demons got inside of me and wound around me like a snake. They were burning and squeezing me on the inside of my was pure torture. I started hearing confusing thoughts against God, Jesus, the Angels, Mary and why they weren't real. I was having horrific visions and dreams of what I can only describe as hell. I saw Jesus being nailed to the cross, blood was horrific. I was constantly praying to Mary, who appeared to me and told me that I needed to have faith in her son or I would go to hell, she filled me with pure love energy, and I had a vision of hell. There are no words. I was raped and felt demons come into my vaginal area and stomach. At night I would see terrifying faces come at me...they would even pretend to be my parents (who are deceased) and then they would change faces and mock me. I fought for three years with everything I had in me. I spent 9 hours a day everyday in prayer. I have been through over 20 Catholic exorcisms where I felt angels enter my body and fight with these demons, sometimes taking a demon or two out, only for them to return days later. I have traveled the world and met with multiple healers and people who claimed to have exorcism powers...we would fight for hours, I would get thrown around with all the energy coming into my body trying to fight with the demons, but I would never get delivered. I have sent money to about 15 internet exorcists who claimed to have shamanic powers and could remove demons. They would tell me that they successfully removed the demons in me, but never did. They are all scammers. My mind has been taken over and I can no longer believe in God, Jesus, the Angels, matter what I do. Because I can't believe, I can no longer pray to get God energy to come to help me push these things out of my body. Angels no longer come to help me and the Catholic church has stopped doing exorcisms on me because they no longer work. I am living in complete torment and utter pain constantly 24 hours a day, every day. My former personality, my identity as a human being is all gone and my mind is filled with constant looping thoughts against God and why he doesn't exist. It never stops, there is not a moment of relief. I can no longer be around people. I was a smart, beautiful, successful 35 year old woman with 2 college degrees, tons of friends and an amazing life. I loved God and I went to church every week. My life has been utterly destroyed. I have lost everything, my house, my car, my career, my heart, and now my mind. I would do anything to get out of my situation, but I can't. The Catholic church issued a statement a few months ago that the rise in exorcisms has been caused by more people going to fortunetellers. The church keeps very detailed records on everyone they do exorcism on, so if they are making an official is fact....not just an arbitrary statement. I am not the only person this has happened to. Many people who go to fortunetellers get scammed for their money and personal belongings and that is it..they are lucky. This girl unfortunately was the real deal and practiced black magic. She moves between NJ and Florida, has two young children, a boy and girl. She has long dark hair and a curvy frame and is only 23 years old. She went by the name Scarlett, but her real name is Sharon. She has probably since changed her name. Beware.

Crystal Hitt on May 12, 2018:

Hi when a claravoint asks for more$ eAch time they tell you something is good or bad I thought claravoints and physics where supposed to help ppl not drain there bank accounts for everything just asking plz send feed bk

mastering coldreading on August 10, 2015:

great article

you can read more about this topic on

Tony Smith on July 07, 2015:

How can I report a gypsy scam for fortune-telling

Micheal on December 14, 2014:

Yeah that's what I'm talking about bab-y-nice work!

Connie on December 13, 2014:

Wait, I cannot fathom it being so strahgitforward.

Lionrhod from Orlando, FL on October 21, 2014:

Evocative and witty writing. Great job. As an ethical psychic these fakes frustrate me to no end. I spend a lot of time "fixing" situations where fakes have told clients things that are still haunting them years later when they come to me. It's sad that they give the rest of us a bad name.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on August 08, 2013:

Thanks, WiccanSage, Appreciate the comment!

Mackenzie Sage Wright on August 07, 2013:

What a great article, entertaining and informative. So true, even if you believe in psychic abilities there are so many scammers out there. Great job.

pw on May 04, 2013:

hi everyone i just wanted to say i too fell for Maria the clairvoyant and her so call talents, after the death of my bother, the murder of my Mother and the break down of my family. It started with a simple free tarot card reading, which led to countless emails on different services she can provide, and how i needed her, then she started to greatly reduced her fees," so that she could help me". It took me around a year before i finally took up her offer but i choose the 3 payment option on a£59 payment for a tarot card reading, the result took 2 days to arrive and with it came a further request of £400 for 6 sessions of light that she explained i needed for her to start on her side, i emailed her straight back telling her my situation and asked her to list what i would get from her for my money and waited 1 week, after no reply i contacted my credit card office and cancelled the other two payments, and would you believe it around 2 hours later i received a email from Maria telling me how sad she was, i just wanted other's to know, don't be afraid to cancel if you feel it not right if you can, tell someone you trust, you are not stupid just because they catch you when you are down, thank you Christopher and all who helped passing this warning on. PW from London

Bob Cash on April 03, 2013:

People who deceive the feeble-mended should be sent to prison, the money they made confiscated and the government should publish statements that EVERY person claiming to be pshcic can only be one of two things; a charlatan or metally unfit. How is it possible that ANYONE could begin to think such drivel could be true? Someone left a message claiming people have "a right to believe". That's shocking. People should be educated to understand the difference been possibility and impossibility. Idiots claiming to have such powers should be stopped! It astounds me people are so naive and even prepared to defend these charlatans. It just shows how stupid the general public is.

xyzsussex on March 26, 2013:

Unfortunaltely mediumship is perfect for con artists who strike at the most vulnerable. I know of a fake medium working the quite area outside of Brighton UK who claims to have connections with the famous medium Derek Acorah. She calls herself Jan and targets vulnerable people by scaring them telling them they have a spirit entity attached to them that only she can remove. This may sound ridiculous but this woman has a very forceful personality and knows how to get under peoples skin like all con artists she can recognise a persons weak point. She also manages to extort money by engaging sympathy telling people she has only months to live, she's been at deaths door for at least two years now! I have witnessed the damage this woman has done to others both mentally and finacially and it makes me mad that she can get away with it!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on January 25, 2013:

First, there is no hocus pocus "evil" she can do to you. As for the last four digits of your social and address, I don't know. Call the police and ask to speak to someone in fraud. They'll give you some advice.

Unknown123456 on January 25, 2013:

Hi Chris . Thank you for sharing your friend's story. It FINALLY hit me! I'm too embarrassed to share my story. Lets just say its almost similar to your friend's story. It's my misfortune that this lady scammed me for $40k. I was going through a really rough time in my life. Anything and everything she said made sense to me and I really thought I was cursed. Supposedly we were done with our work. But now she's asking me for more money saying that the person who put a curse on me found out about our work and she needs $5k To protect our work. Unfortunately she has my address and my last four digit social. So what should I do? I'm also afraid if I stop answering her call. She might do some evil work on me. Please help me!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on July 20, 2012:

Sorry that happened to you Jessica. Thank you for telling your story here.

Thanks, Tony. I appreciate your comment.

Tony on July 20, 2012:

Hey Christoph Reilly, this is good stuf you wrote here. enjoyed everyones comment and I only wish there were more folks out there like you who actually took the time to dispel these so-callled psychics who are nothing more than low-life, two-bit, cheap hustling cons. These people always quote the bible as they give you advice and more lies just to part you from your hard earned monies. They ALL need to be put in jail and they should be licensed like a doctor if they are to do practice this type of business. This type of business is really just a bad con and they could not get licensed as there is nothing that would prove their psychic powers. WHY? Because it IS FRAUDULENT BS. PERIOD!$!$!$!! The government should outlaw these cheap crooks and make it illegal for them to practice their outlandish crooked craft. Their kids do not even go to school as they are all home schooled to learn how to lie, cheat and steal from good people. STOP giving your hard earned money to the scavengers people and go see a real doctor. Thanks again Christopr R....................CIAO!

Jessica on July 20, 2012:

I was scammed by a Texas psychic in Dallas. She was really good in the context of the scare tactics she had used on me, by telling me that my family had a curse put on us. She convinced me I needed to give her a substantial amount of money to remove ths curse. I was so gullible in believing that garbage. How embarassing I felt and I did not want to tell my family how much money was spent. I can see how others would feel about someone like me who was so gullible in believing that nonsense. Please be careful if you pursue these fraudulent psychics, so be careful who you visit. If a psychic convinces you that there is a family curse, get up and walk away fast as this is nothing more than a cheap hustle to get more money from you. This psychics business was Ann Newman & Associates in Dallas. Hope this helps others.

Spiritint on June 04, 2012:

Yes prophets don't have any credibility, another is

Ray Brown, a builder ... who says he heals... are dangerous con men. Charging massive amounts of money from ill victims.

Republicat on April 24, 2012:

Sooooo I keep looking and looking and waiting for someone to identify how to find an actual psychic. I live in a relatively small city so I probably need to find someone elsewhere. People say make sure to find one by word of mouth so.....Who? Because if people are so easily fooled, who do we believe? Has anyone out there used someone for years and can honestly vouch for their psychic? Thank you!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on April 19, 2012:

Vanessa: I think you should first go to the police and see what they say. Tell them you are a victim of a crime of confidence. Another choice is to consult a lawyer, but of course that's not cheap and requires that you spend even more money. I'm sorry this happened to you.

Bart Simpson: You are right. People are embarrassed when they figure out they've been conned and so don't tell anyone. But that's exactly why these people get away with so much.

bart simpson on April 18, 2012:

hey y'all... I once gave a psychic 1500 dollars.. a LOT of money for me.. after a bad break up. It was years ago but I've never stopped feeling stupid about it. She used all the same ploys mentioned here on unfortunate Mr. Gully. Should I have told the police? could they have done anything? btw they also warn you not to tell anyone (friends/family) because that will get in the way of "lifting the curse." Assholes. I think a lot of people walk away not wanting to think they'd been scammed and convince themselves that it worked... and never mention it to anyone.

vanessa on April 17, 2012:

I was conned bad out of $55,000.. I know HORRIBLE... I just started researching and got a huge slap in the face now realizing everything she said was false. She did the stupid egg trick on me and had me do a bunch of stupid stuff like put money (6k)that was wrapped in cloth and ribbon( 2 separate cloth squares, at 3k each square) and had me wear it on each side of my breast. I had to wear these over night and when she wanted me to bring it in so she could meditate, the next day she calls me and tells me she had to burn the money in a church because the money was evil. I have been dealing with this con artist for 2 years and about 3 months ago she told me my twin sister is going to die in a car accident near our birthday and in order to "fix it" she would need 25k. And since she was my "friend" she would pitch in the 3k so I gave her 22k. About a month ago I gave her the candle she had me light for 3 months and she said something looked off. She explained that the circle in the candle protected my sister had broke and she would need to do something more extravagant because the evil whatever ppl found out we are cheating her death. She said it would cost 50k to refix.... I was so pissed ... I cried a lot and finally being scared I gave her my last bit of savings which was 5k as a deposit and because she's a good "friend" that she would cover the rest for the materials and that I could repay her the remaining 45k in payments every week! She doesn't know that I know she's a fraud and I want to keep her close( I will NOT give her a penny anymore though) because i want to try and sue her or get an attorney. I went to lunch with her and actually recorded our conversation about how i feel depressed that the last 2 years I've given so much money and how theres always something negative that comes up and I got her to agree on sound recording all that stuff. And I acted like I took a picture of the food when I was really also taking a video recording of her as well so i could match the sound recording to her face. Do you think I have a case here where I can potentially sue her and get my money back??? or would it be a waste of my time??

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on February 13, 2012:

Lisa, Your psychic isn't giving you very good results if you still must use their services after four years. And how much money have you given this psychic? Sorry, but I don't really believe you, and think instead you are someone who purports to be a psychic. I invite you to prove me wrong.

Lisa on February 12, 2012:

I been seeing a psychic for 4 years and yes it can be expensive but the time she gives to me and results I receive are worth it to me. Before I met her I was going crazy and felt I lost myself. I believe there is a higher power and there are true psychics that can heal people. The problem in the world today is we judge things we know nothing about and say that psychics are scam artist. Why shouldn't a psychic get paid for her services and if materials are needed and are used and you see her giving you time and you see results it's not a scam. Some times the results take time and people want them over night. Be patient have faith and let your spiritual healer help you and you would see results . I wish you all the best and I pray one day we can all open are spirits and have more faith we live in a very cruel and judgmental world that only listened to what the media tells us to believe. Stop listening to media and listen to your soul.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on February 10, 2012:

Many others have walked in your shoes. You are in no danger from her, just don't give her any more or anything. You aren't open to her "energetically" either, because she has no powers. You didn't give her your social security number, did you? If so, look into protecting your identity and bank account. This is unlikely though, and anyone can have their identity stolen, psychic or no.

nycidiot on February 10, 2012:

I feel so dumb. I'm not even going to tell you how much money i've lost in this stupid scam because it will only make me feel worse. My biggest concern is that she has my full name and telephone number and some of my personal belongings for a ceremony to cleanse the curse - am I in danger in anyway? Have I potentially opened myself up to this woman energetically? If so, how do I protect myself?

Samsona on February 02, 2012:

One day I was bored and decided to order Tarot reading on the phone only for $25 , I didn't expect anything serious from that, just to see what he will say.

So I asked if I will get married again (I wasn't dating or wasn't loking for noone at that time and I was 44 years old and divorced) and he said that I actually will meet my future husband next month and will be married very soon. Of course I didn't believe and was thinking he just trying to make me feel better and to say something nice however I did meet a man next month and

we did get married in a couple of month!

How about that???

He also told me other things which I didn't pay attention like journey ect. however it all really happened. He was very accurate.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on January 23, 2012:

Conned: I always hate to hear stories like yours. Hopefully, you have helped alert others.Thanks for commenting.

Conned on January 23, 2012:

I also need to mention, I had to send her a large sum of money once - nearly 3000 dollars and as usual she needed me to send it by Western Union and she never had an ID so this large amount of money was sent to a JOHNIE YONKO (she said it was her father?). She disappeared about a year ago and her cell phone was disconnected and I tried contacting people occupying space in that NY address but they were extremely rude and claimed they did not know her and there was no such business etc.

Conned on January 23, 2012:

I got conned by person who called herself Angela Carter. She gave me her address as 237 West 18th Street Apartment 1FE New York, NY 10011 and email is/was and she said she also has a New Jersey office.

She is very convincing. I want to warn others not to be sucked in like I did - I lost thousands of dollars to her because I trusted her and was gullible enough to believe everything she said. I met her on Liveperson and on her profile there, it also said something about her being a hypnotist, so just beware.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on January 22, 2012:

solution101: Well, the article doesn't deny psychic ability as rule, rather merely warns about the large number of frauds claiming to have psychic ability when they do not. Unless the articles you reference state that there are no frauds, and that everyone who claims to have psychic ability do have it, then we do not have a different view. Thanks for your input.

M Aponte on January 10, 2012:

Physic Allura is a scam. She has a website:; her telephone number is: 786-587-6401. When you call she will give you a reading over the phone she tells you that have to really believe, her work is guaranteed, and you can start seeing results in as little as 24 hours. Then, she tells you to go to the nearest drugstore and purchase a moneypak for $400.00 which is the cost for the cleaning that needs to take place. The money is to purchase some candles from Jerusalem and she has to go to church to start the work. After you send you give her the 14 digit number on the moneypak she tells you that she is going to start working on your behalf and to please call her when you begin to see some changes i your life. You will never hear from her again; therefore, please don't fall for it.

Greg on November 06, 2011:

Thankyou Lynne and Coolgirlfriend. You have just saved me from handing over money to Maria, Clairvoyant, Universal Medium. She had me convinsed that i would make millions. That i had dark negative energy all over me. I would make the money and be free of negative energy... All for $149USD. What dawns on me is how she is able to do this over a computer if she has never met me or any of my family. Thanks again for waking me up.

Lynne on October 20, 2011:

I want to comment on Maria,Clairvoyant,Universal Medium.

Did a reading for free then requested 69$ for Tarot card reading,all the while telling me of the luck and the millions that are coming my way,no sooner had she read the three tarot cards then she need to do a seven card reading which cost 79usd as soon as that reading was done she need 399usd ti communicate with me via vibrations,also to remove all negativity to open the path for luck.She offers 100% risk free guarantee.So i have asked for all my money back,i don't suppose i will hear from her again.I told her she keeps on requesting money but has done nothing for me.

emma slaughter on September 25, 2011:

Stephanie Costella oHouston, Tx is a scam and thief. She tells lots of lie charges 100.00 then ask for more money to buy chrystals and have services at her church. She. Probably has never been to churh, she is a thief with a cel l phone

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on June 15, 2011:

coolgirlfriend: I was sorry the story ended. I was quite engrossed, and it supports what this article says, right down to the egg trick. From your opening it looks like you did not give her the additional $9000, and I'm glad for that. I'd love to hear the rest of the story. Thanks so much for sharing it.

Coolgirlfriend on June 15, 2011:

Hello readers,

I am a very smart professional evolving in New York City and despite my faith in God, my alertness and my multiple degrees, I got caught in a similar psychic fraud! In a span of 1 week, that repulsive devil in disguise was able to extract a total of $960.00 out of me!! I want to share my story as someone else’s story prevented me from giving her an additional $9,000.00, which I was about to withdraw from my retirement funds!

The scammers name is “Maria” – She hands out pamphlets in the streets of New York and most frequently hangs out on 7th or 8th Avenue in Times Square, and around Grand Central on the East Side. She has an apartment on 41st Street and 2nd Avenue and does readings out of 939 8th Avenue – Suite 200, between 55th and 56th Street and also has another location on 51st and 7th Avenue according to her pamphlet. Her cell phone number for now is 646-643-9149. She is a petite blonde hair gypsy, who seems so innocent but only has evil intentions. I am glad I woke up! Here’s how it all happened.

I went to Church on a Tuesday night and was heading to Port Authority when that scammer stopped me on the street asking me for a quick second of my time. She expressed that she does astrology readings and that she was getting some vibes from me and wanted to share it with me for $10.00 – I was like “$10 dollars!” What do I have to loose. Right on the street, she started telling me about my life and she was unbelievably accurate. I could have sworn she could see right through me. She was sensing that I carried myself in a proud way but felt lonely and empty inside at times. She was sensing that I had great chemistry with a man, whose name had 2 syllables. She was also sensing that I had gone through a hard breakup which changed who I was. She also mentioned that I was a great person and that I only wanted what everyone else wants: love, happiness and peace. In retrospect, I am realizing that all the information she was giving me were so generic that most women must fall into her scam and believe her psychic abilities. We all think we are good people. We all want love, peace and happiness. In my age demographic (25-35), it is most likely that we have gone through a bad breakup or are having difficulties in our relationship. She mentioned that she was picking up negative energy around me and that she would like to dig a little further and find out what’s been holding me back from true happiness.

We parted ways and stupid me gave her a call the next day as she had really shaken my thoughts with the “accuracy” of the information she had given me the previous night. She invited me to her “office” after work, which was located at 939 8th Avenue – Suite 200, between 55th and 56th Street. It is a little space in a dance studio. She sat me down, looked into my eyes and mentioned that she was sensing a very strong negative energy around me. That 2 women from my past took something from me and had done some black magic on me because they were envious and jealous of me and my family. She highlighted that they probably took a piece of my hair from a comb. I am from a Haitian background so let me tell you that I freaked out as I heard these types of stories all my life. I suspected someone from my past to have wanted to hurt me and thought that “Maria” had been sent from heaven as I had met her a few minutes after leaving Church. She told me that she could help me thanks to the powers that “God” had given her. She only bills for a reading but wanted $90.00 per candles to do the work. She claimed that she would need 3 candles to do the work as the negative energy that surrounded me was extremely strong. I was trying to be careful so I asked her if she could provide me with a receipt and gave her $270.00 that day. Before I left, she asked me to buy 1 red rose and take a bath that night with the petals, pour honey, salt and sugar in my water. She claimed that I would instantly feel better, which I did! I guess I truly always take showers and never take a moment to take a bath. I instantly felt relaxed and thought that this woman only had the best intentions for me. She then asked me to collect the rose petals from the bathtub, dry them and place them in an envelope. She instructed me to place the envelope under my pillow every night until our next meeting.

The next day, she gave me a call and mentioned that she “felt” that she needed to give me more instructions to move forward with the process. She asked me to take 1 white egg, 1 white pocket square, which I had to write all the things that I truly desired in life on all four corners, 1 small bottle of water, which I needed to blow 3 times in prior to drinking half of it. Lastly, I needed to gather 9 bills of whichever amount of money (she suggested $50 bills) and place them together, facing the same direction. She highlighted that this money wouldn’t be money to spend or give but only money that would help uncover what was holding me down. She asked me to put everything in a shoe box and wait for her instructions.

The next 4 days, I kept on questioning myself:” Why would someone want to hurt me; I’ve never done anything to anyone!” “Should I trust someone I just met on the street who’s telling me that our meeting was not a coincidence but the will of God” – But then again, she knew so much about me and she knew about my Church! She kept on praising the name of God. How could she praise him and glorify his name if she was evil? That woman became my BFF, called me 3 times a day just to check on me and make sure that I was doing OK. She mentioned that she had started the work and was removing the negative energy from my body, which is why I was feeling better.

After 5 days of constant phone calls, I decided to trust her. Biggest mistake of my life! I put 9 x $20.00 bills in the shoe box, put it under my bed for one night and brought everything to her on day 6. She invited me to her apartment located on the East Side of New York City, more precisely on 41st Street and 2nd Avenue. She met me at the corner and walked me in the building. There was a security guard downstairs. Stupid me thought that a scammer doesn’t live where security is… How dumb am I!? She should live in such a building to keep people who finally wake up away from her. Her apartment was cute and cozy. All the chairs and the cabinets were blue and white, which are the colors of peace and health. We sat on the couch and she light a candle and started praying to God that whatever negative energy that was surrounding my spirit goes away. She then put the egg in the white pocket square that I had brought and started rubbing it on my body. All of a sudden, she cracked the egg on the floor and “blood” poured out. She started yelling, telling me that the egg was a representation of my body and that I had a tumor that was growing in me. The 2 women who had put the spell on me wanted me to suffer for a while and had planted that disease in me where doctors could not see it until it was too late. I was stunned! Blood in the egg I had brought from home?! WTF!!! That’s how she got me to believe in her even more. She mentioned that now that the spirits knew that I was aware of their presence in my body, the disease would spread even faster. The only way we could make this stop would be to make an offering to the spirits and burry all the shit she had asked me to gather with that offering in a cemetery. I was like… What the hell! I’m not going to a cemetery to dig a whole and give money to satan. She started yelling at me, telling me that her life and her family’s life were now in danger because of me and that I needed to help her control the spell. GUILT TRIP! Now, that woman is telling me that I am putting her people in danger. She even went further by telling me that if I would talk about what I just saw, that I would be putting my own family in danger and that my mother, more specifically, would die. I am very close to my mom and that hit me in my soul. So I asked her what I had to do. She mentioned that she needed $9,000.00!! I was like: WHAT? ARE YOU FOR REAL?! I can’t give you $9,000.00!! She said: I know you have it, I can

Pierre Savoie from Canada on February 10, 2011:

Jeannie can go with Master to the military base if she first gets a new wardrobe, like those really BITCHIN' 60's sleeveless blouses...and loses those gauzy arm and pant things...

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on February 06, 2011:

Justin: Yes. Stick to the original agreed upon amount that you are comfortable with and don't hand over another dime no matter what you are promised. Thanks for the comment.

Justin on February 06, 2011:

Avoid the psychics that hook you with the $5 or $10 reading. They bait you with that one, and then for an extra $1000 they will heal you. There are some reputable psychics out there who don't do this though.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on November 21, 2010:

Thanks Tony. That's what I've been sayin! Thanks for the comment!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on November 19, 2010:

gerard71powell: Well, I don't know. All I know is that my examples came from legitimate sources, the Chicago Trib, CBS news and others. As for this behavior putting them out of business, why? Their clients walk in off the street, and perhaps the P.T. Barnum rule applies. Thanks for the comment.

gerard71powell from Glasbury, UK on November 19, 2010:

HA, what a bunch of sensationalism. It's okay though, nice read. What psychics out there actually hard sell a client for a $300 curse removal? I'd suspect they'd be pretty much out of clients very quickly.

kaltopsyd from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on August 28, 2010:

You always make me laugh!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on August 28, 2010:

Hi Jewels! Yeah, and that's some mean time zone! I can only hope you're right. All that bad Karma has got to have some effect! Thanks for stopping by!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on August 28, 2010:

Cindyvine: That sounds about right, if not more. Thanks! Good to see you.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on August 28, 2010:

kaltopsyd: it de bazodee luv! Dat de trut, guhl!

Jewels from Australia on August 28, 2010:

I missed this one, could be the time zones - being upside down means you miss a lot! I agree, lots of crack pot scammers out there. They will pay, their next life will see them as the slugs they mix with the egg yokes. ^-^

Cindy Vine from Cape Town on August 28, 2010:

There are many fakes out there though, probably about 9 fakes out of every ten who advertise their services.

kaltopsyd from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on August 28, 2010:

LOL. You're too much. I'll make sure to stay away from Madam Ruth and her Love Potion #9. Why is it numbered? A different type of love: lust, infatuation, 'true love', crazy-in-love, summer fling, naïve love...?

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on August 27, 2010:

You never have to apologize to me,K, and YES, I do know what you mean. I believe in psychic ability too, I just don't like the fakes who prey on peoples weaknesses. I too have a slightly heightened psychic ability. Just a little. Everybody has some, and it can be developed with practice. But I beg to differ with you on one thing: Madam Ruth was real! That Love Potion really works! Here...have a sip.

kaltopsyd from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on August 27, 2010:

This was a really, really interesting article, Chris. I mean, really interesting! ... oh, I said that already. Lucky for me, psychics such as those you describe, creep me out. I remember once I Was in NYC and I walked past a small psychic booth in a market. I didn't even SEE the psychic booth but I felt the eeriest 'jump' inside me - like my heart skipped a beat and my stomach lurched at the same time. I quickly turned my head and saw the psychic sign. I can't explain how I felt creeped out before I even saw the psychic sign but it happened to me more than once.

So, in that way, I have my own ESP. hehe. Therefore, I'm not going to any psychic because I can't even stand to be in their presence. I do believe in psychics though. Just not the Madame Ruth type... more of the dream and intuition type. Less magical, more realistic. You know what I mean? Probably not.

Now that I've written an entire novel on your Hub, I gotta apologise. Sorry! Great Hub though!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on June 04, 2010:

adorababy: I'm glad you got out of the cycle. I am curious. Was it as I had described it? Did she use any of the scams I talk about? I'd really be interested in hearing your story.

adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 04, 2010:

The minute you stop paying they become M.I.A!!! Do not return your phone calls, out to lunch, every excuse you can think of when you are trying to avoid a bill collector, that's what they are doing to you!!! I am so glad I was able to gradually look at myself and realize I was making a FOOL out of myself and giving them all my money!!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on February 04, 2010:

Ronnie Sewell: Although I am unfamiliar with Ms. Nine, you'll get no argument from me, and I certainly wouldn't try to prove John Edwards was better than anybody. Thanks for your comment.

Ronnie Sewell on February 04, 2010:

I went to Pamela nine. Nothing she told me every came to pass. Any one is crazy to go to her, got over my craziness. She says she is better than John Edwards. But you can't prove that to me.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 28, 2009:

Lucky star: Thanks for the comment. I think it's true that most psychics on TV are probably fake, but I will stop short of saying absolutely 100% of them are. I don't have any objections to a psychic making money from their gift either, as long as it's fair and they aren't taking advantage of people. Thanks again!

Lucky_Star on September 28, 2009:

A lot of effort has been put into your blog, a good read :) I do not feel (as in 100% belief) any psychic or medium that appears on Tv or otherwise has the power or talent to give any of us any answers that we cant find ourselves. It is a scam, probably one of the most accepted scams to this date.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on August 20, 2009:

@SWEET PSYCHIC: Thank you for your comment. I agree with what you have said. I certainly didn't mean to imply there are no real psychics, just that there are many con-artists posing as psychics. Thanks for reading.

P.S. I could not run your comment with the embedded link. Sorry.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on August 06, 2009:

mp says:

This stuff is all so fascinating... I was raised believing it was all satanic and had to be avoided at all costs... but when I finally grew up (a couple months ago lol) I realized whether its true or not or evil or not(which I dont believe it is) I need to make my own educated decision. Personally I dont think people can read others minds but I do believe people can be very intuitive by reading body language, mannerisms, voice fluctuations etc...

Again it is all very fascinating...thanks for the post... I like your style.

MP: Thanks for reading. Your comment is appreciated.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on February 04, 2009:

Mella: Thanks for stopping in. Actually, it's a very common "psychic" trick, or ruse, if you will. Many use the same thing, or slightly different versions of it. Glad you enjoyed my humble piece!

MellasViews from Earth on February 04, 2009:

That must be that con artist psychic I saw on unsolved mysteries. It was the same type of con, with the egg, the money in the envelope... its sick, and crazy too that ppl fall prey to such a scheme.

Great hub Chris. Tis a shame about Gully. ; )

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on February 04, 2009:

Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment. Glad you found it to your liking. One thing is sure, people can feel very passionately about the subject, as evidenced in the comment section. Thank you for your input.

Intuitive Advisor on February 04, 2009:

I'd have to agree with mystic above. I too hear often of jerks out there who tell vulnerable people that they are cursed, and so on.

Ethical readers, like mystic apparently is, and like myself, work to foster INDEPENDENCE not psychic junkies.

This is a good hub methinks... thanks for your work.


Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on January 25, 2009:

mystic: I appreciate your coming by and I agree with you. I, too, believe everyone has a bit of psychic ability! Some maybe more than others, to be sure, but anyone can heighten theirs with practice and getting in tune with it. I have had personal experiences with it, as has most everybody though they may not realize it.

Thanks for the comment. It's always nice to have a Professional come by, especially when they confirm what you already suspect. Thank you!

mystic on January 25, 2009:

I've just stumbled across this site and was interested in your article. I'm a spiritual counselor or "intuitive" and I work to defraud "psychics" who offer spells and tell of curses. I have so many clients who have become psychic "junkies' who cannot make a move without going to a fortune-teller, it amazes me. I work to get them OFF the "junkie psychics" and listen to their own spirit or "psychic ability."

I tend to agree with you on John Edwards and Sylvia Browne, totally cold readers, but they do have some talent. WE are ALL psychics, we all have a sixth sense. BUT people like John Edwards and Browne have been so worried about chasing the "buck" that they have lost a lot of there psychic energy. You gotta be focused and if you are psychic, MONEY can not come first. A true spiritual advisor knows the "universe" God, some way provides and usually ask for donations. Money cannot take priority or one loses spiritual power.

My two-cents from a professional "mystic"

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 16, 2008:

Hi, Sandra! Nice to see you again! No eggs? No snails? Sounds like you got a good one!

sandra rinck on September 16, 2008:

oh daaaammmmnnnnn!!!!!!

Glad I got the skinny on this scam. I went to a physic once. Funny thing though. When I left I thought she was full of it, come to find out, it all happened and she never asked me for a cent more then we agreed on.

Was it worth my friends 80$. lol, yip cause she told I wouldn't have to pay a cent. hahahaha. Great hub.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 16, 2008:

Whew! That's a relief!

Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 16, 2008:

well not for a week or two at least!!!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 16, 2008:

Of course you don't. You haven't been eating any rodents or great apes lately, have you?

Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 16, 2008:

My God, don't tell me I have Ebola please..................

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 15, 2008:

Actually, I was researching the Ebola virus, and there's a thing it does to your insides and well....that's pretty funny though!

Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 15, 2008:

I think your Wife and my Husband might have something to say about that if it weren't figurative LOL :)

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 15, 2008:

OOOooo. Hope that's figurative. Otherwise, it could get messy!

Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 15, 2008:

OOOhhhh I have gone all mushy inside now :)

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 15, 2008:

Good. You are one of my favorites,too.

Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 15, 2008:

Hey Christoph, you haven't upset me at all so don't worry. My comment was more aimed at the general people who will read the comments and the hub and jump to conclusions that they should never trust any psychic. You are one of my favourite Hubbers, and I certainly won't be taking you off my recommended list :)

There are many con artists out there, I simply wanted to impart a few good tips about how to avoid being conned, and to sort out the "wheat from the chaff" so to speak. By the way it wasn't my intention to call you a sceptic directly, that comment was aimed a sceptics in general who might be reading the comments.

Anyway, I hope this has put your mind at rest and please don't worry I still rate you big time :)

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 14, 2008:

P.S. Misty: I will read your hubs that you have linked to later tonight or first thing tomorrow. I was writing a hub that I hoped to publish tonight, and find myself behind.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 14, 2008:

Hi, Misty. I am glad you had a chance to respond and had so much to say. I'm not sure how or why the comment section has gone in this direction. The article itself says nothing about John Edward. I do not say he is a fake. If I have expressed that belief in the comment section, that is my opinion and is not meant to be taken as anything that I wish to present as fact. When I did (in the comment section - not the article) I provided a link for anyone who wants to, to go look at the interview and the accusations and the psychics themselves defending against these charges face to face. I encourage everyone to go look at it. Both sides are represented. One guy who is retired from the army and was in charge of a secret program looking into "remote vision" for 30 years, uncategorically states that psychic ability is real. I also provide an immediate contrary opinion - my wife's. The hub is about psychic frauds...Period! I intentionally did not make any such statements about all psychics being frauds. I came across some information but I did not use it. If I had of, I would have damn well quoted sources. I would have presented THEIR opinions - not my own - since I don't really have any in this regard. At least not strong enough that I want to go around being the great debunker. I do have an opinion about con men in general. I hate them.

I really was a private investigator and I really did bust cheats throughout the U.S, but my "opinion" didn't count. It had to stand up in a court of law. There had to be incontrovertable video evidence. I know better than to make accusations without something to back it up. Everyone who has gone into this area - as though I have said all psychics are frauds - always start off by saying something like, "I know there are cheats, but..." That should be the end of the conversation right there. That's all I said. "You could look it up," as they say

I'll be right back.

Ok. I'm back. I'm upset because I have upset you, and that makes me feel like shit. I curse the day I wrote this fu##ing thing. It started out to be a 100% humorous piece, like Becket or Tom Stoppard (except I'm not as good as they are.)

When Edward came up in the comment section, I not only provided a link, but I said "you can make up your own mind", "I am not an expert", and "my opinion is no more valid that anyone else''s." What more can I do? I also said I believe it exists, that I have seen things that I could not explain, and that I think I possess it to some minor degree. How can I think it's not real when I believe that I myself have it (just a little).

I have seen the John Edward show, Lisa Williams, and Psychic Detectives many, many times. Sometimes I am impressed, and sometimes I am not. If someone is on TV, and they are "on the money" 20% of the time, but through creative editing are made to appear that they are correct 90% of the time, then 70% of the time they are fakes. I could play devil's advocate with you, but I don't want to. I don't care. They are on TV, not in a storefront ripping off suckers who walk in off the street.

I am truly sorry for the hard time you went through, and happy that you found some reliable and real psychics. Why you call me a sceptic, I don't know. Maybe I can just tell a fake when I see one. I encourage anyone who has managed to stick with us this long to visit Misty hubs listed above (and all of them, for that matter) and if you have any links to valid, documented evidence or persons of high standing or authority, post them here. If they check out OK I will leave them for all to see. Sir Author Conan Doyle believed - Houdini didn't. The list goes on and on.

Are we OK? I'm finished. This is what I have to say and this is all: Some of those "Gypsy" Psychics are really con artists. Here are some of the tricks they play to get your money. If you find this happening to you...get out.

Thanks for that mention earlier. I really appreciated it. I guess you'll be taken me off now, huh?

Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 14, 2008:

Wow, controversial subject on a huge scale.

Firstly I too believe in John Edward, as anyone who has watched as many of his shows as I have will know that he frequently comes up with facts (later proven), that even the people he is reading didn't know and were unresearchable. e.g. the time he told a women he had a small white, virtually hairless dog, blind, that had a name similar to a breakfast cereal. She had no clue what he was on about, but later in a follow up she had called her Mum, who then told her that her Grandmother had previously had a dog perfectly fitting the entire description and called "Popsicle". This could not possibly have been found out by addresses or hidden microphones. You only have to read John Edward books to be inspired by how his gift was discovered by him, and to see him do a "blind" reading, (someone behind a screen that he has no idea who they are) to be convinced.

Now I know there are many "fakes" out there, in fact on at least one occasion I demanded my money back and threatened to go to the local papers if she wouldn't comply. My reason for this was that not only did the medium in question ask me numerous leading questions, but she also separately gave my friend virtually exactly the same reading, and on tape in both cases. We got our money back, but had to relinquish the tapes.

The secret of being convinced by a medium is to give them no information other than your first name. This way, if they come up with any information that is specific you can have confidence in their abilities.

I have been to a number of excellent mediums, as has my older sister, and we are always very careful not to give any information about ourselves, our surnames etc. To give a few examples of how brilliant a good medium can be:

I spoke to one on the phone after my Husband died of Cancer, and she gave me various very specific information only knowing my first name and not why I was booked in with her or who I had lost. Some of this info included the fact that my Husband had a limp on his right leg, (true as he had previously had a bad car accident that broke his ankle a year earlier). She also told me he had a large bi-coloured dog with him, which was really impressive, as about 18 months before my Husband died we had lost our black and tan Doberman, and I had said to my Husband, "If ever you die before me, please let me know you are okay and "Odin" (our dog) is with you".

She also went on to come up with some names such as Edie, (which was a relative of my Mum's and not a common name). Another name she came up with was "Steve", who ended up being the next chap I had a relationship with nearly a year later.

Another Medium saw my Sister on a separate occasion, and although my Sister had gone to visit her for her own personal reasons, this Medium told her that she had my Husband there, and that his Son had treated me very badly after he had died, and that he was ashamed of him. This was amazing, as my Sister had not said she had a Sister, or that this same Sister had been widowed at a very young age. What's more it was so true, as the elder son had stolen a car and a camcorder from me after his Dad had died, and claimed his Dad would have been proud of him for his behaviour, (see my Hub:

Another occasion I went to see a medium after my cat had been killed. I didn't get the cat until right at the very end, but she did bring through my Father who had died years earlier, (see my Hub:  although I was still young enough at the time that my Father being dead was unlikely. She exhibited virtually all of the symptoms of his illness right in front of me, including coughing and spluttering. She even showed physical signs such as his eyes bulging like they used to. What she went on to say was that he was sorry he had been so horrible to my Mum and us in life and that he could now see how awful he had been, and that he knew Mum had now met someone else, and he was really happy for her. He offered her a red rose as a sign he loved her. All of this was 100% accurate, and to be totally honest none of the above Medium's got anything wrong, which dispels the assumption that if they offer enough information they are bound to get a few "hits" and numerous "misses", and that people will only focus on the "Hits" and forget the "Misses".

On yet another occasion I was in a bar in Tenerife chatting to a girl I had only just met. Her boyfriend was at the bar buying a round of drinks in a very noisy environment with live music. I told her I had been widowed, but nothing else. A couple of minutes later her boyfriend returned and immediately asked me, "Whose Dave?". I nearly fell over on the spot, but explained Dave had been my late Husband. He told me Dave knew I had been through a really tough time and that he was around me. The guys girlfriend told me not to be shocked, as this happened to her boyfriend all the time. I was stunned, and they got nothing out of it at all.

Another excellent British Medium is "Lisa Williams", currently based in America. She is mind blowing, and gives a large amount of very specific info, including names. She is enough to convince even the most hardened sceptic, and she is also a very likeable person. Her TV series is rivetting, and I recommend everyone should watch it, especially sceptics.

It is also well worth watching "Psychic Detectives" on Sky,  as most of the episodes feature hardened detectives who were initially only using a Medium either as a last resort, or because the families of the deceased requested they do so. Most of the cases when solved were largely because of the information given by the psychics, which was also uncannily accurate and convinced the detectives that perhaps they should be more open to using psychics in the future.

So to summarise, yes, there are loads of fakers out there, but amongst these are a good element of genuine psychics who are tarnished by the fakers repuations. Who can say it is unfair for them to charge for their services, as after all, they have a skill, and need to make a living in much the same way as an artist or sculptor. I have no problem with this, and believe in going to psychics that have been recommended by people I know that have been to them beforehand, and whose opinions I trust.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 14, 2008:

Hi countrywomen! Thanks. I'll bet you can set a lot of things right around you with just a blink of an eye! You'll find more about I Dream of Jeannie in my Hub, Ginger or Mary Ann. I hope you'll check it out. Bye for now!

countrywomen from Washington, USA on September 14, 2008:

Also when you mentioned 'I dream of jeanie' show it reminded me so much of her and her master(Major Nelson). I sometimes wish I had those powers at the blink of an eye to set things right around me. We all wish there was a genie may be not as beautiful as Barbara Eden but still some one who would make things happen for us and end up being another Mr/Ms Gullible.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 14, 2008:

Hi countrywomen: I agree totally. Thanks for stopping by and having a read and leaving the comment. It is appreciated. Thanks!

countrywomen from Washington, USA on September 13, 2008:

I myself saw an episode of Chris Angel in which he busted "psychic powers" But having said that I do believe that there are people who posses such abilities but they are very few in number and rarely if ever advertise their powers. Good Hub :-)

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 11, 2008:

Hmmm. A challenge. I love a challenge! And Hide and Seek and Easter Egg hunts, too. This could be like "The Great Hub Race." It's a puzzle wrapped in a mystery inside an egnima!

Sixty: I had a very similar experience. I was driving to Chicago for a weekend at the Drake and had a premonition that on my way back, a rock would be "kicked up" by a vehicle in front of me and hit my windshield. I took note to be extra careful on my way home, staying well back of semi-trucks. I was going to do what I could to prevent this event from occuring. It happened on the way THERE, which was unexpected. Put a chip in my windshield, too! Thanks for writing!

spryte from Arizona, USA on September 11, 2008:

Sixty - You would be right. My reply to Christoph's hub was just another example of story "leakage" and was what finally pushed me over the edge. Can you find the others? :)

Clive Fagan from South Africa on September 11, 2008:

Yes I am afraid it works like a broken telephone. Many years ago i was on holiday at the coast when I had this creepy feeling that we were going to be involved in a car wreck. The feeling was so strong and persistent that I cut the holiday short and packed everyone into the the car to go home and "get it over with" so to speak. We arrived home safely! Only to find that our house had been broken into and as no one knew where we where, the local police had posted a police guard to look after the house (which had already had the valuables taken)!

Spryte methinks your Danny prologue is the start of your story?

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 10, 2008:

Dear Spryte: Thanks for reading and your heartfelt comment. The story you tell is very captivating, and, of course, gets the curiosity thing going at full tilt. Obviously, it is a personal matter which you have chosen not to reveal, and I don't think you should, I mean, not to me, not here.

I am glad that this person helped you. I have tried to clarify, in the comment section at least, that I do not disbelieve that people can have psychic powers, or really high intuition. I too have intermittant bouts, but so tame are they I do not view it as a curse. If someone askes me if I have ESP, my answer would not be yes, but "kinda, sometimes." It comes and goes and I have no say in the matter. High Syncronicity I call it. Thank heavens I don't see planes crashing or anything.

Another thing I have said (I think) is that I want to believe, and these cons piss me off because they are seriously mucking up the issue. When I started to write this, it was going to be strictly humor. I had a good joke. But it turned into this - something more serious.

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure everyone who happens upon this hub will find it as interesting and intriguing as I have. Perhaps when we are better aquainted you will share your experience with me. I'd like that.


spryte from Arizona, USA on September 10, 2008:

As a person blessed/cursed with intermittent ESP, I agree that people need to be wary about who they choose to trust. I do believe that there is true talent out there...I just don't believe that truly gifted people would prostitute their ability. Therefore, I'm extremely skeptical of anyone in the public eye...whether it's a neon sign or a national broadcast.

There was a time in my life when the rug was pulled completely from beneath my feet and...well, I stood there, figuratively speaking, in stunned amazement for about a year trying to figure out where it all went and where to go from there. Some well-intentioned people were concerned and thought perhaps I was suicidal...which was the furthest thing from my mind. They insisted that I seek therapy. Instead, I freaked them all out by going to a psychic counselor recommended by my hair dresser. LOL! They were so upset...asking over and over again, "WHY??"

I told them simply, "Because I just need to hear somebody talk about tomorrow as if they really believe it's going to happen."

Richard Greene, was an amazing psychic counselor. I didn't go alone...I went with a trusted friend. He knew who I was the minute I walked in the door...not because he was THAT psychic, but because my picture had been in all the local newspapers. His first words were..."oh my god, don't even ask me that question."

I smiled at that...because it didn't take a psychic to figure out what kind of question a woman in my circumstances would ask a psychic. "And if I did?" I asked him. He said, "If you did...I'd already know the answer to your own question, you just aren't ready to believe the truth yet."

It wasn't a psychic's was the type of answer an honest friend would have given me. He talked about tomorrow as if it was going to happen...and he never charged me a dime. I felt better for having gone to him.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 06, 2008:

sixtyorso! Yes! Eggs with tomato sauce work (looks like blood) and the snails always count - because they're disgusting and delicious, two of my favorite food groups. Didn't you want some fava beans and some chi-an-tee with that? I am familiar with the Houdini challenge. If I'm not mistaken, they still do it every year.

Don't you hate that lotto thing. Man, I'd be a the track or the casino with a pocket full of lottery tickets!

Thanks for writing!

Clive Fagan from South Africa on September 06, 2008:

Great hub. I had two eggs with tomato sauce for breakfast and six garlic snails for dinner. Does that count? Oh and I have dark side I like Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter.

BTW the greatest hoax buster, on the fake medium issue, was Harry Houdini. His last challenge before he died was to challenge all mediums to contact him after his death . They tried ever year on the same day (his birthday I think) for some 50 years but no one was successful so go figure

In addition mediums are not reported as winning on lotto or horse races or making huge amounts on the stock exchange.

They always say they will lose their powers if they use them for making those sorts of predictions.

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 06, 2008:

Amanda: Thanks for the comment. I also think there are some people who do some good. I intentially limited the scope of this hub to detecting psychic con artists and not the much larger and controversial question, Are psychics real? Maybe some are, maybe some aren't. I haven't made up my mind and I doubt if I ever will. Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. Thanks!

Trish: Thanks for your notes. Yes, Oklahoma. I lived in Muskogee from when I was 7 to 14 yrs old, an impressionable time for anybody. It was a great place for growing up:  small town, lot's of stuff to explore, and we even had some of that "Outsiders" stuff going on. I lived there when the Merle Haggard song came out, Okie from Muskogee. We thought it was hysterical!

I have to agree about the psychic detectives show, although I think some of them are a little vague. I can think of one that was astounding and try as I might, I could not figure out how it could have been faked. It was the kind of thing that sent shivers. On that note - and again to confuse the issue - one of the interviews I read was with an FBI agent. He said that in his 25 years, he never saw any results from psychic information. They would offer tips, same as anyone else, and those tips were followed up, same as everyone else, and not one ever led to the solving of any crime, but then the "psychic" would go around saying they were a "consultant to the FBI".

It's an issue that I think will never be resolved. Thanks again for writing!

trish1048 on September 06, 2008:

Hi Christoph,

I read the Larry King interviews.  It left me with more questions than answers.  They all, of course, were defending their positions, and nay-saying anything they didn't agree with.

Actually, the points you brought up as far as other trickery, such as plants in the waiting room and the information that can be gathered from people knocking on doors or from the actual show tickets themselves, leads me to believe it's all a hoax.  These, I believe, are absolutely ways to get enough information so that when a show is being done, the psychic can appear to the uneducated to be very credible.

On the other side of my coin, however, I do wonder about the connection between the psychic and crime.  There is a show I watch, which you probably have seen as well, Psychic Detectives.  I am leaning on the side of believing that in those instances, there is some credibility to what a psychic can supposedly do.  I'm finding it hard to think of how a psychic can manipulate information regarding a crime, other than to have read a news article about it.

In summation, I do believe that some people are more perceptive or intuitive than others, or are more in tune, say, with a person known to them, and in those instances, what they may say may very well be true.

To say the least, this is a wonderful, thought provoking hub, and I thank you for it,

Your fan,


Amanda Severn from UK on September 06, 2008:

Wow, there's a lot to think about in all this, Christoph. I've read palms and tarot cards for fun in the past, and been either eerily accurate, or just plain lucky, depending how you look at it. I do neither now, partly because I hope to be taken more seriously these days, and partly, because i wasn't always comfortable with people's neediness. I also flirted with becoming a healer, and got half way through the course before walking away from it. I believe that we all have an inner guidance that we should train ourselves to listen to, and my inner guidance told me that this was not the right path for me.

There are some terrible scammers and crooks out there preying on the lonely, the desparate, the needy, but there are also those who provide genuine solace and comfort and charge little or nothing for doing so. If people need this kind of support they should use their own good commonsense and go by reccommendation just as you would when choosing a builder or a dentist, Sometimes help can be found in the most unlikely places, whereas I would tend to be suspicious of the mystic music and joss sticks brigade!

Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 05, 2008:

Hi, Trish. I'm glad you wrote and specifically, asked about John Edward. My wife is a huge fan of John Edward, and whenever his show was on (can't find it lately), we had to watch it. So he is a bit of a touchy subject around here. My wife believes in him; I do not. Never did (but I am a cynical person).

During my research for this hub, I came across some information on Mr. Edward which states the very things you have mentioned and more. Edward denies that this is true, but any "psychic" will deny all allegations.  This information mostly came from a Larry King show, in which John Edward, Sylvia Brown and another psychic went up against Ray Hyman of the Skeptical Inquirer and Leon Jaroff of Time Magazine, both quoted and linked above. Unfortunately, this interview did not make it into my final draft, but fortunately, I still have my notes. The link is:

I think you, like myself, will find this facinating, as John Edward and the others answer these accusations directly. You can make up your own mind.

Sometimes people are planted out in the waiting area as well, gathering information which is reported back to the "psychic". There are other, even more sinister tricks some of these "Psychics" use, whether on television or just one who makes a living seeing larger numbers of people at one time. People have to get tickets, right? Sometimes these tickets must be paid for or sent through the mail. So there is an address. They have been known to send another party to this person's house the day before. Right from the beginning, they get lots of information: What the house looks like; the mailbox; cars in the driveway; what's in the backyard. This person - usually a woman - will knock on the door and ask to use the phone. Think what info she can get if she is invited in. So now the psychic has all this information related to the person who will be sitting in seat F11.

You ask my opinion. I am not an expert and my opinion is not any more valid than anyone else's, but since you ask, I still think he is a fraud. My wife still does not.

All that being said, I do think there are people who are really psychic or something, just maybe not on TV. I hope this helps. Thanks for writing!

trish1048 on September 05, 2008:

Hi Christoph,

A friend of mine and I got into a discussion about the John Edwards show. I got turned on to him several years ago, and always enjoyed watching his shows.

Anyway, my friend told me it's fake. All of it. I, of course, said no way, he's for real. Then my friend explained how there are microphones planted all over the location, which picks up many conversations going on in the audience. For example, if I were attending one of his shows, and turned to my friend and said, oh, I hope he gets a message for me from long lost grandma, or, I hope he can tell me if my aunt was murdered, then that message is relayed to John. He'll then be saying, over there, 4th row on the left, did someone there just lose a grandma? or, over there, 10th row in the back, there was a murder investigation,,,

To tell you the truth, I don't know how true what my friend told me is, but after hearing the explanation, it makes sense. Yes? No? I'm still out on whether I believe or not.

Thanks for a very interesting hub,


Christoph Reilly (author) from St. Louis on September 01, 2008:

Yes, they are very skilled at reading people in a matter of seconds. They can do good for a person and some do. As long as they aren't the scam artist type, it can be fun and rewarding. I agree as well about the shrinks. I guess it works for some people, but it has always seemed like a bit of a scam to me. Isn't that what friends, spouses and lovers are for? To listen to you and offer advice and encouragement? Thanks for the comment, Hot Dorkage!

hot dorkage from Oregon, USA on September 01, 2008:

People want to be cared about and valued for their special individual characteristics and these fakers know it. Through a combo of vagueness and info provided by the mark as well as reading body language and gestures, the "psychics" do sort of form a picture of the person and they reflect it back, usually in flattering terms, because people always like to think that other people think they are cool, smart, good looking, sexy, whatever. People need to feel cared about and validated and these psychics and palmists etc. fill that need. I need to be cared about too but I KNOW that those hucksters care only about my wallet so they wouldn't fool me, but once you've had the feeling of being cared about it's beyond intellectual. And to their credit, sometimes they do just about as much good as a bona fide shrink, who (let's face it!) only cares about your wallet as well.

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