If you watch TLC's Long Island Medium, you've probably wondered if psychic Theresa Caputo is the real deal or a fraud. You definitely wouldn't be the first. It's one of the No. 1 things that come up when you search for her or the show.
On her series, the 51-year-old claims to "speak to the dead" and performs several psychic readings to bereaved families who are seeking closure from loved ones who have passed on. Theresa is charismatic with her thick Long Island accent and is effortlessly likable as she wanders around her neighborhood performing readings in casual encounters and passing along messages from the dead to grateful family members.
But although the show is entertaining to watch, many fans are skeptical if Theresa's "gift" is real or a hoax. The video below breaks down what professional skeptics have said about the famous medium and answers the question fans have long wanted to know, "Is Long Island Medium fake?"
If you're wondering how someone can simply "guess" about dead family members without being wrong every single time, there's a second technique that magician and former psychic Mark Edward describes as "piggy-backing."
Whenever Theresa gets something wrong, according to Mark, she backtracks by saying the spirit's message was actually meant for someone else.
"This is an example of piggy-backing," he told Inside Edition in 2012. "When the spirits piggy-back they will give me things you can't connect with but others can...Piggy-backing is a brilliant excuse."
In response to all the allegations, in 2017, Theresa appeared on Fox and Friends to say she had her brain tested for "psychic abilities."
“They did find that I do access a part of my brain that we typically don’t and that my brain actually goes blank,” she said on the show. “It’s almost like it flatlines. Like, it’s clear as I’m channeling.”
As for her critics, Theresa says her priority is not on them but on her clients.
“You know, everyone is entitled to their own opinion," she said. "But you speak to the people that I channeled their loved ones and it has changed their lives in a positive way."