Talking with the Dead – Famous Spiritual Mediums
Whether you know them as mediums, clairvoyants, or psychics, these gifted people all have one thing in shared: the ability to use a “sixth sense” to perceive something that most people cannot. People with this rare gift can foresee the future, communicate with the dead, see things that others cannot, and usually perceive paranormal events far more easily than most people. Though mediums have been given a bad rap due to frauds posing as real spiritual communicators, there are a few stories of clairvoyants who seem to have an uncanny knack for interpreting supernatural activity. Many of these people have very convincing stories with strong evidence supporting their talent, while others are widely claimed to be frauds.
Perhaps one of the most well-known spiritual mediums today is Sylvia Browne. Due to her numerous appearances on television and radio programs and her many publications, Browne has become a sort of household name where clairvoyants are concerned. She has been giving psychic readings for more than 30 years, offering advice and insight to those who go to her with their questions. Browne claims that she first became aware of her clairvoyant abilities around the age of three, when she began experiencing visions. Her grandmother, also a spiritual medium, helped her understand what was happening and led Browne to believe that psychic ability is hereditary. Her son and granddaughter are also purportedly psychic. After Browne began giving specialized readings in the 1970s, her notoriety as a talented medium grew as she participated in television and radio shows and began writing books about her visions. With that notoriety, however, came quite a bit of skepticism from critics who claimed she was a fraud only in it for the money. These skeptics are quick to point out that not only has Browne been proved wrong on many occasions, she also charges excessive fees for her sets. Browne and her supporters counter that psychic predictions and visions are never 100 percent accurate, and that if she was truly a fraud, someone would have busted her over the last 50 years.
John Edward is another famous medium who, unlike Sylvia Browne, claims to receive direct communication from deceased individuals. For Edward, who was a skeptic himself, his ability as a clairvoyant was something he resisted until he was a young adult. Only after meeting with a psychic who insisted he would use his abilities later in life and who also knew impossibly specific details about him, did Edward decide to open himself to the psychic messages he had been ignoring. After writing his first book in 1998, Edward rose to fame by appearing on Larry King Live, and later on his own show, Crossing Over with John Edward. On his TV show, Edward sits with an audience and purportedly receives communications from their deceased loved ones. Like Sylvia Browne, Edward has his own slew of critics crying fraud and claiming that Edward is nothing more than a cold reader responding to his guests’ body language to acquire information. Edward has vehemently denied ever using cold reading tactics during a reading.
A final example of well-known mediums comes in the form of the three Fox sisters from Hydesville, New York. During the late 1840s, the girls were living in a home purportedly containing the body of a murdered man. When mysterious knocking and rapping sounds began happening with no apparent source, it was quickly believed that the man’s ghost was responsible. Soon a code was devised where the girls would ask a question, and the spirit would respond with specific numbers of knocks suggesting “yes” or “no.” information spread quickly, and the sisters began giving public séances and attracting a lot of attention, both from believers and skeptics. When two of the sisters confessed in later years to creating the sounds themselves by cracking their toe joints, the skeptics were overjoyed. However, the mystery of the spiritual communication furthered a movement that centered on the supernatural that is nevertheless supported and practiced today.