Theresa Caputo, also known as the Long Island Medium, is a popular medium and reality television star based out of Hicksville, New York. With blonde locks and heavy eye shadow, she brings a decidily New Yorker perspective on spiritualism.
While derided by some as taking advantage of mourning people on television for money, many trust her experiences and insights into the world of spiritualism.
Theresa Caputo uses new forms of reaching out to her spirits' families, including email and television. Still young, she's already submitted a legacy as one of the most controversial and visible mediums in the world. Currently the star of one television series on TLC, “The Long Island Medium”, she also performs her work in theaters throughout major cities.
Early life and family
Theresa Caputo was born in Hicksville New York, where she continues to live to this day. At the age of 4, she first started to see spirits. Her mother sent her to see Pat Longo, a spiritual healer and medium. He first recognized her potential as a medium, and he was the first to suggest she had the ability to communicate back with spirits.
For years before her television show, Theresa Caputo worked as a medium, building word of mouth throughout the North East of the United States.
Her self-stated goal was to provide healing and closure to people she met through her spiritual work. She received certification through the Forever Family Foundation, with her certified work as a medium stretching over ten years.
Theresa Caputo is married to her husband of 24 years, Larry, with two children who are young adults. In her TLC show, the narrative often follows the adventures of her as she raises her kids, and her husband as he goes throughout his day. Recently, Theresa Caputo has made many renovations to her house, and taken road trips to help people outside of the New York area.
Known widely for her exaggerated personality and off-the-cuff readings, Theresa Caputo is known to ask hairdressers, cashiers, and other people about their departed family whenever she senses a spirit. She's defined by her outgoing and overstated style, being easily identifiable with her signature hair cut.
For Theresa Caputo, her career as a medium is largely noted for her participation on TLC. Her show follows her life as she tries to handle issues with her clients and her family. While sometimes she meets with skeptics and believers in her home, other times she'll talk with people on the streets, or during the course of her daily errands.
For example, one episode focuses around her going to a hair salon, and realizing that a hairdresser has experienced a significant loss. In another, more recent episode, she tries to help out after Hurricane Sandy by speaking with people who have lost someone in the storm during a community reading.
Once, after her daughter got in two car crashes in a single week, she took a defensive driving course with her daughter. While at the course, she did a reading for another person present there.
On a regular basis, Theresa Caputo will do a reading a beauty salon she's at, or while on a cruise ship. No matter what the scenario, Theresa Caputo usually finds spirits visiting her over the course of her daily life. If nothing else, it demonstrates how many mediums have trouble shutting off their gifts.
This speaks to the bigger point of her show: for mediums, career and life are often impossible to disentangle. Being a medium is a 24 hour job, one which Theresa Caputo relishes.
After the success of her show, she's started a road tour, sometimes fetching crowds upwards of 2000 people or more. During these shows, she'll seek out audience members, or there will be a selection process for people who would like a reading.
Theresa Caputo has been accused, both by people in and out of the spiritualist community, of being a fake. Dr. Karen Stollznow, who follows Theresa Caputo's career, noted Theresa Caputo is careful never to give the name of the loved one.
Stollznow notes that in one situation, Theresa Caputo claimed to be distraught by the spirit of a 6 year old boy. She found a mother who's boy had died in her appointment book, but waited over a week to meet with the mother.
Adding fuel to the flames, Theresa Caputo makes an enormous amount of money off of her claimed abilities. While psychics like Francisco Xavier were famous for giving all of their money to charity, Theresa Caputo charges over 50 dollars a ticket to her performances, and performs for commercials for companies like Priceline.
These ads net her tens of thousands of dollars, in addition to the money she makes off of her TLC series. Her TLC show is often accused of editing around what some would perceive as classic cold reading techniques, and a common highlight of the show is Theresa Caputo pitted against skeptics.
Currently, Theresa Caputo has a 3 year back log of appointments. She tries to respond to letters and emails from her fans, but with overwhelming demand from clients, it can be difficult to reach everyone. Some embrace her outgoing style, seeing it as a sign of honesty, as well as a symptom of the fact that when medium's can't turn off their gift, they become used to speaking with people at the drop of a hat.
Whether or not her gifts are real, Theresa Caputo stands a psychic medium embroiled in more controversy than any of her peers. Her TLC show “The Long Island Medium” brought her considerable respect, but also brought her the same accusations of exploitation leveled at many other TLC series.
With both former family friends and professional mediums accusing her of fraud, Theresa Caputo has a lot to prove. In the world of spiritualism, many people are sensitive to those out only to make money, rather than use their spiritual gifts for good, stocking the flames of controversy around Theresa Caputo's actions.
However, with friends and family that believe in her, along with professional accreditation as a medium, this talented performer has not let criticism hold her back from sharing her abilities with hundreds of thousands of people.
Despite criticisms, there are still many more hoping Theresa Caputo will one day visit with them, providing closure to the loss of their loved ones.