The Long Island Medium on critics, gifts ahead of Des Moines stop
An episode of "Long Island Medium" in which Theresa Caputo channels rapper Heavy D, aired last week. Portia Davis, Heavy D's sister, was a guest on Caputo's show. Davis died in in September. Video by Jordan Fenster/lohud Wochit
Theresa Caputo, better known as the Long Island Medium, talks to the dead for a living. The New York native has been showcasing her gift for the world to see on her TLC show since 2011. While viewers are used to seeing her on the television screen, they will now be able to see her live for "The Experience" show at Des Moines Civic Center. Ahead of her Des Moines stop, here’s what you should know about Caputo’s critics, gift, and more.
'The Experience' vs. 'Long Island Medium'
On how "The Experience" differs from "Long Island Medium," Caputo said that the audience would be given a quick speech for anyone who has never watched her in action. During her live show, Caputo won't be on stage, but down in the crowd allowing the spirit to guide her around the venue. "I deliver the message to them up close and personal," she said. "We have cameras that follow me around with a big screen, so no matter where you're seated, you can feel and be a part of the amazing experience."
Discovering her gift, balancing faith
Caputo discovered her ability to be able to connect and talk to the dead when she was 4-years-old. "I always said to my mom, growing up, I feel different than everyone else. I feel like I don't belong here,” Caputo said.
Caputo's mother would always reassure her. "When I accepted my gift later in my 20s, I felt complete as a person. I share that part of the story of my life with people because, in some way, shape or form, we at times feel different," she said. Following the 9/11 attacks in New York City, she was pushed to help people with healing. But her gift took her in another direction. "I happened to read a lot of people that have lost children, and then all of a sudden, I'm doing group readings," Caputo said.
Along with accepting her gift, Caputo has had to learn how to balance faith and abilities. Now, “I meditate, I understand that it's important to take care of myself, as well," Caputo said.
Skepticism from Howard Stern, Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen
Caputo has dealt with multiple criticisms from celebrities such as Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper and Howard Stern.
In 2012, Caputo appeared on "Anderson Live," but Cooper didn't seem impressed with her abilities. Following the episode, he said that he is skeptical even after her appearance. "There's a lot you can say to a room of 300 people. If you say somebody here has ashes of a loved one, there's a pretty good chance somebody has a piece of jewelry with some ashes in it,” Cooper said. “People so want to believe in things. I'm open to possibilities, but I want to see actual proof," he added.
In 2014, Caputo was to appear on Stern's radio show. Radar Online reported that Stern was put off by her unreasonable demands, which included alone time with the studio audience before the cameras started to roll. "We're not interested in leaving people alone with the Long Island psychic for 45 minutes," Stern said to Radar Online. "She's never coming in here. … It's never going to happen. The Long Island psychic is not a psychic,” Stern insisted.
That same year on Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live?" the Bravo star asked Caputo to do a reading about his deceased friend Natasha Richardson, who died in a skiing accident back in 2009. However, according to Cohen's "The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year," he wrote," I asked for a few minutes with her afterward to see if Natasha would come through." Unfortunately, "she didn't, so it was a lot of fishing."
Caputo said that she only spent 30 seconds with Cohen. "It's not like he came and sat in for a private session," she said. "Don't always believe everything you read online. "
In response to those not believing in her, Caputo said: “It doesn't matter who they are. I respect that it's hard to understand what I do," she said. "Whether someone believes them, it doesn't matter to me. People believe in what I do,” Caputo added.
Accusation of knowing information beforehand
In an article by the Skeptical Inquirer, Caputo allegedly places people in front rows that she already knows and has performed readings for in the past. In 2012, magician and skeptical investigator Mark Edward worked on a "sting operation" on Caputo for "Inside Edition."
"In combination with selling seats through Ticketmaster and the use of credit cards, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and all the rest of the latest places people post private information, our egocentric fascination with ourselves makes it easy for the techie-smart agent or producer to make seeming miracles happen," Edward explained.
A $1 million challenge
James Randi, a former magician, created the "One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge." If someone can prove any evidence of paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event, they will be awarded $1 million. Caputo said that she wouldn't do the challenge because she stands very different. "I will never prove or defend my gift," Caputo said.
How does Caputo know she's reached a spirit?
Caputo mentioned that she would feel something from her head to her toes once she's reached a connection to a spirit. "It's almost a cooling chill. That's when the soul moves through me," Caputo said.
She mentioned that she could also feel the way that someone has died. For example, if she is struggling to take a breath, that's a symbol that someone passed of the chest. If Caputo tastes blood, that is a symbol of someone dying tragically. If Caputo feels like she's been hit in the back of the head, it's a sign of someone dying instantly.
"I have a lot of meanings for one symbol. I can't explain it, and I don't know how this works," Caputo said "All I know is that when I connect with a spirit, I start to sense and feel things that mean absolutely nothing to me. But it's life-changing to the person standing in front of me."
Connecting with evil entities
It may be hard to grasp that one connecting with the dead to pass along positive messages to grieving loved ones can't connect with evil spirits. However, Caputo claims that she "protects everything in God's white light." "I've never had an interaction with a soul where they were negative or mean," Caputo said.
However, the 52-year-old said that she once connected with a woman who died of murder-suicide. "I could see that there was another soul with her, but I couldn't feel anything because he was below her," Caputo said.
The boyfriend of the deceased girl murdered her then himself. Caputo could see him, but not feel his spirit, so she wasn't getting any information from him. The message was to the girl's mother about the boyfriend being remorseful. "That is what the girl's soul wanted to convey,” Caputo noted.
What are her methods?
Caputo said that during her live show or sessions, the spirit delivers a healing message and validates it with something unique to the person. "It's going to be something that you forgot about, something that happened years ago," she said. "Whether someone believes in what I do or not, they sit back, and they say,' I might not believe in what she does, but what she talks about is no way that she would have known about that.'" Well, love her or hate her, Caputo said that she is just trying to help people move on with their lives in a positive way.
Still friends: Addressing divorce from Larry Caputo
Besides helping grieving loved ones, Caputo herself has her ups and downs in life. In 2018, she and her ex-husband divorced after close to 30 years of marriage. Not going into detail about what ultimately led to their split, Caputo said that she and her ex are still friends. "We have a family, and we still love each other," she said. "Just because we're not married to each other does not mean that we're not in each other's lives and that we don't care about each other," Caputo concluded.
If you go
When: Monday, Nov.11 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Des Moines Civic Center Address: 221 Walnut St
Sierra Porter covers entertainment for the Des Moines Register. She can be contacted at Sporter@registermedia.com.