Theresa Caputo is a medium from Hicksville, New York, who’s immediately recognizable by her signature big hairdo and bubbly personality. Caputo was the star of her own television show, The Long Island Medium, which aired from 2011 to 2019 on TLC. Continue reading to find out more about Theresa’s many controversies, along with other interesting facts about the woman and her show.
She started seeing things when she was four
Caputo says she started to sense things from the beyond when she was only four years old, and didn’t even realize it was an ability, at first. “I just thought that what I was sensing, feeling and experiencing everybody else was around me,” the medium explained. “I was four years old and I would say to my mom, ‘I don’t feel right, I feel different than everyone else, I feel like I don’t belong here.'”
She only communicates with people “in the light of God”
When she’s asked about communicating with souls of the more tortured kind, Theresa says she doesn’t channel these kind of spirits. “I only channel souls that walk in God’s white light,” she explains. The medium tries to keep things on the positive side, instead. “When I found out about my gift, I said to God, ‘If this is my path, I want to use it to help people.’ And it was about burdens and guilt and restoring people’s faith.”
She was investigated by Ron Tebo
In 2014, private investigator Ron Tebo accused Theresa of being a fraud, calling her “a vulture, preying on the most vulnerable.” He claimed the medium uses “cold reading” techniques, something known to be done by mentalists, in order to make the audience members think she knows more about them than she actually does. Theresa denied the accusations, and replied saying, “Negative people need drama like it was oxygen. Stay positive… and take their breath away.”
She’s fully booked
Whether her gift is real or not, there’s no doubt it makes her highly sought out. Many of her fans are looking to get a personal reading from the medium, but apparently – there is quite the long waiting list for it. “I was booked for two years before the show first aired, and in addition to that I had a very extended waiting list,” she explains. “Unfortunately, being on this list does not guarantee an appointment.”
She’s separated from her husband
It was in late 2017 when Theresa and her husband, Larry, decided to call it quits and step away from their 28-year-marriage. Theresa had previously said on her show, that the two were going through difficult times, and growing apart from one another. The couple made a joint statement in December, saying, “After 28 years of marriage, we have decided to legally separate. We will always love each other and our two wonderful children. We are united in supporting each other and our family.”
She struggled with her weight
Something the medium has been open about in her TV show is her struggle with her weight. Although never really liked exercising, in 2013 she decided to hire a personal trainer to help her through her first workout (of course, she also gave him a little reading). Since then, she’s been hitting the gym regularly and trying to eat healthier – choosing protein bars and quinoa chicken salads, instead of burgers and fries. This way, she managed to drop the pounds and now looks better than ever.
She’s a bestselling author
Caputo has published three books so far. The first was “There’s More to Life Than This,” which came out in 2013. The following year, another book came out, called “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: Life-Changing Lessons from Heaven.” Both of these books were hugely successful and became New York Times bestsellers. Later, in 2017, Theresa released her third book, named “Good Grief,” which is said to be a guide to overcoming grief, with inspiring lessons from spirits.
That hair takes a lot of work
Theresa’s signature blond pouf might be an homage to ’80s hairstyles, but it’s definitely here to stay. The medium has said that she will always rock the haircut, even though it takes a lot of work to upkeep it. Caputo goes to the salon twice a month, and also gives her hair treatments at home, using styling mist, rollers, and – of course – hairspray. In fact, hairspray is the one thing she never leaves Long Island without.
She couldn’t leave her house
When the medium was young, she was so terrified of her abilities that she became too scared to leave her house. She recalled, “The second I would leave my house to go to, say, Target, it would be like someone was standing next to me. Can you imagine if you feel like someone’s choking you and nothing’s happening?” Theresa says that today, her solution is to deliver the message, like she believes she’s supposed to – which makes her able to let these feelings go.
She suffered through anxiety
Coping with her gift in her younger years has also resulted in severe anxiety for the medium. She said that seeing and sensing things, or fearing that she might, made her suffer panic attacks. She explained, “If I was in a car and I was having anxiety, whether I was feeling something, or just the fear that something was going to happen, I would just start screaming: ‘I need to get out of here!'” Luckily, her husband was there to help, and eventually she learned how to manage her anxiety.
Celebrities appeared on the show
The Long Island Medium has been known to have quite a few celebrity guest stars, who ventured getting a reading from Theresa. The 11th season alone featured former Frasier star, Kelsey Grammer, as well as Chrissy Metz, who currently stars in the NBC drama This Is Us. In former seasons, Caputo also performed readings for celebrities like The Sopranos actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, as well as Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory. The readings were very emotional for the stars, who came to seek closure about their departed loved ones.
When the messages are loudest
This fact is a rather funny one. Theresa admits she gets most of the information from spirits when she’s taking a shower or blow-drying her hair. She also knows others who are most receptive when they’re vacuuming or washing the dishes. “These are the moments when your mind’s not cluttered with a to-do list of activities and is naturally open to hear from Spirit,” she says. “And yes, they can talk over the roar of your Hoover!”
She thinks everyone has the gift
The medium believes that everyone has the gift of talking to their departed loved ones. She says that because energy can move and affect things, spirits can actually make the lights flicker, move things around, and even play with the volume on your TV. “Take them as little hellos,” she recommends. “Anything that goes on around you that is odd, weird, different or coincidence, embrace it at that moment and know that they’re with you.”
She went through a health-scare
In 2017, Theresa experienced a health scare, when a “solid nodule” was found during her routine mammography, and needed to be sent for biopsy. The medium was incredibly anxious about the results, worrying that her life might be changed forever. Fortunately, the results came back negative, meaning the nodule was totally benign. Theresa’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in her early 50s, which encourages the medium to stay extra vigilant when it comes to her health.
She might not be as nice in reality
Despite her friendly and caring image on the show, some have claimed that Theresa might not actually be as nice as she seems. Some have accused Caputo of being ill-mannered and even rude towards the people on set, and anyone she deals with when she’s traveling. In one particular instance, a woman who appeared on The Long Island Medium said that medium star completely ignored her in-between takes, when she tried to talk to her.
Her messages are mostly positive
One of the things that makes critics suspect Theresa’s abilities, is the fact that the medium mostly tells her clients positive things. Because of the huge amount of people that she meets, the skeptics say it’s not possible for all messages to be good. The reason the medium gives for that is that she “only asks her Spirit Guides to share good things.” However, she does choose to share negative statements if she thinks it could be helpful for the person to grow.
Vetting clients before the show
It’s been brought up by former clients of the medium that, before meetings, the camera crew tours the house, which allows them to gain insights about the departed – insights that she uses later on. Some of them have also claimed to be interviewed about their loved ones, right before the meeting. Ron Tebo, who we mentioned earlier, claims the staff is probably also vetting people who come to her live shows. “When you purchase a ticket, you provide your full name, address and phone number to the vender.”
She got a strange “award”
James Randi is a magician and renowned skeptic, who investigates the paranormal. He is also the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation. Apparently, the foundation offers a million dollar prize to anyone who can prove their paranormal abilities in a controlled environment. While Theresa hasn’t applied, Randi supposedly offered her to take the challenge on several occasions, to which she refused. In 2011, the foundation also “granted” her with an offensive award for “performer of the year”, an award given to psychics who are deemed harmful to the public.
The sub-plots might be fake
It seems that not everything on The Long Island Medium is exactly accurate. For example, the family house, as it appears on the show, is different than their real one. According to a source close to the family, the house is actually not located in a cul-de-sac like it is on the show. The minor plots are apparently also created especially for television, as a former intern said, “a lot of the secondary stuff is fake.”
She believes that spirits hang around us
Part of Theresa’s gift is being able to receive messages from the departed, and communicate those to their loved ones. But the medium clarifies that the spirits, from whom she gets these messages from, aren’t really hanging around her all the time. “Your loved ones are with you,” she said. “It’s not like they’re hanging out with me going, ‘Okay, I want you to run into my granddaughter. She’s in aisle three, picking out cereal.'”
She’s in it for helping people
For Theresa, the reason behind doing what she does, is eventually all about helping people. She believes that no matter how the skeptics feel about her, they have to acknowledge that what she does affects people in a good way. “It doesn’t matter if people don’t believe in what I do,” she explains. “You can’t deny the fact that what these people experience changes their life in a positive way. Why would someone want to take that from someone?”
Another thing the celebrity medium was criticized for, is how she supposedly communicates to spirits. Critics say that it’s strange, how first the spirits are communicating vague messages and symbols that are hard for her to interpret, but when it’s time to deliver the message to the client, the message is spoken very clearly. According to them, she allegedly uses this technique to fish for information, until she gets something right – in which case, she delivers clearer messages from the beyond.
She’s obsessed with Christian Louboutins
Many women can say they love shows – and particularly expensive designer shoes (if only we could afford them). But Theresa Caputo admits she is obsessed with designer Christian Louboutin’s high heels. Back in 2014, the medium was interviewed saying she owned 31 pairs of her favorite designer’s shoes. She’s often spotted with a pair of four-inch, crystal studded heels, and even tweets about new pairs of shoes she gets, sharing her obsession with her fans.
She doesn’t use her powers to win the lottery
If you’ve ever wondered whether Theresa was using her skills for personal gain, the answer – according to her – is no. The medium says she’s asked frequently if you’s used her abilities for lottery or for gambling. “Get your minds out of the gutter,” she said. “What I do is for the highest good of all concerned, so I’d never do that intentionally!” Theresa also added that even if she did try, she was probably too scattered to recognize what she’s being told.
She doesn’t mind skeptics
While some people believe that Theresa is the real deal, being such a high profile medium also means she is forced to face criticism for what she does. Caputo says that while she can understand the skeptics, it is hurtful when someone says negative things about her gift. “How can you tell someone that what they experienced isn’t real? To them it is real. That’s why I always say witness it yourself,” the medium explained.
She was turned into a cake
In 2014, Theresa appeared as a guest judge on TLC’s baking competition program, Next Great Baker. The medium got her measurements taken, and contestants actually bakes huge, life-sized cakes that looked like the celebrity psychic. Once she was around the contestants, she asked them about messages she was receiving from spirits. For example, she told one contestant about his deceased brother, “He just wants you to know that he’s still with you, even after all these years.”
She also sells jewelry
With her signature big hair, long nails and affection for designer shoes, getting into the beauty and fashion industry was only a matter of time for Theresa. The medium started selling customized jewelry in 2015, that are basically wearable memories – from a picture, to a child’s drawing, or a picture of the family dog. The idea behind it was to give her clients a chance to honor someone they love, or someone who’s no longer with them.
She used her gift to keep her children in line
Being a medium doesn’t always mean using your gift for selfless things. In fact, when Theresa’s children were young, she used to keep them in line by telling them she sends her guides with them wherever they go, so they’d stay out of trouble. “Victoria and my son, Larry, never thought about doing anything bad because they probably thought Spirit would rat them out. I even called them up a few times to find out if they were okay, and said my Spirit guides told me to,” she said.
She has her own angel
Other than being in contact with spirits, the Long Island medium says she also has a guardian angel. In one of her books, she tells of a an angel named Solerna, who was specifically assigned to her to watch over her, and send her messages from the beyond. The medium writes, “I’m told that she’s an Angel of Sunshine and Guidance. She brings me peace when I need it, and always encourages me to show my playful side.”
She still gets scared
Many people believe that Theresa Caputo’s ability to speak to spirits from beyond the grave is incredibly creepy – and Theresa has even noted that she has often been scared of her gift. Yet, Theresa has been able to overcome this fear and make an impressive career out of it. However, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any other fears of her own. In an interview with US Magazine, Theresa noted that she was scared of the dark, and could not get to sleep without a night light in her room.
She’s very specific
Because her own life often gets invaded by those trying to communicate with their loved ones in the real world, Theresa likes to ensure that she has full control over other aspects of her life. One of the ways she does this is by going to the nail salon to get her nails cut and polished regularly. Yet, she doesn’t just get any old manicure. Theresa makes sure that every time she gets her nails filed, they are manicured exactly one inch from the tip to the cuticle. Now that is specific!
She wasn’t always a professional medium
While we all know her for her all-seeing gift and her television show, it seems as though Theresa Caputo wasn’t always a professional medium. In fact, before she became a TV star, Theresa was in a folk group with her childhood friends and was the lead guitarist. Apparently, she was extremely talented! During season eight of The Long Island Medium, fans witnessed Theresa reform her band after a whopping 30 years to raise money for a childhood friend who had sadly passed away.
The modern-day reality show
Of course, there will always be critics who try to disprove every aspect of The Long Island Medium – but they can’t deny the fact that the show is hugely popular with fans across the world. In fact, Gregg Goldstein from Variety Magazine has been incredibly positive about the show and its effect on the world. In 2012, he published an article that noted that the “big selling point is the dynamic with her husband and two wisecracking teenagers” which makes it seem as though it is a modern-day reality show, rather than a wholly psychic show.
Getting it right
Many of the people who are skeptical of Theresa Caputo’s gift have been to see her live and in action – either during one of her many tours or during the filming of her television show. Those who have watched her TV show have noted that scenes in the show are often filmed numerous times to ensure that Theresa gets the right information. In fact, she apparently “guesses” how the loved ones of audience members have died over and over again until it is TV-worthy. Apparently, she rarely gets it right the first time.
A link to Tupac
When she’s not filming her show, Theresa often likes to communicate and learn more about her own family members who have passed away – and she has pretty high hopes for their standard of the afterlife. Although she does not give much away about her own family, she has noted that she thinks her grandmother has made friends with numerous famous and high-profile musicians since passing away from the physical world. In fact, she believes that “maybe she’s hanging with Tupac in Heaven.”
Paying the price
In 2017, Victor Fiorillo traveled to the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City to see for himself what Theresa Caputo was like during one of her live shows. He noted that people were paying around $64 to $125 and traveling from across the country to see Theresa live in the flesh, in the hope that she could give them some answers about their recently departed loved ones. He even noted that one woman had spent the top price on a single ticket that would allow her to sit at the front – even though she never received the answers she wanted. However, that wasn’t what caused Gregg’s confusion.
A cell phone restriction
According to the Philadelphia News writer, he was talking to that same woman when he was approached by a burly-looking security guard, who demanded that Victor turned off his cell phone and put it in his bag before he was thrown out of the theater. He also noted that a recorded announcement at the start of the show noted that a cell phone restriction for the show was in place to ensure that the signals of the cell phones did not interfere with the microphone that Theresa was using. However, Victor was not convinced and believes this was to aid Theresa’s ability to grab information about the people in front of her.
An overwhelming trip
In January 2018, footage taken of Theresa Caputo went viral, after a trip to a cryotherapy center left her with an out-of-body experience. While visiting Cryo Fit in New York City, Theresa was all ready to submerge her body in sub-zero temperatures to enhance her skin but was soon overcome by the cold air and the freezing temperatures. In the video, she states that the smoke of the machine makes her nervous, and that “the only thing that calms me down when I am nervous and claustrophobic are spirits.”
An out-of-body experience
As Theresa takes in the cold air and the smoke, she can be seen shaking – as if having an out-of-body experience. Before too long, Theresa is retelling a strangely accurate story of a person who had died from an illness to the throat or around the head, after she maintained that a man had stepped towards her with an affected throat area. Amazingly, the man who worked in the cryotherapy center noted that his dad had previously passed away from an illness affecting the top half of his body.
Questioning her methods
Although people were taken aback to see the footage, there were some people who weren’t convinced – including the man in the cryotherapy center. Because the worker had a tattoo of his father on his arm, he was not convinced that Theresa had really known anything about his father at all. So, he changed the subject and continued with the cryotherapy. However, Teresa wasn’t finished, and the footage shows her cutting off the man to continue her observations about the visual of the man with the throat affliction.
Didn’t get to say goodbye
As Theresa interrupts the man, she asks if “there was something where you didn’t get to say goodbye?” Immediately, the man stops what he is doing and turns his attention to Theresa and her vision. He admits that he was just 2 years old when his dad passed away, so did not get the chance to know him or even say goodbye. The medium then tells the man that his father is proud of him. The footage appeared on social media and appeared in season 10 of The Long Island Medium.