Have you had any experience with a psychics/fortune teller or clairvoyant/medium?

<p>I am trying to stay open minded about that which I don't understand. A friend of mine just had a "reading" done by a person who is a medium and pshychic and claims to be able to see and get messages from those who have passed. My friend had a telephone appointment with this medium who told her that she had 5 people around her (happens to be that my friend lost 5 people in her family). The medium went on to mention things like a ring, illness, and how old my friend would be when she remarried. </p>

<p>Thinking about what the medium said, many of the items mentioned COULD be connected to someone who passed.....and my friend was happy to hear that she would be getting remarried.</p>

<p>I don't know what to think. I recently saw a 20/20 TV Show about this very topic and how mediums and psychics and fortune teller types are frauds. Yet I have also heard of cases where mediums have helped police find missing children.</p>

<p>{{BTW my friend is beginning to really believe that this psychic stuff is for real and has put her name on a 3 year waiting list to have a meeting with the "well-known" Long Island Psychic.}}</p>

<p>Any insight or personal experiences that you would be willing to share are much appreciated!</p>

<p>Insight? They are all frauds.
read the following from the skeptics dictionary:</p>

<p><a href=“cold reading - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com”>cold reading - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com</a></p>

<p>“Many cold readings do not involve fishing, vagueness, or wild guessing. The key to a successful cold reading is the willingness, ability, and effort of the client to find meaning and significance in the words of the psychic, astrologer, palm reader, medium, or the like. A medium claiming to get messages from the dead might throw out a string of ambiguous images to the client. Father figure, the month of May, the Big-H, an H with an N sound, Henna, Henry, M, maybe Michael, teaching, books, maybe something published. This list could mean different things to different people. To some people it probably has no meaning. The client will either connect these dots or she won’t. Clients of mediums who claim to get messages from the dead are very highly motivated clients. Not only do they have an implicit desire for immortality, they have an explicit desire to contact a dear loved one who has died. The odds are in favor of the medium that the client will find meaning in many different sets of ambiguous words and phrases. If she connects just a couple of them, she may be satisfied that the medium has made a connection to a dead relative. If she doesn’t find any meaning or significance in the string, the medium still wins. He can try another string. He can insist that there’s meaning here but the client just isn’t trying hard enough to figure it out. He can suggest that some uninvited spirit guests are confusing the issue. It’s a win-win situation for the medium because the burden is not on him but on the client to find the meaning and significance of the words.”</p>

<p>I haven’t had any personal experiences with this, but I’ve noticed that people often have negative responses or tend to shy away from this topic. I try to be open-minded about it.</p>

<p>A person I know who grew up in an Asian country says that the folk wisdom there is that many (perhaps the majority) of such people are charlatans, but there are a few real ones sprinkled among them. Makes sense to me. I guess the challenge is, how can you tell?</p>

<p>A credible intuitist should stand up to study.
Many do not.
<a href=“http://gpinquirygroup.com/gpinquirygroup/Psychic%20whistle-blower%20overview.html”>http://gpinquirygroup.com/gpinquirygroup/Psychic%20whistle-blower%20overview.html</a></p>

<p>none of them stand up to study.</p>

<p>If they did, they could claim a million dollar prize from the James Randi Educational Foundation:</p>

<p>"The Foundation is committed to providing reliable information about paranormal claims. It both supports and conducts original research into such claims.</p>

<p>At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. The JREF does not involve itself in the testing procedure, other than helping to design the protocol and approving the conditions under which a test will take place. All tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant. In most cases, the applicant will be asked to perform a relatively simple preliminary test of the claim, which if successful, will be followed by the formal test. Preliminary tests are usually conducted by associates of the JREF at the site where the applicant lives. Upon success in the preliminary testing process, the “applicant” becomes a “claimant.”"</p>

<p>When I was a kid a friend of mine and I stopped into a “medium’s” establishment that was advertised with a roadside sign. She was engaging and had my friend enthralled with her observations and fortune telling. She took all of our money (about $25, IIRC), and we were on our way. If we’d had $50, she’d have taken that. (This was at a time when the dollar bought 8-10 times what it does today so read that we paid $200-$250 in today’s dollars.)</p>

<p>The people in this business are experts. You will leave them a great deal poorer than when you came in. I googled around and recommend that you or your friend read the website gypsy psychic scams. It would be worth anyones’ while, I think. </p>

<p>This reminds me of when I was in the finance business and a guy who claimed to have been associated with Nolan Bushnell (Atari) came in with a so-called computer that you could “control” using only your mind. He hooked up two electrodes to your index fingers and turned on a skiing slalom game and posited that you could control the skier with your thoughts. It was so clearly bogus to me that I wanted to throw the guy out of the meeting, but we had two otherwise rational mature adults who were convinced that they had succeeded in controlling the skier. In any case, a lot of this stuff is in the head of the person who is unburdening his wallet. Buyer beware. </p>

<p>^that was actually biofeedback, which IS a thing.
<a href=“http://www.kocaelineurofeedback.com/NFB-Collection-of-Articles.pdf”>http://www.kocaelineurofeedback.com/NFB-Collection-of-Articles.pdf</a></p>

<p>I had a reading with a “psychic” who seemed to know a lot of things about me. She told me that I would be married twice, and that I would have 3 childen - a girl and 2 boys.</p>

<p>I have been married to my first husband for more than 30 years (although I supposed there is the possibility that as we both age, I may remarry if I become a widow). I have one child, and no physical possibility of any more.</p>

<p>Well, I’m pretty open-minded about it. I do believe most psychic claims are false but not ready to claim they all are. My sister has had some interesting experiences but none of the experiences are anything that could possibly be reproduced in a lab nor would she ever advertise them. They are “one time only” events.
On a regular basis I share the “I knew it before it happened” experience with my immediate family (mostly my sis and mom). But no one else outside the family. I think that is a more common thing than not.
Have I ever heard of anyone whom I think can communicate with spirits on a regular basis? No. Even the Long Island medium. I’d save my money.
Have I met people who have met spirits close to them personally? Yes, and I have no reason to think they would make their experiences up. </p>

<p>I went to one with friends who insisted that they found a live one. She was the one who found some live ones. She missed the boat completely with me as I just lead her down the wrong paths. Total fraud. I did not pay for her —friends did, they were supposed to get their money back if not satisfied, if info was off, and they did not get back a dime. </p>

<p>If they could predict the future, they’d be investing, not telling people vague stories. They have techniques for making you believe in them.</p>

<p>I love magic (performance!) and around ten years ago I took magic lessons here in Hollywood at the Magic Castle. One of the classes was on “cold reading” techniques. IE … how to “read” someones reactions to your stream of words or actions and how to make them believe that you are “reading” their very thoughts. It is frighteningly easy.</p>

<p>My grandmother firmly believed in psychics (as do I) and all other sorts of paranormal activity. In her retirement though, she found great amusement in toying with “psychics” by feeding them false info. </p>

<p>The vast majority are frauds but I did go to one with my aunt out in Minnesota that was scarily accurate. Not in vague “you lost someone” ways, but told me about places that my grandfather was stationed overseas (that I had never heard of but later confirmed it was true), about my cousin’s stillborn child (my aunt’s son’s child), and about how my grandfather (same one) died on my birthday and that another family member would go on another birthday (great-grandmother passed away on my birthday the next year). To this day, I cannot explain any of those things. It was just a walkin place and before smartphones so it’s not like she was googling us. </p>

<p>Phone call? Think person with a fast internet connection at the other end, googling away. </p>

<p>That said, I’ve had two dreams in my life that I knew would be true moments at some point in the future. Both of them were short scenes–a friend saying “I’m pregnant, due in the fall” (which happened nine months after my drea), a conversation with my future daughter when I was pregnant with her (at a time when I didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl)–the conversation occurred in reality when my daughter was sixteen or seventeen. I’ve had MANY MANY dreams that I knew even then were not true or likely to ever be true–these two stood out at the time, and I told people at the time, as dreams I expected to be true.</p>

<p>And after my daughter was born, my father came by my hospital room to meet her and talk to me. That would have been fine, if he hadn’t been dead for 7 years at that point. I mentioned it to my mother, who replied “I hope you told him to go away! I had to move to get him to stop haunting me.” (They were married for thirty years and I’m quite sure my mother loved him deeply, but she didn’t want him around after he died. Of course, she also kept his ashes on her mantel for nineteen years after he died. And yes, she did move about a year after my father died.)</p>

<p>I am deeply skeptical of ghosts and psychics… but these experiences have happened to me. The brain is an interesting phenomenon. </p>

<p>I’m with Hunt. Ever notice how these people don’t have a lot of money. Please - if you could read the future, you’d read the stock market and make a fortune.</p>

<p>I’m also skeptical about things I can’t see/prove, but I do find shows like Long-Island Medium and Paranormal Witness interesting. A lot of the stories/people seem credible. Since many of the events in PW happened years ago, the people had nothing to gain from them–some of them were ridiculed and only suffered from reporting. Some of the people reporting were skeptics or scientists themselves–yet there is something they couldn’t explain. I always say, “there is no such thing as ghosts,” but I’m fascinated by the connection of places to the events that once happened there/people who lived there–as if other times still exist “out there” somehow. The only thing close to one of these experiences I’ve had is that a place I visited about 20 years ago gave me a “creepy feeling”–not really in an evil or bad way. It just felt like “someone was there”–something in the atmosphere I couldn’t explain. This stuck in the back of my mind for a long time, and I always wondered about it. After the internet was available, and I kept thinking about that place–I googled it and found it was reputed to be “haunted.”-- not by “evil spirits/tortured souls”–but by people who used to live/died there (it was a boarding school that has been closed since the 70s). Anyway, I was not at all surprised to read that it had been investigated for “paranormal activity” and “evidence” was said to be found. The place now has a bed and breakfast. ( No, I do not want to stay there!)
I’ve always lived in newer homes/apartments and I don’t know/doubt if anyone has died in them–that makes it easy not to believe in ghosts. No place I’ve lived has ever given me the creeps. I have no interest in “contacting” departed relatives/friends. Still, I am curious what someone like LIM would say to me. But not curious enough to pay money for it.</p>

<p>But I want them to be real. It makes life more interesting.</p>

<p>I’ve had paranormal experiences, mostly around the time my daughter was critically ill in the NICU, & I think there are many things that are not yet explainable, but I also believe that science will be able to explain them in the future.
I wouldn’t pay money to a mind reader/psychic.</p>

<p>“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”</p>

<p>“I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us - then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls.</p>

<p>The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.” </p>

<p>― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark </p>

<p>I have mixed feelings about psychics. I think some people have a gift, and some have a gift for the power of persuasion and taking advantage of vulnerable people.
When I was about 20, my friends and I heard about a woman a few towns away that did psychic readings and we decided to pay her a visit.</p>

<p>This is how she worked it…you knocked on her door and if she was there, she would give you a reading. She did not take appointments back then…she was poor and sometimes her phone was shut off, likely for not paying her bill. She did not ask you your name. She used a plain old deck of cards, not tarot. She told you the things that she saw, but didn’t say ask questions. She named names of people that came up around you and they were not the typical, John, Joe, Mary and Mike. She talked about relationships with parents, siblings, friends, romantic interests…etc. She was pretty specific about events that were not typical. I went with my best friend…again with no appointment and she didn’t know our names, yet she told about a very specific and significant event , naming my friend that was there with me. She didn’t even know that she was speaking about the girl in the room. It was pretty shocking and as a result, I began to believe that she truly had psychic ability
It was fascinating to us. She also charged $25
Many years later, I went back to see her when I was going through a difficult time in my life. Once again, she sort of amazed me with what she said. I even took a group of friends with me, driving from NJ to Mass ( this time I did make arrangements and her phone was turned on ) She came up with things for all of the friends…one she told that her teen son was going to get a girl pregnant . Came home and got the news the next day. Each of them were told things that were profound and turned out to actually happen to them.</p>

<p>On the other hand, I think there are a lot of frauds out there that take gross advantage of people. I had a friend about 20 years ago that spent a lot of time and money going from one psychic to another…I actually called one that I knew she went to and told her that taking her money was unethical because she clearly had a problem. </p>