For thousands of years, people have turned to psychics to answer some of life's most difficult questions. And some psychics have made it to the big time--either due to the stunning accuracy of their predictions and psychic communication, or simply because of their engaging personalities. These famous psychics are among the most well-known throughout history and into modern times.
His birth name was Michel de Nostradame, but the entire world recognizes him as Nostradamus. He was born on December 14, 1503 in France, and his parents sent him to Montpellier to study medicine in 1522. He became well known throughout that region for his adept treatment of victims of the plague. By 1534, Nostradamus married and had two children. However, the plague took the lives of his wife and children--an event that surely changed his life in a profound way.
By the mid-1500s, Nostradamus was using his astrological teachings in combination with other unique methods to practice clairvoyance. He took notes of those predictions in the form of what he called "quatrains" or verses. A hundred verses made up a section of writing that he termed a "Century." His first prediction to come true was in 1555 when he predicted when and how King Henry II would die. He wrote, "He will pierce his eyes in their golden cage." During a tournament, a spear pierced the king's gold helmet and entered his eye, killing him. This accurate prediction preceded many others, making Nostradamus one of the most famous seers throughout history.
In most ways, Edgar Cayce was a regular man. Born in Kentucky in 1877, Cayce had a relatively normal childhood, other than being able to see and interact with spiritual beings. When he grew up, he got married, had children, and attended church where he taught Sunday school.
As he grew older, Cayce realized he could put himself into a trance by laying on a couch with his hands folded over his stomach. While in this state, a person in the room would ask him a variety of questions covering many topics. Those topics included the future, secrets of the universe, and sometimes simply what someone many miles away was doing or what would occur in his or her life. According to the organization known as the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), Edgar Cayce's readings covered over 10,000 topics and contain 14,306 readings. Some of his famous prophecies that came true include:
- The 1929 stock market crash
- World War II
- The shifting of the earth's poles
- The ability of medical science to diagnose illnesses with just a drop of blood
There are many other predictions related to climate changes and major storms that appear accurate but are often interpreted to fit a particular reading rather than using the reading to predict the event. Even so, many of Cayce's predictions were detailed, specific and, in the end, turned out amazingly accurate. Edgar Cayce died in 1945, but his prophecies live on.
One of the more contemporary famous psychics was Jeane Dixon. Born in Wisconsin on January 3, 1904, Jeane Dixon grew up in a Catholic family and always described her psychic abilities as gifts from God. Her reputation as an accurate psychic grew when she offered readings to World War II servicemen in Washington while living there with her husband. Her documented predictions include:
- The election of John F. Kennedy in 1960
- The assassination of JFK in 1963
- The assassination of Robert Kennedy
- World War III would start in 1958
- Walter Reuther (labor party) would run for the presidency in 1964
- The Soviet Union would be the first to land on the moon
Jeane's fame led to many celebrities seeking her advice. Most notably, Ronald and Nancy Reagan relied on her for occasional insight into the future. Jeane passed away in 1997, and she is still referred to as one of the most famous American psychics of all time.
In 1971, Ingo Swann was employed at the United Nations. He shared the same interest in parapsychology as so many others did during the 1970s. Swann's interest was unique because he had certain psychic abilities that he was hoping to understand and which he attempted to explain by becoming involved in the early Church of Scientology run by L. Ron Hubbard. He eventually became involved with fellow Scientologist Hal Puthoff, a physicist working at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). From 1971 until the early 1980s, Swann let Puthoff conduct ESP experiments on him. Ultimately, Swann was credited with developing the "Controlled Remote Viewing" training manual used by the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) to train Army remote viewers in the collection of intelligence through psychic means. He died in 2013.
Jane Butts (Roberts)
Born in 1929, Jane Roberts was the public name for Jane Butts, the woman who eventually became a catalyst for the New Age Movement. In 1963, Butts and her husband Robert began experimenting with the Ouija board, and she entered a trance. In her meditative state, she began channeling an entity that she later named Seth. Through the 1970s, Roberts published several books based on those channeled sessions that eventually became known by her fans as the Seth Prophecies. Her books include The Coming of Seth, The "Unknown" Reality, and several others. She died in 1984, leaving behind a legion of fans and followers.
One of America's most famous and controversial psychics, Sylvia Browne claimed she had been a psychic her entire life, offering readings for family and friends. Eventually she founded The Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research in 1974 in order to study the phenomenon of psychic functioning. Browne employed the deep "sleep" technique of Cayce and believed in his same past-life, Christian-based philosophy. In 1986, she founded the Society of Novus Spiritus to promote her Gnostic Christian philosophy about paranormal functioning. Browne was a frequent guest on the Montel Williams Show, making psychic predictions for his studio audience. She also wrote multiple books, gave lectures, and appeared frequently in the media. Browne died in 2013.
As a New York City native who experienced psychic abilities at a very young age, John Edward became a published author on the topic as well as the host of a popular television series. After meeting another psychic, Lydia Clar, who told John his purpose was to teach people through his psychic abilities, Edward started to explore becoming a professional medium in order to help people who've lost loved ones. Since then, he went on to author multiple books on psychic abilities as well as serving as a host on Crossing Over with John Edward. Today, he remains one of the most recognized American psychic mediums.
If you've ever watched the television show Medium, then you've probably heard of Allison DuBois. She is the psychic channeler upon whom the show is based. DuBois, who prefers to be called a profiler, has helped solve crimes for the police including the Texas Rangers and the Glendale, Arizona police department. She has also published a number of books.
Irene Hughes was once listed by Pageant Magazine as one of America's top ten psychics after predicting the deaths of JFK and Robert Kennedy in a newspaper column. She also accurately predicted the Chicago Blizzard of 1967. Hughes rose to prominence in the wake of her eerily accurate predictions. Hughes died in 2012.
Doreen Virtue is a clairvoyant who believed her guides were actually angels that are here on Earth to guide us. She holds BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees and wrote books for Hay House Publishing. In 2017, Virtue claimed she had a vision that caused her to change her beliefs in her work as a psychic. Today, she has ceased all psychic new age work believing God wants people to go directly to Him for answers to questions. She further believes God does not want anyone doing psychic work.
James Van Praagh
James Van Praagh realized his ability to communicate with the dead at a young age and now makes appearances and even offers online courses. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics, Van Praagh began working as a medium after a psychic suggested to him he had abilities. Van Praagh has written multiple books, appeared on television, and has come under the scrutiny of the James Randi Educational Foundation, a noted skeptics group.
Known as the Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo rose to prominence with her TLC reality television show of the same name. On the show, Caputo provided psychic medium readings for clients and celebrities, while also sharing her family life with the cameras. According to Caputo, she didn't recognize her abilities until middle age and as a result of not understanding them, she experienced anxiety.
Unlike Caputo, Tyler Henry has been aware of his psychic gifts all of his life. He began offering readings as a teen, and he became known as the Hollywood Medium both because he does a lot of readings for celebrities, and because of his show of the same name on the E! Entertainment Network.
Known for her work as a medium on the Travel Channel television show Dead Files, Amy Allan is a physical medium and psychic. Allan claims when she works as a medium, spirits actually enter her body so she can channel them.
Chip Coffey is a spiritual medium and advisor who first became well-known for his work on the A&E network television show Paranormal State. He also mentored children and teens with psychic abilities on the show Paranormal Kids, and he has written several books. Recently, Coffey has lent his psychic talents to the Travel Channel's Kindred Spirits. Coffey is a clairvoyant who has had abilities since he was a young child.
Fans and Critics of Famous Psychics
While psychic ability remains scientifically unproven, these seers have been accurate enough in their readings that they have gained a substantial following for their work. While all have their critics, each also has ardent fans who will swear their abilities are authentic. Because of this, they have become celebrities who work in the field of psychic and paranormal phenomena.