She did with one of mine.
Well, it sure seemed like it, anyway, when I sat down to interview her Thursday. I'm what you might call a skeptical believer. I'd really like to believe that this type of spirit-to-earth communication is possible. But come on ... this lady from Long Island with the big hair is the lucky chosen one through which all of our loved ones can send messages?
But Caputo, (whose TLC series about her practicing her gift returns Sunday for its third season), was able to provide me with some very specific, personal information about my own passed loved one, and these aren't things that would show up in a Google search or even a background check on me. In short, I don't think she used any sort of trickery. At the very least, she's incredibly perceptive – spookily perceptive.
The longtime medium opened up about what she does for a living, addressing her fans, skeptical believers and the all-out skeptics.
Can you describe what happens to you when you're getting a message from someone on the other side? What are you seeing or hearing?
I really don't know how this works, because I've always been like this. I just know that when I'm in front of someone, and spirit is speaking, it just happens. Spirit has me say things, I feel things. I see things like filmstrips, or those [flip] books from when you were a kid. Before all my sessions I give the speech on how I connect with spirit. As I give that speech to someone, that's my symbol to spirit that I'm ready to work. So they start to clear my own personal thoughts, and they replace my feelings and emotions with signs and symbols to be able to relay messages to [their loved ones].
Why do spirits communicate with symbols? Why don't they just come out and speak in plain English?
I know! It's just not like that. I always say I'll find out when I'll get there. I don't mean to sound crazy, but it's almost like their soul enters me. They're not my thoughts, they're not my feelings, they're not my emotions. Spirit is making me feel things to get me to say something. I think it has to do with something with the way they're able to communicate to us with energy.
What are some of the most amazing moments you've had reading people lately?
Every reading, every person that I encounter, is life changing. The thing about my gift is that we've all lost somebody, that's the bottom line. And we do, unfortunately, lose people in a similar way. Heart attack, cancer, car accident. But it's the specific details that spirit gives that validates that presence. That is the crazy, unbelievable stuff. It freaks me out on a daily basis!
Do you ever have a client who wants to hear from someone and that spirit doesn't come through?
No. Did they get a message that they didn't expect? Absolutely. Happens every time. Because a reading is what we need, not what we want. I feel that what I am able to do as a medium is to validate for us that what we're sensing, feeling, knowing, is our loved ones. We're not crazy. It's not our imagination. They are still with us, just in a different way.
You say a lot that you're not trying to prove anything...
I was just going to say that!
Can you elaborate on that?
I tell people, you don't have to go to a medium to speak to your loved ones. I don't speak about any other medium or psychic – only myself. Personally, I want spirit to come through with messages that will give us the most healing. And I want to use it in a positive way. Not trying to prove anything. It doesn't have anything to do with me. I'm just able to validate for you.
With all due respect, have you ever been evaluated by a medical health professional?
I was in therapy for years. I call myself crazy! I'm a crazy blonde lady that speaks to dead people. It is crazy what I do! But it's an amazing crazy. From a very young age, I would always say to my mom, I don't feel right, I don't feel like I belong. I suffered from anxieties for many years. I would hear things and feel things. But my therapist would say, 'Theresa, there's nothing wrong with you.' I was never called schizophrenic, nothing like that. I began seeing a spiritual healer where I learned how to understand what spirit was telling me, what the signs and symbols meant – how to interpret it. I believe everyone has an intuition, a gut instinct. Are some stronger than others? Yes. Anything that I "know" about a client comes from spirit. I'm just able to connect with everybody's loved ones.
I struggled with that for many years. I still don't know why me. I think it's just my soul's journey. Once I accepted that and released the fear, I just said, you know what? Whatever's happening is helping people. But I am certified through a foundation. They monitor and get feedback on readings and things like that, to acknowledge the accuracy. I believe we're all placed here for a purpose and to make differences in lives and this is just mine.
Is it ever scary to hear from the deceased?
When I was a child, I thought this was normal. That's what I knew. As I got older and started sharing with my friends: "You don't hear people call your name? You don't see people at the end of your bed at night?" And they'd be like, "that ---- is crazy!" [Once as an adult,] I'm sitting in my kitchen, I look out my front window and there's a man with a flannel shirt looking in my front window. I'm like, OK, that's a little creepy. Then I would say to the client, did your brother wear a plaid shirt, a flannel shirt, was he a lumberjack? [The client said] he was a landscaper, he was in a tree service and he wore flannel shirts.
Are you ever wrong in a reading?
It's not wrong, it's that sometimes people don't understand it. I always say, spirit is never wrong in what they try to communicate. What could be incorrect, or just have a different meaning, is my interpretation of it. And I'm the first one to say I misinterpreted something, or that we don't get it at that moment. I record all of my sessions for clients because readings are like movies. You ever see a movie the third or fourth time, and you get more out of it? Same thing with a reading.
What would you say to skeptics, or worse – people who say you're preying on the grief-stricken for profit?
All I know is that there is more to life than just here in the physical world. You don't have to believe in mediums. I'm not here to prove anything or defend my gift. I'm here for you to have the experience of knowing that your loved ones are still with you. Children have come up to me and say, 'I'm not afraid to die,' or, 'I know my grandparents are with me. I know that they're OK.' I can't stress this enough: what I do is so much more than me speaking to dead people. Do you know how many times people have come to a reading and it restored their faith? Families are reunited after a reading. I charge people for my time. I've been told for years I could get more money, but I choose not to because it is for the highest good of all concerned. I'm very blessed. I have what I need. I have my family, I have my health. I just want to continue to touch as many lives, change as many lives as I can. And give back.
Long Island Medium season three premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.