Theresa Caputo – the Long Island Medium – was at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Tuesday night to try and talk to dead people.
Either Caputo has supernatural abilities allowing her to speak with spirits that exist in other realms, or she’s a snake oil saleswoman pretending to pedal black magic.
Maybe she truly can connect with another dimension of reality – but it sure wasn’t convincing at the hockey rink in Penticton.
Caputo wandered through the stadium saying simple things like “balloons” or “the number seven” until it would remind somebody about a dead relative. No matter how vague of a connection she could make with any of the thousands of people in the audience, she would chalk up every interaction as a win.
One man in the audience told her he has a baby, and she asked if he has a baby monitor (What new parent doesn’t have a baby monitor?). Since the man with a baby does own a baby monitor, Caputo was able to “validate” that she was communicating with his dead mom, and apparently her ghost is responsible for static on the monitor.
There was a young woman wearing an engagement ring and Caputo asked if she was engaged. It turned out that yes, the woman wearing an engagement ring and no band was engaged, therefore it was “validated” that the woman’s dead dad will be attending her wedding in spirit, according to Caputo.
She must have used the word “validated” 200 times.
Caputo told one widow that the dead husband wants her to start seeing other men again. Well I sure hope so – he’d have to be a pretty awful ghost husband to prefer his living wife be lonely for the rest of her time on earth.
I can imagine some widows feeling so desperate to reconnect that they’ll scavenge every memory in their mind hoping that Caputo’s ad libs are a cue from their late husband’s ghost. But the idea that a relationship can exist between a living and a dead person reaches far beyond the lines of reason. Yet even intelligent and well-educated people are willing to trust that a primetime television host has a deeper understanding of reality than conventional science.
If all of our memories are stored physically in the neurons within our brains, then once we’re dead and our organic tissue has decayed – how could our spirit remember anything about the human experience in the afterlife?
The Long Island Medium claims to be a Christian and presumably believes in heaven. So I’m wondering – who the hell would descend down from heaven to make their presence known by making static on a speaker? If spirits have the ability to defy our understanding of physics so fundamentally – why can they only interact by flickering lights when there isn’t a celebrity with tons of plastic surgery to talk to?
Before she began any readings, the audience was told to interpret her messages in whichever way is most convenient. For example, Caputo once thought she was talking to a dead kid but claims it was actually a dead cat.
“My symbols might be different than yours,” is how she excuses the inaccuracies.
Caputo also spent a few minutes advertising her fan club before actually engaging with the audience. She also made a point of mentioning how she doesn’t care that some people don’t believe her.
There were a few instances when she seemed sharp. She accurately predicted that three people were accountable for a murder, and she was right to guess that one man had been in a serious accident. But her batting average was very low. Considering how each person has countless memories in their head, and there were over 2,000 heads in the audience – it would have been far more shocking if her ramblings didn’t connect with at least a few people. It was exactly how I would expect a cold reading to go.
None of her visions were specific.
“Did he have keys or coins in his pockets?
Was there a tattoo?
I’m seeing a bottle of pills getting thrown against a wall.”
When she was struggling with the crowd, she would string together sentences that didn’t seem to have any meaning. For example, “Understand when we talk about time and someone’s illness, it can be a frame of reference for how we feel.”
There sure were a lot of confused faces giving a blank-stare to Caputo. She would ease the tension by cracking lousy jokes during the awkward silences.
To be fair, she did admit at one point that she wasn’t having a good night.
And that made me wonder – although her performance in Penticton was extremely unconvincing – maybe she truly can communicate with the dead and was just having an off night. But after selling so many $100 tickets to so many hopeful fans, Caputo wouldn’t really have much choice other than to fake it when her mojo isn’t flowing.
However, I strongly doubt her magical abilities.
If my skepticism is correct, then it’s disgusting that Caputo would come to the Okanagan and exploit our grieving neighbours. But that’s the world we live in: when somebody can get extremely wealthy by manipulating large audiences, they quite often do just that.