Theresa Caputo (Photo: Richard Marchisotto)

“What I do is absolutely crazy,” says Theresa Caputo. “It’s insane. I sense, feel, say things to people that freak me out.”

We chatted on the phone recently, in advance of the Long Island Medium’s show on April 10 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence.

Caputo is arguably America’s best-known medium. “I can connect with everyone’s loved ones.”

She says this is something she’s experienced since she was four years old. “I didn’t realize it then, but I remember seeing people walking in front of the TV,” and telling the others in the room to tell that woman to get out from in front of the TV. Of course, no one else saw anyone.”

When she was 16, her grandmother passed away. “We were in her house after the funeral, and I was talking to the drapes.” Someone asked who she was talking to, and she said it was her grandmother. “Nanny’s dead. You’re talking to the drapes.”

Caputo didn’t fully comprehend what was really happening until she was in her late twenties. After 9/11, she found herself struggling with her gift. But she put her gift in God’s hands. “If this is my journey, then I can use my gift to help others move on after the loss of a loved one.”

At first, Caputo found she couldn’t even leave her house. “I was trying to get a grip on my gift. I was just saying things to people. I didn’t realize I was channeling.”

Two decades later, she’s traveling around the country in a tour bus, performing in theaters in front of hundreds, thousands of people. How did she get here?

Caputo had been doing private and group readings in her home. “A woman had come to me for a reading. She had just lost her dad. When we were done, she said it was such a life-changing experience, everyone should have this experience.”

That woman, who is now her manager, asked if she’d like to do a TV show. “I thought I’d do a few episodes, move on with my life.”

While her audiences can be quite large, she calls the experience intimate. “I set everything up with a seven-minute speech, and then for the next two hours, I’m off that stage, delivering healing messages.” Cameras follow her around the theater, projecting the images on screens on the stage, so everyone can witness the experiences.

“I sense and feel souls of the departed. They guide me around the space. I’ll walk in front of someone. Did you lose your son, did you lose your daughter? And the spirits give me messages to relay to that person, delivering the gift of healing. There’s lots of emotion. The spirits bring us on an emotional rollercoaster.”

Caputo is a practicing Catholic, and she says people in her parish “are extremely supportive of what I do. I don’t think a lot of people realize how many times what I do has brought people back to their faith. Sometimes people become angry with God. The spirit brings that up and says be as angry as you want with God, but he’s still there for you. Sometimes that restores their faith, no matter what it is.”

Caputo believes faith is universal, no matter which “higher power” is chosen. She also believes everyone has the ability to connect with loved ones who’ve passed away. “People don’t have to believe. I don’t care if people believe me. It has nothing to do with me. Believe in an afterlife. Those things you sense and feel are not crazy. It’s your loved one’s soul reaching out. You know what you experience. And no one can tell you what you saw, what you sensed.”

The Vets presents “Theresa Caputo The Experience Live” on Sunday, April 10 at 3PM. For tickets and information, call the box office at 401.421.ARTS or visit www.thevetsri.com.

Frank O'Donnell

Frank O’Donnell has been writing features and reviews about the local entertainment scene for 20 years. In addition to that, he’s a stand-up comic, comedy writer, actor, playwright, compliance officer, butterfly whisperer and president of the Keri Anne O’Donnell Memorial Fund. #KeepingPassionForPerformanceAlive.