The Sixth Sense: The Performers

Are psychic mediums putting on more than just a good show?
3:00 | 10/26/12

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Transcript for The Sixth Sense: The Performers
Good evening. Halloween is just days away and your kids probably have their costumes and those jack-o'-lanterns are carved and leering but for many it comes for more than one night a year. Whatever you call that whole range of sixth sense phenomenon, esp, more than two-thirds of americans have felt those things that go bump in the night and for some professional psychics, the dead just don't go bump, they pull up a chair and have a conversation as you're about to see. They are the most profound of life's questions, what happens after we die? Is it ever possible to receive a message from a departed loved one or to read another person's mind from poets to filmmakers, everyone has struggled to find these answers. So are some of us actually able to speak to the dead? Theresa caputo says yes. Oh, this dinner is going to be so good. Reporter: Just last year she was an unknown mom living in suburbia. Look at your old madre cooking at the stove-o. Reporter: But today that hair, those nails and the unmistakable voice are recognized everywhere she goes. Fans hoping for a reading from america's newest megastar medium. Who was the young male that passed? Yep, my son. Reporter: Even with us in the parking lot of a local pizzeria. At a strip mall. Do you hear him call your name at times? Like "ma?" Yes. It's not wishful thinking. Just know that it is him. Reporter: Each week theresa captivates audiences telling them she's communicating with the dead on her hit tlc show "long island medium." I'm calling in my spirit guides. It's a higher level. Should we get like a fruit basket for them? Reporter: Her husband and children may poke fun at "her gift." Everywhere we go she's re reading somebody. Did you lose both your parent, your mother and father? I feel like you lost someone recently. Reporter: But it's something theresa says she's known about all her life. I don't mean to quote like lady gaga or anything, but I was born this way. Reporter: But what about friends and acquaintances? I mean, did you tell them that you were seeing and hearing people who were dead? Well, that's where my trouble all started. When I started sharing with my friends, and they'd say, "well, that's not normal." And then I shut down. Reporter: Theresa says what she was seeing scared her and that she grappled with debilitating anxiety, until IN HER 20s SHE FINALLY SOUGHT Help from this woman a spiritual healer. She had told me that the reason for my anxiety was that a spirit was trying to communicate with me. Reporter: And that you should therefore be open to it? What I had to do was just learn how to control and understand what it was that they were showing me. Reporter: Of course, there is little scientific evidence to prove it's actually possible to talk to the dead, but that's never stopped those claiming to have a sixth sense from cashing in on this $2 billion a year industry. Want a session with theresa? These days you'll be waiting for more than two years. And just weeks ago the ultimate confirmation that she's hit the big time, a spoof on "saturday night live." The great thing about long island is no one is saved by a medium, just come up to you. My name is eresa. I talk to the dead. His husband is a mess. He looks terrible. Hey, you. Reporter: We see you in the show walking around. Small vegetable mein. Reporter: Telling the guy behind the counter at the chinese restaurant about someone back in china died. He's telling you it's okay you didn't get to see him before he died. Reporter: Are you bombarded by dead people whispering in your ear all day? Absolutely. I know that sounds weird, but that's my life. Reporter: And before long, theresa stops our interview to say there is a spirit stepping forward. Do you have something special of somebody's with you? Is that your dad's? Oh, perfect. Reporter: She appears to be communicating with the father of our cameramen, herb forsberg. Show this -- this was his father's ring? He just told me his father, and then, and then there's -- when they show me a wedding ring, it means that someone is wearing someone's ring. Yeah, and I -- when my wife and I were married, we used this -- as a wedding ring. For my wedding ring. Because that's what he, see, I wrote wedding, and then i wrote father in -- Reporter: Did you tell her that? I didn't say anything to anybody. But did you name a son after someone? After him. Perfect, 'cause he wanted to thk you for that -- Reporter: I personally, if this is true -- and this were happening to me, i think I'd be a little wigged out. Well, I -- listen, I get wigged out, don't -- I mean, spirit freaks me out on a daily basis. I mean, what are the chances of me knowing that he's wearing his father's ring? Reporter: It's an interesting point but one that matt hutson doesn't buy. He's the author of the book "seven laws of magical thinking" and is a major skeptic. This is what's called cold reading. They ask questions where they're either really vague or they might -- did you name a son after someone -- or to get more information out of the person and, and build off of that. I am not here to prove anything to anybody. Reporter: Does it bother you that there are people who call it, you know, pseudo-psychics, call you a charlatan, a swindler or a faux seer. You know what? Reporter: I mean -- let them speak to the clients that have come to me. Did you just write down rings? Yes. Reporter: It's those reactions from clients and strangers regularly featured on "long island medium" that keep viewers hooked. And look at that. There we go. Reporter: Like theresa, business out of blowing people's minds. He can't talk to the dead, but he says he can read your thoughts. At this show a randomly selected audience member is told to write down a number between 1 and 100. You're standing very straight. That usually means an even number. Reporter: Sidney nails it. Close your eye, think of it. Okay, it's 20, number 20. It is. Reporter: Then this woman draws a picture and seals it in an envelope before anyone can see. There's something about it that has a tran equipment to it. Something about water and -- open up your envelope. Reporter: Using nothing more than his mind, sidney is able to practically replicate it. I was so intrigued I wanted to test sidney'sables out on myself. I wrote a few things down on this before we came here. Give me the name of somebody who in your life who I couldn't possibly know. Emily. Did she have brown lair? Yes. Here's what I had written here. This was quite interesting. Brown, the left "e" and 26. Reporter: How old are you? Turns out my assistant emily is 23 but she does have brown hair. Impressive but could he guess a number the way he did in his show? Think of a number between one and ten. Reporter: Okay. So what I want you to do is to change it, go to a different number. Reporter: Okay. And now one more time, change it again. Okay? Reporter: Okay. I think it was or just one you did, eight. No. What was it? Six, then, nine, then two, okay. Are you impressed? No. Reporter: It seems today those mega mentmental juices just aren't flowing for him. She's a star. Reporter: But what about theresa caputo? So does anybody ever walk in for a reading and you simply can't do it? Never happened. It's never happened. Reporter: But back in that parking lot for us, theresa seems to hit a snag. Your son or -- I have his mastercard. You have it in your back? Yes, I do. Can I see that? Can you show it to me. I just got this new wallet. I was thinking maybe I didn't put his picture in here. Reporter: One detail the spirit of her deceased son apparently didn't know. Well, meryl you better find it. He had me say it, you're going to find it. Reporter: Meryl never found the picture, but like all of her believers theresa is undiscouraged. So now you know that you have to go home and find it in your old wallet and put it in

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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