The devastating effect of a false psychic reading

The "Welcome Home" celebration for Amanda Berry
Psychic Sylvia Browne's false prediction concerning the death of missing Ohio teen Amanda Berry led the teens mother into a deep despair and purportedly was a important factor in her early death from heart failure at age 44
Mother dies "of a broken heart"  three years after what has turned out to be a incorrect psychic prophecy 

“She’s not alive, honey. Your daughter’s not the kind who wouldn’t call.” 
-Television psychic and best selling author Sylvia Browne to Amanda Berry's mother

May 8, 2013. The family of one of the three missing Ohio women is rejoicing today over the return of Amanda Berry who went missing on April 21, 2003, the day before her 17th birthday. She was one of three young woman in the locality who went missing during the same week back in 2003, and thankfully all have just been discovered in a home owned by a man named Ariel Castro, who authorities stated had kidnapped the woman and held them hostage in his home for the past 10 years.

Beginning on the day that Amanda went missing, her mother, Louwana Miller, hoped and prayed for her daughters safe return, and along with family and friends she did all that she could to find out what happened to her daughter, speaking with news organisations, posting signs on utility poles, etc.

Renowned psychic Sylvia Browne on the Montel Williams television show
Amanda's mother, Louwana, speaks with psychic Sylvia Browne
However as the days and months passed with no information concerning her daughter, Louwana's efforts became more desperate, eventually leading her to meet with the famed American psychic and best selling author Sylvia Browne on the "Montel Williams" television show in early September 2004, 17 months after Amanda's disappearance.  

Hoping to receive some details concerning the whereabouts of her daughter, the distraught Louwana Berry questioned psychic Sylvia Browne on the show, who replied: "She is not alive honey. You daughter's not the kind who wouldn't call."  Sylvia Browne continued with her revelation stating that her daughter was  “ heaven, and on the other side.” and that her last words were “Goodbye, mom, I love you.” and she also said that she envisioned Amanda’s jacket in a dumpster "with DNA on it.”

Afterwards, a family friend reported that Sylvia Browne's prophesied death of her daughter "completely devastated" Louwana, and in an interview afterwards with "The Plain Dealer" newspaper, Louwana herself stated "I lost it" and that she "believes 98 percent" in Sylvia Browne's message. “I still don’t want to believe it,"  Louwana said in an interview after the show. “I want to have hope but what else is there?”

Activist Art McKoy who had befriended Louwana Miller during her ordeal said he could tell that the stress and heartache were wearing her down. "The visit with the psychic was the breaking point"McKoy saidFrom that point, Ms. Miller was never the same. I think she had given up.”

"She died of a broken heart" -Cleveland councilwoman Dona Brady
As we can imagine the psychic revelation by Sylvia Browne crushed Louwana's hopes for the safe recovery of her daughter Amanda. Many of those who knew Louwana believe that the message of Sylvia Browne concerning the death of her daughter was perhaps the most significant cause of Louwana's early death on March 2, 2006 from heart failure at age 44,  just over two years after the "reading" given to her by Sylvia Browne. Concerning her early death a friend of the family states: "She was never the same after the psychics message. I think that she had given up hope".

A warning for all
This story is yet another warning for everyone to be very, very skeptical and cautious when it comes to purported messages from psychics. As we can readily see, the completely false revelation in this story came from a very renowned psychic, and it had a devastating effect on the person concerned. As I have warned elsewhere on this website [see article on the Long Island Medium, Teresa Caputo], the Bible strictly forbids psychic-medium readings, fortune telling, conjuring up the dead, and other similar practices--(see Deuteronomy 18:10-12).  Further, in the "Catechism of the Catholic Church ", Catholics are forbidden to engage in such practices [see paragraphs 2115 & 2116].  

While it is a speculation, it is at least reasonable to think that if Sylvia Browne had not stated that her daughter was dead, thereby causing Louwana to lose much hope, it is quite possible to conjecture that  Louwana might have lived to see her daughters joyful release from her kidnapper this past week.  After all, she was only 44 years old when she died in 2006, and today she would have only been 51. Aside from this, the fact remains that today we are faced with the proof of a very grave psychic prediction that has since been revealed to be completely and utterly false, providing for us yet another warning of the grave dangers that can accompany the alleged messages given by psychic mediums.


Anonymous said...

I firmly believe - and so do some professional magicians I know - that Sylvia Brown is a skilled mentalist stage magician who does "cold readings".

I used to watch her on Montel's show and it was obvious. Whenever someone said her reading was mistaken, she'd have very smooth lines, like "trust me, I'm the psychic", which would give a big laugh and cover up the fact that she'd just made a wrong guess.

No occult powers involved, just heaps of unscrupulous claims.

Bee's Thoughts said...

What a sad situation...a grieving mother searching for her missing daughter. The article said that she had "prayed" ... unfortunately, listening to a "psychic" was a fatal mistake. Psychics are not of God...they do not know all. We are clearly warned to avoid psychics and fortune tellers, PRECISELY for that reason...they can easily cause people to go into fear and despair with their completely illegitimate and false information about the past, present or future.
I am so happy to hear that the young woman has been found alive!!!

Anonymous said...

These people are the devil.. psychics get a real job

kristin said...

Psychics are not always accurate. They have off days. It is even more difficult with the timing of a live studio production. Sylvia was partially correct when she said she is one not to call home. Remember a neighbor gave them a cell phone to call 911.

Joseph said...

The point is that Sylvia's prediction that Amanda was dead was entirely incorrect. And remember also that Sylvia stated that her daughter was “ heaven, and on the other side.”

The point is that in missing persons cases, psychics can lead people astray with false predictions, and even lead them into despair, like the unfortunate circumstances in this article.

Kristin said...


Perhaps her daughter was unconscious or out of her mind meaning she was visiting the other side. I am not involved in the point but Sylvia has a right to a defense and it is the Christian thing to do.

Anonymous said...

I suppose we are all free to stand up for the devil and his minions.

The great pity is, although I would never use these people because we are forbidden to do so. I do think God allows some people extraordinary gifts. They do not seek information beyond the rational; but seem to get visions about accidents or crimes of whatever God chooses to reveal to them. I believe some police forces use their services from time to time.

Anyway, the charlatans seek the assistance of demons to get information to make money on most occasions. And we know devil was a liar from the beginning. You can never trust what comes from those who all up spirits, because that is forbidden.


Anonymous said...

An ex satanist said that they work for the devil

rosaMaria said...

As Padre Pio would say, "Pray, hope and don't worry"! Why worry when one can pray? Why go to mediums or psychics when you can pray the Rosary, the Blessed Sacrament, etc.? Or pray to St. Joseph, the great saints, etc.? The mediums, psychics are deceived and deceive others when they say they talk to one's dead relative, when they are always talking to a demon disguised as one's deceased loved one. It is a great temptation to go to a psychic or medium when one is in sorrow, but it is a sin against the 1st.Commandment, it hurts and offends God and you are in great danger of being followed by the demons that the psychic or medium "calls up"!! "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you, Save souls"! amen.

Anonymous said...

Annonymous..thank God your an x.. Prayers do work!!

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time believing you are going to blame a psychic for someone's heart disease. I may not be a fan, but I think Sylvia should sue.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps heart disease played a part, but a broken heart can also have devastating effects...

Steve Dalton said...

Some years ago, the book "The Psychic Mafia" was published. The author showed in his book that the mediums were heartless frauds who preyed on the fears and hopes of their clients. While Keane, the author, believed some of them had real psychic powers, he said most of it was done by simple magicians tricks, as Anon at 05/11/13 suggested.

Anonymous said...

People should never go to psychics and should actually shun them. I used to go to a variety of psychics in the 1980s and at best, the information can mix truth with falsehood but it is all demonic in origin. When I came back to the Catholic Church in 1992, I had a general confession but did not include going to psychics, having my chart done, etc because I forgot they were sins. Years later at a popular pilgrimage site, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit/ guardian angel, etc. to go to confession and confess these things that I had never confessed before. I had a dramatic confession where I confessed all the visits to psychics, etc. and I was surrounded afterwards by a glow that was otherworldly. I asked a couple priests when I returned home what that was all about and they said these were serious sins against the first commandment that needed to be named in confession.

Andrea said...

Very good article. If we follow the church, we know it is a sin to go to or believe in a psychic. Period! This gave entrance of the devil to destroy this poor woman's hope. Many times demonic possession begins through dabbling in these things. Fascinating reading can be The Rite by Matt Baglio or any of Father Gabriele Amorth's books, such as An Exorcist Tells His Story. And yes, Saint Padre Pio is wonderful to read.

Anonymous said...

In the article it said Louwana Berry said, "I want to have hope, but what else is there?" She needed to hope in Christ, and the irony is that she turned to a psychic, which at best is just a person lying, and at worst an agent of Satan seeking to destroy. She should not have put so much belief in what this so-called psychic said, but followed the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, which was telling her to hope. Perhaps if she had clung to Our Lord, she would have seen the day of her daughter's freedom. Hopefully she is with the Lord now, and perhaps through her prayers she brought about the opportunity that allowed her daughter to see a chance to escape. God bless these girls who have suffered so, so much. May God heal their hearts and spirits. May God heal their families.

Mel said...

Very sad news and disappointing that psychics like this give genuine psychics such a bad name.

Ispirita said...

It's tragic that this poor person was taken advantage of in such a way.

People who look for psychic readings are often very vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

A genuine psychic would not say that somebody was dead even if she was receiving this kind of information from the " other side". She would give a neutral answer like I'm not sure, or that this information is not being revealed to me, sorry I can't say, etc......It is best to stay away from most psychics or to take everything they say with a pinch of salt....

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