Psychic Sylvia Browne dies; did not see it coming

Sylvia Browne, one of the most famous psychics and probably charlatans of the twentieth century, has died at the age of 77. First becoming aware of her own psychic powers at age of 3, she had a special gift for supposedly knowing when people would die. She did not accurately predict her own passing, however.

“I don’t know how I do it,” Browne told Larry King in an interview in 2000. “I’ve done it all my life.” She described her own psychic powers as an albatross and said “It’s a very scary thing. …The only thing, I think, that saved my sanity was that there are so many — well, we can track our lineage back to 300 years — of psychics.”

Of her many misdiagnoses over the years, Browne’s most famous and possibly most painful blunder came in 2004 when she told Amanda Berry’s mother that her kidnapped daughter was dead.

Berry’s mother appeared on “The Montel Williams Show” to get a “psychic reading” from Browne. Tuning in to her psychic signals, Browne told her:

“See, I hate this when they’re in water. I just hate this. She’s not alive, honey. And I’ll tell you why, here we go again. Your daughter was not the type that would not have called you.”

Berry’s mother was crushed by the revelation, apparently taking Sylvia’s powers seriously, and died two years later. Seven years later Berry was freed from her captor, only to learn that her mother had died in 2006 believing that she was dead, thanks in part to the psychic powers of Sylvia Browne.

“I, like so many of you, lost a friend today,” Montel Williams wrote on Browne’s website on her passing. “But, as has been for the last 20 years, she’ll always remain a part of me.”

Browne founded The Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research in 1974 and wrote over 50 books.