Psychic Phenomena Famous Psychics And Psychic Abilities

The term psychic is used to describe anyone who can perceive things without using one of his or her five senses. Those who are deemed psychic may be clairvoyant or may have the ability to predict future events without any outside evidence. In some cases, theatrical performers who use their senses to make extraordinary deductions may also be called psychics.

The field of parapsychology is dedicated to studying and validating the existence of psychic phenomena, including extra-sensory perception (ESP) and telekinesis. Because no concrete evidence has proven the existence of psychic phenomena to date, skeptics contend that anyone who is “psychic” is merely using some kind of trickery or is the victim of self-delusion when making predictions or performing other psychic activities.

Nevertheless, a 2005 Gallup poll found that well over one-third of Americans (roughly 41 percent) believe in ESP and other psychic phenomena, despite the lack of evidence supporting their existence.

Origins of the Term “Psychic”

The word psychic comes from the Greek word psychikos, which translates to “of the soul” or “mental.” While the French astronomer Camille Flammarion is recognized as the first person to use this term, Edward Cox incorporated it into the English language during the late 1870s.

Famous Psychics

For centuries, people have been fascinated, skeptical and weary of psychic phenomena. In fact, historical records show that psychics held a forceful presence even in ancient civilizations when kings, judges and priests would use seers to make predictions and decisions. Some famous psychics throughout time include:

  • The Delphic Oracle (some time during 8th century BC):Also known as Pythia, the Delphic Oracle was a priestess credited with divulging predictions that supposedly came from Apollo, the Greek god of light, the sun and truth. As the most prominent and respected oracle of the Greek civilization, the Delphic Oracle developed a prestige that was rarely granted to women in the male-dominated Greek world.
  • Nostradamus (1503-1566): The French apothecary Nostradumus is credited with making over 6,000 predictions about earthquakes, floods and other Earthly disasters, many of which were featured in his most popular book, Les Propheties. While past and modern followers of Nostradamus give him credit for predicting significant world events, skeptics contend that any parallel between major world events and Nostradamus’ prophecies are merely mistranslations of his work. Other skeptics suggest that the initial predictions were so open-ended (largely because none of them were assigned to any dates in history) that they are, in fact, useless.
  • Daniel Douglas Home (1833-1886): As one of the leaders of the Modern Spiritualism movement, Daniel Douglas Home, a Scotsman, became famous for practicing levitation, communicating with the dead and performing sances. While skeptics claimed that Home demonstrated these psychic abilities through fraud and trickery, no one was able to prove that Home was, in fact, not a psychic.

Psychics are still a modern-day phenomena. Sylvia Browne and Allison DuBois are among some of the currently living famous psychics.

Psychic Abilities

People may be describe as psychic if they have (or appear to have) any one or combination of the following abilities:

  • clairvoyance, the ability to predict future events without any evidence of them
  • extra-sensory perception (ESP), the ability to gather knowledge without using any of the five senses
  • telekinesis (also referred to as psychokinesis), the ability to move objects without ever coming into direct physical contact with them.

The ability to communicate with the dead is also considered to be among the many types of psychic abilities.