Renowned psychic, bestselling author Sylvia Browne dies at 77

Undated photo of Sylvia Browne courtesy Penguin Group via MGN.

Undated photo of Sylvia Browne courtesy Penguin Group via MGN.

Undated photo of Sylvia Browne courtesy Penguin Group via MGN.

Undated photo of Sylvia Browne courtesy Penguin Group via MGN.

By Greg Botelho

CNN

(CNN) — Renowned psychic Sylvia Browne — a leader in the paranormal world who appeared regularly on television and radio and also wrote dozens of top-selling books — died Wednesday in a northern California hospital, according to her website.

She was 77.

A believer in reincarnation as well as God, Browne conducted thousands of hypnotic regressions and hundreds of trance sessions to help people around the world, according to her official biography. She explained on CNN’s Larry King Live that she both communicated with the dead and looked into the future.

“I don’t know how I do it,” Browne once explained on King’s show. “I’ve done it all my life.”

Her following extended well beyond those she helped directly. Some got to know her through her writings, others through the media — including appearances on “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Loveline with Dr. Drew” and “The Montel Williams Show,” on which she was a weekly guest for 17 years.

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

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, during the Great Depression, Browne first became aware of her psychic abilities at age 3, her bio says.

It was a “very scary thing” for her when she realized as a youngster she could tell if someone was going to die, she told King in 2000.

“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,” Browne said.

After moving to California in 1964, she moved from helping people privately to doing so publicly to help “thousands of people gain control of their lives, live more happily, understand the meaning of life and to find God in their unique way,” her website states.

She founded The Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research in 1974, and went on to publish more than 50 books. According to her bio, 22 of those made it to the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Browne also trained ministers to help spread her thinking through the Society of Novus Spiritus organization, and created The Sylvia Browne Hypnosis Training Center to teach her hypnosis methods.

While beloved by many in the psychic community, Browne also had detractors. They included those critical of her remarks, on a 2004 episode of “The Montel Williams Show,” that then-missing Amanda Berry was dead — telling Berry’s mother she would next see her daughter “in heaven, on the other side.”

Berry ended up being rescued — along with her young daughter, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus — last May in the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro, where they’d been held captive for the better part of a decade. Browne subsequently posted a statement on her website saying, “If ever there was a time to be grateful and relieved for being mistaken, this is that time. Only God is right all the time.”

Browne’s Facebook page includes a September 10 posting stating, “If you are afraid to die, you will not fully live.” The final message came less than a month ago, on October 27, when Browne wrote, “My one prayer every morning that has carried me through my life is, ‘Hi God, it’s me again.’

“It doesn’t matter how you pray,” she added. “It can be just simply talking to God. Remember, God knows your heart and soul.”

Her website does not give a cause, but does say that Browne died at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

20 comments

    • Trish Ramirez

      LOL – for one of the first times we are in complete agreement.. that was my first thought as well. She made a career out of defrauding people and preying upon the hopes and fears of people at their most vulnerable to make a few bucks and sell a few books. Her predictions were proven to be false repeatedly. Not a good person in the slightest.

  • laytonian

    Noted charlatan dies at 77?
    She was a particularly inept practitioner of “cold reading” (Google that if you do not know what it means). She was caught so many times, yet still drew the crowds.
    She also claimed to have solved crimes. There actually is not one case of a psychic solving a crime; they merely put out broad statements that can be interpreted later as “correct”.
    Like the McStay family, the psychic would say “the number 5, a road and an airplane”. Then, when the bodies were found very near I-15 by a dirt road and a private airstrip, the psychic would claim that they provided the exact information.
    Charlatans, feeding on the gullible. Good riddance, Sylvia Browne.

  • Christine Taylor

    Actually she was correct on Amanda Berry. Her Mother passed and they wont see each other again until it is Amandas time…just saying;)

    • Barbara Mora

      I was thinking the same thing. she did not flat out say Amanda Berry was dead. What she said is the next time you see her it will be in heaven. So the mother past away and when Amanda passes away her mother will see her for the first time in heaven.

  • shawna

    People there really is no need yo be cruel! She is made for entertainment. No different than going and serving Criss Angel! Or Britney Spears, Pink or Justin Timberlake!! All about ENTERTAINMENT!
    NO NEED TO BE HATEFUL & Cruel towards the deceased. Is that what God is looking for you to do? What would you want to be remembered for? If you had a way of making money whether it was truthful or not you’d do it! If you then passed away you would not want to be called out like you’re doing to Miss Sylvia Browne. Her beautiful soul is w/God. Behave yourselves!!

    • Trish Ramirez

      Really? Justin Timberlake doesn’t make his living defrauding the parents of missing children to make a buck. He’s an honest entertainer – she pretended to be what she advertised herself to be. I don’t ever remember her reading any disclaimers about her statements being for entertainment purposes only when she was preying on the hopes and fears of the innocent on national television.

    • Trish Ramirez

      And do you think your god intended for her to rip people off by hiding behind fake psychic abilities? For her to swindle them in such a hateful manner that she was willing to tell parents their children were dead when she had absolutely no idea? Your god’s okay with THAT but you think he/she would have a problem with people calling a fraud a fraud????

  • Barbara

    Sylvia is an amazing women who has helped me in many aspects of my life. I am very grateful for her and all of her hard work. She is by no means a fake bc I have proof of how powerful her books could be. People are just so closed minded and ignorant when they see beautiful things that have to do with God. Open your mind and your heart, but until then you miserable people can just enjoy your miserable lives, bc my life is so amazing thanks to the help of Ms. Browne :) Rest easy sweetheart. You deserve the break! :)

    *** By the way, psychics are not psychic about their own lives so your jokes are really not that funny :)

  • Joyce

    All I can say is Thank You, Sylvia Browne for years of inspiration. May you rest in the Peace and Love that you brought to so many of us ! God Bless You! You will be missed!!!

  • Katrina Rubasse

    Great, Passionate people about their opinions thank you for sharing-.. It’s always been well known or as an ediquate manners to not speak ill of the deceased, as they for one can not defend themself. Plus it certainly sounds rude. I’m sure many of you are aware of the book Ms Manners, perhaps? I believed Sylvia Browne sincerely believed herself to be a pyschic person. Under no cercumstances did she mean any harm to anyone in my humble opinion. I certainly did have negative issues myself, but believe she knew a year prior to her untimely demise that her time was near. Still though I didn’t agree with her I totally believe she meant to be of help to others. Death is I believe stated in the ‘Good Book” “…death will come as a theif in the night…” I pray all mankind will soften their hearts and do their best to return to Heavenly Father aka God. Blessings, sent with a peaceful presents of a kind and concerned neighbor. MommaKat

  • Katrina Rubasse

    Great, Passionate people about their opinions thank you for sharing-.. It’s always been well known or as an ediquate manners to not speak ill of the deceased, as they for one can not defend themself. Plus it certainly sounds rude. I’m sure many of you are aware of the book Ms Manners, perhaps? I believed Sylvia Browne sincerely believed herself to be a pyschic person. Under no circumstances did she mean any harm to anyone in my humble opinion. I certainly did have negative issues myself, but believe she knew a year prior to her untimely demise that her time was near. Still though I didn’t agree with her I totally believe she meant to be of help to others. Death is I believe stated in the ‘Good Book” “…death will come as a thief in the night…” I pray all mankind will soften their hearts and do their best to return to Heavenly Father aka God. Blessings, sent with a peaceful presents of a kind and concerned neighbor. MommaKat correction for the errors I seen..Oop’s

  • sunshine

    Psychic abilities exist and one day science will be able to explain what’s happening with respect to said talents. Until then, we will have our believeres and nonbelievers. The hateful comments are especially hypocritical.

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