57% of Americans reportedly believe in psychic phenomena like ESP or telepathy. According to believers, accurate psychic predictions happen all the time and can help solve cold cases or allow people to speak with the spirits of the departed. Even when mediums' tricks of the trade are exposed, devotees continue to give their money to fraud psychics who prey on the frightened and bereaved.
When psychics use cold reading, hot reading, or other methods to convey messages to clients, they often employ psychological and observational skills honed over a lifetime of practice. But how do psychics read palms? What is cold reading, for that matter? What other cons do mediums employ to convince paying customers they either have a link to the afterlife or the ability to see the future of anyone who crosses their path?
The techniques they use to appear mystically inclined are so simple, yet they have kept people enraptured with the idea of psychics for thousands of years.