Rosemary Altea

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Rosemary Altea
Born (1946-05-19) 19 May 1946 (age 67)
Leicester, England
Occupation Self proclaimed Medium and Healer
Spouse(s) Divorced
Children Samantha Altea (b. 1970)

Rosemary Altea (born 19 May 1946) is a British author and self-proclaimed psychic. She has appeared on various programs, including Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show (with Michael Shermer in 1995) and was ridiculed on Penn and Teller's Bullshit! in premiere episode, "Talking to the Dead." She has written five books and claims to have a "Healing Society".

Early life[edit]

Altea was born in Leicester, England to Lilian and William Edwards, and has two brothers and three sisters.[1] Her formal education ended at the age of 16 when she left school and then got married when she was 19.[1] Altea is divorced and has one daughter born in 1970.[1]


In 2001 Altea inherited a farm in Dorset, Vermont from Llewella Day, an elderly cancer victim. Ms. Day changed her will shortly before she died, thereby cutting her family out and leaving the $740,000 farm to Altea, with the desire it remain a working farm. Altea successfully fought Day's family's attempts to invalidate the will, and—against Ms. Day's wishes—demolished the farm house to make the farm into a "a healing foundation".[2][3] The family argued in court that Altea used "undue influence to convince a dying woman to change her will."[4]

Regarding the 2003 Bullshit! episode, Kevin Christopher of the Skeptical Inquirer wrote that the segment on Altea "was a nice expose of Rosemary Altea during a taped reading arranged by Showtime. Viewers got a clear picture of how she worked the small group of people present for readings prior to the taping in order to glean information for later use. Skeptic and Mentalist Mark Edward replicated the cold reading tactics she used and showed how her publicist, Joni Evans, seeded the group with people whose biographies were already known to Altea in order to boost her on-camera success." a clear example of hot reading[5]

On 26 January 2007 Altea appeared on Larry King Live with sceptic James Randi. When asked on the show to take the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, she refused to answer whether she would take the test.[6]

In 2009, Altea learned that Denise M. Hall, her accountant, had stolen $200,000 from her since, using four credit cards to obtain cash advances, forging cheques and giving herself unauthorised electronic paychecks all under Altea's name.[7][8]


Investigator Joe Nickell believes modern day self-proclaimed mediums like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Rosemary Altea and James Van Praagh are avoiding the Victorian tradition of dark rooms, spirit handwriting and flying tambourines as these methods risk exposure. They instead use "mental mediumship" tactics like cold reading or gleaning information from sitters before hand (hot reading). Group readings also improve hits by making general statements with conviction, which will fit at least one person in the audience. Shows are carefully edited before airing to show only what appears to be hits and removing anything that does not reflect well on the medium.[9]



  1. ^ a b c "Rosemary Altea: Biography". William Morris Talent Agency. 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  2. ^ "Psychic appeals court ruling". Rutland Herald. 10 September 2001. 
  3. ^ "Altea's website". Retrieved 8 July 2007. 
  4. ^ "Rosemary Altea v. Mary Jane Osborne, Lynne August, and Rick and Geraldine Burnet". 3/9/2003. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  5. ^ Christopher, Kevin (May–June 2003). "Penn & Teller series exposes paranormal B.S. and gains audience". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 28 December 2006. 
  6. ^ "Altea and James Randi". Larry King Live. 26 January 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2006. 
  7. ^ "Woman accepts guilt in defrauding psychic". Rutland Herald. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "Feds: Bookkeeper steals fortune from psychic". Rutland Herald. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Investigative Files: John Edward: Hustling the Bereaved". CSI. Nov/Dec 2001. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 

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