As New Orleans' most renowned psychic Cari Roy says, "There's something here in New Orleans ... why else would people build something on a swamp?" Throw in a history of major hurricanes, yellow fever, disastrous fires and epidemics, yet nothing stops New Orleans from coming back stronger every time. Could it be supernatural resilience?
Most of New Orleans’ best psychics work outside of Bourbon Street -- real psychics don't need a booth on Bourbon, especially for only $5 a reading. And they can generally be reached through word-of-mouth. In a city full of believers, you’ll be hard-pressed not to get a referral from locals.
Stay: Shack up at the Monteleone, known for its eerie amount of paranormal activity. Ghost sightings include a late-1800s-era orphaned boy. Before you go, brush up on New Orleans’ haunted hotel history -- and book if you dare!
Best Psychic to See: Cari Roy, a psychic for the past 30 years and guest on popular media outlets such as The Today Show, A&E and Travel Channel.
For thousands of years, Native American tribes regarded the Red Rocks in Sedona, AZ, as so sacred that no one was ever supposed to reside here. Times have changed a bit: Sedona is now a bustling tourist spot, with a population of 2,500. But there's no denying Sedona still lures travelers and psychics alike for its healing powers of the body and the spirit.
According to believers, vortexes of strong energy points emanate from the Red Rocks. Many psychics also live in the area, be they clairvoyants working out of their homes or tarot card readers in a spiritual shop like Mystical Bazaar. There's also the Psychic Center of Sedona, where 6 to 10 psychics have stations set up for pop-in readings throughout the day.
Stay: L'Auberge de Sedona, a charming resort known for rustic villas and suites, is near some of the most unexplained vortexes.
Best Psychic to See: Claudia Coronado, a minister with the Universal Life Church, who generally works out of her home.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville has the most power points in the United States (24, in fact!). Followers believe the vortexes are directly linked to the Blue Ridge Mountains' crystal-quartz formations (allegedly, trillions of tons), which act as a psychic magnet.
The mountain ranges here (Blue Ridge and the Great Smokies) are among the oldest on Earth (over 400 million years old). The vortexes just might explain the city’s rising spiritual scene. Certainly, the many yoga studios and metaphysical shops are shaping Asheville into a New Age mecca. Even famous psychic Page Bryant felt the spiritual pull to leave Sedona, AZ, for Asheville. She wrote an entire metaphysical book, The Spiritual Reawakening of the Great Smoky Mountains, about the area.
Stay: Grove Park Inn Resort, with its subterranean spa, has been regarded as a healing spot for decades. The hotel’s spa offers an aura-imaging photo add-on, where guests can get color images of their “aura.” The hotel is also said to be haunted by the Pink Lady, a guest of yore who mysteriously fell to her death in the 1920s.
Best Psychic to See: Any of the intuitive readers at A Far Away Place spirituality shop, although Patricia Busbee is touted to be the best.
Lily Dale, NY, has only 275 residents, 45 of whom are certified psychics. People have been drawn to this spiritualist community in southwestern New York State since the late 1800s, with the founding of the Lily Dale spiritualist assembly.
Today this community provides year-round meetings and seminars on mediumship, spiritualist studies, healing services and the paranormal. Guest lecturers have included John Edward, James Van Praagh and Deepak Chopra. About 15,000 people attend the assembly throughout the year. Many also head to the nearby village of Cassadaga, founded a few decades before Lily Dale, which provides education and research programs on the metaphysical world.
Stay: The town’s Victorian B&Bs are all equally charming, but check out Jewel of the Lake guesthouse, a comfortable 9-bedroom B&B with outstanding service.
Best Psychic to See: Neal Rzepkowski (firstname.lastname@example.org), a registered medium and also a physician.
There's no strange coincidence between Cassadaga, NY, and Cassadaga, FL: Cassadaga New Yorkers fled to this small Florida town during the cold winter months, founding it in 1894. Their traditions still continue with the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. The community is small, just a couple hundred residents, but the tourists come in droves, looking for answers and to consult with top psychics in a welcoming environment.
There are plenty of vortexes in Cassadaga. The story goes that Native Americans initially led the settlers to this special place -- today, about a 30-minute drive from Orlando. A prime spot is the iconic Cassadaga Hotel, a historic site built in 1927, which has an earthbound spirit named Arthur (a former resident whom guests continue to have sightings of). The hotel holds séances twice a week, performed by certified experts.
Stay: Cassadaga Hotel for its history, spirits, séances, top in-house psychics and tea-leaf reading classes.
Best Psychic to See: Torré, one of the area’s top psychics, who offers readings at the hotel.