In the 20 years that have passed since the world changed forever following the September 11th terrorist attacks, families and friends of the nearly 3,000 victims have sought understanding over the past two decades. In a new special airing Thursday night on TLC and streaming concurrently on discovery+, Long Island Medium star Theresa Caputo is using her psychic gift to help bring peace and closure for those seeking answers in the special, Long Island Medium: In Memory of 9/11. Visiting the sites of the horrific attacks, Caputo meets with the families of the departed to share messages of healing and heroism from the spirits of their loved ones. Caputo tells PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview that while it was an honor to read for the willing individuals and help them find comfort, the energies present at each site definitely impacted her personally and emotionally.
"When I was doing the readings for everyone who had perished in the Twin Towers and after 9/11, some days I would lose my voice because Spirit brings me through their passing and I would literally feel like I smoked a pack of cigarettes," she told PopCulture. "I was reading someone's dad and I'd be like, 'Okay, well now I'm in a stairwell.' How would I know that their dad was in the stairwell or they were working on one of the floors?"
Caputo adds it was when she got to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, though — the site of the fourth and final hijacked flight, United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field just outside Washington, D.C. — that she felt a strong, persisting energy that stuck with her and still does to this moment. "[Shanksville] was a completely different scenario. I walked on that property and I still to this moment get very emotional about going," she said tearing up. "I really feel that, for me, it was the forgotten memorial and it was so powerful. The moment that I stepped of the car, I could feel the peace, but the souls of the departure were not making me feel what they felt on that plane because they were trying to protect me from that."
The New York native adds when she stepped out of the car to visit the field, she was being made to "feel nothing," but instead "felt peace." She added how the young woman she read for who wasn't supposed to be on that plane had her plans changed last minute and shared details in the special no one would know about to this day. "She talked about something that nobody would know, something that she wrote about in a journal nine years prior to 9/11, and actually drew a picture of the plane crash," Caputo said. "When I stepped out of the car, I was being made to feel like I could feel nothing, but I felt peace, but I could almost hear fainted screams and that's exactly what she described in her journal nine years before that. There would be no way that I would know that."
Adding how Shanksville felt "very different" because she stood where the plane crashed versus visiting the sites of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Caputo admits the three sites differed greatly in the energies she felt, with them taking her on an "emotional rollercoaster" of sorts. "The Twin Towers was different, how I was feeling the effects of the debris and the smoke. When I was near the Pentagon, I wasn't able to get close there but I learned so much," she said. "I didn't realize that, at the Memorial where the benches were set up, all the benches that faced away from the Pentagon are the people that perished inside the Pentagon and the benches facing the Pentagon were for all of the souls that perished in the plane. There were just so many and everyone's story was so different and a loss is a loss and grief is grief."
Caputo adds though she was in awe of seeing the "strength of these family members" who willfully stepped forward to take part in the TLC special and be vulnerable again not only for 9/11 every year but for the years to come. "The healing that took place was unbelievable. Unbelievable," she said, adding how she hopes viewers will take away that there is more to life than the physical world with the groundbreaking special. Additionally, she hopes audiences will remember other sites like Shanksville and the Pentagon every year while maintaining compassion for others by "saying a prayer for the families that are still here, that are still trying to put the pieces back together and to grow up and live their life without maybe their parents or a sibling."
Long Island Medium: In Memory of 9/11 airs Thursday at 10 p.m. ET and is currently streaming on discovery+. For more on Theresa and all your reality TV news, keep it locked to PopCulture.com for the latest.