Chip has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. He has been featured in newspapers and magazines throughout the world.
'God-given talent' is channeled in mysterious ways Published on: 11/24/04 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Chip Coffey asked his mom what time they'd be leaving for dinner at Aunt Helen's.
There were no such plans, she told the toddler. Then the phone rang.
Aunt Helen was calling with an invitation for dinner.
Young Coffey had a knack for knowing when the telephone was going to ring. It wasn't long before he was using his "God-given talent" to read the past, present and future for family and friends.
Today, Coffey, 50, is a full-time psychic who works out of his home in Lilburn. The South Carolina native prefers to be called a spiritual counselor. Whatever he calls himself, people across the country pay up to $150 an hour to learn more about themselves.
Coffey does readings over the phone as well as face-to-face. He conducts "sittings," private sessions where he tries to channel messages and images of the deceased to living relatives. He travels the country giving seminars and group readings, and he writes a monthly column, "Mystical Mentors," that runs in The Oracle, a monthly metaphysical magazine.
But Coffey would never come right out and tell you any of this. It's not that he's ashamed of how he's made a living since 2001. He's leery of how people will respond, despite the popularity of celebrity psychics John Edward and Sylvia Browne.
"We're in the Bible Belt and a lot of folks believe what I do is sacrilegious -- that's the kind comment," he said. "The unkind comment would be someone saying, 'You do the devil's work.' So I tell people I am a spiritual counselor. If they push it further and pressure me, I will tell them I am a psychic."
And like most of us, there's a part of the job that troubles the former travel agent and theatrical performer -- the endless stream of women seeking answers to rocky relationships.
"Either he loves you or he doesn't," the bespectacled Coffey said. "Either you're happy or you're not. The best answers to relationship questions aren't found in consulting a psychic. They are found in your own self-evaluation and self-esteem. Deep down inside, they want to hear that he's coming back to me, or that he is going to love me. There's a sense of desperation, and many people are looking for hope."
One of Coffey's favorite readings was for a family that wanted to channel a 2-year-old girl who'd died of leukemia. The girl told Coffey she was riding in a red truck.
It turned out the girl's mother had often played a CD that contained a song: "Riding Over the Rainbow in a Big Red Firetruck." When the family left Coffey's residence to return to their home near the Georgia-Alabama line, a rainbow flashed across the sky.
When Coffey was 6 weeks old, he had to undergo a risky urological surgery. His late mother made a promise to God. She told him that, if her only child lived, she would encourage him to "do God's work."
"My Mom was thinking priest," said Coffey.
God works in mysterious ways.
Psychic says he's 'flying sky-high' over 'Airline' appearance
Former Elmiran will be on A&E reality show Monday night.
Published in the Elmira, NY, Star-Gazette on May 5, 2005.
Written by "Neighbors" columnist, John P. Cleary.
Chip Coffey, an Elmira native who works as a psychic and medium in Atlanta, will appear Monday on an episode of the A&E Network reality show "Airline."
"Airline" shows the real-life adventures - and misadventures - of airline employees and travelers in airports. It usually features segments on people stranded without their luggage or scrambling to make connections after flights are canceled. My favorite scenes involve patient airline employees trying to explain to intoxicated vacationers why they can't be allowed to board their flights.
On Monday's show, Coffey's friend, paranormal investigator Patti Starr, is captured on tape by the show's film crew in the Louisville, Ky., airport. The crew follows her to Birmingham, Ala., where she meets up with Coffey for a ghost hunt at an old foundry. Coffey said they discovered psychic evidence of ghosts.
Coffey was born in Elmira and lived here off and on growing up. He studied at Elmira College and last lived in the area in the early 1980s before giving up for good, he said, on our cold weather.
He said he grew up in a haunted house on Sullivan Street.
"Lights would turn on and off, things would levitate, pianos would play by themselves," he said.
None of that was terribly surprising to Coffey. He said his family has always been "tuned in" to such things.
"We've always been drawn to paranormal things or things outside the ordinary," he said.
Coffey started giving tarot card readings in high school and has always been able to pick up on a person's or a place's vibes, he said. But it wasn't until a few years ago that something really strange began happening.
"I started talking to dead people," he said. "I thought I'd gone around the bend.
"The first person who tried to reach me was the brother of a co-worker who had died in a car accident," he said. "She was able to confirm what he was telling me. I was telling her details that only she and he would know."
Coffey was working in the travel industry, he said, and lost his job when that business took a downturn following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"I very unceremoniously lost my job," he said. "I had been working as a psychic a little bit for a few months before then. I packed up my desk, walked out and have never looked back."
He's been working as a psychic ever since, he said.
"I've never been happier," he said.
The appearance on "Airline," which was taped in February, may lead to more exposure for Coffey and Starr. He said a producer is pitching a television series about the psychic and ghost hunter to the company that produces "Airline."
"It's exciting," he said. "Pun intended, I'm flying sky-high."
Who ya gonna call? Ghost Chasers!
Published in the Spartanburg, SC, Herald-Journal on May 8, 2005.
The Internet brought two former Spartanburg residents together. Monday night, they'll go ghost-hunting on the A&E network.
Patti Acord Starr, a Spartanburg native, is president of Ghost Chasers International, headquartered in Lexington, Ky. She and her husband, Chuck Starr, went to Alabama to check reports of a ghost sighting for the cable program "Airline."
In Birmingham, they met Chip Coffey of Atlanta, who grew up in Spartanburg and with whom Patti Starr had been corresponding online. Coffey, an ordained minister, psychic/medium and certified ghost hunter, and Starr were there to investigate Sloss Furnaces, a haunted iron mill.
The Starrs also ran into a ghostly airline passenger named Joe at the airport, making them perfect for "Airline." The segment is set to air at 8 p.m. Monday.
And the two ghostbusters are in discussions about a possible series for the fall, depending upon the response to "Airline."
photo by Charlotte Teagle / AJC
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday, December 9, 2007
The word, or something related to it, popped into his head.
We met for the first time three years ago. Chip Coffey and I. He’s a psychic. Maybe it’s genetic. He’s the great-great grandson of Minnie Sue Morrow Foster, the Native American medicine woman and shaman.
Coffey, of Lilburn, criss-crosses the country, attending conferences, lecturing, giving presentations and readings - putting what he calls God-given gifts as psychic, medium, spiritual counselor and parapsychologist to good use. Helping others.
On Monday night, his talents will be put on a national stage. Coffey, 53, is featured in “Paranormal State,” a series on the A&E Network that debuts at 10 p.m. with 30-minute, back-to-back episodes. The show chronicles cases of the Paranormal Research Society, a group started by a Penn State University student to investigate inexplicable incidents.
When the series needed a psychic, Coffey’s name surfaced. He received a phone call back in January. A couple days later, he was on a flight to Pennsylvania to join a case. He filmed nine of 20 episodes and appears in the second one that airs Monday night.
“I’m a very big skeptic when it comes to psychics,” said Ryan Buell, the society’s director and founder, who plays a central role in the series. “Chip read things and gave me information [on cases] that I can’t explain how he got it.”
In the past, Coffey has passed on projects that could have garnered him exposure, but lacked purpose. Had that been the case with “Paranormal State,” he says he wouldn’t have signed on.
Initially, the show’s goal was to find evidence of the paranormal. Nothing more. The people who appear in the episodes needed more than that, though, said Buell. They needed help to get rid of demons, negative spirits, strange entities - call them what you want. Families who appear on the show also receive free counseling and therapy.
For Coffey, that was a selling point.
“Chip cares about the families,” Buell said. “He’s very conscious about the information he tells a family. He doesn’t just show up on the episodes wanting to be ‘a psychic.’ His psychic abilities are just another part of him. He wants to be responsible.”
And to do God’s work.
“I make no apologies because I earn a living doing what I do,” said Coffey, who also does private readings. “I feel honored and blessed to be doing God’s work, to help others. The show really focuses on the family. The family is not left adrift. If I can bring healing, peace,and comfort to one person or family, what can be better than that?”
Coffey and I recently met in the same coffeehouse that we’d chatted in three years ago. At the end of that first interview, he’d gotten a reading, hint, inclination, something, related to asthma. I didn’t say so at the time, but Charlie, my brother, died from an attack in February 2004.
I told Coffey this last week. Charlie, Coffey told me, wanted me to know that he and mom are together, and that they are doing just fine.
For more information, see Chip Coffey’s Web site at www.chipcoffey.com.
Chip with Dr. Lisa Miller, his co-host on Season One of
Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal.
Chip in New York City with a billboard promoting the premiere of Paranormal State in
Chip in New York City with A&E executives Rob Sharenow and Elaine Frontain-Bryant (left) and the
indomitable Lorraine Warren (right).
Dorman High grad is no stranger
A psychic discusses growing up in Spartanburg and developing
By Linda Conley
published October 25, 2009
Spartanburg, SC Herald-Journal
Many parents would find it spooky if their toddler could tell them when the phone was going to ring and who was on the other end.
But it wasn't strange for Chip Coffey, because psychic abilities ran on both sides of the family. His mother had intuitive abilities, his father's mother read tea leaves and a maternal great-grandmother was a Cherokee medicine woman.
"Knowing that the phone was going to ring and who was on the other end was no big deal," he said from his home outside Atlanta. "My parents were blase about it."
Coffey, 55, has been featured on national paranormal shows numerous times. He was born in New York and spent part of his childhood in Spartanburg County, graduating from Dorman High School. His parents were natives of the area, and he still has distant cousins living here.
But his local childhood friends had no idea about his psychic abilities because they weren't discussed outside of the family. He said such talent was considered the "devil's work" when he was growing up in the South.
"I really didn't announce it because Spartanburg was in the Bible Belt," he said. "We kept it inside the family."
He had a normal childhood going to the Beacon Drive-In and seeing J.C. Stroble. He also has fond memories of riding the train in Cleveland Park and having his picture taken while sitting on the shoulders of the Daniel Morgan statue. The only thing separating him from other children was his psychic abilities.
The psychic world
One of his first encounters with the dead came when his parents moved back to New York for a few years when he was child. The family bought a haunted house in an estate sale and spirits made their presence known quickly. Coffey said lights turned on, the piano played and footsteps could be heard when no one was around.
"The house had belonged to an old Irish immigrant family," he said. "We didn't feel threatened or have a negative experience. Everything is haunted. Spirits are the essence of dead people. We are always surrounded by spirit or ghost energy."
The family moved back to Spartanburg a few years later and stayed until Coffey graduated from high school. He focused on a career in show business because he enjoyed performing in plays at school and the local Youth Theatre. Coffey eventually settled down in Atlanta where he worked as a travel agent and on his acting. He conducted psychic readings part time to supplement his income, but it became a full-time job when the travel industry was hit hard after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"I walked away from the high-rise building where I had worked carrying a box with all of my stuff in it," he said. "I was thinking to myself, 'I guess you are a full-time psychic now.' "
After almost 10 years of working as a full-time psychic, Coffey has been featured on episodes of the A&E Network series, "Paranormal State" and starred on a show helping children understand their abilities called "Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal." He has made many television appearances and conducted more than 10,000 readings for clients around the world.
Viewers will see him Friday night when he makes an appearance on "Larry King Live" on CNN. The Halloween program features Coffey along with paranormal investigators. He also is working on several other projects including a new book.
Psychics and the paranormal have become big business. There are several shows seen every week about the supernatural and connecting with the dead.
"People are looking for answers about the afterlife," Coffey said. "We have longed to find out what happens after we die."
He said some people want to talk to dead loved ones and others just want to make sure their dead loved ones are at peace.
"When I am doing a reading, the messages come to me like an afterthought," he said. "Personalities of the dead are usually the way they were in life. People carry their memories with them to the afterlife."
Coffey said he saw his first full body apparition when he became an adult and has seen many ghosts and spirits since then. He always wanted to see his mother after she died, and it took nine years for it to happen.
"I was hoping for one of those burning bush experiences," he said. "When it happened, I was on my riding lawn mower coming around the side of the house. My mother was standing there, and she looked so healthy and hardy."
Coffey said he saw the apparition for three to five seconds. His first reaction was to think he was having a stroke or losing his mind because he couldn't believe it.
"My mind was racing a gazillion miles a minute, and I thought I was having heart palpitations," he said. "When you see something like that, our brains want to rationalize it. I have a skeptical attitude but you get to a point where you run out of explanations or reasoning."
Viewers have watched Coffey do everything from talking to the dead to assisting with exorcisms. He said his strong faith and belief in God helps during cases involving demons and negative spirits.
"My God is stronger than anything, and it has worked for me so far," he said. "My faith is so strong and unwavering. God is everything to me."
Turning it off
When he isn't working, Coffey compares turning off his psychic abilities to turning off a light switch. He just switches it off until he is ready to work again. He doesn't have spirits flying in and out of his life like Whoopi Goldberg experienced in the movie "Ghost."
"I am not running Hampton Inn for the dead at my house," he joked. "This isn't Grand Central Station for the spiritual world. I make agreements with them."
Success didn't come easy, but Coffey said he is fortunate and had some great blessings along the way. He never thought he would be able to feed and clothe himself by working as a psychic.
"I took a huge leap of faith," he said. "It is like a series of dots have connected, but I don't hesitate to tell people it has been hard and sometimes heart breaking."
Coffey also has been fortunate with his show business career. He has performed and written several plays and has worked with numerous theater companies. Work keeps him very busy, but he loves it.
"I am living my dream," he said.
Chip with Edy Nathan, his co-host on Season Two and Three of
Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal.
Chip Coffey gives up the ghosts in Banff
Psychic discovers paranormal side of historic hotel
By Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald June 17, 2010
According to Chip Coffey, the Banff Springs Hotel is a lively place for the dead.
While Fairmont may not be putting this in its brochures, it seems those long held theories that the 123-year-old historical building is a hotbed for ghostly activities are true.
Coffey, the bespectacled medium and psychic from A&E shows Paranormal State and Psychic Kids, was in the hotel for only 15 minutes Sunday afternoon when he claims to have sensed no less than three ghosts milling about amid the chattering mob of movers, shakers and wannabes attending the Banff World Television Festival.
One was a woman, perhaps the famous bride who died on her wedding day and is said to haunt one of the hotel's many stairwells. Her name, Coffey has determined, was Christina and she was pregnant when she died.
"Not one life but two were lost at that time," said Coffey, in an interview with the Herald in the lobby of the Fairmont Banff Hotel. "With me being here, she felt very comfortable is saying, 'It's not a stigma anymore, so I will let you know I was pregnant. And the only two people who knew at the time was my mother and my husband-to-be.'
He also saw a man who he believes may have been Sam McAuley, the devoted bellman whose ghostly figure is said to haunt the hotel on a regular basis since his death in the 1970s.
The third was a little boy named Jack. He just wanted to hang.
"He's been around and pretty active and hanging in my room," says Coffey on Monday afternoon. "I do a show called Psychic Kids and I work with a lot of children. Children in particular feel comfortable, in spirit, to be chatting with me. The boy identified himself as Jack -- he's blond, he's about six to nine years old. He showed up in my room first and came through last night on the ghost walk."
Coffey, who was at the Banff World Television Festival for a panel discussion about paranormal TV shows, was enlisted to lead a private ghost walk around the premises alongside some VIPs. That's when he met Christina again, and Sam. The hotel's famous "hidden room" on the eighth floor is apparently haunted by ghosts of sheepish workers, who hang around as a sort of penance for mistakes in construction that required the room to be hidden in the first place. During his short stay in Banff, lights have mysteriously turned on in his hotel room, his computer rebooted by itself and his tour manager claimed some sort of presence was tapping him on the shoulder Sunday night.
"There's history," says Coffey about the hotel. "There's a lot of people here celebrating good times, maybe some bad times. There's people who are here with a lot of emotional events occurring. There were a lot of things that were heightened emotional events. Plus all the people here are very excited to be here. It's very open and your people are networking and having a good time and they're open and expressive emotionally. That really does attract energy, also. Our heightened excitement might heighten their excitement for trying to communicate."
The great-grandson of Native American medicine woman Minnie Sue Morrow Foster, the 55-year-old New York native says he has always been psychic, but admits his peculiar talent for having dead people talk to him was something he discovered by accident 10 years ago when a co-worker's dead brother started chatting him up in Atlanta, Georgia. By 2007, he was called to take part in A&E's Paranormal State, then called Paranormal U. He would later appear in Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal, making him one of the more recognizable faces in North America's fascination with all-things creepy.
Whether it be Ghost Hunters, Ghost Trackers or the History Television's Nostradamus Effect, television is cashing in on a renewed interest in the unexplained.
"There's a worldwide interest in spiritual and paranormal topics," Coffey says. "From the aspect of people looking for valid answers about the afterlife: Is it real? Does it exist? Within history, there have been these resurgences like the whole spiritualist movement in the late 1800s. Sometimes there is some correlation to world events. After 9/11 people, in my country, we were talking about spirituality and searching for answers. I think tough times can lead people to seek answers. We seek out faith and spirituality in tough times, and forget about our faith and spirituality when things are going well."
Of course, Coffey acknowledges there is always going to be some skepticism about his activities, not only as to whether the powers he claims to have are actually real but also about how he has managed to turn them into a rather lucrative business for himself.
But Coffey himself is arguably a skeptic, at least when it comes to showing reverence to some of the end-of-the-world scenarios that are linked to the paranormal or spiritual worlds.
The Mayan calendar, for instance, supposedly suggests that the world will end in Dec. 21, 2012, a prediction that has sounded alarms in some circles. Coffey, for one, doesn't buy it.
"People ask me what I'm going to be doing on that day," he says. "I'm going to be doing light Christmas shopping. I think the Mayans got tired and said, 'We've been doing this calendar for six weeks now. Let's stop. Let's go sacrifice somebody. Let's have a feast and sacrifice a virgin. Anything other than this calendar. I'm tired of this.'
"That's my crazy sense of humour that often comes out when I talk about topics," he explains. "I think we take some of this stuff so seriously."
Banff Springs a Paranormal State
By LISA WILTON, Calgary Sun
June 15, 2010
BANFF - Like any grand, old hotel, the Fairmont Banff Springs has collected a few ghost stories over the years.
The most common ghostly appearance - or at least the most repeated story - is that of a young bride who appears on the steps of the main foyer or in the ballroom.
Legend has it the woman’s gown caught on fire after coming in contact with some candles on the stairs, and in a panic she fell.
But that oft-told tale might change after this week.
“Her dress didn’t actually catch on fire,” says Chip Coffey, who took a ghost tour of the hotel with TV executives and organizers of the Banff World Television Festival on Sunday night.
And how would he know? Simple really - He had a quick chat with her.
Coffey is the Atlanta-based psychic who can be seen on A&E’s supernatural series Paranormal State and Psychic Kids, and is a featured guest at the 2010 Banff TV Fest and nextMEDIA conference, which wraps up Wednesday.
“She said she was being overly careful because of the candles on the stairs and she overcompensated and tripped down the stairs.”
Coffey says the spirit also told him her name was Christina and she was pregnant when she died.
“Because it’s more acceptable now she felt she could say it. She wants to let people know that there were two people that died that night.”
The 55-year-old medium spent more than an hour wandering the halls of the Banff Springs and says he was happy with the amount of paranormal activity the group encountered.
“I had (the ghosts) turn a Maglite flashlight on and off,” he says.
“Several spirits made themselves known. We actually communicated with the bride and the bell boy and a little boy has been following me around. He’s been turning lights on and just letting me know he’s there.”
Coffey has been dealing with the paranormal since he was 10 years old, when his family moved into a haunted house in Upstate New York.
“Nothing bad happened, just some weird stuff,” he recalls.
“Things moving, people walking, the piano playing by itself, things levitating. That’s pretty spooky stuff for a kid.”
Those creepy childhood experiences have helped him relate to the subjects of Psychic Kids, which is in its third season. During the show, Coffey and other counsellors try to help children deal with their psychic abilities.
The show has been accused of exploiting the subjects’ emotional turmoil for the sake of good television. But Coffey fires back that all the children featured on Psychic Kids are doing much better thanks to the show.
“Their parents seek us out with nowhere else to go,” he says. “We do a very extensive screening process on these children. We’re trying to help these kids. If being on television means they’re exploited, I guess they’re exploited. But in the long run every one of those kids are left in a better place than when they first came to me.”
Coffey’s career as a medium began nine years ago when he says the dead brother of one of his travel agency co-workers started speaking to him.
“I thought I was going insane,” he says. “But my co-worker was validating everything the voice was telling me.”
Coffey considers himself a healthy skeptic, but even so, he has no time for paranormal bashers.
“There’s nothing fake or phony. I’ve never been asked to fake anything or redo anything or stage anything,” he says of his work on Paranormal State.
“Some people are are still going to be bashers or skeptics and I’ll still be doing what I’m doing. So I don’t even bother getting into counterproductive debating.”