Hughes, Irene

Hughes, Irene

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Irene Finger was born in a log cabin in Tennessee, near the Mississippi River. She was part Cherokee and part Scots-Irish. Like so many other psychics and mediums, she first exhibited her abilities when still a child, seeing apparitions and knowing things ahead of time (precognition). In 1945, she married William Hughes and worked in a hospital in New Orleans. After the war—when her husband served at Pearl Harbor and in the Pacific—the couple moved to Chicago, Illinois. They had four children. They paid for the trip to Chicago out of the winnings they received from Irene’s forecasting of horse race winners.

In 1961, Hughes had a major operation and after it discovered that she had a Japanese spirit guide. She went on to establish herself as a professional medium and psychic, lecturing and writing newspaper articles. She also edited The International Journal of Neuropsychiatry, a medical publication.

It has been stated that Irene Hughes has received commendations from the police for helping solve more than fifteen murder cases. In 1963, she had her psychic abilities tested at the Parapsychology Laboratory in Durham, North Carolina, by parapsychologist W. B. Roll, and found to be above average. But not all of Irene Hughes’s predictions have been accurate. She said that the Ayatollah Khomeini would be assassinated in 1983, and that Jacqueline Onassis would wed a prominent publisher in Paris. She also predicted that television performer Vanna White and her husband would purchase a “haunted” mansion in Beverly Hills, from which they would flee in terror a week later, and that singer Madonna’s career would be interrupted by a “mystery illness” but she would recover after having a religious vision and would become a gospel singer.


Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978
Steiger, Brad: Irene Hughes on Psychic Safari. New York: Warner, 1972
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