Who is Keano New York spiritual psychic
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Have You Seen Keano? Finding NYC’s Mysterious Psychic

Resident writer Dion Lamar Mills explores New York in search of Keano to uncover the mystery of this psychic and their existence.

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On nearly every subway train line in NYC, if you look up, you’ll see a bulleted advertisement that reads:

 

Discover the Mystery of the Psychic
The Moon & Stars Can Be Yours
KEANO
SPIRITUAL CONSULTANT/POWERFUL MASTER IN LOVE
Tells past – Present – Future
Removes Jealousy – Evil Eye/Bad Luck – Reunites the separated
If you are having problems in Business / Love / Health / Marriage I can help
Don’t let fear, pride or doubt be your enemy
Reach out and let me help you
I’m here for you, call me now!!!

 

And goes on to list his phone number and a promise of one free question per call, however vague that may sound.

 

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The flyer’s design is just as cryptic as the info listed upon it: a stark black and white triangle with a crudely sketched eye at its center, amid a sky of constellations and planets, oracular in nature–both enchanting and unnerving simultaneously. Needless to say, I dialed the number listed on the advertisement, hesitant to behold the future.

After a few moments of quiet, I was met with a few rings and a voice message that said, “You have reached the voicemail box of–” before cutting out to a low humming static.

Was this a form of identity theft? Or was it an MTA scam?

A bit buzzkilled, I decided to go out and about and see if I could follow some sort of pseudo-papertrail that would lead me to him. I took my camera with me a few nights to document some of what I found. Unfortunately, I found that on the whole, no one really engaged in a dialogue about him, and amongst the people I knew, most thought Keano was a hoax, “like most psychics in the city.”

 

 

A quick Google search gives way to little evidence that the psychic exists at all. There are a few threads here and there filled with bemused posters’ hypotheses about who he may be, but no real leads on his whereabouts, other than that some of them had seen couriers posting flyers around the city–something I hadn’t seen at the time, but which left me curious.

Was this all just an elaborate hoax? Would someone actually go out of their way to create an imaginary entity and try to get a whole city onboard? Was this a form of identity theft? Or was it an MTA scam? Was it simple advertising that the public transit had set up themselves, just to survey who was riding their systems? Some people even said that it could be a calling for the New York Illuminati. It just made no sense

Were they counting how many believers there are in the city, on various train lines? Was this a social experiment that I was now a part of?

After hopping on the train in search of Keano, I happened upon the same scene I’d read about just hours before on a Reddit thread–a courier hanging a flyer on behalf of Keano. I followed him off the train at the next stop and after we introduced ourselves, I asked to speak with him about what he was doing in the subway car just moments before. His name was Malcolm.

Dion: I saw you putting up those Keano flyers and I wanted to know if you knew anything about him?

Malcolm: Oh nah, I just saw an ad on Craigslist to hang some flyers through this company and came down here.

Dion: Really? Do you still have the ad?

Malcolm: I don’t know. No.

D: What’s the name of the company?

M: Some sort of staffing or something.

D: Ok – do you remember what else it said?

M: Just said they was paying to hang some flyers on the A-train and downtown.

D: Did it say anything about Keano?

M: I don’t think so.

D: Ok. Could you tell me where you picked up the flyers from?

M: I just met a guy on the corner of 14th & 8th who gave them to me.

D: Did he give you any, like, instructions?

M: Nah, just said they’d direct deposit at the end of the week. Hey man, that’s my train.

D: Alright, was nice talking to you.

Again and air of mysticism filled the air. There was a company actively seeking employees to put these flyers up. I searched furiously on Google but couldn’t find anything. Why were they playing these games in disguises, only to lead us to a voicemail box? Were they counting how many believers there are in the city, on various train lines? Was this a social experiment that I was now a part of?

A couple of people said they’d dialed the number, too, but couldn’t get through either. There’s merit in both points of view–after all, hoaxes are a dime a dozen and it would serve anyone well to be wary. But Keano as an entity is pervasive; nearly everyone has seen a flyer or heard of the psychic.

It could be that I lean too heavily into a personal nostalgia for mysticality & spirituality in general, and that is what draws me to the idea of Keano. But at the very least, I don’t think there’s anything wrong in protracting the psychic’s mysticism for the sake of reminiscence.

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Photo by Vladimer Shioshvili

In the end, I left with no answers as to Keano’s whereabouts and their viability as a spiritual consultant, master in love, psychic, or otherwise. But I am optimistic that so long as there is an uncertainty in life, the desire for an answer to doubt will persist.

And we can’t forget, the phone still rang. Keano didn’t answer for me. That doesn’t mean they won’t answer for you.

 

 

Photo of Subway courtesy of Vladimir Shioshvili (Flickr Creative Commons).

Dion Lamar Mills is an artist of color living in Brooklyn. Recent work: Patrick Church NY, Ryan McGinley, DA: Self Preservation via Christon Cherry.
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