Atlas Obscura is Hiring! Join us in pursuit of wonder.

Asbury Park, New Jersey

Madam Marie's Psychic Booth

Marie told fortunes from her small stand on the Boardwalk for seven decades, including to a young Bruce Springsteen who would busk outside her booth. 

There is a tiny booth on Asbury Park’s Boardwalk that has been there as far back as anyone can remember. While the fortunes of this storied small city by the sea have risen and fallen, Madam Marie was always there to tell them.

Marie Castello told fortunes from her small booth, quite incredibly, from 1932 until she died in 2008. The Gypsy Queen of the Boardwalk called her booth ‘The Temple of Knowledge.”

A young Bruce Springsteen would regularly play guitar and sing outside her booth, aged just 17. “Back in the day, when I was a fixture on the Asbury Park Boardwalk,” he remembered after the fortune teller passed away at the age of 93, “I’d often stop and talk to Madam Marie as she sat on her folding chair outside the Temple of Knowledge.”

When Marie Castello told Springsteen’s future, “she always told me mine looked pretty good.” The Boss later sang about Madam Marie in his song “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” on The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle: “Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie for tellin’ fortunes better than they do.” 

But Springsteen wasn’t the only celebrity to drop in to have their futures told. It became a tradition for performers at the neighbouring Convention Hall on the Boardwalk to visit the fortune teller, including Judy Garland, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra.

Today, the booth is run by Marie’s grand daughter, Dainzie Costell, but still bears the name of Madam Marie. “Over here on E Street, we will miss her,”  Springsteen said after the Gypsy Queen of the Boardwalk passed away in 2008. 

Edit Place