CARLSBAD – He’s spoken with Oprah and with Larry King and co-executive produced CBS’ TV series “Ghost Whisperer,” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt – but that’s not what makes James Van Praagh so interesting – it’s that he speaks with dead people.
Van Praagh, a world-renowned medium and author on spirits and the other side, will be appearing at the Halloween Psychic Festival at the La Costa Resort and Spa to demonstrate his abilities Oct. 30.
Preparing for his demonstrations requires placing himself into a different state of consciousness, which is obtained through meditation. It’s also something that he will do with his audience members to help calm those with certain expectations or fears.
Van Praagh has been seeing ghosts and talking with spirits since he was very young. It’s through “vibrations” that he is able to commune with the other dimensions where the ghosts and spirits reside.
“Everything is energy,” he said. “And energy (is) basically molecules that vibrate or move at a certain rate of speed, so I believe that we are in this third-dimensional world moving or vibrating at a certain level, but I believe that the other dimensions, if you will, vibrate or move at a very fast pace.
“The spirit world is a very, very fast rate of vibration…and this dimension, the third dimension, is a very slow, slow moving energetic vibration. So in order for the spirits to communicate they must naturally think, ‘I must slow myself down.’ And when they do that, it lowers them down to this dimension, at which point they can send me a thought, a feeling, a vision.”
Van Praagh’s understanding of the other side results from 30 years of holding these demonstrations; every time he learns something new about it, and said it was still very exciting to be receiving the paranormal messages.
From the culmination of his work as a medium, Van Praagh feels an obligation to tell as much as he can and inform people about the other side. “It’s very interesting, the reactions,” he said of his demonstrations.
“Because a lot of people say to me, ‘I never thought about life like that before; I never thought about death like that before.’” The other side is a very mental world, he said. “Your thoughts are materialized right in front of you. (It’s) very much like that TV series ‘Bewitched,’ in which you think of something and there it was.”
On the other side, Van Praagh said, your heart’s desires are met there, and that’s what’s called heaven. Each time someone passes on, they are met with a tunnel of light, Van Praagh explained. But added that there are some spirits who don’t go because their minds are so cluttered with thoughts of the physical things such as money and they don’t want to leave.
Other spirits may not go into the light because they don’t want to abandon loved ones, or are afraid to enter the light because of fear of the kind of life they might have lived. When it comes to paranormal investigators and catching ghosts, especially on some of the TV shows, Van Praagh said he’s very skeptical. “I always have been,” he said. “And anybody who claims to do certain things, to me, it has to be proven, it’s just my nature.”
What is very real, he said, are EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). EVPs happen when ghosts’ voices are captured on an audio recording device. “A spirit will project, if you will, their voice at a certain level of the electromagnetic field of a tape recorder or radio.
“Spirits can also affect electricity, they can affect lights blinking on and off, computers, cell phones, radios; they can definitely do that. I think that the spirit has to have that kind of mindset, that understanding in order to do that.”
As for things like haunted houses, Van Praagh said that ghosts have the freedom to travel wherever they want, but added that it seems most will go back to the place that they are most familiar with. Time also, is irrelevant to earthbound ghosts, those that don’t go into the light.
“It seems (it’s) the emotional charge for the type of death they had. If it happened very quickly, I’ve found, in my experience, that they tend to stay in that area and they relive it over and over again because they are outside of time and they don’t know where time has passed. “If there’s something that isn’t worked out before they pass over, they tend to be pretty angry, and that feeling, that emotion of anger tends to keep them down here.”
The earthbound ghosts do interact with each other, too. “I’ve gone into places and I’ve seen many-a-ghosts, whether it’s a bar or restaurant, and I’ve seen some earthbound spirits talking to each other there. It’s pretty weird,” he said. Some of the common things Van Praagh hears from the spirits, those who have entered the light, is how they would have lived very differently, if they had known then what they knew now.
One of the messages Van Praagh likes to leaves his audiences with is this: “When you take away the fear of death, you really can start looking at life.”
The Halloween Psychic Fair is Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the La Costa Resort and Spa. For more information, visit holisticlivingexpo.com, or call (831) 239-6835.