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James Van Praagh is a world-renowned medium and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author. Courtesy photo
Soul on Fire

Soul on Fire: Encinitas medium James Van Praagh sees dead people

I see dead people. I don’t really, but I’m finding on this path that a lot of people do. But wait. My mom appeared to me in a hummingbird shortly after her death. Is that the same thing? Most people I talk to have had some glimpse into the beyond: a feeling, an experience, a dream.

Spiritualist churches surround Encinitas, and I’ve written about Harmony Grove and Flower Newhouse out in Questhaven back in the day in other columns. A spiritualist, by definition, is someone who believes that they can communicate with the spirits of dead people.

There are so many in the U.K. that spiritualism is now considered a religion in its own right. People would travel hundreds of miles in horse and buggy to listen to these gifted people who can access the other dimensions after a person’s human passing. It is rumored that President Abraham Lincoln had many medium sessions in a particular room he created in the White House to try to access messages from his son who passed early on in life. Jesus raised the dead. There are many documented stories of people having profound experiences after brushes with death or coming back to life after crossing to “the other side.” But do we talk about it today as something that is part of our daily lives?

Encinitas is now home to the world’s most renowned medium and authority on the subject, James Van Praagh. I want to tell you a little more about him and his body of work in this column. He may have even been the inspiration for that now-famous line in the “Sixth Sense,” “I see dead people.”

He’s internationally renowned, a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of “Talking to Heaven,” “Reaching to Heaven,” “Healing Grief,” “Heaven and Earth,” “Looking Beyond,” “Meditations,” “Ghosts Among Us,” “Unfinished Business,” “Growing Up In Heaven,” “Adventures of the Soul” and the soon to be released “Power of Love.” He is hailed throughout the world as a pioneer of the mediumship movement and recognized as one of the most accurate spiritual mediums working today. The OG if you will. His messages have brought solace, peace, and spiritual insights, changing millions of people’s view of both life and death. He has received many awards for his dedication to raising the consciousness of the planet.

How does communicating with spirits raise the consciousness of the planet, or bring peace and solace?

We can no longer deny that if we focus enough on the spiritual dimension, we can tune into the Divine. We’ve discussed in this column the energies of spirit and tapping into them. The science behind the feelings. Have you lost someone dear to you, and you want answers? Do you believe in life after death? Do you believe in death period might be the better question, as more and more evidence is pointing to the fact that we are spirit having a human experience rather than the other way around. According to James, most of living is 80% out of the body as it is. He humbly thinks that everybody is a medium, capable of being inspired — “in spirt.” He believes we are all healers on this planet, and this work can change the consciousness of the planet as we undergo a paradigm shift — a fundamental shift or change in underlying beliefs and assumptions.

James has appeared on virtually every national radio and television show, including “Oprah,” “Larry King Live,” “Dr. Phil,” “48 Hours,” “The View,” “Joy Behar Show,” “Chelsea Lately,” “Coast to Coast” and many more. He was the host of his own nationally syndicated show “Beyond,” still seen in markets around the world. James has also been a successful producer for CBS, creating a mini-series “Living with the Dead” based on his life and “The Dead Will Tell” staring Eva Longoria. He was the creator and executive producer of CBS’s long-running series “The Ghost Whisperer” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. James recently launched The James Van Praagh School of Mystical Arts, a labor of love that has been years in the making. The online school offers a variety of learning experiences, from professional certifications to audio and video courses, with live calls and online forums.

With that kind of following and worldwide exposure, there must be something to this kind of thinking and experience. That’s a lot of eyes of the mainstream, surely making this kind of experience more common stance. Even this column has documented that our culture is more scientifically advanced and more spiritually aware than any other time in human history. There is a unity found in the human spirit from all phenomena. If only we could become unglued to our phones and the trappings of everyday life and start to tap into the inner workings of our Soul more often. So many of us are actually missing our lives, we are so insulated, revolving in our own orbits. In pondering how opening our consciousness up to these kinds of thoughts and possibilities that could help and heal the world, we find that it is in the realization that God is in each of us. If we recognize that fact, if we see God or spirit in everyone we meet, it ripples into how we treat one another, how we take responsibility for ourselves. It creates a community of belonging with non-judgment, patience and tolerance. There is a soul-shift that can occur as we awaken to these thoughts and become aware of the possibilities of literally living with a Soul on Fire, not just talking about it. We are only here for a short time when you think about it. Imagine that we as spirit never die.

If you are curious about any of this, Seaside Center for Spiritual Living, located at 1613 Lake Drive, will be welcoming James Van Praagh to the stage Thursday, Feb. 6. A limited number of VIP tickets are still available, and tickets will surely sell out as this event is fast approaching. Encinitas seems like the perfect spot for someone like him to reside now, Moonlight Beach is his favorite place to go, Firenze his favorite restaurant, Soulscape and Grounded in the Lumberyard his favorite haunts. When he isn’t traveling, he’s enjoying life like we all get to do here in the Sweet Spot of the Universe, hanging at the SRF gardens, enjoying our beaches, shopping downtown, or just spending precious time at home with his two rescue dogs, Maisey May and Boo Radley. He’s just a regular guy who sees dead people.

What a unique opportunity to share An Evening of Spirit with the OG of mediumship and to come out and give a warm Encinitas welcome to one of the world’s most celebrated and respected spiritual mediums practicing today. He rarely does local performances, traveling mostly internationally, so he’s going to be in our backyard literally. He will be joined on stage with renowned U.K. spiritualist sensation Gordon Smith for An Evening of Spirit — and will undoubtedly prove to be unlike anything you have experienced before. Go to for more information. You won’t be the same once you realize that the spiritual life is not a theory.


David KC November 4, 2020 at 10:01 am

Why do so many believe him when he’s SO bad at it when you break it down! This is something anyone could do after learning how to make huge generalizations learning how to make others give YOU the information. This guy’s reading couldn’t be more off and embarrassing.

ken May 30, 2020 at 1:02 am

Its called cold reading and Praagh is a hoaxer & con artist.

AJ May 10, 2020 at 9:41 am

The show that James Van Praagh was part of.

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