Larry King Live

Interview With Psychic James Van Praagh

Aired December 10, 1997 - 9:00 p.m. ET

ANNOUNCER: Here's Larry King.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Our guest tonight, we've heard much about him is James Van Praagh. He is the author of a new book called "Talking To Heaven:" A Medium's Message Of Life After Death," you see the cover. Published by Dutton. What is a medium?

JAMES VAN PRAAGH, AUTHOR, "TALKING TO HEAVEN": A medium is someone who is sensitive to frequencies, vibrations of energy, and some in between the physical and spiritual world. I'm able to hear, see or feel spirits and able to relay what they say.

KING: Before we talk about the things you do, would you agree this is not scientifically intact. In other words a scientist would say that's not true?

VAN PRAAGH: I would say that because in one way it's impossible to measure things by the scientific tools we have these days. Yes, I would say that. KING: What happened, and how did you find this?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, this is something which is a little bit bizarre in that ...

KING: No, I knew a lot of guys that -- we grew up in Brooklyn, many.

VAN PRAAGH: There you go. I was always skeptical of these things, my whole life. What happened was I went to a medium in England 14 years ago. He said to me I see lights around.

KING: You went to a medium, even skeptical you went? What were you doing for a living?

VAN PRAAGH: I was working in paramount studios as a contract administrator. A friend of mine said let's go see this guy, he's a medium. I said what is a medium and she explained it. I said I don't believe in this sort of thing. The moment he saw me he said I see lights around you. You're going to be doing what I am doing in two years. I said no, I have enough trouble living, why do I want to talk to the dead. He said you're going to. And about two years to the day I started voices in my head and feelings and thoughts and I saw visions.

KING: This happened at what age?

VAN PRAAGH: Twenty-four.

KING: Did you have any kinds of feelings like that as a kid?

VAN PRAAGH: It was really weird. I used to have visions as a kid and I used to see things, but I thought everyone knew them. When I was eight years of age I asked proof of God. In my bedroom one morning, a palm came to the ceiling, I know it sounds bizarre. But I saw this palm came right through the ceiling.

KING: A hand?

VAN PRAAGH: A hand, and white light emanating from the front to the palm, and I said this must be God. I felt this sense of peace and joy and it was wonderful, just wonderful. I let it be. I didn't go to question after that.

KING: How did you know these occurrences started after you started a medium that you didn't go a little wacko?

VAN PRAAGH: I thought I was wacko, I'm telling you. What happened was, the moment he said that to me, it started my brain going, I was very interested in this. I thought, you know, this is kind of weird, I'm going to look into this. I researched it, I read up on as many books as I could on the subject. I started developing a psychic level or more sensitivity. I developed my sensitivity more.

What happened was I was talking to a friend of mine. It was a friend's friend, actually, I knew nothing about her. This is very strange but I have a feeling there's a grandmother around from you Idaho. I said I see a white house with yellow shutters. She said that's where my grandmother lives and that's her house. I said I see a foot stool, a rose petal foot stool. She said that's very bizarre, she used to needlepoint and every time she insisted that every time she sat down it was at her feet. That was the beginning of it.

KING: There was a famous psychic from Holland years ago who told me he hated his power because it drove him nuts. He thought he knew ...

VAN PRAAGH: Peter Herckles (ph).

KING: Peter Herckles. Knew what people were thinking, what they were hiding.


KING: Do you like this power?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes and no. I like it in the sense I can help people. I can help heal people. I can help resolves issues with people. I can help people who are in pain and that's the way I use my gifts. A medium is different than a psychic. Every medium is a psychic, but not every psychic is a medium. In that not every psychic is able to contact spirits.

KING: Can you also though, not being a psychiatrist or a psychologist in some cases, hurt?

VAN PRAAGH: I'm very careful with what comes through. But I have an agreeable and evil spirit, in that what they present to me I will give out.

KING: You won't only tell them good?

VAN PRAAGH: No I tell them whatever I get through, that wouldn't be fair to the person and I wouldn't be doing my job correctly.

KING: Do you believe, that in other words someone around me who died is presently looking at us?

VAN PRAAGH: They come and go. They are around constantly or they don't have to be. They could be guiding us and teaching us. Many times, we have different beings around us, different spiritual beings around us.

KING: And you see them?

VAN PRAAGH: I can see them, hear them or feel them, depending on how they want to communicate. Some spirits will use more vision, some people use more feeling, depending a lot on how they lived on the Earth. If they were very visionary then they would show themselves. If they were emotional they'll come through on an emotional level.

KING: You call the book "Talking To Heaven."

VAN PRAAGH: "Talking to Heaven." KING: You're communicating with people who are there?

VAN PRAAGH: That's right.

KING: Is there a hell?

VAN PRAAGH: There is a hell. In the Bible it says my father has a house with many mansions. Basically, it means various spiritual levels which exist of which there are many. And we go to that level based upon our thoughts, words and deeds.

KING: Why do you think the spirits communicate to you and why wouldn't my father come right to me?

VAN PRAAGH: He probably could but you haven't noticed him. You might not have noticed him. You might not have been sensitive to hearing him. You might not have heard him correctly, or felt him. I'm someone who is sensitive to that vibration, that frequency. So sometimes you can hear them if you're adjusted to that frequency, but most individuals go around walking every day, not wondering what's going on. I'm someone who is a little more sensitive than most.

KING: Obviously you believe in life after death?

VAN PRAAGH: Oh, yes I've had wonderful proof of it. Wonderful proof of it. Thousands and thousands of readings I have done. Listen, I didn't believe in this stuff. I'm still very skeptical until I get information through, until I get details.

KING: You (inaudible) to get a reading with?

VAN PRAAGH: Three years. I stopped after three years because ...

KING: How long is a reading?

VAN PRAAGH: An hour and a half. But I had to stop because it was ridiculous, three years. So now I do group meetings around the country and I wrote the book, to teach people -- more people on a mass level to present this information to more people. And if they want to believe it, fine. If they don't that's OK.

KING: Do you think I could learn it?

VAN PRAAGH: If you are born with the sensitivity. Everyone is psychic to some degree or another, OK? Everyone is psychic. Everyone has a gut feeling and that can be increased.

KING: Do you have to be a believer?

VAN PRAAGH: You have to open up yourself. You have to believe. You have to think.

KING: Can you be an atheist?

VAN PRAAGH: Oh, sure, sure I welcome them.

KING: You can be an atheist and communicate as well?

VAN PRAAGH: Everyone is sensitive, everyone is psychic.

KING: What happens at death?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, each individual has an incredible experience by themselves. Each individual has a unique experience when they pass over. What happens is the spirit body which is encased in the spiritual body, leaves the body usually out of the head. It goes to that place which has created -- has created based on how it's lived its life on the Earth. Many explain it as going through a tunnel, white light. Other people see their spirit family around them. If depends on what that person's belief system is as well.

KING: And it stays in a spiritual world. In other words, there's no physical form to this?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, there is. The spirit world is very physical and very real. What happens is it's all energy. The physical world we're sitting in as we're sitting here, it vibrates to a certain frequency. The molecules move at a certain frequency. The spirit body and the spirit world vibrate at a much quicker frequency. Look at vibration. So what happens is the spirit body goes to that vibration. So it's a real world of houses and trees and lakes and boats on lakes. It seems very, very real and they come back down to this vibration and we're the ghosts because we're at a much slower denser vibration.

KING: We'll get a lot of the audience to participate, with many phone calls for James Van Praagh. His book is "Talking To Heaven." Our tribute to Frank Sinatra is Friday night with the Sinatra family. We'll be right back.


KING: Our guest, James Van Praagh. What's hell like and do you tell people that their father or mother or uncle is in hell?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, based upon how they lived on Earth, if they lived a terrible life they'll get to a terrible place. How they treated someone else. And they come back. A lot of times with suicides I get people on a lower level.

KING: What do you mean come back?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, they come back through me. They come back, you know, to have a communication with me. I will get them on various levels. Most people are OK, every average person is at a nice level.

KING: Is hell a lousy part of town? I don't mean that funny. You're describing trees and shrubbery.

VAN PRAAGH: That's right. But hell is really like (inaudible). It's what you create it. It's very dark. It's not a good place to be. One would like it, but you create that based upon how you lived your life. How you treated others.

KING: Most people have pretty good lives, but they have some bad moments.

VAN PRAAGH: That's right.

KING: Is this a very strict doctrinaire thing?

VAN PRAAGH: No, because we're here to learn. This is our schoolroom. And these experiences we have are really to learn lessons, basically.

KING: Do you believe in reincarnation?

VAN PRAAGH: Definitely.

KING: What is it, the spirit comes back into a baby?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, yes. Correct. The spirit comes back and it lives through the experiences on this Earth plane, on this Earth existence, for as many years as it's supposed to learn things.

KING: Then why are there so many people now than 500 years ago?

VAN PRAAGH: I don't know if there were or not. I don't know if there's more people coming in or more people going out. I don't -- I don't know.

KING: There's a lot more people in the world now than 20 years ago?

VAN PRAAGH: Yeah, maybe because we need more on this planet at this time.

KING: No, but I mean where were they reincarnated from, if there was only 50 people 600 years ago and 100 people today, how could they get the extra 50?

VAN PRAAGH: I don't know. I've never been good in math. I have no idea.

KING: In other words, this just a belief. There's ...

VAN PRAAGH: Yeah. I don't know if it's very scientific as far as numbers go, because I don't believe that we're just one soul, you're looking at it like that. I don't believe that's the way we can look at it. Because there's so many different variations to the soul.

KING: Have you communicated with people who did commit suicide?

VAN PRAAGH: I yes, many. It's in my book. I have a chapter on suicide, because a lot of people come to me because their children have died, committed suicide -- their husbands or wives.

KING: Now there -- there, are you a comfort factor?

VAN PRAAGH: In many, many ways. So many ways. I brought through so many people and in suicides. And people say to me, you know, one session of having meeting with you is like two years with a therapist. And I see an instant change around the person right away, because the grief is resolved. They have answers to their questions. You know? And where are they going to get that? I mean, they could ask their friends and their loved ones, but they can't hear back, and that's where I come in, I'm the instrument.

KING: Talked to people who have died of AIDS?

VAN PRAAGH: Oh, many. That's also a chapter in the book.

KING: Oh really?


KING: And what do they -- say about?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, they say to me that there are many reasons why things happen. They say thought is very real. Thought's a real thing. And the human mind, the human consciousness, the consciousness of the people on this Earth create things. The hate and the love on this planet create things as well. And I do believe that many factors are involved in AIDS. Wrong way of thinking. You know, doing things ...

KING: Do you think it's hokie when psychics go on radio shows and tell you about Lady Di from 4,000 miles away or tell you what Clinton had for dinner last night?

VAN PRAAGH: I particularly don't care. Who cares?

KING: Also, how would they do that?


KING: What happens to all the people in between?

VAN PRAAGH: Yeah. There are many levels to it and, you know, someone who does this work has to have responsibility.

KING: This is not a game to you?

VAN PRAAGH: Oh, God no. No, I play with people's lives. No, I take it very seriously. You know, I've proved myself with this three year waiting list. I mean, I've really proven that I can do it.

KING: Should you be licensed?

VAN PRAAGH: I don't think so, no. I don't think so.

KING: Therefore, anyone should be able to do this?

VAN PRAAGH: Right. But I think people who do this have to realize where they're coming from with responsibility to one another. They have to be sincere. They have to let go of the ego. The ego has to step right aside and they have to come from the heart. Because this work is very healing. This work is very heartful work, and they have to realize what they're doing for people and how they're affecting people's lives. And you what, you have to get yourself first before you're able to do this work.

KING: Do you communicate with late members of your own family?

VAN PRAAGH: My mom passed away and she's come through, but I can't be objective and I'd be skeptical. Isn't that strange?

KING: You're skeptical of your own mother?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, she comes through and I can see her, but I have to be very objective about it.

KING: When you say see her, see what? If I asked you show me my father, what would you show me? What do you see if he were here?

VAN PRAAGH: It depends ...

KING: What do you see?

VAN PRAAGH: Right. It depends on how they're going to show themselves. Many times they will come back wearing the exact same outfit, or costume, or dress that they would when they were alive so you'd recognize them that way. Many times I've had people come back with military uniforms or cop uniforms on, and they'll say oh, yes, my father was a policeman. And that happens a lot. They will bring through evidential details. They'll bring through things that the person can identify, you know?

KING: Do you go into a trance to do this?

VAN PRAAGH: No, I don't go into a trance. But I have done this for so many years now that I go into a slight higher state, altered state. You know, I speed up my vibration basically, and that's how I receive these things.

KING: The book is "Talking to Heaven." The guest is James Van Praagh and we'll show you what he does. We'll start with me and others and your phone calls right after this.


KING: Our guest is James Van Praagh. We've got to talk about Christmas. We've got to take a lot of your phone calls. But first, all right, I'm sitting here. My mother and father are both gone and you see them.

VAN PRAAGH: I feel them, first of all. I feel your father right here, and mother over here, OK? And I'll give you what exactly what I feel from them. Your father I feel very strongly comes in with a very strong personality, very domineering in certain ways, OK? And he likes to be the solid, -- center of attention in many respects, OK? I feel an avid reader in some respects, as well. I see this man who used his brain quite a bit.

He was very skillful. This man was very, very skillful. And liked to in some way work with people, I don't know why, but illusion or something like this with his mind, he was very good. I get him cards. He is playing cards. Did he play poker sometime?

KING: He liked to gamble.

VAN PRAAGH: OK, `cause I see him with cards and he's laughing about it. He's laughing about it.

KING: He laughed a lot.

VAN PRAAGH: Did he smoke cigarettes, as well?

KING: He did.


And he was really -- it was a habit with this man, because he's like smoking quite a bit here. He comes in -- he had a cough, also before he passes. A bit of a cough, do you understand that?

KING: I was 10 years old, so.

VAN PRAAGH: So it was a long, long time ago.

KING: He died of a heart attack, yeah.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. But I feel like the upper respiratory was affected, definitely. Your mother seems creative. Now, your father's telling me you have books of his. So I don't know what that means. Do you have a book that belonged to him, or something? An old book.

KING: My brother might, I don't know.

VAN PRAAGH: OK, check it out, because he says it's a thick book.

KING: Now, he's telling you this?

VAN PRAAGH: I'm hearing this impressions. I get impressions, OK? Feelings of things, OK? They don't come in like hello, how are you tonight? They come in like, hello, you tonight. I'm also getting something to do with -- he's showing me a trunk, a trunk. And I see he was a showman of some sort, because it shows big curtains, OK. And I see this man liked to travel in different places, but he was in good circles, as well.

KING: Well, he was kind of a -- he owned a little bar and grill but liked putting on shows and he was very -- yeah, you got it down. And my mother, she's well? She's well? She's gone and I'm asking if she's well.

VAN PRAAGH: They called her Jenny, yeah. They called her Jenny. People tell me this, -- Jenny, yeah, right. She's a very sweet lady and she takes care of a lot of people. She likes to take care. If I'm going to tell you a personality trait of this lady, it's that she likes to take care of people.

KING: Correct.

VAN PRAAGH: You understand?

KING: Totally correct.

VAN PRAAGH: She's great. She's loved you a lot.

KING: I don't want to --- Yeah, I know.

VAN PRAAGH: She really does. I'd take -- it back.

KING: I don't want to dwell on me, OK.


KING: My wife's grandfather, Paul, the whole family. They've only lost one person on the father's side. The father's father.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. Right. Was this within five or six years ago?

KING: Yes.


KING: Gettin' clues here.

VAN PRAAGH: Yeah, because I'm getting this man here who said he's standing over here. And I don't know why, but I feel something wrong with his leg or legs at one point, and -- if you're aware of that. It make sense to you? Yes, OK. Because he's talking about this. He has his walk back. He also has a very good personality, a good sense of humor and he is a life of the party, this man, because he likes to smile a lot. Does that make sense? Really? He comes with a big smile.

KING: Now, being here, is he looking at his granddaughter? Is he looking at his ...

VAN PRAAGH: Let me ask him. Let me ask him. Gotcha. He tells me to tell you that the concerns that he had down here -- they don't leave him. He doesn't forget that easily. He's still, he said he's still responsible, because he was always a responsible man. And he shows me newspapers. I don't know what the heck you're doing with these newspapers, but he shows me, you said you were looking at newspapers, like a stack of newspapers today. I don't know if it's today or this morning?

KING: I do every day.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. `Cause he says I'm there with your stack of newspapers and this is what he's talking about.

KING: Santa Cruz, California as we go to calls for James Van Praagh. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. I'm wondering if my husband has been reincarnated?

VAN PRAAGH: OK, what's your husband's name?

CALLER: Theodore Eugene Finger Junior.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. Now he's still there and he's waiting for you, and there are many people in there with him on his side. And I get many women, female people, like family members, do you understand that?


VAN PRAAGH: OK, because I feel there was a sister over there. There's a couple of sisters that he's with.

CALLER: Really?

VAN PRAAGH: Uh-huh. I also feel gardening there with this man. He's talking about gardening.

CALLER: Really?

VAN PRAAGH: So I don't know if you put a garden together. So I don't understand. I don't how to interpret this stuff. OK. They just give me these. You know, so ...

KING: When she said has he been reincarnated yet? Had he been, would you not ...

VAN PRAAGH: I wouldn't have been able to contact him. And also, when someone comes in and they say they want to contact someone, I can only contact them if the spirit is here. I can't just pull them through if they're not there.

KING: Thank you, ma'am. Do you have any idea why some people reincarnate and others apparently have not?

VAN PRAAGH: Sure, because to learn lessons. They want to progress quickly. The want their soul progression to take place. You know, talk about suicides again, many people come back before their time. There's a natural time to be born and a natural time to die. There's an ebb and flow to life. And there are people that come back too quickly, because they feel guilty for what they did in their other life time. They really regret things. They say, I can clean up this lifetime, let me come back real quickly and I'll take care of it. And they come back here and the rhythm is off. And they fell, I don't fit in some way. I just don't fit in. And I have found that many suicides result from that.

KING: They know they're dead?

VAN PRAAGH: Sometimes they do and sometimes don't and that's poltergeist. You've heard of haunt the houses?

KING: Sure.

VAN PRAAGH: It's because it's a natural occurrence. We pass over, it's very natural. We sleep -- every night we go to sleep, we leave our bodies, OK? Every night? And what happens is it's such a natural state that people sometimes don't realize they've passed over and they keep on coming back and talk to their friends. They don't see it.

KING: Oklahoma City for James Van Praagh, hello.

CALLER: Yes, can you tell me, this is Oklahoma City.


KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Can you tell me about my father?

VAN PRAAGH: What's his name, please?

CALLER: Joe Lundak.

VAN PRAAGH: He's been over there for a while, though. I feel ...

CALLER: Pardon?

VAN PRAAGH: I feel he's been over there for a while.


VAN PRAAGH: Quite some time, do you understand?

CALLER: Uh-huh.

VAN PRAAGH: Because he gives me a sense here. He's right next to you, and he gives me a sense he's been over there more, a feel like more in the spirit world than the Earth world. I also see him with paintings around him. So I don't know what that means. But I see paintings of his and things in frames of his.


VAN PRAAGH: Do you understand that?

CALLER: Uh-huh.

VAN PRAAGH: Because this is what he's showing me. And he want's me to tell you he's doing more painting there.

KING: Did he paint, mam?

CALLER: Yes, he did.

VAN PRAAGH: Um-hum, yeah.

See they'll give things that the person knows about. And it's so quick the time we have that they'll throw something in very quickly to me.

KING: We'll take a break and come back with more of your calls. We'll find out what happens when people get a full session with James Van Praagh, what that is like. Don't go away.


KING: In a full hour-and-a-half session. What do you deal with? You don't just deal with the dead, do you?

VAN PRAAGH: Mostly the dead. Mostly it's people who want to contact their loved ones that have passed over. And every different condition, I've seen people from all walks of life and every single type of passing from murders to suicides, and AIDS ...

KING: You've been with people at death, right?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, yes I have.

KING: What's that like? You were with what, Audrey Meadows?

VAN PRAAGH: Audrey Meadows, great lady, great lady, good friend of mine. For two years before I told her, Bob, her husband came through and told that she's going to be sick with cancer.

KING: Bob Six (ph)?

VAN PRAAGH: Bob Six. And he came through, and Jackie came through and before her book, when they told about that. And what happened was really interesting. She wanted me to be there at the time of her death. Now, I didn't know that she was sick. And a friend of mine called me up and said Audrey is in the hospital, and I ran to Cedars and they wouldn't tell me where she was. They wouldn't tell me. They said You have to call the family. So I went to the elevator and just like in a trance then, I wasn't thinking, I went up to the eighth floor. I didn't know where she'd be and I said is Audrey Six, there? And they said that's a strange name. I said well, she has cancer. They said well, she's on the fourth floor then. She said, but let me check the name because it's such a strange name. She went on the computer and she checked it. She said that's strange, 8709, she's right over here. So I walked right in the room and I helped her. She was in a slight coma, but it was put in her ear and I helped her and reassured her it's OK.

KING: Tremble, Connecticut, hello? Hello?

CALLER: Hi, James.

VAN PRAAGH: Hi, there.

CALLER: I want to you know I believe in you 100 percent.

VAN PRAAGH: Oh, thank you very much.

CALLER: My question to you is, is my grandmother tried -- she contacted me. However, I was scared and I scared her spirit away. I was wondering if could you tell me what she was trying to tell he?

VAN PRAAGH: I can tell you -- what's her first name by the way?


VAN PRAAGH: Mary. OK. Let me also tell you, though, that you can get in contact with her on your own, which is in the book, I talk about this. At night before you go to sleep, you ask them to come into your dream state and they can come into your dream state. It might not happen that night, but you can ask them to do that. Many times you'll have visitations.

KING: Why would the spirit leave if the granddaughter was afraid?

VAN PRAAGH: She might have felt she was frightened and didn't want to scare her. That does happen quite frequently. But many times spirits will turn on lights. They do electric things, they affect clocks, and stereos, and phones, light bulbs.

KING: Are you saying that people who were creeps in life are creeps in death?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, sir.

KING: They were bad spirits?

VAN PRAAGH: Seeds that you sew, so shall you reap. Very, very true. You will go to what you have created. By thought, word, and deed. So, it's not the big things, it's the little things that you do for each other that really count.

KING: You're telling people to pray for this. How do you know all of this isn't some subconscious mamby-pamby?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, and also people talk about me reading minds. Maybe you're reading someone's mind. I can only answer that by the information that comes through. The details that come through. Sometimes it's information, which this person knows nothing about, but they go home and ask a relative and it makes complete sense. So, obviously it's not in that person's consciousness. And that's the only way I can answer it. I'm also very skeptical. I'm very skeptical, so I have to have the spirit as details.

KING: Off course, if you could read the mind, that ain't bad either?

VAN PRAAGH: That's not bad. I'd be in Vegas right now making lots of money.

KING: Long Beach, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Hi, James.

VAN PRAAGH: Hi, there.

CALLER: My father was killed in Vietnam when I was 3-years-old, so I didn't get a chance to know him. And I had a friend that also died, a best friend, and I can feel her around me when she died, but not my father.

VAN PRAAGH: What's your dad's name?


VAN PRAAGH: Ron, OK. And is there someone named John, also?


VAN PRAAGH: The name John that you would know, familiarize yourself with?


VAN PRAAGH: OK. Keep that name, because your dad is attached to this person, I don't know how. Do you have a metal of his?


VAN PRAAGH: OK. Because he's talking to me about a metal. And it feels like this metal is put someplace very special, he's telling me.


VAN PRAAGH: Do you understand that? I also see pictures all over, he's telling me you have pictures of him everywhere.


VAN PRAAGH: Like there's one particular place where they're all together. Do you understand, like a shrine to him. He's very sports oriented, by the way. He has a lot of vigor and he wants to know he's OK. He's watching a little girl.


VAN PRAAGH: Do you understand, do you have a little girl?

CALLER: My niece.

VAN PRAAGH: Your niece. Because he's watching this little girl, he wants me to tell you. And he said she's blessed, so whatever that means to you. A lovely man, nice man. He looks after you. I think he came back here to do these things, to go through this experience. He's OK. He's OK.


KING: Whew.

VAN PRAAGH: It gets very heavy emotional healings take place. And I think -- you ask for a full session, emotionally, it really helps heal someone who has been grief stricken for so long.

KING: We'll be back. He's with us the full way tonight. James Von Praagh -- Van Praagh. You want to say Von.

VAN PRAAGH: Von or Van.

KING: The book is "Talking to Heaven" from Dutton. Tomorrow night, more on the TWA tragedy from the people who investigated it. We'll be right back.


KING: We're back with James Van Praagh. We go to Aberdeen, Scotland, hello.

CALLER: Good morning.


VAN PRAAGH: Hi there.

CALLER: Hi. Hi James.


CALLER: Hi James. This is a question for you.


CALLER: I have been ill for three years now.


CALLER: And I have been told that I have psychic power.


CALLER: And also, that I am likely to help hundreds of people.


CALLER: I deal with herbs ...

VAN PRAAGH: I -- that's what I wrote down here before she even said herbs.

KING: He wrote herbs before you said herbs. What's the question?

CALLER: I was wondering if you might be able to tell me if ...

VAN PRAAGH: Let me just tell you, I think your diet is really not good, and I am feeling that there's a lot of fatigue around you based upon your diet. I really do. And there's also something chemical around your house which I don't like. I don't know if it's in your food, but I don't feel good with that. And I feel that's causing this problem of yours, this fatigue.

KING: What is your question?

CALLER: The question is, that what can I ask the spirit world to do to help me?

VAN PRAAGH: I understand that.

KING: She feels she has psychic power, how do they help her?

VAN PRAAGH: What you can do is sit in a meditation circle. Get several people who are like-minded like yourself and sit in a meditation circle and develop, develop your gifts of spirit. And also within that, they'll work with you with healing as well.

KING: Do you now believe in seances?

VAN PRAAGH: That's what I did. That's what we're having right here.

KING: I mean, this is a seance. This is a show.


I mean, a seance is where groups of people sit around and hold hands.

VAN PRAAGH: That's Hollywood. That's Hollywood stuff. You don't need to do that. That's all Hollywood stuff.

KING: Well, we're in Hollywood.

VAN PRAAGH: That's true.

KING: Duncan, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: This is Duncan, Oklahoma.

KING: Oklahoma, I'm sorry, go ahead.

CALLER: I am (inaudible). My son is 20-months-old now, and his grandmother died when he was 8-months-old. And I want to believe in guardian angels, and her name is Margaret Abbey, can you tell me anything?

KING: It's your mother.

VAN PRAAGH: No, it's not.

CALLER: It's his paternal grandmother. It's not my mother.

VAN PRAAGH: Because I knew right away. There's something about a horse, and I don't know what this means, but there's a stuffed horse or a picture of a horse near the baby. Do you know anything about that? She's talking to me about horse, a picture of a horse, or something about a horse around the child.

CALLER: A horse?

VAN PRAAGH: Uh hmm. Like an animal, or like a stuffed animal, or a picture of a horse. She's also telling me to tell you that she's watching over the baby also. And there's been trouble sleeping there, as well.


VAN PRAAGH: Understand?


VAN PRAAGH: Because it's like he's had trouble sleeping. And she said she is trying to help him at night when he sleeps. So, to let you know that. She's watching over him. We have many guardian angels. Our family that passes over can be our guides as well in the future.

KING: The family stays concerned with the people they left behind.

VAN PRAAGH: Sure, because the love bonds continue. They just don't die. They remember their family, the love bonds that are broken.

KING: What -- are Jews different from Catholics, and Catholics different from Mormons, and Mormons different from Buddhists?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, there are many passes of light. There are many experiences one has to through, and some people will go in a religious path, and that's fine for what they have to learn.

KING: Do they talk about God?

VAN PRAAGH: Yeah, God, they certainly do. God is pure love. God is everything.

KING: They don't know him?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, God is all around them, God is within them, and all around the world that they're walking. The flowers, they see God in the flowers. They see God in a person. God is within everyone, and you haven't recognized it when you pass over. That's the secret. You recognize God.

KING: Now, you have to be with the person -- or you could do this on the phone.

VAN PRAAGH: I could do this on the phone because I tune into the energy of the individual. I tune into the energy of the individual's voice, OK, and then the person that's around them.

KING: Well, if we brought on the grandson -- granddaughter of Franklin Roosevelt, you might be able to communicate with him.

VAN PRAAGH: Oh sure, I've done that before, sure.

KING: Denver, hello.

CALLER: Hi Larry, hi James.


VAN PRAAGH: Hi there.

CALLER: I am calling regarding my father who has been dead for ...

VAN PRAAGH: Long time, sure.

CALLER: ...for (inaudible) years, and I am concerned about him.

VAN PRAAGH: OK, and why are you concerned?

KING: Concerned in what way, ma'am?

CALLER: Well, I tell you. Tomorrow would be his birthday. I guess maybe, it's just the holidays, and I guess I really do miss him.

KING: What's his name?


VAN PRAAGH: OK. Does he have a brother over there as well?

CALLER: Yes, he does.

VAN PRAAGH: Because he's telling me, I am with my brother. And for some reason, this man likes airplanes. I don't know why, but he talks about airplanes, OK. So, I don't know if he did something with airplanes, but he loves airplanes.

KING: Did he like airplanes, ma'am?

CALLER: Yes, he did.

VAN PRAAGH: Because he shows me airplanes. It's wild. OK, and he has been around you with the birthday. He says thank you for remembering him, and he's talking about flowers, something you did with flowers very recently about him. Do you understand that?

CALLER: Yes, I do.

VAN PRAAGH: What did you do? You have the flowers with his picture or something?

CALLER: No. We changed the flowers at his grave site.

VAN PRAAGH: Yesterday. Yeah. He said thank you for doing that.

CALLER: Every year.

KING: So, they -- you're saying that they're watching.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, because they're concerned about us. Of course, it continues on.

KING: They're in a spirit form. They're not in a human form.

VAN PRAAGH: They're not in a human form as we know it. They're in a physical form, physical body. A spirit body is a very physical body. It's very real, but they don't have organs like we have.

KING: They don't have sex?

VAN PRAAGH: They don't need sex, it's a physical thing.

KING: Do they eat?

VAN PRAAGH: No, they don't need to. They might want to rest, but there's no nighttime over there. It's only daylight. There's no time over there. They're outside of time. Time is only relative to the physical world, not of the spirit world.

KING: They love though. They still have feelings.

VAN PRAAGH: You bet they do.

KING: Even stronger, and the personality traits remain with them for a while. That's been able to bring them through because the personality traits remain. KING: Oh, my gosh.

VAN PRAAGH: Oh yeah, you have some who have strong ...

KING: Supposing someone was like me, I am like a (inaudible). I'm never late. I'm on time. Me in a place with no clock?

VAN PRAAGH: Right. There you go. You wouldn't need it.

KING: I'd be lost.

VAN PRAAGH: You would find more inside of yourself to work with than that. All those crazy things we worry about, the neuroses and all of those things. We die, and won't need them. They're only here. We don't need them anymore. Spiritual channel.

KING: Back with more of your phone calls for James Van Praagh. The book is, "Talking to Heaven" from Dutton. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with James Van Praagh and we go to Melbourne, Australia, hello.

CALLER: Good afternoon. I was wondering, I have an ex-teacher who died a couple of years ago. She was a great mentor and friend. I was wondering if she is watching over me, and can she help me still in some way?

VAN PRAAGH: What's her name please?

CALLER: Her name was Ann Hellings.

VAN PRAAGH: Very smart lady. She reads also quite a bit, this lady. She likes to read. I would say she's very gifted with her hands, I would tell you she is a healer.

CALLER: She is.

VAN PRAAGH: She is also working around children, she wants me to tell you. There might have been work here on Earth that she worked with children. Do you understand that?

CALLER: Yes, I do.

VAN PRAAGH: OK, because she's telling me she still works with the children, in the communities of children over there. I see light hair for some reason, and her eyes look beautiful now, I don't know what that means. She has beautiful eyes. Her eyes sparkle. Does that make sense?

CALLER: OK, that's lovely. Thank you.

KING: Caller?


KING: Do you believe that James is communicating with this teacher?

CALLER: Well, when I first started watching you, I didn't believe, but I am watching for the last ten or 15 minutes I find something in it and the few things he said make a little bit of sense.

KING: Did she have light hair?

CALLER: Did she light hair? No she didn't have light hair.

KING: Did she have bright eyes?

CALLER: She did have good eyes yes.

VAN PRAAGH: A sparkle in her eyes.

CALLER: And she was gifted with her hands, she was a very gifted pianist.

VAN PRAAGH: There you go. I don't know how to interpret this stuff. I don't know what it means.


KING: On times you're wrong, light hair -- he says dark hair, how do you explain that to yourself?

VAN PRAAGH: I just saw a flash of light colored hair. It could have been light blonde hair I don't know how to interpret it. I get what I get. Most of the time it makes sense -- I am not always right.

KING: What are children spirits like?

VAN PRAAGH: Wonderful, joyful, happy, innocent, no guilt, no judgment. Beautiful when they come through.

KING: Same as they are here.

VAN PRAAGH: Yeah but even more so. They're sweet. They're innocent people in many respects.

KING: Do you ever talk to them about loftier things other than how they miss their daughter Jane, ever talk to them about war and peace?

VAN PRAAGH: I would love to. I would love to get to that level, but most people come to see me are so concerned about resolving an emotional issue.

KING: I mean in your own curiosity?

VAN PRAAGH: Definitely.

KING: Wouldn't you want to ask them?

VAN PRAAGH: Sure. Usually I sit with people like mine, myself and I get information.

KING: Like the idiocy of racism, spirits don't have color do they?

VAN PRAAGH: That is ridiculous, it's just on the outside, it's on the inside.

KING: Eugene, Oregon hello.

CALLER: Hello, Hi Larry.

KING: Hello.

CALLER: Hi James.


CALLER: I have seen you so many times on so many shows. I am really impressed with what you do.

VAN PRAAGH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: I'd like to ask about my father.

VAN PRAAGH: What's his name?

CALLER: Chuck.

VAN PRAAGH: Chuck. OK. He died a while ago, did he? About ten years.


VAN PRAAGH: How long ago?

CALLER: A year and a half.


KING: What told you ten.

VAN PRAAGH: I just got in my head a one and a zero.

KING: When that happens, it could have been a year?

VAN PRAAGH: Could have been a year. I saw one-zero.

KING: When something is -- what happened, do you think? If you're right so much, when you're wrong ...

VAN PRAAGH: What happens is more than likely, because you're dealing with frequencies of energy the spirit might not know how to communicate. There's a skill to it. They might send thought to my mind very quickly, I might not be fast enough to pick up the exact translation of what they're saying. So that's how that works. I'll hear like Mary and it'll be Marie or Nikki and it'll be something else.

KING: What can you tell her about Chuck?

VAN PRAAGH: I don't know. Your dad shows me his hands like working with his hands a lot. OK, did he work with his hands when he was on the Earth?

CALLER: He worked for the railroad and he drove a train.

VAN PRAAGH: I see blistered hands for some reason. I also see that -- I don't know why but I feel his eyes were affected. He's talking about his eyes.

CALLER: He had just had a cataract operation.

VAN PRAAGH: Right before he passed over?

CALLER: Uh-huh.

KING: That's pretty definitive ma'am, for the eyes.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

KING: Is he watching?

VAN PRAAGH: He's watching over and what is happening is people have been thinking of their loved ones since you started the show. That pulls them down. The thought of the loved one will pull them down. It's like a phone ringing, and they'll hear that and they'll be with you. Not always. They don't have to but they can choose to.

KING: Go ahead ma'am, I'm sorry.

CALLER: We really like to think he's around.

KING: Oh, yeah, love doesn't die. Love continues on.

KING: What about holidays like Christmas, do you get more demands?

VAN PRAAGH: Christmas is very, very strong because people are in mourning, in grief. The reason I came out with the book at this time was to help people with the grief process. A section of the book is about grief and how to deal with grief.

KING: Dealing with recent loss?

VAN PRAAGH: Meditations on grief yes, and how to go through grief.

KING: According to you, we should actually look at death as a very happy thing.

VAN PRAAGH: You bet, great experience.

KING: There's no illness anymore.

VAN PRAAGH: No illness.

KING: It's a spiritual world, they're observing us.

VAN PRAAGH: That's right, and it's a very physical world where you leave your ailments behind. Very true.

KING: Albuquerque -- do you age?

VAN PRAAGH: No. You don't age physically. You age mentally by your experiences.

KING: Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hello.

CALLER: Hello.




VAN PRAAGH: Great personality.

CALLER: I'd like to know about my mother and stepfather.

VAN PRAAGH: They're not together, you know. They're not together. They're separate. They're in two different places. I'll say that right now. I get that very strong.

KING: What's your mother's name?

CALLER: Catherine.

VAN PRAAGH: Was she a very strong personality?

CALLER: Oh, yes.

VAN PRAAGH: I get a lady here, I don't mean to be rude but I feel bossy with this lady. You understand that? She comes and she wants it her way, do you understand?


KING: Her way or the highway.

VAN PRAAGH: Her way, it's the only way.

CALLER: That's pretty much her.

VAN PRAAGH: That's what I am getting, the personality trait is very strong. She's pushy.

KING: What was your stepfather's name?


VAN PRAAGH: I have to tell you something. I don't think they have a great relationship or might not have had a great relationship before the passing happened, do you understand that?


VAN PRAAGH: Because, I must tell you this man is in a different place than your mom is.

KING: When you say different place -- don't hang up ma'am.


VAN PRAAGH: One place is like -- is this like one guy is in Boston and the lady is in Tacoma?

VAN PRAAGH: You can look at it like that. You go to that level what you create and you go to that area or place of work, maybe she is doing something on a compassionate level or maybe doing some service in a another type of way.

KING: Do you see people with her mother?.

VAN PRAAGH: Did she have a sister?


VAN PRAAGH: She is talking about her sister, being with her sister, talking about being with her sister. And also, let me tell you, did she ever lose a baby, or was there a baby that was lost?

CALLER: Yes she did. Yes she lost one.

VAN PRAAGH: She wants to tell you she found her baby that was lost.

KING: She did lose a baby, ma'am?

CALLER: Yes she did.

VAN PRAAGH: She told me.

KING: We'll be right back on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. You do not forecast, do you?

VAN PRAAGH: No, I don't forecast.

KING: So you don't go to the racetrack and ...

VAN PRAAGH: Wish I could. I'd win the lottery with it but ...

KING: People who do forecast, is that phony?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes and no. It depends on ...

KING: That means everything is preordained. If I could forecast anything then has to be preordained, right?

VAN PRAAGH: In some degrees it is. In some degrees it's all set up.

KING: Phoenix, Arizona hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Hello.


CALLER: Hi. My sister was murdered and I was wondering ...

VAN PRAAGH: It was very violent yeah.

KING: What was her name?

CALLER: Her name is Cynthia.

KING: How long ago?

CALLER: 1980.

KING: Murdered how?

CALLER: By a serial killer.

VAN PRAAGH: Was there a gun involved in all of this?


VAN PRAAGH: Because I keep on seeing gun, OK?


KING: How old was she?

CALLER: She was 16.

VAN PRAAGH: They haven't caught him yet, have they?

CALLER: They did catch him.

VAN PRAAGH: What's going on, they don't have him somewhere, is he not behind bars, what's going on?

CALLER: A he's on death row.

VAN PRAAGH: I don't see him getting that. I see him changing something very soon too, I think he is going to be changing -- something is going to happen.

KING: What about her ...

VAN PRAAGH: Cynthia.

CALLER: And Gina. They were murdered together.

KING: You had two people murdered?


VAN PRAAGH: Wow. Family member, sister and brother or sister and sister?

CALLER: Half sister and stepsister.

KING: Wow.

VAN PRAAGH: Let me tell you something, this girl shows me school. She wants me to tell you she finished up schooling. I don't know who wanted to be a teacher, but was there someone who wanted to be a teacher, she is talking about teaching.

CALLER: I don't know.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. She is talking to me about teaching. Yeah, go on. She said that she is teaching, OK, and the other sister is not with her. She's over there but they do different things.

KING: Do spirits get bitter like over the way she died.

VAN PRAAGH: What happens is yes and no. Sometimes people have strong regrets. One thing they learn over there, one thing they realize, the conscience of forgiveness comes in and they see why people do certain things. Sometimes they're upset they didn't finish what they were here for. But how do we know that it was meant to be, that it was meant to be a murder and that person wasn't supposed to come back and alleviate through a previous incarnation to balance, because everything is balanced.

KING: Ma'am does hearing this help you?


KING: Do you have another question?

CALLER: I just want to know if she's OK?

VAN PRAAGH: She's fine. She's fine, living a good life.

KING: Nobody is OK, right?

VAN PRAAGH: Sometimes they are not OK. If the memories -- if they still regret things, they have to relive things over ...

KING: It's a guilt.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes that's the problem.

KING: London, England hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: I'd like to ask, my mother passed away five years ago.


CALLER: And I wanted to know if she ...

VAN PRAAGH: She's with a man over there. She's with a man.

KING: She's with a man?

VAN PRAAGH: She's with a relative, a man that passed over. And there was a recent passing in the family she is telling me.

CALLER: Yes. In August.


CALLER: A cousin.

KING: What's your mother's name?

CALLER: Ersiline Walker.

VAN PRAAGH: Did she not believe in this subject at all. She didn't believe in this sort of thing.

CALLER: I don't know.

VAN PRAAGH: Well I get this lady, she didn't believe in this sort of thing. It's very black and white. She's very skeptical. Yeah.

CALLER: Really?

VAN PRAAGH: Very skeptical, but she's telling me something about a rug very strange, the rug is on the floor. She's telling me for you to be careful about the rug on the floor, it's like a throw rug. Do you understand that?

CALLER: Right.

VAN PRAAGH: You understand, like buying a rug recently? She says you're tripping on it. She says be careful of that.


VAN PRAAGH: She says she loves you have a picture of her out. I see a picture of her. She says thank you for putting this out. She says you talk to her. You talk to my picture all the time. Do you understand that?

KING: Do you ma'am?

CALLER: Yes, I do.

VAN PRAAGH: She's mentioning that. Be careful with your eyes too. There is something going on with your eyes.

KING: Joliet, Illinois hello.

CALLER: Yes, I was wondering, hi James.

VAN PRAAGH: Hi there how are you.

CALLER: I was wondering my father, both my brothers and brother- in-law all committed suicide.


CALLER: I was just wondering why.


KING: Do you have the names?

VAN PRAAGH: Just let me get one name. Somebody that begins with J. Who is the J initial?

KING: What are the names?

CALLER: Cecil.


CALLER: Billy, Leonard and Larry.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. I am going to tell you something which I get very, very strongly, this happens quite a bit in suicide. Many times there's a mental chemical imbalance in the family. It's inherited. I feel in this situation this is what happened.

KING: Depression?

VAN PRAAGH: Depression. And I feel that the father felt he wasn't good enough. I get that very strongly. He is being helped let me tell you they're all being helped over there. They're being helped.


VAN PRAAGH: They're being helped by teachers or guides, people that want to bring them up to another level to help them to realize things, how things are, how good they are, their own love. See most people that commit suicide don't see the love they have, they don't see themselves truly as they are, the God self that they are.

KING: How long before they get reincarnated?

VAN PRAAGH: Well the average time, based on the physical world is 200 Earth years.

KING: How do you know that?

VAN PRAAGH: Only based upon thousands and thousands of readings, people talking about reincarnation and coming through and that's what they say.

KING: Is there another plane above that plane?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes there are many, many, many, many planes. Many, many, many planes.

KING: You communicate with all of them?

VAN PRAAGH: No. I can't. I can only communicate with certain planes above the physical world. The astro world, it's called.

KING: If there are people living on other planets?

VAN PRAAGH: I definitely think there are.

KING: Do they have spirits they communicate with?

VAN PRAAGH: I am sure they do. I am sure they live in a different type of way than we do, but fortunately I don't think we're able to see the other planet's life forms of other planets because we're not to the frequency. There are other solar system, how do we think there aren't.

KING: You must get some messages are scary, for example. Supposing somebody says to you, James, what can you tell me about my late father? And the message you get is -- I know you're a murderer?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes. It's happened once before. I gave the lady a reading. The closest thing was, this lady thought that her husband committed suicide and I told her two men -- he came through and said, two men killed me because they wanted the money for the company. It was someone they worked with. The police found out later on. They took this information investigated it and turned out they found it to be true.

KING: We'll be back with the remaining moments with James Van Praagh. The book is "Talking To Heaven." Tomorrow night the TWA crash. We'll ask him about that. Don't go away.


KING: When people die together, like the TWA thing or any massive thing where they die together, do they stay together?

VAN PRAAGH: What usually happens is right after the passing they go to what's called a center where other people, spirit people help them to get over the tragic transition, to let them know what's occurred.

KING: You have communicated with people's whose relatives may have been in mass tragedies?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes all the time, all the time. Jonestown, I brought lady's son and daughter through who were killed in Jonestown. I didn't know anything about it and I said something about Jonestown, do you understand that? She says yes. And she wasn't there in time to ...

KING: Suicide?

VAN PRAAGH: It was suicide, but they believed in a certain way. That's right.

KING: How about different languages?

VAN PRAAGH: It doesn't matter, because they're physical. I get thoughts, thoughts are universal. See, foreign languages, it's all physical.

KING: If you're talking to a Frenchman, you don't speak French and his grandfather is talking to him in French, how do you know what they're saying?

VAN PRAAGH: He's sending me thoughts.

KING: They're not speaking then, right.

VAN PRAAGH: They're speaking the way I hear them.

KING: As long as you're OK.

VAN PRAAGH: As long as I'm OK.

KING: Avery, Texas hello.


VAN PRAAGH: Hello there.

KING: Yes I'd like to know about my mother.

VAN PRAAGH: What's your mom's name?

CALLER: Dovie.

VAN PRAAGH: I'm sorry? What is that?

CALLER: Dovie.


CALLER: That's correct.

VAN PRAAGH: She has been over there for a while.


KING: When did she die?

CALLER: Just last month.

VAN PRAAGH: Was there a cancer involved at all?


VAN PRAAGH: Because she talks to me about cancer. Also talking to me about breast cancer of someone else in the family, are you aware of that?


VAN PRAAGH: Someone needs to check-up for breast cancer, she is telling me.

KING: The spirit knows that?

VAN PRAAGH: The spirit knows that, that's what I am being told. Make sure you remember that, OK? She's fine. She said she is able to eat again, so whatever that means. She's able to eat again, OK? I see her making things like pies and desserts and things.

KING: But they don't eat there, do they?

VAN PRAAGH: No but it's just an identification type of evidence they come through with so the person understands it's them. It's like a link-in.

KING: Thank you very much. This has been very -- one would say that while this is a gift you have and certainly a belief -- it's got to drive you to wacko?

VAN PRAAGH: I have to turn it off. I have to turn it off. I can't walk around Hollywood with it on. So I turn it off. I am OK. I have a normal life besides this. It's my way of helping people.

KING: But you know a lot about people when you meet them, right?

VAN PRAAGH: I size them up right away.

KING: Are you always right?

VAN PRAAGH: I tell you when I read someone, nine times out of ten, I pick up their personality right way. I really feel it.

KING: Thanks James.

VAN PRAAGH: Thanks Larry.

KING: The book is "Talking To Heaven." The publisher is Dutton, author James Van Praagh. Tomorrow night a look at the TWA crash and its aftermath and how it's going to affect 747s and the way we look at airplanes. Then Friday night our tribute to Francis Albert Sinatra on his 82nd birthday. Good night.

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