James Van Praagh ( born August 23, 1958) is an American author, producer and television personality who describes himself as a clairvoyant and spiritual medium. He has written numerous books, including The New York Times bestseller Talking to Heaven.
He co-executive produced the CBS primetime series Ghost Whisperer, which he claims was based on his life, and was portrayed by Ted Danson in the 2002 semi-biographical miniseries Living with the Dead. He hosted a short-lived paranormal talk show called Beyond with James Van Praagh.
Van Praagh was born in Bayside, New York and is the youngest of four children. He has said that from an early age he experienced spiritual phenomena, including one when as an 8 year old praying to God a glowing open hand appeared through his ceiling, an experience he described as peaceful. Raised Roman Catholic, he was an altar boy and at the age of 14 he attended pre-seminary. According to his website, he lost interest in organized religion and left the seminary after he claims a spirit whispered to him, "God is much bigger than these four walls; you must leave and find God outside in the world." His mother, Jeanne, died in 1985 and Van Praagh claims she visits and guides him frequently...
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