How To Be A Ghost Whisperer To The Stars According To An Interview With James Van Praagh, the real-life Ghost Whisperer, in this week's People:
(Pictured: James Van Praagh, left, and How James Van Praagh Is Depicted On Television, right. Not pictured: Dignity.)
1. Take a celebrity who recently died tragically—like, say, Heath Ledger—and tell People magazine some story about how his ghost visited you in the most cliche horror film way possible:
James Van Praagh is the kind of guy who thinks nothing of it when Heath Ledger shows up in the middle of his morning routine. "I was shaving and all of a sudden I see his face in the back of my mirror," says Van Praagh.
2. Attribute quotes to the celeb-ghost that—to anyone whose only knowledge of Heath Ledger comes from reading tabloids—totally sound like things that the celeb-ghost of Heath Ledger would say:
"A thought comes up from Heath immediately: 'I fucked up.' Then he thought about his daughter. Then he was gone."
3. Express a desire to help the grieving celebrity loved ones of the celeb-ghost. Who knows? They may even give you money for your "help" because they're at their most vulnerable!
Van Praagh believes that Ledger, who died a few weeks earlier, then went on to visit Michelle Williams and their daughter Matilda in Brooklyn. "I want to talk to Michelle and do a reading to help her, " Van Praagh says.
4. When helping Cher pick out clothes for the Oscars, start every recommendation with "Sonny is telling me that he loves you. Also, you should wear…" She'll totally believe you!
Occasionally, Van Praagh does sit with celebrities, like Eva Longoria Parker, Ted Danson, and Cher—who through Van Praagh once got Sonny's guidance when picking shoes for the Oscars.
5. If you do happen to "sit" with a celebrity, tell them that they are currently being haunted by either a.) the ghost of a crazy stalker (they'll totally buy this because celebrities are narcissists!), or b.) the ghost of their grandmother/grandfather (this is a safe bet because everyone has grandparents, and grandparents die):
Ghost Whisperer star Jennifer Love Hewitt recently had Van Praagh rid her home of the ghost of an obsessed fan. "Through James I was also able to talk to my grandmother," the actress says. "Death is something people are really afraid and unsure of. When somebody can shed a good or hopeful light on it, why wouldn't you be intrigued?
6. Don't forget to mention the part about how you're a failed sitcom writer. It only makes you seem more credible!
After moving to Los Angeles in the '80s to pursue a career as a sitcom writer, he saw the spirit of a coworker's grandmother at the next desk. "After that day, I saw that I had come here to demonstrate to the world that there was no such thing as death and no limitation to consciousness."