James Van Praagh
James Van Praagh

BOULDER, Colo. –

James Van Praagh is a medium with a message.

The internationally known medium is known for his contacts with the afterlife, and he’s been busy hitting venues — including Denver’s Paramount Theatre on Tuesday night — to promote his new book, “Unfinished Business.”

In a recent interview, Van Praagh said he’s on a mission to enlighten the living about death and the “other side.” The medium’s new book is about spirit communication with the dead, and about taking care of business with the living.

“I was like the little boy in ‘The Sixth Sense,'” Van Praagh said. “I used to see spirits as a child. My mother was very psychic, so it was normal in my childhood.

“When I got older, I went to see a medium in England. He told me that the spirit world wanted to use me — and I thought the guy was crazy.

“I did read as much as I could about the paranormal, but I didn’t start out doing this.”

Van Praagh originally set out to be a TV sitcom writer. He worked as a coordinator for a studio — until the dead started visiting him.

“I had started meditating and I started noticing auras around people,” Van Praagh said. “One day, this spirit of a grandmother ‘walked in’ and told me to tell a relative of hers how she still loved her.

“It literally freaked me out and my whole life changed. That medium in England was right.”

Van Praagh quickly became known for his psychic abilities. Word on Van Praagh’s mediumship spread and he became a regular on the TV talk-show circuit.

“People come through to me in multisensory ways from the other side,” Van Praagh said. “I see them and feel them. Things come through as visions or emotions. It’s really interesting to see what happens each time, though it is easier to communicate with children and animals.”

Van Praagh’s fame as a psychic/medium also led to a series of bestselling books, “Talking to Heaven,” “Reaching Heaven” and “Heaven and Earth: Making the Psychic Connection.”

Van Praagh’s also been busy making movies, and the TV hit “Ghost Whisperer” is based on his own experience as a medium.

However, Van Praagh wanted to do something different with his newest book, “Unfinished Business.”

The book’s subtitled “What the Dead Can Teach Us About Life,” and Van Praagh meant the volume to be “a guide for the living from those who have passed on.”

“I’ve done readings for 25 years and there is one message that keeps coming across,” Van Praagh said. “The deceased always have guilt and remorse for their words and deeds that took place when they were alive.

“One of the hardest things for people to do is forgive themselves and others. They need to have closure.”

Van Praagh revealed how closure from the other side changed one of his audience members.

“This Harley-Davidson motorcycle guy was sitting in the front row at one of my spirit circles,” Van Praagh said. “I could tell he was depressed, so I told him his dead son was standing next to him.

“The son said to me, ‘I loved how he tattooed my name on his chest.’ The man in the audience raised his shirt and there was his son’s tattooed name, Michael.

“When stuff like that happens, you start questioning your own destiny.”

Van Praagh hopes his new book will shed light on life after death and reveal that consciousness has no boundaries.

“After 25 years of doing this, I love evolving with everything I do,” Van Praagh said.