Very out psychic James Van Praagh makes a living delivering live folks messages from dead loved ones.
But the frequent Chelsea Lately guest got more than he bargained for at a recent $100-a-head seminar in Laguna Beach, where he was confronted by “zombies” toting signs that read “Van Praaaaaaagh” and “Talk to us, we won't bite.”
The undead were actually costumed actors hired by the James Randi Educational Foundation, which since “The Amazing Randi” founded it in 1996 has exposed “charlatans” and helped people “defend themselves from paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.”
The zombies wanted to know why Van Praagh has supposedly refused to accept the foundation's $1 million challenge to prove his claimed psychic medium abilities. According to foundation president D.J. Grothe, who was there, Van Praagh's representatives promised to get someone to talk with the group, but the someone turned out to be security guards who kicked them out.
“If James Van Praagh is making his living by faking psychic powers and pretending to speak to people's deceased family members, that's truly shameful,” Grothe says in a foundation statement. “That's why we put a million dollars on the line and gave him the opportunity to prove he can really talk to dead people.
“It seems that when James Van Praagh is asked to prove his 'psychic' powers, even dead people get the silent treatment.”
See the video of the undead encounter below:
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.