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CNN Larry King Live

Larry King Live in the Afterworld

Aired November 16, 2007 - 21:00   ET


HALEY JOEL OSMENT, ACTOR: I see dead people.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exploring the paranormal.

Do you believe in ghosts, psychic connections, spirits from the great beyond?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great coffee, isn't it?


KING: Actress and best-selling author Shirley MacLaine says she believes. She's communicated with spirits and experienced other lives.

Also joining us, the famed spiritual medium James Van Praagh; the real life ghost whisperer, Mary Ann Winkowski and Lisa Williams from "Life Among the Dead".


LISA WILLIAMS, HOST OF "LIFE AMONG THE DEAD": There is something down there.


KING: Plus, we're going to take you on a hunt for haunts, live at the hotel where "The Shining" was filmed. No telling who or what might show up. Unsettling questions, intriguing answers, next on Larry king live.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the afterworld.

KING: The world of the paranormal, afterworld, the afterworld and psychics and the like. And we gather together four of the best here in our studios. They are James Van Praagh, the spiritual medium who says he clearly sees the deceased. He's co-executive producer and creator of "The Ghost Whisperer". His Web site is

Lisa Williams, a medium who sees people who are earth-bound and people who have crossed over. Her show, "Life Among the Dead," is in its second season on Lifetime, now seen now in the U.K. and all over Europe. And her new book coming in April is "Life Among the Dead".

Jason Hawes is a lead investigator "Ghost Hunters" on the Sci-Fi Channel. He's also co-author of the book "Ghost Hunters".

We'll be meeting Chris Fleming. And he'll be at the site of the filming of "The Shining".

And also here with us is Mary Ann Winkowski, author of "When Ghosts Speak". Mary Ann works as a paranormal investigator; a consultant on "The Ghost Whisperer," as well, which is loosely, by the way, based on her life.

Mary Ann, what is a ghost?

MARY ANN WINKOWSKI, AUTHOR, "WHEN GHOSTS SPEAK": The ones I see are earthbound spirits that made the choice not to cross over when they died.

KING: You mean they died and decided not to die?

WINKOWSKI: They decided not go into the bright white light when they died.

KING: And where do they go?

WINKOWSKI: They hang out with us.

KING: Do you see them?


KING: Why don't I see them?

WINKOWSKI: I don't know. But I don't play the piano, either, and some people do.


KING: Do you believe in ghosts?

JASON HAWES, LEAD INVESTIGATOR, "GHOST HUNTERS": I do. I just believe over 80 percent of all claims can be disproved. But what...

KING: So you think 20 percent are?

HAWES: Twenty percent I am not going to say are ghosts, but 20 percent do fall under a paranormal -- paranormal just meaning above the normal of what we're used to.

KING: Do you accept Mary Ann's description?

HAWES: Yes, I do. I believe that there are spirits that are trapped in our world -- for whatever reasons, whether it's to stick by a loved one or just that they're -- they're not aware that they've passed on.

KING: Mary Ann, what's a ghost to you?



KING: Oh, I'm sorry.

WILLIAMS: Thanks, James.

KING: I'm sorry.


KING: I'm focused on Mary Ann (INAUDIBLE).

WILLIAMS: That's OK. I always called them spirits. And to me, they're energy that come and talk to me and communicate with me and be around their loved ones.

KING: And they're ghosts?

WILLIAMS: Well, some would call them ghosts. I call them spirits.

KING: And they come around and talk to you?

WILLIAMS: Yes, absolutely.

KING: Where are they -- are they talking to you now?

WILLIAMS: No, you're talking to me.

KING: Why aren't they talking to you now?

WILLIAMS: Because, you know, I'm concentrating here. I've blocked them out. I'm concentrating on what you're saying, so.

KING: And, James, I know that you've been on this show many times...


KING: ...that you talk to the dead.

Do you believe in ghosts?

VAN PRAAGH: No, I just come on the show and just talk to them.


Yes, of course, I do. You bet.

KING: No, when you talk to dead people, are you calling them ghosts?

VAN PRAAGH: Ghosts or spirits, whatever you want to use. People that have spirits -- we're all spirit. We are spirit first and foremost, spirits having physical experience. I like to look at it that way.

KING: And the puzzling fact of all of this is, how do you know?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, I know based upon my proof of 25 years of doing this work and the details that come through -- evidential details, things like -- crazy things, like you have a tattoo of a butterfly on your left hip.

Who could see that?

Names of people that they wouldn't know. They'd have to go home and check with someone else in the family. Details like that, you have to say there's something there to this.

KING: So then what do you believe happens when you die, Mary Ann?

WINKOWSKI: You have choice whether to go to the light or not and I believe that we don't die. There is something after it.

KING: Why would anyone choose not to go to the light?

WINKOWSKI: A young mother walks off a curb and gets hit by a bus. She's got a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old at home. She's not going to leave her children. Somebody's murdered. They're not going to go until they tell somebody who killed them. Suicides...

KING: So when they come back, they come back in what form?

WINKOWSKI: Well, they are exactly as they were when they died. If I run across a spirit that died in 1925 and he was 40 years old, he's still 40 years old.

KING: Why don't we see them, Jason?

I mean you may see them.

Why don't I see them?

HAWES: Well, I don't see them. I don't see them like the sensitives up here. I go in -- when I'm doing an investigation, I'm going in with the top of the line equipment -- everything from thermal imaging cameras to zero lux cameras.

KING: You're a ghost buster.

HAWES: I'm a ghost hunter. I'm a paranormal investigator. So I just investigate claims of the paranormal.

KING: So you don't have the sensitivity these people have...

HAWES: No, I do not.

KING: But you respect it?

HAWES: I do.

Can I comment on their abilities?

No. I've never seen them firsthand. But I have seen different things that they've done and they -- they do have my respect.

KING: Why do you think most of the population, Lisa, has not seen them?

WILLIAMS: You know, some people are more sensitive...

KING: I mean why you?

WILLIAMS: I'm probably just more sensitive -- I basically have developed a skill. We all have an ability. We all have that sixth sense that we have to, you know, when we can walk into a room and say we don't like that person. You know, we all have that ability. I've just developed mine. And it's like a singer. Some people -- everyone can sing. Some people sing better than others.

KING: So are you saying, James, that death is not deaf?

VAN PRAAGH: There is no such thing as death. There is no such thing as death.


So what happens if you...

VAN PRAAGH: I just had a near death experience last year. And I left my body. It was very easy. I just came right out of my body. And it was very natural. I tried to come out of my body. I was just right out of my body, looking down on my body. I felt very free -- full of love and free and I knew this world. And I said, uh-oh, am I -- uh-oh. And I saw my dead cousin, who was there. And she said, "You're not dead yet, don't worry. And we'll work together."

KING: But we know the aging process takes place. We know illness takes place...

VAN PRAAGH: Physical.

KING: cancer is real.

VAN PRAAGH: Physical.

KING: Cancer kills you.

VAN PRAAGH: Physical.

KING: But you don't die, is that what you're saying?

VAN PRAAGH: The spirit. You're first and foremost a spirit. The spirit doesn't die. You're a spirit encased in a physical body. The physical body will shut down, break down and be, you know, decompose. But the spirit will not. The spirit remains -- lives on.

KING: So the puzzling thing, Mary Ann, is why do so few people comparatively know this?

I mean if this is true, why wouldn't they make it known to everybody?

WINKOWSKI: OK. All children can do this. Children are so innocent. Their imagery friends are not imaginary. Now, when they hit four or five...

KING: But they are imaginary...

WINKOWSKI: No, they're not.

KING: Yes, they are.

WINKOWSKI: They are seeing things. Well, maybe the red chicken is imaginary, but, you know, normally, the -- the little friends they have are usually not. But when they hit four or five, mom is going, oh, you're a big boy now, you don't see anything like that. You can't talk about that. Kids are going to laugh at you. If you don't use it, you lose it.

KING: Is there a heaven or a hell, James -- Jason?

HAWES: Well, I'm sure we're all going to find that answer out. But...

KING: What do you think?

HAWES: I believe in a higher power. I'm not sure if I -- if I look at it as heaven, like everybody else would. For whatever reason, after we pass, the energy leaves our body and it goes on to somewhere else. So -- but I do believe in a higher power.

KING: Lisa, do you think there's a better place?

WILLIAMS: I think -- I fully believe that when we pass over, it is a much better place. I think we have to learn our lessons here. And some would actually say that this is the hell and that up there is the heaven.

KING: Do you believe...

VAN PRAAGH: I think we get too caught up in the limitations of the physical world, of the three-dimensional world, the limitations. We get so caught up in that -- and there's more to it than just this physical vibration. Because a lot -- where -- what is thought? What is essence? What are feelings?

You can't put them into physical terms, per se. There's something real about them.

KING: We're going to take a break.

We have a special live shot tonight from the famed Hollywood Forever Cemetery. We're looking at Rudolph Valentino's crypt. People claim to feel and see Valentino's legendary lady in black. Many say she doesn't know she's dead and she still regularly returns to Valentino's crypt.

Still to come, we're ghost hunting. We'll be live from the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, where they filmed "The Shining," to see if there's any paranormal activity going on there right now. You will not want to miss this.


HAWES: While me and Grant were checking out the morgue with the thermal camera, we noticed something odd that I just had never seen before.

Do me a favor, just rewind quickly.

I immediately asked Grant to rewind the tape so I could see what we had caught on the thermal imaging camera. And upon him rewinding it, I could see a figure. I could see a figure standing right there in the door next to us.

Oh, jeez.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Larry, I'm here at the Hollywood Wax Museum. And we're going to go see if there's any spooky happening. So come on, let's see. I don't feel comfortable here. I really don't like going down here.

KING: Let's go to Estes Park, Colorado and check in with Chris Fleming. Chris is live from the Stanley Hotel. That's where they filmed "The Shining". He'll be ghost hunting there for us tonight. He co-hosts the TV show "Dead Famous." They search out the spirits of beloved celebrities. He describes himself as a sensitive. He can communicate with earthbound ghosts and spirits that have crossed over. He uses equipment to verify and support his sixth sense.

What kind of equipment, Chris?

CHRIS FLEMING, CO-HOST, "DEAD FAMOUS": Lots of different types of equipment, Larry. Namely, EVP -- electronic voice phenomenon. I also like to use what's called EMF detectors to register any type of electromagnetic disturbances that may be around me at the time when I am feeling the presence of a ghost. The other thing that's always nice is to use an infrared camera that can pick up any type of anomalies that may also be in the room.

KING: Why the Stanley Hotel?

FLEMING: I'll tell you, Larry, I've been to a lot of haunted places, probably over 200. And this is definitely in the top five of the most active. I mean there's stories that come out of here all the time. This is my third time to the Stanley Hotel. And the last time I was here, Grant from Sci-Fi's "Ghost Hunters" and myself did an investigation at the concert hall. We had a table go flying across the room. So I can say for sure that this place is very active.

KING: Is that all since Kubrik did the movie or did Kubrik do the movie there because of that?

FLEMING: You know, it's really hard to tell. You know, this place has been here for a while, so I'm sure there's probably been activity that's been going on for a long time. You know, maybe that movie may have brought it to people's consciousness -- that it may have kind of amped things up, so to speak. But as long as I know, there's been activity going on here for a very long time.

KING: Jason Hawes, you've studied this place, right?

HAWES: Yes. I've been there numerous times.

KING: By activity, he means what?

HAWES: There's all different sorts of activity -- people hear children running up and down the hallway, playing with the door handles. Doors have been kicked open.

KING: Imagine -- children that are not real children...

HAWES: Children that are not there, yes.


HAWES: They say they're actually children that aren't really there. They might be there in spirit form. They say that a lot of the chil -- and the sounds were from ex-employees who used to bring their children up and let their children play while they were working. There's are a lot of different claims of activity up there.

KING: This feeling presence, it's crazy. While our crew, by the way, was out with Lisa, I understand that you -- we felt a tremendous thing.

Tell us about it.

WILLIAMS: Well, it was amazing, because you know, basically, we all went out. And they started to -- we went to a park where there was a lot of energy. And, basically, they all started to feeling something. And it was -- it was incredible. They were, I don't know, there's someone behind us and we're feeling things. So, yes, it was interesting.

KING: Do you think you have a gift, Mary Ann?

WINKOWSKI: Most of the days I consider it a gift, yes.

KING: A gift you have, I don't, right?


KING: Someone gave you this gift.

WINKOWSKI: Yes, I believe you're right.

KING: You think you have one, James?


KING: Obviously, you do.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, obviously, I do. Yes.

KING: Do you ever think about why you have it?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, I know why I have it. I have it to help people, to serve humanity and help people to raise the consciousness, to love. And, also, I'm going to just comment, Larry, on something you said before -- that not many people can see these things or it's not very popular. Ten years ago when I on the show it -- no one would talk about this stuff. But now, everybody's talking about. It's in the mainstream right now. Now we have shows and books and so forth. So, obviously, it's been ignored.

KING: You don't think it's kooky anymore?

VAN PRAAGH: No. I don't think most people do because even on your site, they have people that were voting if they believe in ghosts. Ten years ago, it was like 50 percent. Now it's 60 percent, 70 percent yes.

KING: Chris, do you have a theory about what makes the Stanley Hotel different?

FLEMING: I think it could be a lot of things. I mean, in the time I have spent here, I have come in contact with a couple of different ghosts. One of them was a child. There was a male and a female. Some of them I don't believe they're really attached to this place at all -- like they didn't die here, they just -- actually jest ventured out here and felt that this was a nice place to stay.

As we know from ghosts, sometimes they can die at a location. They will haunt that location. And sometimes they will venture on to different places. And they might rest there for a while if they feel comfortable. And it's quite possible -- this place is gigantic, if you've ever seen it -- that that could be why there is a lot of activity here. There may be numerous ghosts that decided to take residence here.

KING: Mary Ann, aren't you amazed at the mystery of all this?


KING: If I had what you had, I'd wake up in the morning and kill myself.


KING: I don't mean that literally. I'd blow -- I'd go nuts.

WINKOWSKI: But you know what?

KING: I don't want to talk...

WINKOWSKI: I don't know how it is not to see them.

KING: Thomas Jefferson.

WINKOWSKI: I've always seen them.

KING: Well, maybe Jefferson I want to talk to.

WINKOWSKI: You know, this is a studio. This is a public place. You've got ghosts walking around in the studio. This is what happens. They need human energy to keep going, so you're going to have spirits wherever there is live people.

KING: They're right there -- two producers and a director.




KING: We'll take a break and we'll be back.

And Shirley MacLaine will join us.

Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Red rum. Red rum. Red rum.

JACK NICHOLSON, ACTOR: Here's Johnny. I'm coming. I'm coming (INAUDIBLE).




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to the Past Lives Pavilion.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a moment, you will be asked to place your right hand on the plate next to you. An image of yourself in a former life will soon appear. When you have seen enough, simply remove your hand from the plate. Since we want to be fair and accommodate everyone, you will be limited to five past lives only.

Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: That's from a wonderful movie "Defending Your Life," written and directed by Albert Brooks and co-starring Meryl Streep, featuring Shirley MacLaine in a wonderful takeoff on herself -- taking people after they've gone into past lives.

Shirley MacLaine's newest hit book is "Sageing While Aging". There you see its cover.

What do you -- what's your read on all of this, what we've been talking about?

SHIRLEY MACLAINE, ACTRESS: Yes. No, I've been listening. I really admire these people. They have great gifts. They're very sensitive. Sometimes when talking to someone like you, they get localized with anecdotal stories. I've had ghosts in every house I've lived in, because maybe I'm a sensitive who doesn't pursue talking to the living somewhere else. I don't like to call it living -- talking to the dead.

KING: You don't talk to the beyond?

MACLAINE: No, let me start the conversation there. The whole question is the question of consciousness, to me. That's why science exists. That's why people like Steven Hawking and the Dalai Lama agree with each other -- that energy never dies, it just changes form. So when someone, so-called, dies and the soul leaves the body -- which is not to say the mind. The mind is different from the soul in my studies.

So these folks are dealing with souls who have, for various reasons, left but not gone all the way. Just as we are peopled with many kinds of cultures and racial differences, etc. on earth in the physical, so are they in the spiritual.

I think we're suffering now with the confusion of the paradigm blindness. I mean once we understand the paradigm of this other dimensional reality, we won't be so blind to what's happening.

KING: The paradigm, meaning?

MACLAINE: Paradigm meaning a whole shift in consciousness, that this is really what we should be discussing, what is consciousness?

And consciousness is the everything, it's the -- it's God. It is the sentient meaning of being alive.

KING: Do you believe what they said that, we don't really die?

MACLAINE: Oh, sure. Of course.

KING: We don't die?

MACLAINE: The mind dies.

KING: You also believe...

MACLAINE: But the soul doesn't die. And this... KING: You also believe we have other lives, do you not?

MACLAINE: Oh, sure.

KING: You've lived other lives.

MACLAINE: Yes. And I remember them, because I have a kind of extensive memory pattern of the paradigm of my other reality, which is the soul's journey through time.

KING: All right, what does all of this teach us?

What does it mean?

OK, it's a fact.

MACLAINE: I'll tell you what it means mostly to me. You don't kill when you kill somebody. The mind dies. The body dies. War is stupid, because nobody gets killed. The souls get all screwed up and karma is incurred. So war is stupid.

The idea of death -- which we're all so much afraid of -- is not real, either. That's what I mean by a paradigm confusion. Once we understand that this thing called death doesn't occur, we'll stop being so afraid.

KING: What -- give me a simple definition of consciousness.

MACLAINE: The everything, the all.

KING: It's always around us?

MACLAINE: Absolutely all, because that's God. God is consciousness. We're little pieces of God, all of our consciousnesses.

KING: What happens after we die?

MACLAINE: Well, Dr. Michael Newton -- I wrote about him in my book -- has done some interesting studies with past life regressions, only his patients didn't go to past lives, they went to life between lives. Very interesting. Great work he's done.

KING: Life between lives?

MACLAINE: Yes, which we would mean heaven. It's like when my dad had his out of body experience, which I've told you before...

KING: In Virginia.

MACLAINE: Uh-huh. And I said well, what was it like?

And he said I -- I went to where God lives and then his father and a couple of his teachers told him he had to go back and do more work with me and my brother and all of us on earth. So he did. But dad had this experience. And then in our discussions -- because he was quite interested in philosophy and psychology. He had wrote a doctorate on these at John Hopkins. So I've kind of come from a family that's interested in this. The life between lives, which would mean what happens when you so-called die, is basically a teaching experience for those things that your soul has not learned.

KING: So the body is technically unimportant?

MACLAINE: Right. And we so identify with the body and the physicalness of pain and suffering and food and starvation and drugs, etc. that we miss the divinity of our souls. And that's why we should shift this paradigm and understand that this consciousness is important.

KING: Do you see spirits?

MACLAINE: I see -- not like these other gifted people you have. I see, every now and then, out of the corner of my eye I see, oh, and that's a spirit.

KING: Does that frighten you?

MACLAINE: It doesn't, because I don't believe in death. And I'm very interested in a spiritual civilization.

KING: You, therefore, since you don't believe in it, you don't get frightened of death?


KING: You're in an airplane in turbulence.

MACLAINE: You know, I had that happen to me once. And I decided to affect an out of body experience, because I was afraid. As soon as I did that, I stopped being afraid.

KING: You stepped out of your body?


KING: Were you out of the plane?


MACLAINE: That was a big one.

KING: Our guest is Shirley MacLaine.

And when we come back, more with delightful Shirley.

And we're going to ghost hunt.

As we go to break, want to meet the rich and the famous from the past?

We found a place where that just might be possible.

Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYLER CASSITY, PRESIDENT, HOLLYWOOD FOREVER: Here we have the final resting place of Cecile B. DeMille, one of the legendary founders of Hollywood and one of the men who really made Hollywood what it has become today. I haven't had any visitations. I just hope they're all pleased with what I'm doing, yes. But they don't come and tap me on the shoulder and say, hey, Tyler, I could really use a little cut on my lawn or none of that.



KING: We're back with Shirley MacLaine.

Why do we like movies like that?

MACLAINE: I think we are attracted to the fear to try to analyze if fear is real, because we know the divine is there, but this business of being alive and the physical dimension, is hard, because there's so many things that cause fear, so we like to try it on for size. And we -- like they say, we live because we're challenging our passions. And one of our passions is fear. And so we try to figure it out.

KING: So when the kid says, "I see dead people," that scares us?

MACLAINE: That scares us because we would all like to know if those that we loved are still around, which, of course, they are. I tell friends of mine if they really want to feel peaceful about the one that's just gone, go sit in a chair he or she was in, be really peaceful, just surrender, and there will be contact. But you have to be open to it.

KING: Do you believe, as our panelists believe, that that person who's gone on sees us?

MACLAINE: Oh, no question, in my mind. Sure.

I think they're busy doing other things in this cool room in heaven, as I had learned from so many people who had heard from others who had passed on and then talked about previous lives. But they see us and those ones that are guiding us. Everyone's felt that sense of someone they loved before guiding them.

I told you once, my mom and dad came in together to guide me across the Camino Decompass (ph) (INAUDIBLE) when I walked across Spain by myself. I was lost. I lost myself somehow in a military installation.

I was lost for three days, and my mom and dad came in and guided me back. Amazing experience.

KING: What scares you?

MACLAINE: Dictators who don't listen to the public's opinion of themselves.

KING: What is white light?

MACLAINE: White light is the inclusion of all color. Dark light, black light, is the exclusion of all color.

The inclusion of all color, or the seven colors of the rainbow, the seven colors of the shokren (ph), they add up to this sense of white. Everyone who's had an out-of-body experience talks about this tunnel of white light.

KING: Have you had it?


KING: Yes.

Do you believe in fate?

MACLAINE: I think that we choose what to do in the life we choose to come into in order to learn. And we have a free will in relation to what we've chosen. So we have a plan, and that would be the fate. We have the free will to either screw it up or become in alignment with it.

KING: Why do you think we become other lives? Why?

MACLAINE: This is the only thing that makes sense to me, is a cosmic justice, that what you put out, you get back.

KING: Karma?

MACLAINE: Karma. And it maybe not happened in one lifetime because remember, there's no time.

Einstein wrote about that, Hawking writes about that. So all time is happening concurrently now.

These individuals are tapping in to more of the past than you and I do and more of the future, because it's all now. So we're having an expanded now.

KING: Would you want their gift?

MACLAINE: That's a very good question. Not right now. I like writing about the analysis of what the phenomenon is. I don't particularly want to be part of it.

KING: And the writing is in "Sage-ing While Age-ing." And we're going to have kind of an exclusive here.

Shirley MacLaine and the panelists will be here. We'll also be meeting a skeptic.

Don't go away.



LISA WILLIAMS: When I was a little girl, I discovered I had a gift.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've changed all of our lives.

WILLIAMS: Some people say that what I do is scary. I just say what I hear and see.

Ow, ow, ow.

My name is Lisa Williams, and this is my life among the dead.


KING: We're back. And let's check in quickly with Chris Fleming in Estes Park, Colorado.

Are you going to start ghost hunting now?

FLEMING: You want me to, Larry?

KING: Yes, go.

FLEMING: I'll tell you what, there's definitely some activity that's going on here. The spirits here are actually -- they're conscious right now of what is going on, that we are talking about them.

KING: Uh-oh, are they upset?

FLEMING: When we went to break, I did feel something coming. No, they're curious as to what the heck we're doing.

KING: Now what do you do?

FLEMING: I did feel earlier that there was something coming forward. I'm sorry, go ahead.

KING: Do you walk through and pick them up? Do you walk through and pick them up as you go through the hotel?

FLEMING: Whatever I do in any type of investigation, first you have to do a walkthrough, to kind of get a sense of what the energy's like. And if that energy changes, you try to tap into that, decipher whether or not that is an entity or a spirit that's present. Then if it is, you begin to establish a form of communication. That could be with myself as a sensitive, or we can use certain devices to also communicate with the ghost or spirit.

KING: Go get them, Chris.

Chris Fleming at the Stanley Hotel where "The Shining" was shot in Colorado. Joining us now in Oklahoma City is Dr. Bryan Farha, director of Applied Behavior Sciences -- or Studies at the (INAUDIBLE) Counseling at the Oklahoma City University. He's author of "Paranormal Claims and Critical Analysis."

OK, Dr. Farha, of what you've heard tonight, what do you make of it?

BRYAN FARHA, PSYCHIC SKEPTIC: Well, Larry, we've heard some really -- these are monumental claims. These are monumental claims -- the ability to speak with the dead, communicate with the dead and the idea of an afterlife.

Now, first of all, I have no problem with the concept of an afterlife. None. But we haven't seen any substantive evidence that these people have proven an afterlife. None. Not at all.

And James Van Praagh uses the word "proof," he says, and he hasn't proven that.

And Shirley MacLaine, I mean, I'm scared to hear what she has to say. I mean, this is -- people really don't die? And that means death doesn't matter?

Now, that tells me if Shirley MacLaine were president of the United States she wouldn't hesitate to send scores of troops in to be killed in war. That is a scary thought, Larry.

KING: Why, Dr. Farha, don't you believe, let's say, in psychics, the concept of people reading a mind of each other? Why not?

FARHA: Larry, it isn't a question of whether or not I believe in psychics or the potential for somebody to be psychic. It's a matter of the evidence, and the evidence isn't there yet.

A lot of these claims are -- lend themselves to empirical testing. If they want to, you know, be empirically tested, to the James Randi Educational Foundation, take the test, get a million dollars, and be done with it. But this can be done.

KING: Why do you think, then, that so many people believe?

FARHA: Well, in the case of what we're talking about now, communication with the dead -- ghosts, haunted houses -- all of those things implies an afterlife, and afterlife is a very comforting thought, Larry. And again, I don't have the problem with the concept of an afterlife, but we haven't seen proof of that.

No human being on the face of the Earth has ever proven an afterlife. I'm sorry. We're going to have to wait until we die to find the answer to that. Another thing...

KING: I'm going...

FARHA: Well, one more thing, Larry.

KING: Yes, go ahead.

FARHA: If somebody proved an afterlife, this is so big that they would clearly be nominated for a Nobel Prize and they would probably win it. That's how big that is.

KING: Absolutely, I agree with that.

FARHA: That would be one of the biggest scientific discoveries in the history of mankind. We haven't seen any substantive evidence of that.

KING: Do you see any harm in believing it?

FARHA: Well, there's harm in believing anything that could fall into the category of being hocus pocus. If you don't think critically -- this is about critical thinking. This is not about ghosts and haunted houses.

If you don't learn to think critically, you might wind up suffering in all kinds of other areas. You might not send your kids to the best school if you don't think critically. You might find a love interest that is a wife-beater, a batterer. You have to think critically in order to get along in the world, and this doesn't lend itself to critical thinking.

KING: We'll let the panel comment, but I might let one or two comments jump in now.

James, you haven't proven an afterlife.

PRAAGH: But that's not true. I've proven it in my work.

KING: You've proven it?.

PRAAGH: You bet I have. I prove it every day with my work that I do. The details that come through -- obviously, this man has not been to any of my seminars, my lectures.

KING: Why isn't this front page "New York Times?"

PRAAGH: Well, that's why we're on this show and we're so popular, because people have been to our seminars and they've seen proof of life after death.

KING: Why isn't it front page "New York Times?"

PRAAGH: Larry, I don't know. I don't know if people...

KING: One of the great stories, as he said. Proven afterlife, one of the greatest stories...

PRAAGH: Skeptical, cynical people out there. I don't know.

MACLAINE: Well, not cynical, but they are left brain intellectuals...

WILLIAMS: They are.

MACLAINE: ... who need to have a mechanistic explanation of reality, and that's why "The New York Times" hasn't done it. But they have. They have really run some very interesting...

KING: They haven't splashed "Afterlife Revealed."


WILLIAMS: Because it's always been around us. It's always been around us. So it's not all of a sudden a new thing.

KING: Want to comment, Doctor?

FARHA: Yes, Larry. Attending a seminar, reading a book, listening to anecdotal stories, this is not proof.

If you want to do proof, here's how it's done -- you do an experiment, you write it up in the form of a professional article, you submit it to a very good journal, a journal of Jamma (ph) or "The New England Journal of Medicine." You let it fall under the scrutiny of the editorial board, and if you pass muster, you really have something, you really have something.

MACLAINE: Stephen Hawking came to his presence and to this place of proof and said, I know there is an afterlife and the soul never dies because I understand energy. What would he say?

KING: He would ask him to produce the paper.

MACLAINE: He would ask Stephen Hawking?

KING: Dr. Farha, thank you. We'll be calling on you again. You're a terrific guest.

FARHA: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Our panel will resume and we'll continue this sprightly discussion. We'll be doing lots more on this, by the way.

Soledad O'Brien will sit in for Anderson Cooper tonight at "AC 360" at the top of the hour.

What's up, dear?

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Larry. Good evening to you.

Coming up at the top of the hour on "360,"they all went to Vegas, they all rolled the dice. Now the question, of course, is, one day later, who came up sevens, who crapped out? We're talking about the debate, of course.

Did Hillary Clinton get it back or did her opponents draw more blood? Now, as you can imagine, tonight spin is out in full force, but we've got the best political team on TV. Going to cut through it all with honest analysis for you. Plus, Larry, this is a very different story, a totally different topic. If you're a parent or a grandparent, even if you just know a kid who spends any time online, this is a horrifying story.

That little girl right there, she's dead today because of what happened to her online. The story is a must-see. It is so sad and tragic.

We're going to have more on that story straight ahead at the top of the hour -- Larry.

KING: That's Soledad O'Brien, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.

Do you believe in ghosts?

O'BRIEN: Absolutely.

KING: That's the "Quick Vote" -- I knew Soledad did. That's the "Quick Vote" on our Web site, And vote now.

You can also watch a special Web extra with Lisa Williams on our new podcast. Donny and Marie is there, too.

It's all at

We'll be right back.


KING: We're back, full panel assembled.

We have a King Cam question.

Throw it up. Let's see what they say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe in ghosts?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any reason why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I just like to think that there's somewhere for me to go afterwards, so it would be nice to believe in them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No ghosts, no none of that. It's all B.S. I'm more scared of people out there than I am ghosts.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I want to see something. If I haven't seen it, I don't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe in ghosts?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any reason why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, because I had to sleep in a house that was full of them when I was 3 back East.


KING: No time for the segment.

We're back with our group.

Shirley, what do you make of the people around you?

MACLAINE: Well, I'm tuning in to what they're tuning into. It's fascinating.

When I let myself get to be a little bit more sensitive than I usually am, because they really are, I feel their -- well, I was just asking James, what are you thinking about? Because it was very, very incandescent.

PRAAGH: (INAUDIBLE) behind you. What can I say? Standing right behind you...

MACLAINE: It's my father.

KING: Does the skeptic bother you, Mary Ann?

WINKOWSKI: No, not at all. I think everybody has to keep...

KING: You don't think he had a point that we don't have a scientific paper, we just have you telling us that...

WINKOWSKI: There is proof if he wanted to be open-minded about it, but I don't think he's being open-minded.

KING: What do you think, Jason?

HAWES: Well, I think what the skeptics need to do is stop throwing insults at the self-proclaimed sensitives or the people investigating claims of the paranormal and really meet in the middle, start trying to figure this out together. If we work together, we can come to an answer, but if we're going to spend all our time attacking each other, we're not going to get ahead.

KING: Were you offended, Lisa?

WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I've grown up with skeptics in my family. I'm used to it. So to hear that, it really doesn't bother me.

KING: James?

PRAAGH: Not at all.

KING: It didn't bother you?

PRAAGH: Not at all. Not at all. I don't even pay attention to them anymore, so...

KING: Wow.

MACLAINE: They do tend to hone the spiritual person's sense of left-brain communication with others. They really are good teachers.

KING: As a World War II transport ship, she was called the Gray Ghost. Over 60 years later, many think the Queen Mary is still haunted. After all, there were 43 deaths on board.

We sent a crew to find out if after all these years, their spirits remain. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is probably the one location on the ship that is the most haunted. In the area of the dressing boxes at the end of the pool, there used to be 18 dressing boxes back there, and psychics and paranormal researchers have all claimed that there is a vortex of energy in the center of those dressing boxes.


KING: The one thing we can all sum up -- this is a weird world.


KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.


KING: Before we return with our panel, two recommendations.

Last fall, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz was browsing in an antique book store and unearthed the long-lost letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1801. The topic was limits on free speech, specifically political and religious speech.

This discovery inspired Professor Dershowitz's new book, "Finding Jefferson." It's a timely and thought-provoking work. There you see its cover. Now in movie theaters.

We have another recommend -- "Music Within." What a movie!

It's based on the inspirational story of Richard Pimentel, an Army vet who lost most of his hearing in an explosion in Vietnam. His activism has helped improve the lives of countless disabled Americans.

"Music Within" and Alan Dershowitz's "Finding Jefferson," check them out.

Do people come to you for help, Mary Ann?

WINKOWSKI: All the time.

KING: Spirits, they do?

WINKOWSKI: All the time.

KING: They come with questions?

They come to you, too, Lisa?

WILLIAMS: All the time. You know, people need to have closure and they need to know that their loved ones are fine.

KING: Do spirits come to you, James?

PRAAGH: Sometimes they do, yes. Not always. I mostly deal with the living, then talk to the dead.

KING: Spirits talk to you?

No, you don't...

HAWES: Spirits don't really talk to me, no. We're pretty much trying to catch them and show the world.

KING: Do spirits come to you, Mary Ann?

WINKOWSKI: They do, but it's through the living people who call me up because they think they have -- you know, check it out to make sure what they've got in their house.

KING: Come to you, Lisa?

WILLIAMS: Absolutely, all the time.

KING: Where do you see them, how do you see them?

WINKOWSKI: Exactly like I would see you. If you were a ghost and I squinted, I could see through you. I don't see mist or slime or anything like that.

KING: You see a person?


KING: How do you explain that? They're dead. I mean, they're dead in that the form is gone already, so how...

WINKOWSKI: Well, the spirit is whole, though.

KING: Yes, but not the body.

WINKOWSKI: But I'm not saying the body. I'm saying the energy from the body is what the body looked like.

KING: So it forms the body again?

WINKOWSKI: Perfectly, exactly the same as when they were alive.

KING: Isn't that confusing to you, Shirley?

MACLAINE: No, because I knew Cole Porter, and he talked about -- what do you call it, the memory of the leg that was gone?

WILLIAMS: It's the aura.

MACLAINE: Yes. The aura is still there. He talked about it all the time.


WINKOWSKI: Yes, I've never seen a spirit missing parts or pieces. They've always been whole.

PRAAGH: It's as if you're a double, Larry, which is an exact replica of the physical body. It's the spirit body. It's just incased in the physical body. At the time of death it leaves the body. It's exactly the same as you look now.

KING: Isn't that a little -- it sounds a little contradictory. They lose your body when you die, but when you come back to visit someone, you've got your body.

PRAAGH: Not a physical body.


WINKOWSKI: You have a spiritual body.

KING: But it's your body, right? Are you dressed?

WINKOWSKI: I usually see them in what they were buried in.

MACLAINE: But, you know, you have to ask the question, what is physical? And it's like Hawking says with the Dalai Lama, it's all an illusion anyway.

KING: Hey, Chris Fleming, how's the ghost hunting going?

FLEMING: Pretty good. They're wondering why we're still here. We're going to be investigating tonight, Larry, for about four hours.

KING: They're getting annoyed with us?

FLEMING: Yes. We're going to be investigating tonight for about four hours.

KING: What are they looking for?

FLEMING: Well, that's a good question. I think every ghost and every spirit's different. Some of them don't even know that they're dead. Some of them don't want to move on.

They like the living, they like the type of things that we have here, and that's the problem, is that we're hoping that a lot of them will pass on to the other side and go home.

KING: Would you like to walk in that place, Shirley?

MACLAINE: Oh, sure. Yes, I would.

KING: You'd enjoy that?

MACLAINE: I would enjoy that.

KING: Is there such a thing to you as a haunted house?

HAWES: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. I've run into many cases that we've caught activity which you just cannot disprove.

KING: Are there poltergeists, Lisa?

WILLIAMS: I believe that there is very, very strong energy to actually create what a poltergeist is.

KING: It's a comic ghost, right? A ghost that upsets things?

WILLIAMS: Yes, definitely. Mischievous.


KING: Just a word for a noisy spirit.


PRAAGH: A noisy spirit.

MACLAINE: As they were in life.

WILLIAMS: It's just a strong spirit.

KING: We had one in Miami once that just kept upsetting a grocery store every night.

HAWES: Well, what we found in cases is a poltergeist is usually manifested by a child of the female gender, and -- a living child -- and when you remove them from the house, the problem stops. So they're able to manifest the activity themselves.

KING: Thank you all for a delightful hour. We're going to do a lot more on this.

Great seeing you all again.

By the way, you can head to our Web site,, and you can download our new podcast, Donny and Marie. Or email upcoming guests.

We've also got a paranormal "Quick Vote" and a Web extra.

It's all at