Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt) communicates with earthbound spirits, ghosts who cling to the living because they have unfinished business that prevents them from moving beyond the familiar plane of existence that we call life. Inspired in part by the work of famed medium James Van Praagh and of Mary Ann Winkowski, a real-life communicator with spirits, Ghost Whisperer explores the spiritual side of life and death as Melinda navigates among the dead and the living in her sometimes chilling, sometimes heart-rending and sometimes amusing attempts to act as an intermediary between the ghosts and those they haunt. Jim (Davod Conrad), her husband, worries about the emotional toll this work is taking on his wife as they embark on a new life together. In Season 4 (2008-9) Melinda recently has revealed her gift to her new friend, Delia Banks (Camryn Manheim), a single mom who works in Melinda's antique shop. However, Melinda fears the consequences of drawing Delia into this unconventional world. Melinda also shared her secret with quirky Professor Rick Payne (Jay Mohr), an expert in occult beliefs and history who thrives on helping her gain insights into the more baffling paranormal phenomena she encounters. For her part, Melinda accepts her unique abilities as a blessing and sometime curse, but always helps her clients, alive or dead, find emotional closure.