For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, dead people-reader John Edward insists that he can see ghosts. In fact, the host of the Sci Fi Channel's breakout hit, Crossing Over with John Edward, reveals that a little chest congestion may actually help clear the pathway between him and the great beyond.

"The night of [one] lecture I had a 103 [degree] fever and begged the sponsor to cancel it," recalls the 31-year-old Edward, who has been helping people contact their deceased loved ones for 16 years through his personal practice, public appearances and, now, his TV show. "I said, 'I don't know if I'm going to be able to get out there and do this.'" Well, as it turns out, the medium was getting freaked out over nothing. "It was one of the best events I ever had."

The reason being, explains Edward, is that the success or failure of his readings are — to a certain degree — out of his hands. "I can only be as good as [the audience members] at acknowledging and owning the information that's coming through," he says. "And sometimes, nobody comes through.

"One of the things that I've learned is that I am not an operator and I can't dial direct," he continues, "and even if I do make the connection with the person they want to hear from, there's no guarantee that they're going to come through and tell them what they want to hear."

It's that unpredictability that has made Crossing Over the Sci Fi Channel's most popular show. The series launched its second season on Jan. 21, and there are plans for it to enter the syndication arena next fall.

And with exposure comes criticism, a fact that Edward takes in stride. In fact, when the New York Post dressed up the psychic friend with horns, a pitchfork and a tail last year, he took the jab in stride. "Actually, it was very complimentary," he smiles. "I have a friend whose mother called me up and she said, 'I always knew you were a handsome devil. Now the New York Post just proved it.'"