Derek Acorah’s Haunted Houses

I happened to catch a glimpse of Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns when I switched on the TV tonight. Here’s the synopsis from TV guide.

Chester: Derek Acorah investigates ghostly phenomena in British towns. Derek’s assistant collapses in a hairdressers, and Derek ascribes his condition to a paranormal occurrence.

Of course there could be a rational explanation for it but that isn’t as exciting as blaming energy or spirits.

For some reason, the whole show seems to be filmed in the dark. They use a mixture of lights and a night-vision system. This means that what we see is a black & white world full of strange people with alien eyes. It’s like the Paris Hilton videos but with without the excellent scripting and production values. Also, Ms Hilton probably isn’t faking anything.

Of course, it’s strange that ghosts are afraid of the light. If you were paranoid, you’d suspect that they deliberately film it this way for a spooky atmosphere.

Seems that Derek doesn’t just sense ghosts, he’s a ghost buster as well. Within a few seconds he was able to command a ghost that had died of a brain tumour to leave the location.

A lot of interesting facts arise during the show. We have to assume there are all correct since, well, we just do. There’s no section of the show where they seem to confirm these facts through proper historical research. If some facts turn out to be true, you have to wonder whether a psychic knew beforehand where they were going and simply did some research.

Randi has a nice story about Derek. In this instance, Derek was possessed by a spirit. Seems pretty exciting, Derek must be very sensitive to the spirit realm for this to happen. He must be bloody sensitive in fact since the spirit was a hoax. A sceptic who happened to be working on the show had invented this spirit. Prior to filming, Dr. O’Keeffe explained..

“I wrote the name down and asked another member of the crew to mention it to Derek before filming. I honestly didn’t think Derek would take the bait. But during the filming he actually got “possessed” by my fictional character!”.

This wasn’t the only irregularity, read the article for more details.

How sensitive to the spirit realm must you be to actually get possessed by a fictional spirit. What’s next? Is Sherlock Holmes going to be contacting us through Derek?

When they went to the hairdressers, they found a hairstylist who was determined that the place was haunted. He described, among other things, a door slamming behind him with no explanation. Hmm, no explanation so it must be ghosts? He said that the other people working there were sceptical and seemed unaffected by these ghosts. Strange that he’s the only one affected. Perhaps the simple answer is that he’s deluded, but that doesn’t make for good TV. Derek had an explanation though. He told his victim that the reason why he is being picked-on by spirits is because he’s actually psychic. This is a classic strategy to make people co-operate with you. Make them feel special. It’s not you that’s wrong, it’s the rest of the world, they’re not like us.

People like Derek present us with a few possibilities. They could be very talented people who will one day win a Nobel prize for physics by disproving the laws of physics as we know them. They could be misguided innocents who honestly believe that they have strange powers. The simplest answer, as Derek should learn, may be the correct one – psychics could simply be frauds.

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6 Responses to “Derek Acorah’s Haunted Houses”

  1. Gerrit Says:

    My TV is haunted: the most gruesome things happen when it’s on! It could also be my DVD-collection, or the recent activation of HorrorZone-Channel… nah, I guess I must be psychic.

  2. Sean Kehoe Says:

    Nah, you’re not psychic unless you have night-vision and a decent special effects budget.

    Horrowzone channel, sir I’m interested.

  3. PHIL Says:

    I am a total believer in spiritual things, For i am spiritual myself. I have no powers, Or foresight, But i do like the truth And i do feel that he puts on a good show, Unfortunatly for him, I do feel that he,ll have a lot to answere for, For at least missleading people from the truth. I myself have constant orb companions And mists , That circle me And even respond to requests, But i dont expect them to give me all the answeres, If any, For surely its for each And every one of us to find for ourselves And with his media fame, He can do more harm than good.

  4. Sean Kehoe Says:

    I don’t think he puts on a good show. Penn & Teller put on a good show because they pull-off amazing tricks yet never claim to be using anything more supernatural than sleight of hand and cunning. Derek Accorah claims to be psychic yet he is not. He is also a very bad actor and I don’t see how anyone could be taken in by him.

    If you are seeing supernatural orbs and mist, you should probably speak to James Randi. He has a million dollars waiting for you.

    Unfortunately the media will continue to provide him with a good living. No matter how many times he is proven wrong, there will always be a market for his fantasies.

  5. helen hart Says:

    at the end of the day, it is down to the individual as to what they choose to believe, but i can confirm that having met derek on only one, occasion i was very impressed as to what he had to say to me. he was accurate on every comment that he made, to do with my life and that of my husbands, a lot of people, even iff they were given the proof, would still not accept it,i found him extremely charming and nothing false about him,and i would deffinately go to see him again, the meeting i had with derek was at the grand theatre in swansea, and it would be great to see him back there soon.

  6. Sean Kehoe Says:

    Yep, it is definitely down to the individual to chose. Derek may have appeared strangely accurate when you spoke to him (perhaps his charisma helped) but this is what good psychics can do. What you saw was very good showmanship, the same kind that it used to convince us to buy a new and expensive car.

    I’d recommend that if you receive a psychic reading, record it. Enjoy the experience but have a listen to the tape when you get home. Count the number of correct facts he provided and compare this to the number of guesses he had to make.

    Notice how he will provide a guess, you will provide him with information and he will use this to flesh out his responses. Here’s an example, notice what is happening.

    Psychic: I sense an older man, he passed before he felt he could really get to know you
    Customer: My grandad? He died when I was young.
    Psychic: He says he enjoyed watching you grow up and wished he could have known you as an grown man. He wanted to see you married.
    Customer: He died when I was 10.
    Psychic: I can smell smoke. A cigarette, cigar or pipe?
    Customer: He used to smoke cigarettes, I remember the smell when he’d talk to me.

    Let’s deconstruct this.

    Psychic: I sense an older man, he passed before he felt he could really get to know you
    Customer: My grandad? He died when I was young.

    (A vague opener. Most adults have lost an elderly relative or friend of the family.. The customer unwittingly provides the psychic with valuable information – it was a grandad and he died while the customer was a child.)

    Psychic: He says he enjoyed watching you grow up and wished he could have known you as an grown man. He wanted to see you married.
    Customer: He died when I was 10, I miss him.

    (The psychic provides vague information that seems accurate but it’s based entirely on the information the customer previously provided. The psychic can see the customer has a wedding ring)

    Psychic: I can smell smoke. A cigarette, cigar or pipe?
    Customer: He used to smoke cigarettes, I remember the smell when he’d talk to me.

    (A lucky educated guess and it’s vague. Who is smoking? What are they smoking?. A man born in the early 1900s is fairly likely to have smoked at some stage in their life. Either that or another relative smoked. If the customer knows nothing about the smoke then the psychic will simply move to their next guess)

    You’re right that some people will not accept proof but those people are as silly as those who believe Derek’s claims without any proof. If Derek would provide proof that he has supernatural powers, most reasonable people would have to believe him. Also, he’d be likely to be a very famous and rich man.

    I’d ask you to continue to decide for yourself but consider recording your experience as I suggested. If you enjoy his act, it should be because he’s a good performer, not because you’re being tricked in to believing that he has supernatural powers.

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