Derek Acorah :: Grand Opera House, York. (Dec 2003)
When I first saw Derek Acorah my first impression of him was of a smooth talking scouser. For those of you who don't know what a scouser is it's a liverpudlian, they come from Liverpool.
I had heard of him prior to this in name only as he started out as a pro with Liverpool Football Club. Being a life long supporter of Liverpool he was a name I had some familiarity with.
My first encounter with him via media was on a day time program where he was a resident psychic. At that time I didn't really take to him, his smooth faultless appearance can draw the suspicion in you. I was skeptical of his claims and rather put him out of my mind, even though I was tremendously interested in the paranormal, especially hauntings and the possibility of medium channelling.
A few years later Derek was a massive name in the paranormal field, both for good and bad reasons. He was now a household name in the UK and was making a name for himself. For a few years this man couldn't do a thing wrong and his popularity rose at an incredible rate.
A few years ago with the advent of Most Haunted on Living TV I took an interest in Derek and starting to muse over the possibility that he was infact a genuine Spiritualist Medium. I still had major doubts over his claims that his guide was an Ethiopian named Sam, however, his personality and attitude seemed convincing.
With this in mind and as a self proclaimed Most Haunted Addict I bought his book which takes you through his life from footballer to world renowned psychic.
The book was a little on the cheap side, rough slices of paper and text large enough for a 4 year old! It wasn't cheap either.
Apart from this the book was excellent. It guided you through his life from childhood to his present day status as a celebrity psychic.
Over a year ago I was approached by Living TV with an offer to appear on a new ground-breaking psychic show - Psychic Live. I would go down to London and appear on the show as a guest and at the same time tell my own story of my personal experiences with the paranormal. Sadly, due to family commitments I was unable to go and so asked the production team if tickets could be available to a member of the forums. They agreed to let Ranger1 appear in the audience after he contacted them for tickets. Ranger took a guest and had a great day, even managing to have a live reading on air by Derek Acorah.
After this my opinion of him was to take a massive nose-dive.
I decide to take myself off to the Grand Opera House in York where I live. Derek was appearing there on one of the legs of his nationwide tour.
After a few drinks and a chat with my mother - who had come along to see him - and we were sat in our seats waiting for the great Derek Acorah to make his entrance.
If I am to be honest the show was a little on the tedious side. Even if you believe in mediumship 90 minutes of readings can get very boring. For me it was a simple exercise to say I have seen the man in action and to take away a more accurate opinion of him. Little did I know that one particular reading he gave to a gentleman would turn me from a fairly strong believer in to a skeptic, although it would be a few weeks later before it became apparent that this man was possibly profiting from peoples susceptibility and suggestiveness.
Derek had given quite a few readings and the show was drawing to a close when he became aware of a spirit apparently trying to make contact with a man in the audience. Derek's attention was drawn immediately to a couple who were sat in front of and to the right of me. For anyone who hasn't been to a live show of this nature it is common practice to have a large screen behind the psychic so as everyone in the theatre can view the subject being contacted.
Derek was always fairly vague with his approaches, some may say looking for a member in the audience to come forward and verify his information and then he can take it from there. I guess if you give a small amount of information to a chunk of audience the chances are high that at least one person in view would be able to recognize the information and help Derek along his psychic way.....either way he eventually settled on this man. The man in question was sat with his partner/wife.
He was a little man and it was immediately obvious quite a shy man, or at least slow in coming forward. I thought to myself this will test Derek's ability, his subject didn't seem likely to offer much in the way of guidance and Derek was going to have to perform well if he wasn't to cause doubt amongst the audience.
Most of the usual information was offered by Derek, most of which given the proverbial thumbs up by the man in the audience. I have to say that you could have made a checklist by the end of the night that would have been relevant to anyone in that theatre.
Initially the man didn't do a lot to assist Derek in his channelling, in other words very little was offered in the way of detail for Derek to build on, because of this the information was incredibly vague and like I said, probably relevant to just about anyone watching.
After a few minutes Derek began to draw on the mans psychic awareness. Whilst all this was happening you have to try and picture a small, shy and rather dull man constantly thanking/praising Derek for his involvement with him. He came across as awe-struck, as a child would be if his favorite footballer pat him on the back and said "hi". Infact, at one point his ways began to get on my nerves. It was almost as if someone had pressed a button and now he was agreeing with everything Derek said. He asked him if he was psychically aware, in other words was he embarking on a psychic journey of discovery. He asked if the man realised this, the man seemed to change course from being rather negative in an unsure kind of way to being totally positive about it.
The reading ended as did the show and we all went home.
Fast forward a few weeks...News Years Eve (Dec 31, 2003) to be precise. By some coincidence Most Haunted Live was being broadcast from York. The topic of the 3-day special was Dick Turpin.
The show was to be broadcast from the Knavesmire (York Racecourse).
All the usual suspects were there on the team, live on location and in the studio. We had a presenter in the studio, two historians to verify the names and dates that Derek came up with, a resident skeptic or should I say parapsychologist and also a psychic artist who sat at the front of the audience and who would hopefully produce some psychic art relevant to the topic. The presenter then introduced them to the TV and live audience.
The psychic artist was Marion Goodfellow, a well known and respected International Medium & Psychic clairvoyant. Sat next to her was Simon Peters, described as Britain’s most exciting new Medium!
Here's what Derek Acorah had to say about him:
Derek Acorah, Medium of "Most Haunted" and one of the UK’s leading international mediums, recommended Simon as one of the mediums on the most haunted program, and calls Simon “a truly gifted medium” and it has been as a direct result of Derek’s support and enthusiasm that Simon took the plunge into the world of public demonstrations.
Obviously from this Derek knows Simon and has done for some time, hence his recommendation to the producers of Most Haunted.
As he was introduced I caught a good luck of Mr Peters and couldn't believe what I was seeing. Simon Peters was the same man Derek Acorah had given a live reading to only a few weeks earlier!
So, what are the chances of Derek Acorah being honest in this instance? He knows the man, Derek's own words prove this and obviously Simon Peters knows him. To be recommended for one of the biggest paranormal shows in years you have to know the guy pretty well at the very least. Just to compound Derek's terrible error, as the team came in to the studio between locations, something they do as a treat for the live audience, the first person Derek shook hands with was Mr Peters.
As a fisherman would say, "caught, hook, line and sinker".
I have to tell you at the time I saw this I was absolutely gutted. I had grown in to a big fan of Derek and the show itself. This didn't prove a lot as far as the show goes but it sure proved to me once and for all that Derek Acorah entertainment practices are unethical. I also rang up a relative who had been to the same show as me and asked her if she was watching, I didn't have to say much because she recognized Simon Peters immediately. Needless to say neither of us have returned to see Derek in subsequent shows.
I actually though Simon Peter's performance those few weeks earlier was excellent, he had me fooled in to thinking he was a shy even naive man with no knowledge of mediumship. So there he is, a fully respected and practising psychic, well known and friendly with his psychic channeller, Derek Acorah.
"How the mighty fall"
I would like to add that this story was something I have held on to for some time. Aswell as this I have material that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only is Mr Acorah a fake but so is Most Haunted. Sadly my posting them for you all to see would probably land me and the gentleman who sent them to me, in trouble.
As I said, I have obviously known about this for some time but felt reluctant to share it as many people hold a great deal of faith in Derek Acorah and indeed the show, but I feel that to be honest with yourself and ultimately the paranormal fraternity in general then everything deserves the light of day and not just the positive things.
I would obviously appreciate some feedback and hope that my article has not offended anyone, needless to say a few of you will be very disappointed.
Article Copyright © 2005, Brendan Kilmartin.
Edited by phenomenon, 08 February 2005 - 03:54 PM.