Thursday, 25 March 2010

Spooky Chat - Oh Really???

Last month I posted about an experience I had not long after my father died (read about it here). It was a spooky encounter that may or may not have been my imagination and, for a while, made me question the existence of ghosts.

I suppose that I could have sought the services of a psychic or medium, you know, those gifted people who can talk to the spirits on our behalf. People like Derek Acorah (being sent up by Harry Hill):

Now I wonder whether Harry Hill was perhaps being a little cruel. I mean, if ghosts do exist, why can’t there be a dog ghost?

Mrs PM’s mother actually bought me a book by Derek Acorah for Christmas a couple of years ago. She knew about my fascination with all things weird so a book entitled “Amazing Psychic Stories” seemed a great idea.

Within five minutes of starting it, I cast it aside. It was dreadful. As I read it I began to think to wonder what kind of people believe in the nonsense that was written in books like this. So much for me going to speak to a psychic.

I don’t want to pick on Derek Acorah in particular but his behaviour and techniques do leave a lot to be desired. I mean, come on. A dog ghost? What on earth does he think he’s playing at, pretending to be possessed by Fido the wonder dog?

“Woof woof woof woof woof!”

Oh really Derek? And is Fido worried about me from beyond the grave?”

“Woof woof woof woof woof!”

So forgive me if I’m being just a little too choosy, but I think I might cross Derek Acorah off the list of psychics that I might consider bearing my soul too.

Mind you, the truth is I wouldn’t go to ANY psychics at all; I am too sceptical and I simply don’t believe a word that comes out of their mouths, particularly if they are “possessed”. Here is Derek Acorah again, supposedly possessed by a child killer:

Now to me this is ridiculous.

I have a huge problem with psychics and mediums; I think that they are full of crap. I’m sorry but that’s my opinion and I apologise to anybody who believes in this nonsense.

Mrs PM, on the other hand, seems to be fascinated with the idea that there may be something in it.

I have often caught her watching these people on TV.

“What are you watching?”

“Oh nothing,” she says, waiting for the inevitable volcanic eruption.

“Who’s that weird looking bloke?”

“Nobody,” she says.

Cogs turn in my brain as I try to trawl my memory for the face; for once it doesn’t let me down.

“It’s that bloody bloke; that bloody psychic; the one who cons people that he’s talking to dead people.”

“Oh no,” she sighs.


My soapbox is out, I am standing on it and ranting so much that the cats hurl themselves through the window, calling 999 as they do.

To be fair I have watched these people on TV just for research and the script goes something like this:

PSYCHIC: I’m speaking to a man – he’s trying to connect to me. He’s a soldier. He is wearing a uniform.


PSYCHIC: He says his name is Dave or Don or Derek or Dilbert or Desmond or Dennis. Does anybody here know a soldier who has passed to the other side?

AUDIENCE: (COMPLETE silence ...)

PSYCHIC: He may not be a soldier.

GULLIBLE AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have just lost my husband. He was a pilot called Zebedee.

PSYCHIC: AH! YES! Welcome Zebedee. I knew there was a D in there somewhere.

What follows is a load of old baloney that the psychic invents to somehow reassure the gullible audience member that their loved one is safe, well and enjoying the afterlife.

“I’m having a PARTY! Don’t worry about me! I love you. Sort yourself out! WAHEEYYY!”

A few years ago, I went to Las Vegas to join Mrs PM who had been at a conference there. I remember one morning, waking up thinking that I was still jet-lagged.

PM: What shall we do today?

Mrs PM: You can do what you like; I’m going to see James von Praagh.

PM: Who?

Mrs PM: James von Praagh.

PM: Who’s he? A comedian?

Mrs PM: He’s ... erm ... erm ...erm a psychic medium.


Mrs PM: What’s so funny?

PM: I’m sorry; I just thought I heard you say you were going to see a psychic medium.

Mrs PM: I am.

PM: WHAT????

Mrs PM: And it’s costing me $75

PM: WHAT???????????????

And she went, leaving me completely in the lurch for a man who claims to talk to ghosts. I had to spend three hours of my life in Las Vegas wandering around casinos, drinking beer and trying not to spend too much money - which in the end was very nice. I ended up in a bar chatting to a man who was about to get married by Elvis - presumably through a medium.

Meanwhile, Mrs PM sat for around three hours in a theatre listening to mumbo jumbo about messages from people who had died and, for some reason, wanted to send a message back to the living.

We met in the bar later; I had had a couple of beers.

PM: So, did you speak to the dead?

Mrs PM: No, but it was very interesting?

PM: In what way? Did somebody come back from the dead and say to a gullible audience member “And I hope you are looking after my house. It was lovely when I died. I’ll just bet you’ve redecorated it haven’t you? And have you spent my inheritance yet? I’ll bet you blew it all on a WILD PARTY!”

Mrs PM (tutting): You’re such a cynic. Some people were genuinely happy and upset.

PM: Happy AND upset? Why, were his jokes that bad?

At this point Mrs PM became possessed; not by a ghost but by a sudden inexplicable urge to punch my arm.

PM: Bloody Hell – that HURT!

Mrs PM: Shut up or I’ll hit you again.

Now I’m going to be honest with you. I would actually have considered going to see a psychic presentation had it been absolutely free.


So I could have heckled.

Imagine sitting in the audience of “Crossing Over” with Colin Fry (a man who looks so spooky that he may in fact already BE a ghost):

CF: I’m connection with a lovely old lady called Edna and she is here to speak to this lady here.

PM: Where is she then? I can’t bloody well see her.

Mrs PM (through gritted teeth): Will you SHUT UP??

PM: No I will not. Mr Fry, I don’t mean to be rude but where is Edna? And how come nobody else can hear or see her? How do we know she is there when we can’t see or hear her? What can you actually see and hear? Are you sure you're not just seeing things?

CF: You clearly are a troubled soul. Security? Get this idiot out of there – and his missus too.

PM: Why don’t you get your ghostly poltergeists to throw me out then?

Mrs PM: I’m gonna KILL YOU!!!

PM: Well if you do, I’ll try to come back and talk to Mr Fry. Make sure you are in the audience for that, my dear.

Anyway, I am a fair minded person so I want to give the psychics a chance to fight back. Here, once again is Derek Acorah, getting his own back on Harry Hill.

Perhaps I should change my views. I wouldn’t want Derek Acorah to come and punch me on the nose.


Kath Lockett said...

I'm with you. Throw a generalisation out there and it's all going to relate to us. Same with horoscopes that tend to be advice rather than predictions: "look after your health today." Oh, brilliant!

Although - nanoo nanoo - my word verification thingy today is UnDylon!

Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Yes - horoscopes - or should I say "horrorscopes" - are just as bad.

Here's mine for today:

"A disagreement with a friend may have you puzzled ..."

I have disagreements with friends EVERY day and they ALWAYS puzzle me!





bingkee said...

Scary absolutely....I don't believe in spiritists, psychics, or anything that is related to sorcery and occultism.

They are really full of you say. But mine is rooted in the truth that I know ---because I believe nobody knows or predicts your future. Only God determines and wills our future.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bingkee,

Psychics, to me at least, exploit those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. While there might be something in it (I cannot prove or disprove this) I am certain that it is easy to manipulate people who are grieving and therefore unable to accept that somebody close has died.

I am a natural cynic and therefore need absolute proof before I accept anything - even then I harbour a modicum of doubt ...




Nomad said...

I think it is important to be skeptical about such things. After all, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and what I have seen hasn't convinced me that psychics can reach out and make contact with the spirits. What I do see, however, is a form of expert manipulation- whether conscious or unconscious, I cannot know.

When I watch Psychic Detectives, I am not particularly amazed by the connections they make but I am curious. Outside of the glitziness of the production, the psychics themselves seem more genuine than so many of the others. I don't know.
One thing that really makes me furious is this Blair Witch filming style while investigating a so-called haunted house. "LOOK.. Globes.. See? Globes!! Spirit globes!"
Darling, those are dust motes under the glare of the lights, I want to scream. What a ridiculous scene, people getting hysterical over dust particles.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Nomad,

Mrs PM occasionally watches repeats of "Most Haunted" where Derek Acorah is often "posssesed" and people scream and panic over "things that go bump in the night".

I've watched it and its absoultely laughable. How anybody can take it seriously is beyond me.




Pandora Behr said...

Psychics aren't worth the air they breathe - charlatans all. Individual horoscopes, done for your chart, looking at specifics, I have a bit more time for.

However, once in a while, you meet somebody who can get things right. I have to say this - I read tarot professionally...

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pandora,

I've seen talented magicians and illusionists, like Derren Brown, completely fool an audience into believing he was a psychic and, for me, that was the final nail in their coffin.

Horoscopes - well I regard them as a laugh really and take them with a pinch of salt.

Tarot cards? Well, I don't know much about them to be honest to have an opinion.

I have never been tempted to seek out anybody who can get things right because I am far too sceptical about such things and wouldn't - as I am with life generally; I need absolute proof before I believe anything.

The problem is that nobody has ever explained to me how they can know these things - as I said I would love to sit down with a psychic and let him explain to me exactly what he can see/hear etc. and how he can (supposedly) call on individual people who have passed over out of the billions who are there already.

Perhaps it is my scientific and analytical mind and background that makes me such a sceptic. Science demands proof and these people never provide proof - they just expect you to believe.




Tarot cards? Well, I don't know much about them to be honest to have an opinion

A Blog In The Rough said...

Have you guys over there been graced with animal psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick yet?
Wow what a job, prey on people's emotions, get lots of money for it, and just dare to prove them wrong. uh hello, animals don't talk when they're alive, what makes you think they'll be word scholars in death?! Not to mention when still alive.
Poor foolish people.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lady from Delaware,

Oh my God! I've just watched this:

And she's British!! I've never heard of her otherwise she would be real rant target

"Let me tell the dog you've made her tail beautiful ..."

What an absolute con!

Boy would I love to meet (and heckle) her.

Who believes these people? Words (almost) fail me.




A Blog In The Rough said...

Dearest PM -

I totally forgot she was a Brit (you guys have tons of weirdos and we bring them over here all the time), I haven't seen that show in ages, and didn't bother to watch much of it, when it was on. I do/did watch the show "groomer has it" that was on the video, but must have blocked that awful episode out of my mind.

And to think the eventual winner of that show (the young black man) said he was actually afraid of her, HA! Hilarious!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lynette,

Mrs PM knew she was British and had heard of her. But she has heard of a lot of weirdos!!

If you want scary - just look up Colin Fry's website. That man is really weird ...