23 October 2017

REVIEW: Ghost Chasers Episode 1 (London East End) 9pm Friday 27th October 2017


I am back with another exclusive review. Ghost Chasers is the latest in a long line of Paranormal Investigation shows, and since this show is airing on a channel that people may actually be able to find, I thought I would give it a shot and see if it is any good.

It airs Friday at 9pm on REALLY, but is already available to watch online on their website at
So if you cant wait till Friday, or you simply have nothing better to do give it a watch and if I miss anything make sure to let me know in the comments.

It is also worth noting that this show was made over a year ago, and originally aired on a Satellite channel called "Insight" that you could get in Europe. And also already aired in the UK back in March on the UK version of the channel. So interesting that UKTV would pick this show up and air it as if it was a new show.

In fact the website is still up, and if you do a bit of jiggery pokery, you can even watch all 10 episodes at

So let's start off with some dirty blurbage
"Model and musician Kay Nambiar doesn't believe in ghosts. But he's always wondered what lies behind the stories. So, in this new series he's travelling to some of Europe's most haunted locations in search of definitive proof of whether or not they really exist. To help with his mission, he's put together a crack team of ghost hunters: psychic Ian Lawman, who claims he can connect with the dead; and paranormal investigators Chris Hawley and Paul Hobday, who use the latest high-tech gear to gather hard evidence of the supernatural. Each episode sees the team investigate one supposedly haunted town and zero in on two key locations. In Hastings, they capture an image of a hooded figure on their thermal imaging camera, and in Harwich they are locked into an old prison cell by an invisible hand. For Kay this is a journey of revelation, at turns dramatic, scary and fascinating. Are these strange and inexplicable encounters enough to turn a sceptic into a believer? Has he found the proof he's been looking for?"

Now I am sure you all know who Kay Nambiar is, he is a Model and Musician, so clearly he is perfectly positioned to host his on TV show about ghost hunting. 


Here he is in his band!

Other than Kay the only other person you might have a chance of knowing is "psychic" Ian Lawman. A man who as previously appeared on Most Haunted, and someone I have even interviewed before on this very site.

As the episode starts they put this disclaimer up.


Unlike the show I reviewed yesterday, Ghost Chasers from the get go is admitting that it is faked, a spoof, not a serious investigation. So please keep that in mind while watching, as often they will try to present these types of show as if they are real, a documentary or a real investigation. There is no legal obligation to say that a show is for "Entertainment Purposes Only" this is purely their own choice as a way to cover themselves in case someone naughty like me spots how they fake something.

Kay starts off the show talking about how he has always been interested in the paranormal. I would suggest he is only interested in becoming famous, which would explain why he has tried all the usual techniques from being in a pop band, to modelling, basically anything to get famous, and now for whatever reason he has managed to get himself on the TV show as the front man of a ghost hunting, sorry I mean "chasing" show. I am sure he wasn't picked by producers purely cause he is a good looking guy, and the vast majority of people who watch these types of shows are women, now that would be cynical, and unfair on his undoubted talents as a person who can walk and pose a bit.

The first thing I think while watching this is how similar it looks to Ghost Adventures. 


It is a shame that this is looking like being a very male-centric show. Apparently women can hunt ghosts too, just make sure you never tell them that ghosts do not exist, as they can get really angry and write whole blogs about "Ghostplaining", and then have arguments with people online. Women huh, can't live with em...

Kay is walking along a canal, and we finally get to the location they will first investigate, the Ragged School Museum. Sounds lovely doesn't it!


And if you get that reference, then you are as old as me!.


Back to the show and we finally get to meet the rest of the Raggy Dolls, I mean Ghost Chasers.

Each of the team have their own personal body cams, and already you can see them holding what look like EMF meters, a staple of the ghost hunting community, a piece of equipment that is completely worthless, but makes the holder feel a bit like Spock scanning an alien rock or something like that. 


Suddenly out of nowhere, an old friend of BadPsychics, and former Most Haunted historian, Richard Jones makes an appearance to give us some history. 


Nice to see Richard on the TV, although they try to claim he has witnessed "paranormal" events himself, which does kind of make him out to be a believer, but I know first hand he is a skeptic, he is also an accomplished magician too, and all round nice bloke. So not sure how happy he will be with that description, but a pay day is a pay day I guess.

Back to the Raggy Dolls, and Ian Lawman (The guy dressed like a reject from a 1950's version of Sherlock Holmes) has decided that he is picking something up, emotions of the dead. It is worth saying here that Ian used to claim to be a "sensitive", but now he is claiming that he can see spirits, and they appear to him as clear as someone in a photograph, I guess he had to up his gimmick a bit to get better paying jobs.


At least if there are ghosties about, when they see him they will think he is a fellow ghostie dressed like that.


Raggy Doll with a hat on is loving his Tricorder, moving it about, looking at the screen, being all professional. Raggy Doll with no hat, has a go pro on a selfie stick. This is high budget stuff guys!

Kay is still sat chatting with Richard, Richard Jones is getting a decent amount of time which is a nice surprise.

First impressions and I quite like Kay, he seems ok. The other 3 however are a tad bland, trying their best to have fun banter, but it seems so forced it is really embarrassing.


They wait for the sun to go down, because as everyone knows the ghosts only work at night, despite the vast majority of real world ghost sightings happening during the day. I hear the ghosts have their own union these days, and refuse to work on these shows in the day. 

The investigation proper has now started, and Ian is saying a prayer to protect them before then describing a fat old man standing by Kay. Kay does not look impressed.

I believe Kay is Dutch, and his English is perfect like most Dutch people, in fact he is easier to understand than Ian is.

13 minutes in and we get our first "what was that?" from Ian.


Nice to see them not using night vision or fake green filters like Most Haunted do.

This whole show is very centred around Ian Lawman, which is a surprise.
Ian has heard a noise, some replays show nothing but a bit of wind.

No hat Raggy Doll, or Paul as he has decided to call himself, does seem quite sensible for now, offering more rational explanations as Kay claims he is feeling cold.

There is a scene here whereby they get a thermometer out and they record the temperature go down a few degrees. HOWEVER they have no controls. It was taken out of a bag, and then held in the open air, and held near a window and so on, but this is the even more amazing thing, in the voice over they actually say this! Yes they give a rational explanation. I am slightly taken aback here, as I did not expect that at all, and it has kind of spoiled my gimmick.

They head down to the basement where kids used to play. Kay has already been primed to expect to feel something when he goes down there, which is a shame, as any reactions can then be put down to psychological reasons and not physical.

Kay thinks he has heard his name, a replay does show what sounds like a breathy "Kay" being said, however with 6 people in a very small room, anyone could have said it, without moving their mouth, so this cant be considered evidence in any way.

Hat Raggy Doll, has some EVP that he captured earlier, it sounds like children talking, nothing clear. As you all know EVPs are evidentially worthless, and have a million explanation that would be more credible than ghost children. They have another EVP, they claim it says "Ragged School" but it is not clear by any means, at best it is auditory pareidolia. Nothing paranormal here though, not even close. And to be fair to them, no hat Raggy Doll Paul does mention Audio pareidolia as an explanation. So I have to tip the hat at them trying to be credible here. Although it is ruining things for me. Last thing I need is a TV ghost hunting show that debunks themselves.

The team have now left the School, and have moved on to a different location. The Royal Arsenal Academy Building Cellars.


This guy pops up a few times telling ghost stories, clearly has an agenda so can be ignored as he is just annoying.

The Duke of Wellington has a prostitute, and she was eaten alive by rats in these cellars apparently.  
So they are going to try and talk to her. Hat Raggy Doll has a spirit box type app on his phone, which is completely ridiculous and a waste of time. 


The "Echovox" app is just spouting out a lot of nonsense, and within that nonsense, you can vaguely make out the name Angela if you really concentrate.

Now if you go checkout the app on your app store the description is as follows.

"EchoVox is a real time amplified recording system used to create a bed of random chaotic noise using random phonetics, microphone input and a natural loop recording echo. Delay time can be set from anywhere to 0-10 seconds. This means what you are hearing is the actual audio being recorded to disk in real time, as it happens."

So lets be clear here, what they are hearing is actually themselves talking but on a delay, to create random chaotic noise. 

"The echo is actually a chaotic loop of the chopped up vocal samples and environmental sounds. A virtual soup of sound and frequencies impossible to predict."

The fact that the sounds created are from the people present, means that you can not with any credibility claim that anything you get is paranormal.

Oh and this app costs £25.

The sad thing is that some people watching wont understand how this app works, and will accept this as proof. This was the first big mistake of the show in my book, as up until this point they had pleasantly surprised me, I can even ignore the EMF meter nonsense and the Thermometer sillyness, as I understand that you have to have something to do, and everyone uses them. Even though they prove nothing, however this Echovox App is just a joke, it is a gimmick, and has no place in any investigation of any kind.


This woman has joined them, and is claiming she has had her bum stroked, we then hear the sound of a zip. They are all connecting this to the dead ghost hooker. Yes really. Can someone call HR please, last thing we need is sexual assault from a ghost hooker.

They have now moved to Building 41 of the Royal Arsenal.
Paul has attached a thermal imaging camera to his tablet, so now they will play around with that.
Ian is trying to summon the Mad Hatter! (No not that one) Some worker who died from mercury poisoning.


And before you know it the battery goes dead, and no one thought of picking up a £10 power bank in case of such issues.

And that is pretty much it, we get a quick summary, a few replays and the show ends.

So lets go to my now world famous and totally original, episode pros and cons.

Pros
They are quite fair in what they present, they give the skeptical opinion very well.
There is no dodgy green filters or night vision, everything is filmed as they see it.
No screaming, no jumping, no running about like idiots, A seemingly genuine interest to investigate.
High quality filming and effects, nice background music and effects that don't distract at all.
Despite being very good looking Kay Nambiar is really likeable, and down to earth, I was totally wrong about him, and hold my hands up, I could go back and edit this article, but I want people to see how my opinion changed after I watched the show, and I always want to be honest.
Was great to see Richard Jones get a gig. We like him.
No hat Raggy Doll Paul does a really good job debunking things and comes across quite credible, that surprised me.

Cons
Some of the early scenes are very forced, some dodgy banter, and bland characters are a bit eye rolling, however it was the first episode so I doubt I would be any better in that situation.
EMF meter. Waste of time.
EVP recordings. Waste of time, although they were honest in giving alternative opinions instead of jumping on the paranormal.
No female cast member to ghostplain to.
And finally the Echovox, that really spoiled the flow of the show, using a joke app, not explaining what it was, and then trying to claim it had any connection to the paranormal was really sad.


For a first episode of a brand new show, they had a lot going for themselves. However it leaves me with a big problem. They debunk themselves, so whats the point in me writing about them again?
The show is nothing like Most Haunted, there is no blatant fakery, Ian Lawman does what you would expect him to do, but not so over the top that it is a problem.

Its a nice TV show, for fans of Ghost Hunting shows, I am sure they will like it, I liked it despite having a few issues, but there is nothing for me to really make fun of, to joke about. It is the best paranormal investigation show I have ever seen even if the bar is very low.

Its a good show, 8/10.
However I don't see the point of watching it again, as I am a skeptic, I do skeptic things, and this show doesn't need me. The show is good enough that I don't need to watch it. Take that as a compliment I guess.

Well done guys.

Review by Jon Donnis

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22 October 2017

REVIEW: Search for the Truth - Episode 1 Bryn Hall - The Haunted Hunts

After receiving a lot of threats, I thought I would replace my article with this picture of some poo, since that better represents my opinion than a long article and is all the publicity that "Search For The Truth" by "The Haunted Hunts" deserves.

25 September 2017

The One Where “Psychic” Tyler Henry Reads Alan Thicke


“He’s so sweet.”

“What a nice guy.”

“Caring and with malice to no one.”

“How can you call him a grief vampire when he helps so many people?”

“He’s helping them get over their grief and move on.”

“He is a blessing and adorable!”

The positive adjectives keep coming; this is all I hear about Tyler Henry these days, the star of Hollywood Medium, on its third season on the E! Network. I am starting to hear from his supporters as I become known as his key detractor. Emails, Facebook messages, comments on YouTube: all want to know what my problem with him is. “Why do you say such mean things about him? He is a doll, a gift from heaven, everyone loves him.”

One woman wrote to me on Facebook that she is an atheist and skeptic but can’t understand why I can’t see that Henry is the real thing. Normally I answer by explaining that the burden of proof lies on the person making the extraordinary claim. If he can communicate with the dead, then he would be breaking the laws of physics, and it is up to him to prove he can do it. The default is that he can’t. But for some reason this statement never satisfies believers. They want me to disprove him, show that he is faking it. This is something that I really can’t do; I can only show that there are much simpler ways to do what he appears to be doing—communicating with the dead.  Cold-reading or hot-reading techniques and clever editing are all more reasonable possibilities, and they don’t require unproven explanations.


Finally, one day someone answered me when I asked for their best evidence of why they believed that Henry can communicate with the dead.  Something specific, and not just because he has a great smile. She told me that Henry told actor Alan Thicke that he had heart issues. She said, “No way could Tyler have predicted Thicke’s death from heart failure unless Henry can talk to the dead.” That is something I can look into; a specific claim is being made. Did Henry predict Alan Thicke’s death? Luckily, for just a few dollars and an Amazon Prime account, and the benefit of pause and rewind on my computer keyboard, I could look into the details of the reading.

At the end of 2016, Tyler Henry went to the home of actor Alan Thicke and his wife Tanya. In nearly every Hollywood Medium show, Henry mentions that he does not know who he will be reading for in advance. This time there was no mention that Henry did not know who he would be reading. Tanya was a complete fan; she was so excited that Henry was going to be reading her husband. When the cameras started rolling, Alan stated that he is a skeptic, scientific minded, “Show me proof; I don’t have any faith in the afterlife.”

There were two main parts of the reading; at least that is all we see on the show. Remember the editors want to show the best parts, only the hits. The parts that weren’t exciting would be cut out. If Henry had received hit after hit, then this would have been saved for a special release. Always remember that the editors can make magic happen.

The first half shows Henry reaching Isadora, who is Thicke’s grandmother. And the second half of the reading concerns Henry telling Thicke that there might be some heart issues he should check into.

So, let’s stop right here. I need to make sure you understand that two months or so after this reading, Alan Thicke died from heart trouble. The Internet lit up with the news that a psychic predicted a death, and the E! Network, with the type of compassion known only to profit making ventures everywhere, decided that they could best honor the memory of Alan Thicke by giving his family privacy while they grieve. NOPE. Instead they sent Tyler Henry back to the home, on the two-month anniversary of his death, to show his widow the video of the reading and talk about what Alan was doing in the afterlife. Yep, really classy. Well to Tyler Henry’s fans, this is a kindness: giving his widow peace and helping her to grieve.

How can someone like me fight against that? I come off looking like a person who robbed a cancer victim. How dare I take that away from the widow. How dare I dismiss her pain. Why do I get to determine how she gets to grieve? If she wants to believe that her husband is still around her, watching and sending his love, then what kind of villain am I to say otherwise? I get it; I’m no fun at parties either. If someone is really dealing with grief, then there are people who are trained and licensed to talk to about this. If they don’t want to participate in grief therapy, then at least they can talk to friends, people who aren’t going to put your grief on the E! Network, all over their promos, and use it for their own financial gain.


Let’s review what really happened. Did Tyler Henry predict Alan Thicke’s death from a heart condition? Did Tyler Henry contact Thicke’s grandmother? Well … other explanations are more likely.

Henry was sitting across from Thicke on facing couches, across from Alan Thicke who appears to be 65–75 years old. Henry knows that Thicke wants to hear from someone that he was close to and has sitting nearby a pair of glasses (Henry uses personal objects from the departed to focus on). What we and Henry can tell are that these are old glasses worn by a woman … maybe it was Thicke’s daughter’s second grade teacher who died last year? No, Henry is hearing from an older woman, and he is getting “grandma, grandma, grandma.” The camera all this time stayed on Henry’s face, so we do not know if Thicke was nodding his head in agreement and giving feedback. So, when Henry said, “She is on your mother’s side” and received a “Yes” from Thicke, are we surprised? The odds are 50/50, and with some feedback from Thicke it wouldn’t be hard to guess it.

Henry gives a bunch of general statements about her personality; the same kind of statements everyone wants to be true about themselves and about someone they really loved and miss. It tells us nothing about accuracy but made Alan feel good. Henry went on: She is creative, amazing, and “could have lived twenty more lifetimes,” intense, strong, high-energy. All along Thicke was nodding and giving back feedback, giving Henry clues that he was on the right track.

Next came a statement that seems really specific: “I’m seeing a piano bench, and I’m sitting on the bench and this woman is putting sentimental or significant value around this. Do you know of anyone on your mom’s side that played the piano who would fit that bill?” This would have been the 1930s or ‘40s. According to the LA Times, “The piano has been the center of many American homes for generations, not only a proclamation of a love of music but also often a statement about striving for success.” And in the 1930–1940s this would have been very common. http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-pianos16-2009may16-story.html So for Henry to claim he saw a piano in a house that Thicke grew up in, or had access to, was a safe bet. Note Henry did not say that he saw Thicke’s maternal grandmother Isadora playing the piano; he only said he saw an older woman and then asked, “Who might that be?” There is a big difference between those two statements.

Thicke went on to tell Henry all about his grandmother, Isadora. Thicke seemed to think that Henry had shown him the proof he needed, he says “You killed that one—wooo you crushed it!” And Thicke really can’t be blamed; it all happened very quickly. He was primed to think that Henry is the real deal and did not have the ability to pause and replay as I do sitting in the quiet of my office. Thicke had not been following and viewing these kinds of readings for years, as I have. I’m going to speculate further and state that Thicke does have a potential motive to participate in a positive way.  If Thicke did not get excited about the reading, then the show may not have aired. There would be no free publicity for Thicke. And his wife, Tanya, would be disappointed.

Speaking of playing to Tanya, this bit is so precious: Henry claimed that Isadora said that she saw a wedding and was giving her congratulations; it was a wedding she was unable to attend. I wonder whose wedding that might have been? Tanya, who is quite a bit younger than Alan, kept talking about how they plan on having a baby together, so she must be younger than forty. Thicke was born in 1947, which probably means his grandmother was born in the 1880s to 1900. What are the odds that she would not have been alive when Thicke married his third wife? Wikipedia says that he married Tanya in 2005, which would have meant that Isadora would have been 105–125 years old if she had been alive to attend the wedding. Not very likely. Henry made a safe bet, and Tanya was thrilled with the news that Isadora has blessed their marriage. Interesting that Isadora didn’t have any news for her great-grandchildren or a warning that her grandson was about to die two months later. Considering that the second show on the Thickes was promoted on E! that Henry did just that, I think Isadora could have been a lot clearer with her warning.

Now comes the part of the reading where all the believers are so sure that Henry predicted Thicke’s death. Let’s look at a transcript to make sure we aren’t missing anything.

Henry: For the men in your family it’s important to take into consideration something we really have to keep in mind. Heart issues are not uncommon in men, thing is (pause) I don’t know where to start?

(insert scary music cue— cut to commercial)

(back from commercial, more ominous music)

Henry: When it comes to a family gene perspective, it’s possible that within your family that there may be multiple men who at a later age have to deal with a blood pressure issue, but also with a heart murmur or heart arrhythmia, but I have to go to heart which correlates to blood pressure. So, keep that in mind, I have a couple people passing on a similar sense saying keep in mind your own heart. There is a man who is very stubborn who passed away, he acknowledges dying because of a heart problem. His message is don’t be stubborn like I was … it could have been treatable if we had known about it.

Thicke then told Henry that there are no known heart problems in his family other than his sister who had surgery but is doing well. Then Thicke said “Thank you Doctor Henry, I’m going to take that to heart.”  Henry then threw back his head, and laughed. I’m mentioning this because it seems so heartless (pun intended) that if Henry REALLY thought that Thicke’s heart would give out only a couple months later, he should have been less flippant about it and actually very stern.

And that was it, nothing much other than a warning to keep an eye on his blood pressure. Keep in mind that Henry was again playing the odds. The number one cause of death for American males? You guessed it: heart disease.  If the Thicke family had a history of deaths or illnesses from heart complications, then mentioning this in the reading would have been an even better fit.

As I said, the E! Network brought Henry back to the Thicke home two months after the death. He shows the reading to the widow Tanya who says that it is “So important for me to see Tyler because if there’s anybody in this world that can give me some guidance because it’s so difficult for me to even fathom what my life is going to be like without my husband, that’s how I feel right now, I’m still healing.”

She and Henry went for a walk around the ranch, and Henry said that he is seeing a “sun symbol,” and Tanya takes that to be a message from her husband. “I thought I would never see the sun shine again.” Which is a hit in Tanya’s mind and just something vague that would have hit no matter what in my mind.

Henry then asked her if there was a Florida trip planned. Tanya had a very strong reaction and told him that her husband had planned a surprise trip to Florida with their friends. Sounds like a hit. She seems to have forgotten that only four months ago Henry and Alan had a long conversation, and it was not unlikely that Thicke mentioned that he was planning this vacation.

So, then Henry talked Tanya into taking the trip to Florida. He says that she will fall in love again, and Alan will be happy if she does. “That’s how healing happens.” She is strong; she will be fine. Henry then explained that after a thousand readings, he still does not know what happens after you die, that he thinks they have to “work through things.”

The show ends with Tanya saying that she “feels lighter—hope in her heart. Step one, picking up the pieces. The sunshine came out today.”

(Cue happy music.)

I was curious about licensed grief therapy and reached out to someone at a nearby hospice center. Cindi Gray is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and has worked in the field of death and dying through hospice for twenty-six years with Santa Cruz County. She told me that she hasn’t directly had contact with anyone who has come to them after seeking out help from a psychic. She said that she does know that they have had clients in the past who have gone to psychics for support. Her clinic does not judge; she states that “there isn’t a right or wrong way to grieve and that we are here to accompany grievers on their journey. We offer grief education and a non-judgmental space for sharing feelings and receiving support. We provide 1:1 counseling and groups for a series of weeks. Typically, we hear that the community appreciates a listening ear when they are trying to make sense of things after a death.”

Cindi is the expert. There is no right way to grieve. Personally, I’m disgusted that grief vampires exist to prey on grief and exploit them as E! and Hollywood Medium do in this case. But if this really helps the widow of Alan Thicke then it is none of my business. I am only able to comment on the Thicke’s experience with Tyler Henry because they choose to be public with the story.

My intent with this investigation is to show that there is no evidence of any communication with the dead is happening, everything that was said was general, or edited. If this is such a great case of prediction of someone getting a call from the “other side” to get your heart checked out, then why was it so vague? Is Hollywood Medium blaming Alan Thicke for not taking Henry’s reading seriously? Obviously, this is a controversial issue; education is important, if someone wants to use psychics for grief counseling then that is their choice. What I believe is that there should be more articles like this one in case people are looking for a second opinion about such an important moment in their lives.

Thank you to Rob Palmer for his help with this article.

By Susan Gerbic
Originally published on www.csicop.org


Susan Gerbic
Affectionately called the Wikipediatrician, Susan Gerbic is the cofounder of Monterey County Skeptics and a self-proclaimed skeptical junkie. Susan is also founder of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project. You can contact her at SusanGerbic@yahoo.com

6 September 2017

Harry Hill's TV Burp - Derek Acorah - 'Air Force, Dog Ghost and Michael Jackson Séance'


Couple of classic clips from Harry Hill's TV Burp making fun of Derek Acorah


27 August 2017

Rove takes a look at "The One" a TV series testing psychics including Ezio De Angelis


Rove, formerly Rove Live, was an Australian television variety show which premiered on the Nine Network on 22 September 1999, before moving to Network Ten which aired the program from 2000 until November, 2009. The show was hosted by comedian Rove McManus, and featured an ensemble cast, who presented various segments throughout the course of the show. The show won the Logie Award for "Most Popular Light Entertainment Program" five times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009).

Here Rove takes a look at "The One" a TV series testing psychics.
Featuring Mitchell Coombes, Rayleen Kable, Shé D'Montford, Jason Betts, Amanda Roussety, Ezio De Angelis and Charmaine Wilson.