20 December 2012

Stephen Holbrook - ‘An Evening of Clairvoyance’

This is a summary of a performance by ‘one of Britain’s most gifted clairvoyants’ at North Tyneside on 30th May 2012.

It should be said that we planned to see his performance at Morpeth a few days earlier, but strangely he came on stage and spoke to the tiny handful of people there to tell them that ‘the energy wasn’t right’ and he didn’t think the spirits would come through. He gave everyone a refund. Strangely, we had let it slip that there were skeptics in the audience. Did that have anything to do with it? Did we create the ‘wrong’ energy? Who knows!

At  North Tyneside, the first 17 minutes of the show were taken up by Holbrook proclaiming his expertise and talent in communicating to the dead. He told the audience that it started when he was 15 and he was in a supermarket. On reaching into a freezer his hand touched another ladies by accident and he immediately heard a voice telling him to speak to the lady about a birthday. He did so and they both burst into tears. He went on to say that his doctor told him there was nothing he could do about these constant voices in his head and he decided to share his gift with the world. For a price, of course. He also enlightened the audience as to how this gift worked. He would get a message and if anyone could relate to it they had 10 seconds to put their hand up. He didn’t explain why the spirit couldn’t just say ‘I am Bert Smith and I want to speak to my wife, Hilda and tell her where the copy of the will is hidden’.  It was up to the audience to decide if some vague message fitted in with someone who had passed ‘into spirit’.

He touched on his spirit guide, Archie May, a hairdressing soldier in WW1 who had received a wound to his left arm. He then gave an excruciatingly embarrassing performance about how his hand was cold and blue and so on. It’s one of the oldest stage magicians tricks ever invented.  I really wanted to ask him to take his jacket off, but managed to resist the temptation.  The whole preamble was incredibly banal, not to mention distasteful and arrogant. The only bit that made sense was when he told everyone that the ‘big names’ were rubbish. That I agreed with. But never mind, the show started with an incredibly amateurish display of 5th rate cold reading. Or rather, started after he acknowledged several people who he recognised from previous performances and introduced Sally, who was going to draw pictures of the spirits. OK, here we go then.

H = Holbrook
AM = Audience member
M = My comments

His opening line was toecurlingly cringeworthy, but set the standard for what was to come.

H Somebody lost their mum last year to the spirit world. Who lost their mum. Please be quick.
A woman put her hand up

H Your mum liked the spirits. And you know what, sweetheart; she’s been back to your house to visit you. She knew there was something afterwards and if she knew it was so good she would have gone months before. She’s sending love to four of you.

H She had a swollen leg or a lump on her left leg.

AM It was her right

H But she’s alright now, she’s like Linford Christie

M He then went on to his standard routine about having a ring and in fact she says there are two and she wants them back. He comes out with this one every show. The reading continued:

H Have you got a locket, a loveheart necklace?


H (turning to the ‘artist’) who does this picture look like

AM Not like me mam

H (rather brusquely) remember what I said. Now who does it look like? Remember what I said.

AM (after 10 second pause) Could look like my aunty

H Keep looking at it, it’s someone who belongs to you. September, why is September significant to you

AM It’s my birthday in September

H That’s what the person on the screen is saying. They are here to say happy birthday.

H Have you got a son

AM Yes

H How old is he

AM 2

H You don’t know who Margaret is, do you? Who is Margaret?

AM I’ve got a friend called Margaret

H No, she’s passed away


AM Could be an aunt or grandmother (referring to the picture)

H You don’t know this person here


H You don’t know who Jean is do you?

AM Me mam had a friend called Jean

H Did she

AM I can’t remember what she looked like, quite short

H Jean was your mum’s friend who she was close to. It’s funny; we’ve got M and J here. Come down and collect. August.  Is August significant?

AM Yes, she died in August

H Do me a favour. Did you ever have a Jack Russell terrier

AM Yes

H He’s here (gasps from audience)

M. Lots more questions followed, not a single statement was given. 
Absolutely typical 5th rate cold reading. He’s on to a winner, though. His audience don’t need convincing, they are already convinced. It matters not that he isn’t giving any information out, they are here to witness him passing messages of staggering banality from beyond the grave and it simply does not occur to them that he is just making it up. No one questions the obvious – if the spirit can tell him they are called Joan, why can’t the spirit add one more word and say Joan Smith? After all, they can talk about jewellery and lockets, but can’t say their second name? The suspension of disbelief is spectacular.
Anyway, on to another victim.

H Hello, can I speak to you

AM Yes

H All the time I’ve been speaking to Jean and everyone else, your mum has been waiting. She’s just sat here patiently waiting. She wanted to get in first, said she’s been here since two o’clock. Do you know what, she’s just sat there, wheezing. Let me tell you something, are you new to this


H You’ve been here before

AM Yes

H Tell her she likes her tattoo

AM Oh, that must be K****, my granddaughter, she’s just got one done.

M. Standard shotgun line. Everyone knows someone with a tattoo!

H Aww, bless her. Tell her she loves her tattoo

M. And so it went on. Absolutely dreadful stuff. Holbrook is a brusque and loud. His attempts at humour are childish and, although he got a few laughs and gasps, they were few and far between. His audience were willing to accept anything he said and there were several people obviously upset and tearful. No one asks the obvious questions, which seem to me to be what most people would instinctively want to know. 

Why are the messages totally inconsequential? I don’t want to know that someone had a Jack Russell Terrier; I want to know something more important than that. Why can’t I ask them a question? Why are you asking me things when, if it really is my mother’s spirit, she KNOWS my birthday is in September (or whenever).  Are you saying she is now so doddery and confused that she doesn’t know that September is my birthday, just that something  happens in that month? That’s not my mum, she loved me, and she never forgot my birthday. I wanted to remember her the way she was, not as some confused and senile person. Why do you get so many things wrong? I don’t know about any locket. Why would my mum mention something like that? Why doesn’t she tell me something important? Why, Mr Holbrook?

Most importantly, why do none of these audiences ask him ‘Why are you taking money off people under false pretences. Mr Holbrook?’

I struggle to think of anything more despicable, revolting and hideous than someone taking money from bereaved and vulnerable people. Forget the addicts and the groupies, I don’t care about them. They are welcome to it. Anyone stupid enough to believe this rubbish to the extent that they are followers and fans, so be it – it’s your money, throw it away however you want. It’s the people who go, having been taken in by his ridiculous advert, his sickly website or the credulous testimony of credulous people that I worry about. The ones who really think that they are going to be put in touch with their loved ones, who are distressed, vulnerable and grieving. Nothing in this world is so despicable than the utter scum who take money off them for false hope.

Written by BadPsychics Investigator and forum member "Northerner"


Unknown said...

This guy should get done for fraud and put in prison

Woody said...

'Nothing in this world is so despicable than the utter scum who take money off them for false hope.'
Well put Jon.
It's so astounding that such poor cold-reading performances are still taken on faith, as if believers don't even know what cold-reading is!
I'm not sure I could have watched the whole session without puking!

Unknown said...

lol geez, im a magician/mentalist that went to see this guy a while back just out of curiosity, absolute crap is the term id use... its wrong just wrong.... i even convinced the women next to me to leave after a small demonstration of me doing exactly the same thing only my points were more accurate... i then told her i was just a magician and that she had paid £26 to see some nutter do the same thing only worse and more vague.

shocking stuff

Unknown said...

He's advertising his show in today's(03/Jan/14) metro, surely there must be a law against advertising bullshit?

JD said...

Unfortunately if he describes his act as entertainment only, then he is allowed to get away with it.

Unknown said...

i went to see him last night, he talks absolute garbage, nothing was accurate or of any relavance, he used the same lines like in previous comments ( jack russell called midge running around ) which nobody could put any light too, the same line as linford christie, i think hes rude and insulting, and very cruel to prey on people that are geniunely grieving , and hoping for some answers and comfort, not worth wasting your money on, i do believe some do have a geniune talent to contact people ,loved ones thats passed away, he certainly does not , its more like a comedy show, so unrealistic you cant help but laugh.terrible !!

Unknown said...

total rubbish , he isnt gifted at all , he used the same lines as in previous comments , ( jack russell running around ) linford christie, i do believe some have a genuine gift of contacting loved ones that have passed , steve holbrook certaintly does not !! it was more like a comedy show, and a bad one at that , you couldnt help but laugh, he come out with so much garbage, nothing was of relevance, or accurate, i think its dam right cruel to prey on people who are genuinely grieving and hoping for some answers , and comfort , i genuinely felt for the people in the audience who believe they got messages through, hes a total scam

JD said...

Steph thanks for your comments, although you need to understand that ALL mediums are fake. Some are just better than others at the trickery.
If you have a reading recorded you believe is genuine, let me know and I will go through it for you and show you exactly how it was done

Diamond said...

Funny he used the names 'Margaret' and 'Jean', as his own mother is named Margaret Jean. She helps run his booking line (or did). I saw him in 2009, absolutely abysmal!

JD said...

When telling a lie, the best way to be convincing is to use things from your own life which are true, it helps negates negative body language and micro expressions.

Unknown said...

Perhaps he really does believe he has a special gift..maybe he does and maybe he doesn't. I've spoken to many people that say he's so accurate, that there's no way he could have known about the things he's said. Anyway I will do d out for myself when I go to watch him. It'll only cost me a tenner, and I can make my own mind up. Everybody makes their own choice. He is not forcing people to go to his shows.I'll report back!

JD said...

Nope, I dont believe that for a moment that he really believes, anyone proficient in the art of the medium, can see he uses deliverate methods to perform his act, nothing psychic about him at all.

My advice to you is save your money and dont bother to go see him

Unknown said...

I saw Stephen Holbrook last night for the first time..I was very sceptical, but I must admit he was so accurate in all of his readings!! This was not cold reading, I've experienced that before. This was totally different. I'm so glad I went and I'd advise anyone to give it a go!

JD said...

So you are an expert in psychology, cold reading, hot reading, and so on, and with your unmatched expertise you are declaring that Stephen Holbrook is the real deal, despite being catagorically exposed as a fraud, his methods well known, him not passing a single credible scientific test, the fact that ALL mediums fail 100% of the time in credible scientific tests. YOU and unknown poster on here is declaring that you are smarter than every single credible scientist ON THE PLANET in saying that he is the real deal simply because YOU couldn't figure out how he did it?

Oh dear.

I would advise EVERYONE to AVOID Stephen Holbrook, because I happen to be a legit expert in their techniques, and i can 100% expose every medium on the planet, if you give me an unedited reading they have performed on a stranger with no prior contact.

And if I cant, I'll close down the site

Unknown said...

Diss the fella by all means, but don't diss his website - I coded it :-)

JD said...

So you took money from someone defrauding the public, created a website which allows him to further commit fraud. Well done to you.

Unknown said...

Seriously everyone I went to see Stephen Holbrook last night and he validated alot of things that only I would know.
He also gave a reading for a lady who,it turned out had just lost her husband...he gave her husbands name amongst alot of other validated information..
Psychics probably have good and bad days just like I suppose comedians or anyone else in the lime light...
I think you have to go to Form your own opinion!
I've seen Mr Holbrook 3times now and he is funny and gives good information!

JD said...

Yiassou Annie
It seems you have been well and truly convinced.
It also seems that you came straight to this page to leave a comment without reading anything on my site.

I want you to read this article that you have replied to first. I show exactly how Stephen does his readings, there is no mystery to me, I know exactly how he does it, and I can show how every time.

But I am trying to put the knowledge in peoples own hands so they can expose mediums themselves.

So I want you to read the following 3 articles and educate yourself.


These 3 articles will give you a basic understanding of how these frauds work.

And yes I have seen Stephen Holbrook first hand, and not a single thing he said impressed me, in fact I knew exactly how he performed his entire routine.

And if after all of this you still cant figure things out yourself, I will give you this offer I give to everyone.

Give me a recording of a reading that you were convinced by, and I 100% guarantee you I can show you how they did it step by step.

Perry Wilsher said...

Saw Stephen Holbrook about three weeks ago - having seen him a few years ago and not being very impressed. This time myself my wife and daughter had 'messages' from my dad and my wife's mother. During the evening Stephen repeatedly told people to reply with only yes or no answers, which we consciously did. The general information he gave was almost entirely correct, with him only getting the approximate age of my fathers passing wrong. He went on to mention accurately several specific things which really impressed us, including references to something i had said and something my wife had thought during the break. He finished by telling me correctly my fathers name, which was the only name he mentioned during our message.

We have seen a few psychics over the years and like to consider ourselves open minded but unconvinced. In fact we usually have fun picking their technique apart on the way home. The messages from Stephen were by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to us at any psychic evening and definitely gave us food for thought. Strangely we are all still of the open minded but unconvinced persuasion. I suppose this comes from seeing too much Darren Brown and too many obviously fake psychics.

JD said...

Thanks for your comment, the first give away that he was cheating was that he told you to only answer yes or no, that is done so he can control the reading.
Here is some reading you can do to figure it all out for yourself.




Unknown said...

I've seen him twice, the first time (15 yrs ago) he astounded me with his absolute accuracy. I purposely didn't give anything away and he was telling me what happened - to the letter.
The second time I wasn't impressed with his interpretations at all.

JD said...

Could it be that the second reading you were much more aware of the tricks so didn't fall for them as you had previously.

I know from personal experience it is near impossible not to give something away in a reading and even when you dont, you still do by the way you respond to questions.

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