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.

In Bed with Medinner - Making fun of psychic Les Driver and Cyrus

In Bed with Medinner was a 1990s late-night British TV programme starring Bob Mills. It is a precursor to the contemporary Harry Hill's TV Burp, Russell Brand's Ponderland and Paddy McGuinness's Paddy's TV Guide.

In Bed with Medinner was a London Weekend Television production for ITV. Stand-up comic Bob Mills specialised in a cynical view of life and its everyday objects, and in pastiches of popular culture icons.

The show was set in Mills' home, which was dressed to resemble the home of Number Six from The Prisoner and, in the final series, Steed's flat from The Avengers. The first three series opened with a parody of The Prisoner while the fourth and final series was re-titled Still In Bed With Medinner, and the opening sequence changed to be a parody of the classic Avengers Series Five title sequence.

Mills wanders around his flat (actually a studio set), telling ludicrous fictional anecdotes about his showbusiness friends and reminiscing about his (fictional) time as a television producer. These stories are illustrated by genuine clips from the ITV archives, which, interspersed with Mills' own heavily-contrived commentaries and bizarre non-sequiturs, come together to reveal surreal fictional backstories.

Featuring psychic Les Driver and "Cyrus!"

25 August 2017

BadPsychics Classic - An Analysis Of Gordon Smith Mediumship

Originally published 13th September 2007

We keep getting asked here at BadPsychics to put more material on the site about Gordon Smith.

It is true that there isn't a great deal out there, so we decided it was time to show you guys exactly how he does it.

We got hold of some transcripts of some Gordon Smith readings, and the excellent Meercat decided to add his comments.

This is typical of a Gordon Smith reading, and after reading this, you may want to re-evaluate your opinion of this man (If you are a believer of his of course)

Analysis of the transcripts provided. My comments are in italics, the broadcast in bold and anything else is from the person who originally transcribed the piece.

Gordon Smith Hay House radio 14th November 2005
Key= RP –radio presenter C-caller GS-Gordon Smith

RP: We have a caller Gwen do you have a question for Gordon?
8mins 20secs

[b]C: My husband passed away, Id like to know what signs he gives to show that he’s around.. and what time of day?

(She has just told him who she wants to hear from and in what context)

GS: Well the funny thing is.. as soon as you speak to me I get the sense of a very powerful man in the spirit world, your husband quite a powerful figure, his character. (Mentions both a powerful figure, and character. Bases covered in case the husband turned out to be a 5 stone dwarf) I get the sense of him not liking how he was at the end of his life, there’s a sense of him not liking how he was. I feel as though he hated letting his family go.. (As opposed to being glad to see the back of them?)
C: Yes.
(What other answer could there be?)

GS: Do you know what I mean? He would not like the fact that he could not be in charge, or doing all the things that he wanted to do. But I do feel he his around you and you know he’s around you.. I sense somewhere between 12 o clock and two o clock in the early hours of the morning, that he’s very much around… and very much around you Gwen.
(Between 12 and 2? His spiritual lunchbreak? Nothing of evidence here, just telling the caller what she wants to hear, her husband is still around.)

C: Wonderful. 
(She has just been told what she wants to hear)

GS: He also makes me aware of times when you just get a sense of him, you can sense him out the corner of your eye but he’s not there, (A feeling that everyone gets at some point) or you feel his presence close.. and er.. er that’s what I would look for as his sign. There’s also something nice just happened in the family just recently, not long, I feel within the last two weeks, a month. Must have been a birthday or an anniversary, cause he makes me aware he was around at that time; but it’s for someone younger in the family… (Someone in her entire family having a Birthday or an anniversary in the last month. What’s the odds of that happening?)

Silence… (Apparently not good odds at all!)

C: Has he got a message for me about his estate?

GS: I do feel as though you’ve been to two different people, he’s making me aware. Or there’s two different parties concerning.. erm what he left behind. I’ve got to say to you ,you got to go with ..its almost like going with the original. Something to do with going with a solicitor or a lawyer that he preferred. But I feel like February/ March next year but you will get everything sorted, don’t worry.
(Basically, see a solicitor. As you would anyway)

C: I thank Gordon very much.. I needed to know.. those answers.
(And those answers were?…….)

RP : Becky now.. she’s in Knoxville Tennessee. Welcome Becky

C: Yes my brother was killed…..
(An instant lead for Smith)

Gordon interrupts.

GS Becky I can. Even before you spoke ,I could feel a young man , and I can feel a lot of anger surrounding this passing. There are still people who are uptight and angry, it’s almost as like a feeling of injustice here as well. But not with your brother cause spiritually your brother’s fine.
(Of course there is anger, a relative has been killed, either accidentally or purposefully, either way there is anger at the loss. There of course is no justice in a person losing their life prematurely)

C: (solemnly) Okay

GS: Okay? It’s almost as though he doesn’t want people to feel anger or regret… guilt. It’s as though heavy emotions are left hanging over family; but he loves you very much, and Becky I don’t know what’s round your neck but he’s making me very aware of something should be hanging round your neck.
(Reassure the caller that their deceased relative still loves them. Making him VERY aware? Why not say what it is that should be hanging round her neck. Jump leads? A tie? Im guessing a necklace, after all they’re very rare….)
Caller is silent.

GS: Do you know what I’m talking about Becky?

C: Yep , yes I do.
(She’s had a think and finally managed to make a connection somewhere)

GS: That’s just his little sign to say.. (then he changes mid sentence) (what little sign? Has he forgotten his patter?) these are what I call 2 minute messages, where there’s not a lot of time for spirit to give me loads of information so they just go for the quickest thing they can, (Because its so busy on the otherside, rushing around, throwing stones, moaning etc..) but there’s something special hanging round your neck that keeps you connected to your brother .I feel a lovely man… ,a lovely boy who had so much potential in this world , but don’t worry he’s still carrying that potential out in the next life.

C: Ah/er… (Confusion? Either she has nothing round her neck that keeps her connected with her Brother, or he had no potential whilst he was alive…)
GS: (quickly)Your going to be learning as well he’s telling me
(Change the subject Gordon, quickly)

C: What. ?
(Obviously the wrong choice of subject)

GS: Your gonna be learning, you’re going to be taking on some new education

C: (Sounding bored) Okay. Does he have any messages for anybody else, or… (She doesn’t want to hear about her, she wants messages from her dead brother, that’s what Mediums are for.)GS: No that’s all I get darling
(What an outstanding message from the afterlife)

AD break.

26 mins and Tessa rings in from West Sussex.

C: Grandma and Mother went at about the same time and there has been a lot of family problems, I just wondered if they had any words for me.
(Smith is spoon fed information here)
GS: I do feel your mother and grandmother are very close to you and both were in this life, I feel you had a good friendship bond. I feel very tired when I talk about your Mother so she must have got very weak and tired at the end of her life.
(How surprising)

C: Absolutely .Yes.
(As opposed to ‘Actually she was as fit as a fiddle right up to the second she died of being really well’)

GS: The condition that she had. She also said you were good to her, but you had so much going on in your own life and she couldn’t have thanked you any more. Your Mother says its actually the men in your life that cause you the problem.(laughs)
(A man causing problems for a woman? Never!)

C: Yes (laughing)

GS: There’s actually a dispute in the family at the moment between a man and a member of the family. But she’s saying let it go , don’t get involved it will be fine. I’ve got your Mother’s wedding ring here Tessa, she’s showing me her wedding ring
(She has already told him that there are family problems)

C: Yes.

GS: She’s handing it over to you, does that make sense to you

C: Yes there’s a dispute over that.

RP: Wow you got that.
(No, the caller ‘got that’. At no point did Smith say Your Mother says there is a dispute about her wedding ring. The caller made it fit, not Smith)

GS: Okay[talking to spirit] I don’t why she’s saying this but she ‘s saying tell her the fourteenth of December is important.

C: Right…

GS: but that date , the 14th is also important as a memory as well, not December but another month is important also. An important date for a birthday or an anniversary. Okay?
(That’s covered the entire year then, and all eventualities)

C: Er.. ok
(The caller obviously has to think of which of the many thousands of Birthdays, Anniversaries or Memories he may be referring to)

39 mins and another, Carol calls in.
C: My question is I had a brother passed away recently and kind of quickly and unexpected to the family at a young age ,and he’s left behind a daughter, and I just wondered if there’s something more I should be doing for his daughter.
(Why not give Smith you shoe size as well?)

GS: No. I don’t think there’s anything more you can do. I don’t know if it’s a distance or proximity, but… there’s a distance I don’t know why your brother was away or something like that. I don’t mean a separation in marriage but a separation in distance I feel from him. This is something I’m feeling, its almost like he’s trying to get back or he’s trying to let you know he’s so grateful for what your doing; cause its almost like your giving up part of your life your day to help his kid. Okay?
(By asking if there is any more she can do for the daughter, she implies she is doing something already, so of course a bit of her life is being given up to care for a child that is not hers. This would only leave one response from the caller…)

C: Yes
(And that’s the response)

GS: Also I’ve got to say to you Carol, there’s somebody with your brother, he’s not the only one in the spirit world, ok? I feel others around him.
(Gordon Smith amazes the World with the information that there is more than one person in the Spirit World)

C: Yes there are others in the family who’ve passed.
(Really? You mean other people in the family have died? Remarkable!)

GS: I feel a male figure who passed very quick ,like your brother but in different circumstance. I feel your brother’s was more accidental, but then another person died was like a heart attack, something that isn’t very quickly, this man stood beside him. (pick a man, any man…) (then goes into general comments about her relationship with brother) I’m feeling disaster. Something to do with a disaster as well, can you understand that Carol?
No reply from the caller.

GS: You know like a natural disaster

C: Hmmm… (Im pretty sure if you’d been involved in a ‘disaster’, you would not need to think about it too much..)

GS: You know someone-not your brother- has been affected by the hurricanes, or things like that.
(Lets look at this. Somebody, who is not her Brother, has been involved in a natural disaster. Hmmm… I think we’re into the millions there…)

C: I live in a hurricane area
(Although it is missing from the transcript, having listened to many hours of Hay House Radio, I know that every caller is introduced along with their location. So Smith already knows where this woman is from. For example this woman may have been from Texas or Florida.)

GS: Ah, something like that, I’m not saying he died in this , but he’s mentioning this; so I feel he’s been around you and was protecting you.. Hang on, you said someone, not her brother, was affected by something like hurricanes, what you have just said makes no sense) you’ve done lots for his daughter and he’s thanking you for this. (She has already implied to Smith that she is looking after the daughter, he is telling her things she already knows) Eyewear! I’ve got to talk to you about spectacles.
C: Ah ha.

GS: I dunno why, but he’s just said ”eyewear” I’ve just got to mention this to you .I don’t know if they’re yours or his but he’s mentioning specs.
(Eyewear? I have NEVER heard anyone refer to glasses as ‘eyewear’ unless they were talking about ‘protective eyewear’)

C:It is funny ,but my Mum wanted him to be buried with his glasses, and he said no.
(How a dead person says he didn’t want to be buried with his glasses is confusing)

GS: Well that’s his calling card to you.. and he wants you to know he’s very happy over there[spirit world] now I dunno who David would be, but its been written up here.

C: That’s my brother!
(This would be a hit if it wasn’t for the fact that Smith says he has no idea who David is, and yet he has just been communicating with him. Pick a name, and get lucky.)

GS: You take care my love and ..”Blow out the candles” he’s saying .There’s a birthday cake with not a lot of candles on it… and he’s telling you to blow out the candles; so there’s someone young’s birthday which is coming up
C: Right that’s my son’s birthday
(It may be, it may be someone completely different. Smith has not said anything other than ‘a young persons Birthday’. The caller has made it fit.)

GS: Well he’s telling you to blow out the candles for his birthday!
(Classic cold reading, the caller will now go away telling people that Smith knew it was her sons Birthday and told her to blow out the candles on his Birthday cake, when in fact Smith started out with a very vague statement and built on it using information from the caller)

GORDON Smith December 5th Hay House Transcript 
Start time about 9.00 mins in
For reference C=caller GS =Gordon Smith RP=radio presenter

C: My boyfriend died about a month and a week ago and I just wondered if he could get through to him?

There follows a lot of general waffle which is immaterial, so we skip to 10:45 

GS: In fact you are waiting ,at the moment to get some sort of possession of his.. you haven’t got yet, but you will get it.
(A prediction, which obviously we will never find if it comes true)


GS: But it’s something he wore, I feel it’s either a chain around his neck or something there. But you will get that.


GS: When that comes it will bring him ever closer to you.
(How exactly?)

C: Thank you

25m 09secs Gwen calls in;

C: Well, my Husband has passed, and I would like to know if he has a message for me, as to the progress I’m making.
(The caller is asking to be told that she is managing okay without her husband)

GS: I think your husband is very proud of what you are doing ,I get the sense of a man who really did love you ,who cared about you ,and I do feel as if you have taken up the reigns of your life and he is very proud of you. (Because its not good for the Medium business to turn round to a client and say “Your Husband says you are the anti-Midas, everything you touch turns to shit, what a cock-up of your life you’ve made since I died”) He’s a good man who liked to do a lot for you.
There’s something about a house around you, I’m seeing a property Gwen and he knows about the property and thinks you’re doing well.

C: Does anyone else have anything to say to me?
(What about the property Gwen?)

GS: I thought I felt a mother coming forward as well in the spirit world. an elderly lady coming forward here, who was quite infirm before she passed over , I felt she couldn’t walk very well .Her body was wasting before she died; an I feel her presence coming forward and I see her smile at you. I do feel you have a picture of this woman ,a photograph of this woman around you. I feel as though she talks to you , you talk to her ,you send her out thoughts.
(So you’re saying she may have a picture of her Mother or her Grand Mother? Brilliant.)

C: Oh. Thanks very much
(For what?)

RP: We have Trevor calling from Wales over there in Great Britain.

C: I lost my Dad , a couple of years ago I just wondering if you had any messages at all? That make sense anyhow…

(You’re asking a Medium to make sense? Good luck….)

GS: The first thing I sense is from you psychically, more than from your father. I sense there is unfinished business between
.Its almost as if you’re asking something from him or you’re asking permission from your Father. This is what I get, but I get the sense your father being someone who didn’t communicate all the well with you. Does that, make sense?

C: That’s right, yes.
(A Father who didn’t communicate with his son very well. How very rare…)

GS: that’s why I had to come into your psyche to get contact with him; and it’s though what he’s making me aware of. He is learning a lot in the spirit world. Stuff that he would never have wanted to look at, talk about when he was here. (Basket Weaving?) I feel he has been made to look at them in order for you to carry on your life. (This is just new-age babble that means absolutely nothing)
C: Oh right, wow.

GS: Can I just say to you, watch Trevor, because by the time you come to July, next year, your gong to be a lot more contented. A lot of that I feel is to do with relationships.
C: Oh right.

GS: Incidentally Trevor, I’ve just been given a watch, an ordinary wrist watch, not a pocket watch; just an ordinary wrist watch here.
C: Yeah.

GS: So it’s something to do with your Dad.
(Is it?)

C: Yeah give me a watch, yeah.
(He’s been given a watch? He wants a watch given?…)
GS: Well, that’s just his little connection to you to say he’s here.
(If he means that Trevor has a watch that used to belong to his Father, then I think you’ll find many sons who also have the same thing)

GS: and also Trevor, I do..[speaks to spirits] [spirits again]yes okay…Hear the name James being called forward and also the name of.. it’s like David, but its said differently.. could be Daffyd or whatever. (James, David and Daffyd)

GS: But I do hear those two names being called in from two different people in the spirit world.

GS: Okay?
(Please God let me get a hit…)

C: (no answer)

GS: And you know what ,Trevor? Do you know Colwyn Bay?
(He’s from Wales, what the hell do you think Gordon?)

C: Yes.

GS: He’s taking me up there for memories.. and Prestatyn.It’s almost like the North line of Wales..so there must be some memories that link to that North coast.
(Yes Gordon, he’s from WALES!)

C: Yeah
GS: Angelssey , Ive got to go to Anglssey as well.Ok
(Why not Gordon, just keep mentioning places in Wales, he’s Welsh remember…)

C: Yes, brilliant.
(Not just brilliant, its bloody genius…)

GS:But I do feel he’s around. He must have worn glasses, your father, cos he’s just shown me himself wearing glasses.
(I wonder statistically how many of the population wears glasses)

C: Oh, right, yeah (no idea if he is agreeing with the statement or confirming the statement. His tone of voice suggest the former. Its nonchalant, non committal.)

GS:I don’t know if someone kept the spectacles ,but I do see them there in front of me.. and he’s got a dog with him in the spirit world (inaudible as music kicks in)

RP: Lisa on the line form Richmond hills Canada 

C: I’m calling because my dad passed over in June, and I’d like to know who he’s with on the other side.

GS: First thing I get Lisa with your father is when he passed, it was time for him to go; time for the spirit to come round and get him.Okay? I feel as though there was a woman there with her hands out waiting to take him over to the other side.

C: Oh was it?

GS: Yep I feel an older woman, Im going back toward your Grandmother ok?

C: Oh my Grandmother…Ok.
(Any evidence here? No. This could apply to absolutely anyone)

GS I feel as though she was waiting to take him across. I also feel another male that connects to your father. Feels like a brother or someone in that line who was also standing there, and I get the sense of these people taking him across, and I do feel he’s reunited with many family. But I’ve got to take you across to the UK for links as well, there must be links in your family going back, that take you to the UK.. to Britain.
(Once again, any evidence? Names? Maybe the Britain connection?….)

C: Okay. .my own personal family, myself and my children or my Father’s side..?
(Nope, it seems not…)

GS: No.. no. Your father’s family.

C: Ok….(non committal)

GS: There’s links in the past.. to the UK
(How far in the past for heavens sake?…)

C: Okay…Is my father happy now, cos he went through a lifetime of suffering. is he happy?

GS: I do feel he’s happy now, and the last part of his life I do feel he was .. kind of unconscious. He was in different states of mind, the latter part just before he passed. It was at this point he saw different people coming forward for him.
(Lets face it, you don’t have to be a Medium to reassure this woman)
C: From the spirit world?
(PC World perhaps?….sorry…)

GS : He was becoming accustomed to it before he even went over there, but I do have to say there is a connection to grandchildren, that he still links to the grandkids he says
(Yes, as a couple of minutes ago she told you she had children)

C: (Amazed tone of voice) You’re connecting to him right now?
(Of course he is…..)
GS: He’s mentioning there was a birthday
(Yes of course there was a birthday, everyone has one once a year)

C: A birthday?

GS: He’s saying tell them I didn’t miss the birthday.. I saw it from the spirit world.

C: Whose birthday?
(Exactly, whose Birthday and when was it)

GS: I feel it was one of the grandkids
(Whose name would be?……)

C: Ooohh okay. Does he come around the family much?

GS: Yes I do feel he does, one time he will be there close to all the family is at the Xmas time. So just remember him at that time, cos I feel he loved having family around him. So he will be a part of the family, okay?
(Blah blah blah….)

RP: Okay thanks Lisa for your call.

Gordon Smith Transcript January 16th 2006-02-01
Key as always GS,=Gordon Smith, C=Caller, RP=radio presenter

We start the transcript at 20 mins in.
Sandra from Canada :

C: In November 2002 my Stepfather passed away, and his daughter produced a will that we believed to be false, that he fabricated it herself. And we’re trying to locate the true will. Does it exist or has she destroyed everything

GS : I think its gone Sandra , I really do. Sandra there’s a Scottish connection around you somewhere.

C: Okay…(hesitant)

GS: Scottish connections, do you know where they are, because I’m getting a sense of someone Scottish in the spirit world coming forward to me. .ah a woman, and she’s making me aware try as you may this is going to be a very difficult thing for you to overcome.

C: Uh huh.

GS: But I do feel, the majority of the family believe this all made up, and I believe it is. I think its gonna be very hard for you….. but what I feel is your wasting such a lot of your own energy, and it’s been driving you mad; cause you’d love to achieve something. But you keep coming up against brick walls.(more general pleasantries but nothing exciting)

Thirty seven minutes in and Emily calls: 
C: About 6 years ago we were living in Wales and we didn’t manage to get my Grandmother’s Christmas present in time before she died, and me and my Mother in particular have felt so guilty since then..

GS: But your Nan would know that’s fine, she would know the intention, they feel the intention, more than the physical act.And do you know what, I just saw Anglesssey, and Rhyll and Prestatyn, going around like that. A lovely picture.. a memory of that place.
(Once again he has encountered someone from Wales and is mentioning all the places in Wales he can remember)

C: (excited voice)Yes,yes…

GS: Of going out there.. and I do feel your Nan is very close. In fact somebody.. a Christmas time is very important. Its either a birthday or an anniversary time, because she’s just showing me the Christmas time..
(Which is it? A Birthday or an Anniversary? Christmas Time? That covers about 4 weeks…)

C: Er.. erm …My cousin was born.. er..

GS: She like, sees somebody celebrating a birthday at Xmas time, so your Nan’s very much with you. Tell your Mother she needs to get some more energy around her just now.
(Blah , blah, blah)

C: Yes she does

GS: She’s a little bit flat, she needs picking up, and don’t you worry about the financial thing you’ve going over its all fine. Everything’s going to be fine, its going to be a much better year for you.

If anyone can find evidence of 'Medium' abilities here, I'm a small mountain goat called Barry. Please dont give me any of this 'but he's better on stage' business, he is supposed to be a Medium, spirits Im sure do not care if he's on a phone or on a stage. He has NO psychic ability. Where the hell he got the signature "most acurate Medium" from is beyond me.

18 August 2017

Analyses Of An Independent Voice Physical Mediumship Séance

By Jon Donnis
The following analyses was originally published on BadPsychics on 28th April 2005, and is reproduced here for the first time in over 7 years!


Originally attended by:
Malcolm Robinson Founder of Strange Phenomena Investigations (UK)

With his permission I have been given the pleasure of taking a critical eye to what happened.

Although I wasn't there, I believe I can give an insight into some of the tricks that may have been used by the medium, of cause this is only one possible explanation.

I will leave the original piece intact and interject my own analysis in BOLD lettering as we go along.

Nov 26, 2004, 17:40


My attendance at an Independent voice physical mediumship séance.

By Malcolm Robinson Founder of Strange Phenomena Investigations (UK)

Well I'll tell you one thing, what I saw that night, was either the most fantastic conjuring tricks that I've ever seen, on a par with anything that David Copperfield or David Blaine can do, or, it was simply the most incredible, wonderful, nae 'supreme' feats of physical mediumship and independent voice that has ever been!!! Big statements!! You bet. Whatever went on that night in a quiet house in the suburbs of Chingford North London will live with me for the rest of my life.

It all started last year (2002) when a psychic by the name of Monique Elton who lives in North London visited one of the many London lectures that I organise on behalf of Strange Phenomena Investigations. She told me a little bit about herself and mentioned the fact that she holds a weekly physical mediumship séance at her home in which independent voice, apports, and the appearance of spirit manifest in front of sitters. "Would I like to come along and see this for myself" she asked !! Well to say that I've been looking for this all my life is an understatement. I have been researching ghosts, poltergeists UFOs and various other forms of 'strange phenomena' for over 20 years now and although I have seen some quite startling things, I have not been overly impressed as to where the validity of such things lie !! That may sound a strange statement especially from a researcher, but I do question my own mind from time to time when I am in an environment in which strange things occur. Did they really happen ? Did I really see it ? What if my perception of these events was wrong and I was looking at them in the wrong way. ! Maybe it was only psychological things that I have experienced in the past rather than spiritual ! As a researcher I certainly question everything. So to have someone more or less give me everything on a plate was just too much of an opportunity not to take. I had to go. I had to find out for myself whether independent voice and physical mediumship really happens or it's just all wishy-washy claptrap of people trying to impress one another and perhaps even make a name for themselves. I say all this to get through to you the reader of this article that it is very important that we all question things. Never accept anything on face value alone. Facts are what's required not supposition and probabilities!

Anyway the day finally arrived (February 18th 2003) and I duly headed off on a cold miserable February night to North London. Monique met me at the door of her lovely house and ushered me in. My anticipation was rising and I knew that many of my colleagues would love to have been with me this night. But as it was, it was agreed that only one 'new' person would be accepted into this group of 5 people. After a welcome cup of tea, Monique took me upstairs firstly to inspect an array of apports (objects that come from somewhere else and materialise into a séance room). She opened up a small glass cabinet in which she took out various objects from coins to an old scout button, to a Military officer's coloured braid, which I inspected with awe. She explained that each of these objects had 'teleported' into the séance room when they were conducting their physical mediumship. Apparently spirit had told her that none of these small objects had been stolen, indeed, it was explained to her that they had been 'lost' and that spirit had claimed them and brought them forward into her house ! Monique had labelled and dated these objects with a small sticker placed on the back of each object stating when they had appeared. Fascinating stuff.

>From there she took me into a back bedroom where we would be holding the physical mediumship. Now this was a small room, roughly 12 feet long by 8 feet wide. There were five plastic chairs all aligned in a row facing what's known as a cabinet. Now for those not familiar with what a cabinet is. Basically it can either be a tall three sided wooden cabinet with a curtain closing off the fourth side in which a psychic medium will sit behind (usually tied in his or her seat) where after a short while spirit would take over the voice box of the medium and talk to those assembled or things would push out through the curtain. In Monique's room she had draped across the corner of one side of the room, a shinny black curtain supported on a guide rail fixed onto the ceiling. Placed directly in this corner was another small plastic chair (of the kind you get placed in many patios up and down the land)

Plastic chairs are preferred these days due to their weight and ease to move about, although in the past mediums would use music to hide the noise of moving wooden chairs.

Monique then asked me to inspect the room to ensure that there were no hidden devices of any kind which could make noises, bangs, raps etc. This was something that I had intended to do anyway. So I began my inspection. I knocked on walls to see if perhaps there were and hidden holes that may have contained something behind the wallpaper, there were none. I then inspected the carpet in the small area where the medium would be sitting for any cuts in the carpet that may have contained devices etc, there were none. I checked the whole room looking for hidden microphones or any other device that could give rise to false noises or anything that could account for what could be construed as 'paranormal effects', again, there were none. I was satisfied as best I could be that there was nothing in that room that could give rise to false and misleading effects.

Another common trick used by the confederates of the medium, whenever someone is asked to inspect the room, this is because the trick hasn't been set-up yet, or the trick is well hidden.

Think about when you see a magician getting a member of the audience to check part of his trick. Whenever someone is asked to look at the props, in this case the séance room, you can guarantee that, that is not where the "magic" will take place.

With my inspection over, Monqiue took me back down stairs where we discussed the events of previous physical mediumship seances.

This was the first mistake, the room has been inspected, but now you have left the room, this is where the "magic" is happening. The room is now free to be manipulated by anyone involved.

For anyone invited to such a séance, only inspect the room immediately before the séance is due to take place. It is not full proof, but it will make the medium's job much harder if fewer things were available to set-up.

A few minutes later the doorbell rang and in walked the medium for the night a Mr Bob Nelson (pseudonym) and his wife. I didn't know what to expect as I had heard quite a bit about him (but only on that night from Monique not before). He was I would say, in his 50's thin to medium build and just looked like any other person of that age. Bob and his wife were also accompanied with one of their friends a woman in her late 50's. We sat talking for a bit about spiritualism after which Monique asked Bob if he would like to go up to the bedroom and get ready. He duly nodded in agreement and Monique and I walked with him up the polished wooden staircase into the back bedroom. Now although this was a February night, the room temperature was actually quite warm, certainly very comfortable. We sat Bob down in his chair whereupon Monique brought out two quite broad Velcro straps for me to inspect and asked me to place these straps tightly but not overly tightly, onto his wrists (she helped as well). We did this and I felt that this was a much better idea than tying the medium's wrists with rope as you would probably not hear the sound of rope being untied, but with Velcro that was a different matter. The noise this made (as I tried it before I placed it on his wrists), was indeed very noisy and there was no mistaking that if you tried to remove this, even in the dark, boy would you hear it.

There are many types of "trick" straps, I have rarely heard of mediums using Velcro straps for the obvious reasons, but sometimes the trick of removing oneself is nothing to do with the straps.

In the past wooden chairs with false arms would be used, a simple locking device when enabled would allow the medium to simply slip his hands off the arms of the chair.

In this case it is hard to understand which technique is used because I wasn’t there. Either way the use of Velcro straps is not in my opinion a satisfactory way to tie down a medium.

For the record I would also advise against any type of wrap that connects the medium to the chair.

The problem we have as escapologists have shown, is that there are many ways to escape from almost any restraint, there wasn’t a pair of handcuffs in the world that Houdini could not escape from.

In the case of a medium, the minimum I would expect would be to hand cuff restraints holding the medium's hands behind his backs, and those handcuffs wrapped in strong tape.

The medium then removed his shoes where his white socks shone like a beacon, (more on that in a moment !)

I spotted this straight away, a clever ploy and I am sure his socks will be used later on in the séance.

I checked his upper body for any devices (telescopic rods etc) but couldn't detect any. I then padded up his trousers legs like a police officer checking someone for drugs but again couldn't detect anything.

As with most mediums doing seances, they will allow them to be searched thoroughly, in the past internal searches were also conducted, especially on female mediums.

Again if they are allowing you to search them, then that is not where the trick will take place.

He sat back in his chair and we asked if he was comfortable, he replied that he was, and with that Monique pulled the shiney black curtain over in front of him in which his two feet could be seen sticking out from underneath the curtain (more noticeable because of his white socks)

There ya go, I knew the white socks would come into play, these are what I would call a set piece.

Because they are white and easily visible, this is what the medium will use to "prove" he is not moving about.

Kind of reminiscent of the feet of a magician's assistant during a "saw a woman in half" trick.

There was a large heavy bowl of water next to the cabinet of which I asked Monique what purpose did that serve. She mentioned that spirit seems to take energy from it and it helps the proceedings!! Well I wasn't sure about that, as I hadn't heard of that one before.

I have heard of the bowl of water before. I am sure we will get into its many uses a little later on.

Also next to the cabinet (about a foot or so away from it) was a small chest of drawers of which on top of it was placed a piece of hardboard. Marked on this hardboard were fluorescent strips in the shape of a cross.

For something to be marked like this, it is very obvious that this will be used during the séance.

Whenever you see fluorescent markings etc be very aware.

I would've preferred someone to put some pressure pads on the floor around this chest of drawers, just to make sure no one was going to pick it up.

If that is impossible, then some talc shaken onto the floor around the area would have to do, just to show up footprints, of course there are many ways around such previsions, but its better than nothing.

There were also two small configuration of bells on two of the walls in the room. These bells reminded me of a snowdrop flower, tiny small bells dropping down from each other, Monique explained that spirit regularly rang these bells when a session was in full swing.

Again the mediums favourite.

Such bells should be put inside bell jars or other upturned glass containers. When inside something like that the sound of the bell would change, so it would be easy to hear the difference if someone just lifted the glass to ring the bell.

Another simple but effective way to harm any efforts of trickery.

We again asked the medium if he was all right to which he replied he was, and with that we switched the light off in the room and walked out the door. We rejoined those assembled downstairs and after 10 minutes we decided that it was time to return to the upstairs bedroom and begin the session. Monique explained that the medium needed this 'quiet time' before we entered the room to tune into spirit and get ready for what was to follow. Monique also asked us at this point, to ensure that no metal objects were brought into the seance room, keys, watches, coins, mobile phones etc. And we all deposited our loose coins and took off our watches and placed them outside the room.

Whoah there.

You were asked to leave the room (Again) this time for 10 minutes because medium needed this 'quiet time' before we entered the room to tune into spirit and get ready for what was to follow.

Ok for anyone reading this should be setting off alarm bells left right and centre.

The medium has now been left alone in the room where he can possible set-up any tricks or devices he wants.

No surprise that you were asked to inspect the room earlier.

Never ever leave a medium in the seance room alone, because now all of the checks done, not only on the room but also on the medium become worthless.

This was probably the biggest mistake of the whole day.


By now I was quite excited if not a little apprehensive. What if something really major happened that tested my enquiring mind to the limit!! What if I couldn't cope!! What if nothing happened as usually did in these circumstances when a researcher is invited into the séance room!

With all the trouble they had gone to, I would be very surprised if nothing happened.

I can guarantee if I had been there, nothing would've happened.

All these thoughts and more were going through my mind as I walked up the staircase to the top landing. We all took off our shoes and entered the room. The room was dimly lit by a small red light on top of a wardrobe but it was sufficient enough to see the outline of everything and the people in the room. Indeed as your eyes got accustomed to it, it really wasn't that overly dark at all. Monique said that she would audiotape the session for me (she usually recorded these sessions anyway).

Yet they will never use a night vision camcorder to record it will they, in fact never has a séance ever been recorded with night vision camcorder to my knowledge, and those that have are always exposed as faked.

I would've liked the investigator to have sneaked a camcorder into the séance room, but we can't have everything we want.

We all sat down in our places. I was sat next to Monique's husband, he was sat next to the medium's wife, and she was sat next to the other lady I mentioned earlier.

Most people will miss this, but to me it's very important. By placing the researcher between the people they did, they are in fact stopping any chance of being exposed, at any point the researcher could jump up, try and grab a "spirit" or something else that could expose things, this way if the researcher had any such ideas, they could easily be stopped.

Monique then said a prayer to spirit thanking them for all their spirit manifestations at previous seances and hoped it would be the same tonight. No sooner had we sat down than Monique pressed play on another audiocassette, which began to play songs from yesteryear.

Music is often used to drown out any movements of the medium, removing of straps, movement of props etc.

It would be ideal that in any séance, complete silence be observed. That way it would be easier to hear the trickery going on.

Old traditional English and Irish songs flooded the room, which I already knew, also helped create the ambience and conditions for spirit to come forward. I could feel my heart beating as I looked around the room waiting for something to happen at any moment. Everyone by now was singing along with the songs on the tape (as they probably knew them off by heart having done this week in and week out).

Again everyone's attention is with the music, I would guess that it was quite an atmosphere, with everyone singing, the confederates singing louder than anyone else of course.

Any kind of music or singing to me would definitely point to a fake séance.

I thought I saw small flashes of light in the air a few feet in front of me but I am definitely putting these down to my eyes adjusting to the conditions rather than spirit!!

Well anyone having been put in a situation that you were would most likely see things, the suggestions have been put in your mind already, the poor lighting, loud music, it all creates an atmosphere, and your anxiety would be very high.

The five of us were only about three and a half feet away from the cabinet and again the medium's white-socked feet could clearly be seen sticking out from underneath the curtain. It was at this point that I realised that whilst I had been downstairs after leaving the medium alone, he could have had the opportunity to untie himself and prepare his shenanigans!! (If that was indeed what he was going to do!). I wish I had have inspected the medium when I came back into the room. But I'll come back to this point shortly for it is quite important. I would say that it was about eight minutes into the proceedings that the first of the many things that night began to happen. One could clearly hear loud audible rapping's coming from the centre of the room. Monique quickly scrolled down the volume on the audiocassette. These knockings/rapping's were, as far as I could ascertain, coming from what appeared to be the middle of the room. It was like a stereo effect. Zip zip from left to right as if you were swinging the balance button on a stereo system.

Maybe they were coming from stereo speakers hidden in the room while the medium was left alone.

Then there were heavier rapping's coming from somewhere else, it seemed to me to be coming from outside our room. I then heard rapping's coming from the wall.

There could easily have been confederates in adjacent rooms, banging on walls, even in the attic.

Now whilst this was going on and whilst the music was playing earlier, which I must add wasn't overly loud, I was straining my ears ever so much in the direction of the cabinet, listening for any deceiving sounds of the Velcro straps being pulled away, at no time did I hear that unmistakable sound at all.

The rapping sounds then faded and Monique again put the music back on. Suddenly there were coughing sounds coming from behind the curtain and after a few more seconds came one of the first 'spirit' ! voices of the night. It belonged to a little girl called Marie. Marie a ten-year-old Polish girl had died under traumatic conditions in the infamous and horrendous German Concentration Camp called Auchwitz.

I wonder was the little girl speaking in Polish? Or was she speaking in English with a polish accent?

Now it's so easy for anyone to mimic a voice I'm not that naïve to think that this isn't possible, sceptics would certainly say that this was the case here. And that's maybe so, but what we have to bear in mind is the fact that spirit are taking over the medium's voice box to communicate and as such you will not get the clear and concise reproduction of any alleged spirit communicator, so in that regard I had to accept that what I was hearing could well be this little girl.

That sounds like the usual medium excuse.

I would've been more impressed if the voice was speaking in perfect Polish; I see no reason why she would be able to speak English.

If she spoke in Polish, the accent and words she spoke could be verified after the séance with a professional Polish linguist.

It would be easy to tell if the language was spoken with a natural tongue or from someone using it as a second language.

Anyway it doesn’t matter as she uncharacteristically spoke in English, oh how convenient.

She sounded young and chirpy and was quite jovial and I was surprised when she asked me directly if I was scared. I replied I was not and thanked her for being there. Marie poked fun at Monique (in a nice way). After a few more minutes of Marie talking to those assembled, the voice suddenly stopped and there was silence again in the room. Hmm Interesting I thought but nothing that could not be done by anyone !! Monique again started the audiocassette and more music flooded the room.

Why the music? Lets have silence so we can hear what's going on.

So there I am, sitting and quizzing what I have heard when a new voice began to sound out from behind the curtain. This was Jonathan a London cockney. Jonathan sounded very articulate and intelligent and this voice was clearly coming from the direction of where the medium was sitting, but to my surprise, the voice shifted !! For where the voice had been coming from near enough the centre of the curtain before, the voice could plainly be heard coming from firstly the bottom left hand side of the curtain, then it moved to the bottom right hand side of the curtain, back to the middle, then it appeared to be coming from the ceiling!! Now again audibly this was quite impressive but my inquisitive mind kicked in once more and I began to think along the lines of someone throwing their voice.

No nothing so interesting, most likely this was a second person who had gotten into place while the music had been turned up, dressed in black they would simply be moving about and with their hands cupped around their mouth they would very easily be able to "throw" their voice.

Now I haven't actually heard anyone doing this but I know that it can be done. Was this the case here!! There is absolutely no denying that Jonathan's voice was everywhere from every part of that curtain. Had he got up out of his chair and bent down speaking from near the floor to rising up to speak near the ceiling. Certainly not, because his white socked feet were clearly in view all the time and the soles of his feet were planted firmly on the floor. They didn't rise at all! I was impressed but again not overly due to the possibility that the medium could have been 'throwing' his voice hard to tell as we couldn't see him only his feet.

At any point did he move his feet? Maybe they were fake feet?

Jonathan, as I later learned, used to work at Covent Garden selling vegetables and first spoke at Monique's séance's 7 years ago. He was around 70 years of age when he passed into spirit and apparently Monique had 'rescued' him as he was between worlds and he regularly came back to the séance room, as he was such a good talker. Monique says with pride that he is the spokesperson of the spirit team.


At this point Jonathan spoke to me again and said that I hadn't inspected 'his' medium's wrist ties (he was speaking on behalf of his medium) He said that I may be sceptical and that I should come forward and inspect 'his' medium and ensure that all was in place! This comment drew gasps from the other sitters and Monique quietly said to me this had never happened before that it was extremely unusual for anyone to approach a medium whilst he was in this state (even I knew this).

They probably do this every time, just to show how "real" it all is.

He asked me to approach 'his' medium and with that I rose from my chair and slowly walked towards him. I gingerly pulled back the shiney black curtain and peered towards him. What met my eyes was a serene scene. The medium had his head bowed slightly onto his chest but it was his face that really caught my eye. All over his face was a warm soft fuzzy/hazy glow like the effect you get from one of those new fangled warm soft light bulbs that have been advertised on television recently.

Without being there it is hard to understand what you describe, but there are many things that can cause such a glow, from glow in the dark paste, to the non toxic stuff inside those glow sticks you get at fair grounds. Now I wonder how he will wash it off later?

He looked peaceful and content. I then inspected his wrist straps, yes sure enough they were in place and I gave one a little tug and as I did so you could clearly hear the unmistakable sound of the Velcro coming unstuck. So I then pushed the strap tightly back. I touched both wrists, they were warm and I could hear his soft breathing. To all intents and purposes he seemed as if asleep. I stepped back a bit and closed the curtain and returned to my seat. Now readers, this is where my conception of reality took a turn.

I had just returned to my seat when all of a sudden the curtain billowed out with the shape of a person, (I kid you not!!) The curtain came up so far that you could see the medium's legs and looking at his feet, yes they were still firmly planted on the floor. One could clearly see the outline of a head, shoulders, and body coming towards (being pushed through the curtain) the sitters in the room. This really stunned me. Seconds later the curtain dropped and the curtain was completely straight again. Wow, how did he do this I thought to myself?

There are a few ways this could've been achieved, from a second person in the cabinet with him, who was simply hidden when you went to check.

Another way is for the medium to use some kind of inflatable doll connected to a pole or rod to control it.

Maybe a cardboard cut out.

I had just a second or so earlier checked his wrists and he was clearly tied by the wrists to the chair and then suddenly this shape appeared!! I was now beginning to think that maybe something spiritual really was happening for I had previously been thinking of all the possible tricks of the trade which might give rise to false and misleading effects.

Right now you have become caught up in the moment, your critical mind is now failing you. It would happen to many people who were experiencing what you were.

More voices came forward; there was a voice of Father James an Irish Monk who lived, as Monique later informed me, 200 years ago in a monastery in Cyprus.

Ok I am Cypriot, and I have also visited many monasteries, and I have never come across Irish monks? I think this is just a story used, as it sounds interesting.

Cyprus is famed for its very old monasteries, as well as it's religious icons and close connection to the start of Christianity as a whole.

He joined Monique's circle just over two years ago. Father James sounded very intelligent and well spoken.

Again he was talking English, I wonder for someone who should undoubtedly be able to speak Greek and Turkish, why he never spoke in either? I also wonder if I had been there and address him in Greek if he would've been able to reply in Greek, and no not the Greek they speak in Greece either, the proper Greek that they speak in Cyprus, there is a big difference, and would be very very hard to fake, as there is no schools in the world that teach Cypriot Greek, even schools in Cyprus today teach Greek as spoken in Greece. Cypriot Greek is learnt from your parents and family.

Oh I wish I had been there, I would've exposed these frauds in seconds.

Suddenly 'two' human like shapes stood at both sides of the curtain (behind it) and they too began to push through the curtain all the while the medium's feet remained firmly flat on the floor.

Again are these actually the medium's feet or are they props?

We then all heard the sound of 'thumping' on the carpet at the medium's feet. Monique clapped her hands and said that 'Blackie' a spiritual dog was now with us. (A regular attendee at her weekly seances) Indeed it did sound like a dog wagging its tail firmly on the carpet. At this point one could clearly see the shape of a small animal scurrying around at the bottom of the curtain. I thought I saw a small black nose sticking out from underneath the curtain (but I'm not really sure)!

Using the same tricks of the earlier curtain movements that of a small animal could easily be reproduced, as for you seeing things, this could be put down to your own imagination as you are well and truly caught up in the moment.

Blackie moved all along the bottom of the curtain moving from the left to the right hitting it's tail as if excited on the carpet. Wow, things were now really hotting up.

A small brush could be used to create the effect of a tail wagging on the floor, although I find it very strange that a spirit dog's tail would be able to make such a noise, surely if it could you would hear it barking? Something that you never heard. But then maybe the mediums dog impressions weren't so good.


Then everything stopped and I thought perhaps that was it. But no, a very large human shape began to take form pushing through the curtain to my left, Monique asked who this was but no reply came forward. She asked several times "Who are you" but no reply came forward. To be honest, I didn't really like this shape, to me it was kind of menacing and different I just can't explain it. Marie made another appearance as did Jonathan and I actually spoke to them on certain issues for a few minutes. Indeed, Jonathan enquired of me as to did I know an elderly woman who was in spirit that played the piano,

Why does he need to ask you? Why can't he TELL you?

For the record I know of 3 elderly woman who have passed that played the piano.

I thought that this could be my gran. He then said that I had lost a key recently, not any old key a special one, a different one, and this was not a house key. Boy was that correct! I lost a key to a small cashbox a few months ago, which I've hunted for and not found (how could he have known this!)

Many people have lost keys, especially small ones. It would seem he used an educated guess and got lucky.

It would've been nice if he could've given you the key you had lost.

Jonathan then asked me to come forward to 'his' medium once more and inspect that all was correct. Once was incredible enough to be asked, but twice!! I again rose from my chair crossed the room, pulled back the curtain and that same vision that I had saw previously was there. The medium had his head bowed down slightly onto his chest, that warm soft glow was surrounding his face, and yes those wide Velcro wrist straps were clearly in place and secure. Satisfied, I closed the curtain and went back to my seat.

Right now I would've inspected the rest of the curtains, looked on the floor, searched the mediums clothes for devices.

A few minutes later and the unmistakably sound of the bells on the wall rang out; admittedly only once and clearly no one was near them. As I mentioned before there was sufficient light in the room to see one another (red light) and one could clearly have seen anyone getting up off their seat to do anything.

Can you see a bit of tin thread connected to the bell? No therefore it cannot be eliminated.

At this point Jonathan once more came through and asked if we would like an example of spirit power. Needless to say all agreed whereupon Jonathan asked that we switch off the red light to give more power for spirit to work.

What utter nonsense, I would've refused to take part in any more of this nonsense right here.

Its like saying, "Let me turn the lights off so I can con you even more"

Monique quickly extinguished the red light and the room was catapulted into inky blackness. Now this really was dark, you just couldn't see your hand in front of your face. I knew I would have to be on my guard at this point and listen intently for any sound that I couldn't account for more so the sound of those Velcro wrist straps perhaps being taken off, (ever the sceptic!) The only light source that could be seen was those luminescent strips sticking on top of that piece of hardboard, which was resting on top of the small chest of drawers. Monique again played some music and all of us began to sing to those old sing a long songs (oh one of which was Tom Jones!)

This is done to set-up the next trick; music takes peoples attention away from the medium

Once more I was thrown into confusion and bewilderment, why!! Well because coming towards us was what I initially thought was only this small piece of hardboard with the luminescent strips on it. It was getting closer and closer it was moving 'not' in an undulating manner as if someone was carrying it, no, it was moving in a straight line. It then stopped still. Now this is where something really unbelievable happened (at least to me) I've heard many times of drops in temperature in haunted houses or séance rooms, indeed I've experienced it a few times in my life in my Investigations. What happened next will live with me to the day I die.


Suddenly there was an extreme, (and please believe me when I say extreme) drop in temperature. The best way I can liken it is for you the reader to imagine that you are sunning yourself on a beach in the Caribbean and then suddenly being dropped in your swimwear into the cold North Atlantic during a steely winter storm, it was that bloody cold. I have never ever experienced anything so bloody cold in my life. It was wafting all over us in strong breezes and the bottoms of your legs were as if encased in ice.

I needed to speak to a magician friend of mine for this.

He told me that such an effect of coldness is easily accomplished by using dry ice, it is silent and if fanned around it would be undetectable.

That is one explanation, and of course by turning off the red light, you would not see it.

I then experienced something on my face like walking into lots of cobwebs. Can any of you older readers remember the Fairground Ghost Train where you went inside in your car and during parts of that journey inside the Ghost Train pieces of string that were hanging down from the roof of the Ghost Train fell about your face!! Well that's exactly what it felt like to me. Pieces of thin gauze like material all moving over my face.

This could simply be your imagination, but it could also be someone using some kind of device to achieve this effect,

Maybe a feather duster lightly moving by your face, that’s just one thing I can think of, although I am sure there are many more things I haven't thought of.

Marie and Jonathan then communicated again and a lot of this was jocular. It was at this point that we had yet another spirit voice, that of Sadiq, a Persian Prince who lived over 2000 years ago. Monique informed me that he was a Christian and a very wise man and does not speak that much at their circles but when he does it usually is on serious matters.

I wonder was he speaking in English? Of course he was, even though the English language would never have reached Iran at that time, He would have most likely spoken Greek, Hebrew or Arabic, probably all 3. But never English.

After about five minutes Sadiq said that he was losing the power and could we turn the lights on again. And with that, Monique switched on the small red bulb situated on top of the wardrobe.

Well they needed time to move things out of view as well as set-up the next trick.

Now the sight that greeted our eyes was something else! About a foot away from me was this small chest of drawers and I had thought that it was just the hardboard that was moving in our direction, not so, it was the full chest of drawers itself!! Jeez, this chest of drawers had moved about 3 and half feet away from the wall apparently without anybody (well human anyway) moving it.

That’s why the lights were turned out.

I hadn't heard anyone from our party getting up, crossing my line of vision, and moving it. I hadn't heard the breaking of the Velcro straps on the medium for him to get up and move it. Then Monique's husband cried out, "Hey look what's at my feet" ! I looked down at Monique's husband's feet and was surprised to see that large bowl of water that I referred to earlier had moved itself from the wall next to the chest of drawers, and was now firmly resting on Monique's husband's foot ! We all looked at each other in astonishment and laughed aloud whereupon Monique once more played some music on the tape recorder.

Again that’s why you needed the red light turned off, suprisingly non of these events happened when the red light was on, I wonder why?


I sat back in my chair contemplating the sight and sounds that had befell me. Bewilderment is not the word that does a situation like this justice. The chest of drawers moving, the bowl of water moving were one thing, but what really got to me was that intense and localised freezing as if you had walked naked into a large industrial freezer. A few moments later, Jonathan's voice came back and he was amused that we were amused. He spoke to me and asked me what I thought, I said that I was very impressed and asked him to do it again. I asked that he return the chest of drawers back to the wall and for him to bring forth those icy blasts once more. Could he do it I asked! He said that he would try and asked Ma Cherie (his name for Monique) to extinguish the red light once more.

Why can't he do it with the red light on?

We once more played some music to continue to assist the conditions.

Yes to assist the conditions, more likely to drown out the footsteps of the people or person moving the chest of drawers.

Now this chest of drawers was within my reach and because the red light was now extinguished the room really was engulfed in complete blackness, so I leaned forward and hooked one of my fingers of my right hand onto the chest of drawers and kept it there. I said to myself if this thing moves I'm sure going to try and stop it. A few seconds later and there it was again, like a blast of cold cold wind from the North Atlantic a terrific cold breeze wafted across us all. To be honest with you, I should have inspected my breath to see if it was frosting up in the air but it was so dark in the room that I would not have seen it. Suddenly I felt a jerk on my finger and the chest of drawers started to slip away from me. This time however it moved in a wobbly fashion as opposed to earlier where it had moved clean and straight. I tried to hook my finger back onto it but to no avail as it was by now clearly moving backwards to the position where it once came. More icy blasts of wind and more cobwebby feelings caressed my astonished face.

After a few seconds the slow movement of the chest of drawers seen only by the fluorescent strips stopped and I wondered had it really found it's original place in the room. Jonathan spoke again and said that conditions were now getting weaker due (no doubt) to my insistence that he repeat the incredible drops in temperature and movement of the chest of drawers. Monique switched our red light back on and low and behold, there was the chest of drawers almost exactly situated where it originally had been. The bowl of water however was still near Monique's husband's feet. Who knows, if I had have asked that to move back to it's original position it too might have done so.

Monique decided to bring a halt to the proceedings and just before we closed this session, another amazing thing happened. In very quick succession all the 'voices' that spoke that night spoke to the medium asking him that he should now wake up. "Wake up" said Marie, "wake up" said Jonathan, "wake up" said Father James. "Wake up" said Sadiq. We could then hear the sound of the medium coughing slightly. At this point, Monique said a short prayer. Just slightly over two and a half-hours had passed since I first sat down with baited breath. I certainly wasn't disappointed. After the prayer, the medium's wife crossed the room, pulled back the curtain and by this time the medium was coming back into this world. He looked puzzled if not somewhat bewildered.

Well he has to doesn’t he, if he came too with a big grin rubbing his hands together it might give the game away.

I again left my seat and walked over to him his Velcro restraints were still in place, I padded his jersey again looking for telescopic devices that may have been able to push out the curtain, there were none. I padded his trouser legs again looking for secreted devices, nothing.

Of course, during the music, everything was hidden, and the medium prepared to come back to the "real" world.

I asked him how he felt, groggily he said he was fine but a little tired. (I guess I would be as well if I had been sitting in that same position for over 2 hours!)

I doubt he had been in the same position for 2 and a half-hours.

We un-strapped him from the chair and I had a quick look behind his chair and around his chair looking for 'anything' that may have given rise to those incredible effects, again nothing. I must admit my view on the workings of the universe dramatically changed that night. I had experienced intense drops in temperature, something moving all over my face, spirit voices, rapping's, bells ringing, movement of objects everything that I've ever looked for as possible evidence that there is a spirit world. But at the end of the day, what has all this achieved for me. ! I'm an individual researcher who is trying to obtain proof or at least evidence of ''something' which I hope Joe Public will look at. I've always said that mankind is at the bottom of a spiritual paranormal ladder and that we know so very little about the make up of not only our universe but also the unseen universe around us. I should also point out that Monique informed me that there are 'other' spirit people who pop into her séance room from time to time, some are just wandering she says, whilst others are lost and are in need of 'rescuing'. Some quite famous names have also popped in from spirit to say hello from time to time, the famous Spiritualist and medium Jo Benjamin has said hello as has one of Britain's most finest mediums, Scotland's Helen Duncan.

To end this article, I would now like to address some points, which I feel need to be said. I could be incorrect on my thoughts and feelings on these issues and I guess it's up to others to pull me up about them, however here they are for what they are worth.

Malcolm's thoughts on the workings of spiritual evidence.

1. Why do physical mediums have to be behind closed curtains!! O.K. I accept that due to the nature of the phenomenon, spirit has to build up a certain amount of energy to ensure phenomena will happen. Surely however we can get round this and keep the room dark but focus an infra red camera towards the medium letting us clearly see if the mouth of the medium moves whilst these spirit voices are talking. Yes I am also aware that many people claim to have heard spirit speaking through medium's looking directly at them and the mouth is not moving but the sound is coming from the larynx of the medium. Of course, if there were no curtain then you wouldn't get the other phenomenon of the curtain billowing out which when you see this is quite a sight I can assure you. So let's try and capture on video tape, film of the face of the medium whilst the spirit voices are in control.

I agree with all your points here, but I fear that with the advent of technology we are slowly seeing a decline in mediums doing such seances.

We are now in an age where we can prove all these effects so easily, yet still in the year 2005 not one single medium in history has ever been able to satisfactorily prove they aren't cheating.
2. I mentioned some of my thoughts on this séance at a meeting of my society Strange Phenomena Investigations where our guest speaker for the day one Montague Keen (from the Society of Physical Research) mentioned that yes more infra red cameras should be placed in the séance room but criss crossing every angle so every point of the room is covered, a point I readily agree with. Let's 'do this'.

Again yes, I agree, but somehow I can't see it happening.

3. Why can't certain types of physical mediumship not happen in ordinary white light !! We had to turn off the red light in order for more energy (So I was told) to build up so that spirit could move the chest of drawers and cause the intense cold to waft over our faces. Why couldn't they do this in the subdued red light condition? or in soft white light 30 watt bulb ! Let's try it !

They wont try it for the obvious reasons, outside of the curtain, they were only able to produce any effects when they had turned all the lights off, I am sorry but its just too convenient an excuse.

In closing what I saw and experienced that night will live with me forever. Either this was some of the best and honest physical mediumship for a very long time, or everyone in the room known to each other and who sit together in these circles weekly, were in collusion to fool and impress me so that I would go out and tell the world. Admittedly I'm not one to sit on my laurels, if I witness something which I believe to be genuine, then I'll shout this out from the rooftops. What I'd like to see now, is for more infra red cameras to be brought into these weekly seances, but not only that, I want to see respected members of the 'better' press visit North London, see this for themselves and write honestly about it. But for me it doesn't even stop there. I also want members of the prestigious Magic Circle to come and visit who know how to make some of these events happen by professional conjuring and say to them, "O.K. chaps, I'm convinced of what is going on here, you are the guys who can do this for a living, what do YOU think is going on" !

In summary, I am inclined to believe you were part of a hoax. I don’t think that everyone there had to be in on it, maybe only 3 or 4 people were needed to achieve the given effects.

People are easily fooled, and when you have been fooled once, you can be fooled again and again if you believe.

The best people to test mediums and psychics are magicians and mentalists. If you could convince the likes of Derren Brown or Banachek that you really are talking to the dead, or that you can bend a poon with your mind then you will go along way to prove your abilities.

Why is it that any time a magician of the modern era is invited to a séance, nothing happens?

Anyone who wants to invite me to a séance please do, I promise you that no cheating will take place, and if these things still happen then I will happily close down my site, and dedicate my life to serving you.

Seances like this should be left in the 19th century, this is the 21st century, and if spirits exist and mediums can really talk to the dead, then stop doing it in upstairs bedrooms of some house, and do it on the BBC news channel.

We need to stop this nonsense as a whole.

Jon Donnis

My evaluation of this event is based on my own opinions, I was not at the event therefore it is only my opinion I have stated here.

The original transcript of this even has been used with permission from

© Malcolm Robinson, Founder SPI Scotland-England.
Strange Phenomena Investigations founded 1979 Anniversary Year 2004. (Founder Malcolm Robinson)