8 April 2017

Warner Bros. might have to pay $900 million if they can’t prove ghosts are real

The studio and filmmakers behind the successful "Conjuring" franchise are being sued by an author for $900 million. The three films in the franchise grossed $886 million at the global box office, and two more films are on the way.

Author Gerald Brittle wrote a book about the Warrens in 1980 called "The Demonologist." Brittle claims that he had an exclusive agreement with Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators whose case files are dramatized in the "Conjuring" movies.

Warner Brothers Pictures made its own deal with the Warrens, which lead to the production of "The Conjuring," "The Conjuring 2," and "Annabelle."

What makes the suit more interesting than your standard Hollywood contract dispute is the aspect dealing with the movie studio's claim that the "Conjuring" movies weren't based on Brittle's book, and that they are indeed based on "historical facts." Brittle says that can't be possible because he (and other skeptics) posits that the Warrens' case files about paranormal and supernatural activity are fabricated.

7 April 2017

Review: Ghost Adventures - Season 14, Episode 2 April 1, 2017 Freak Show Murder House

If you haven't seen this episode yet, you can through Amazon, click the link below.
Freak Show Murder House

So I will admit that after reviewing Episode 1 of Season 14, I was a bit unsure if I would bother doing another one, the first half of the episode I quite enjoyed, the high production value, some interesting local characters. It was fun, but then it devolved into some truly ridiculous and clearly faked moments. The team using equipment that made no sense. And making claims that were laughable to even a small child. But I checked out the views that the article got, and like it or not it had 3 times more views than my review of Episode 2 of the new Most Haunted series that is starting soon. Perhaps this is because Ghost Adventures is airing now, and Most Haunted has yet to air. Or maybe much like the TV ratings have shown, more people watch and enjoy Ghost Adventures than Most Haunted.

So I decided to give Ghost Adventures another go, and leave my Most Haunted reviews until the show actually airs. Plus it might stop the idiots at UKTV sending me threatening emails because I "broke embargo" on the show. Dudes, me reviewing Most Haunted gets you more viewers, why do you think Karl Beattie was leaking info about Derek Acorah direct to me back in the Living TV days! Positive or Negative doesn't matter as long as they getting viewers. But the idiots at UKTV aren't that bright are they. And NO I wont remove my reviews of the first two episodes either.

Anyway mini rant over.

Onto Ghost Adventures a show just as bad as Most Haunted but with a much much bigger budget.

Blurb time.

"Zak and the crew investigate the site of a 1996 double murder in Los Angeles' Chatsworth neighborhood. The guys gather chilling evidence of paranormal activity and are lured away from the location against their will."

In the early narration Zak says "We have spent years building our credibility, our reputation", Let me state for the record right now. You guys have NO credibility, and your reputation is of amateur ghost hunters fannying about in the dark.

A very serious crime happened at the location they are investigating tonight, and Zak looks like this. Just keep in mind how disrespectful you are being to the memories of the people murdered by even making this TV show, which once again is a PR stunt for the new people who live in the house and sell morbid things from it.

As we are shown around the house, it is pretty freaky looking.
For example we have this "Haunted Doll"

It doesn't look haunted at all to me. But if it is, good job it is in a glass case, because as everyone knows ghosts can't go through glass! Right? Thats the thing isn't it. I am sure I heard that one. 

Here is the owner of the house

He looks scarier than the doll to me.

Hi missus seems ok though, definitely the secret brains of the operation I reckon.

Zak gets a gust of frigid air to his face, (Karl usually gets that from Yvette but that is a different story for a different day), and they then check all the air vents, but no it is definitely a ghost.

Already they have got out that ridiculous nonsensical useless spirit box thingy that just makes a lot of noise. And another meter that measures stuff, Zak confidentally says they have definite proof of the paranormal! We are only 7 minutes in.

Zak now interviews the kids who live in the house. Now if you really believed in poltergeist and demonic ghosts etc, would you stay there if you had children? That is how you know this is all a scam. The son Griffen Thomson tells of terrifying dreams. Now either this kid is a good actor, or is having serious mental issues, and by staying in this house and having his parents feed his delusions, they are putting his mental health at risk. That or he is in on the gig and playing along for a cut of the profits.

What do you think? If any of this was real, would you put your children in danger? Of course not. Remember ghosts do not exist. Keep that in your mind always and you can see better how these shows fake things. And talking of fake....

Yes unlike Most Haunted, Ghost Adventures are allowed to have fake mediums on their show, Patti Negri is not a real medium.

Patti Negri is shown around the house and it is claimed she does not know about the murders, and this is a legit test of her abilities.
And if you believe that you are a gullible fool and should not be left alone as you might stab yourself in the eye with a folk when you eat your beans on toast.

Also did you know that Patti Negri has her own IMDB page, and is listed as an actor and producer. Yes really, go look it up. Anyway back to the show and lets pretend she is not really a professional actor.

As she goes into the hallway she starts her performance. She starts panting like a dog, and claims she feels like she is being suffocated

Would you trust this woman? Just look at her. She makes sure to check the camera is on her when she is performing.

Zak repeats that she knows nothing about the murders. Zak is either lying directly to his audience, or he is a gullible idiot.

Zak fills her in on what happened in the house. And Patti Negri has a huge smile on her face, because she "acted" in the right place in the house.

Zak says that psychics enhance their investigations. Which right there proves that he is a gullible idiot.

The whole team now start a weird seance in the dark, because you know ghosts only come out when it is dark. Has anyone ever tried to explain why ghosts only do stuff at night?

You can fast forward through this bit, as it is all a bit silly. A candle flickers, because that is what candles do. Patti Negri is spouting some nonsense about the ghosties.

We are about half way through the episode and I am starting to lose interest now. Come on guys throw something, do something. Anything!

It is revealed that the owner of the house who is also at the seance is revealed to be wearing a satanic symbol around his neck. Didn't we have a person in the last episode do Satanic activities? Seems to be a trend. Guess it sounds good.

So it seems this ITC thingy they like to use, has lots of words inputted into it, they then ask questions and answers come out. I wonder how many words are inputted? If it is just say 20 words all connected to the "Haunting" then it would be easy when random words come out to make them fit. Regardless of that it is unscientific and evidentially worthless.

Zak does his best Karl Beattie impression as just as part of him goes into a room and off camera there is a noise in the room.

Sticking a stick figure over a blob is not detecting a ghost.
I am slighting reminded here of face swap on Snapchat, when it swaps your face with a random object. This just goes to show that such equipment is very fallible and should not be taken as proof of anything.

Here is a baby face swapping with the cooker.
Now in very low light you can understand how anomaly recognition software could fail.

Face swap with a cookie! Just to put it into perspective. Does that mean the cookie is a ghost cookie?

The best way to know if a ghost is there is to put the lights on, and film it. Filming in the dark, using over sensitive software that you do NOT understand, did NOT create, and have no idea what is going on does not mean you just captured a ghost. This kind of software is designed to look for faces, figures and so on, so will try to make them out of anything.

We now have to listen to more EVP nonsense, don't look at the screen and read the subtitle and you would have no idea what is said.

We cross to a crew member who is in the attic, and there is some "unexplained noises" As always unexplained does not mean unexplainable. 

Yes they are using the Ovilus V. So dead spirits who existed before the advent of computers are somehow now capable of manipulating a piece of technology. Yes that is what we are supposed to believe.

The rental car's alarm goes off. Guessing the ghost likes to turn car alarms on. So that explains things then. They cant appear on camera, but they can do stuff like set off a car alarm.

This is the grand finale, and it is quite funny. Zak speaks to the doll, and the spirit box replies "Killer", however i wasn't looking at the screen at this moment, and I thought it said "Ian". Make of that what you will.

Zak makes his usual claims that they captured 100% proof of the paranormal, blah blah blah. And the episode ends.

I can say with the utmost confidence that this episode did not improve their reputation, nor give them any credibility, in fact quite the opposite.

Did you see this episode? Despite it being a spoof, a written and produced TV show made purely for entertainment, did you believe any of it?

Much like episode 1, I started to lose attention at about the half way point, which is coincidentally the same point they started using ridiculous pieces of equipment. 

Will I review episode 3? Who knows, depends if I have a spare hour or so.

And with that I will say goodbye.

Tweet me on @JonDonnis and send your abuse to @TheBadPsych
You can also join the Forum and share your thoughts there.
We are also on Facebook, just search BadPsychics and you will find us. We have a group to join and a page to like.

By Jon Donnis

Watch this episode on Amazon.com by clicking the link below.

2 April 2017

A note of caution about Self Proclaimed Psychic Medium Marcus Day

The following article was written by a member of the BadPsychics team. They have asked for their name not to be published as "the author", due to the personal connection they have to the client talked about. - Jon Donnis

A note of caution about Marcus Day

I’ll start off with a confession: I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to write this article. As at the time of writing, this psychic isn’t particularly well-known in the UK. As far as I can ascertain, he has spent most of his life working as a DJ at weddings – and his psychic mediumship performances are a more recent venture.

A few months ago, he was apparently spotted by the producers of ‘The 6ixth Sense’ – (a TV programme which featured the late Colin Fry) – and he filmed episodes for a forthcoming TV series. It remains to be seen whether the series will actually be broadcast, although he certainly seems to be promoting it heavily on his Facebook page.

I have watched a few of his videos, and not been impressed. The fact that the show was produced by the same people who made ‘The 6ixth Sense’ was already enough to sound alarm bells for me. In theory, it would be pretty easy to research anyone who attends one of these tapings - especially as audience members usually have to provide personal information like names and addresses when they get the tickets.   

However, my attention was drawn to one particular clip because it featured a reading with someone I know. And quite frankly, it really made me sad to see how she seemed to believe that Marcus Day was genuinely communicating with a dead family member.

Having watched the video and carefully transcribed it, I could only conclude that Marcus Day was simply using a technique called ‘cold reading’. In short, this involves throwing out lots of general statements, asking questions, and then adjusting his spiel depending on the reactions he got.

In fact, despite the clip being VERY heavily edited, he got a lot of things completely wrong. Other things he said could have applied to anyone or simply did not make sense.     

You are, of course, free to make your own minds up about him. But I ask you to read my analysis, which will hopefully raise awareness of how cold reading works. If his TV show ever sees the light of day, this should also encourage people to be skeptical as they watch it – and exercise extreme caution (or avoid) booking a reading with him.

You can watch the reading below first. 

"Remember this is a highly edited promotional video, and should not be taken as a fair representation of Marcus Day. He is much much worse in real life." - Jon Donnis

(VIDEO REMOVED - One of the people who were read in the video asked me to remove the video as they did not want to be identified. The transcript below remains complete.)

The transcript follows below.     

Marcus Day – normal text
Sitter – blue
My analysis – red

Parts of the reading that I wish to draw attention to are indicated in bold


Marcus: So, I have a lady here that makes me feel as though she is taken to hospital where she collapses and there’s a feeling there of being taken away in the ambulance, being taken away before she passes to the spirits. The first memory she gives me here. I know very much that someone will recognize her diary or where she kept a diary or kept notes. That’s just something that this lady had in her lifetime and this is what I feel here. I also know as well that she makes reference to growing things in the garden like onions and this kind of thing, and someone will remember that ‘cos I can smell them, I can see them, I can feel them, and she brings these onions to me which is a funny little memory, but I know that would be something that would be correct.

This is typical of the ‘shotgun’ approach used in cold reading. Note how he does not mention any names He’s just throwing out VERY general things that could apply to many people.

1. According to this study, almost 55% of deaths in the UK are in hospital.

2. Most people would have had diaries or made notes in the days before PDAs or Smartphone apps.

3. Similar story with growing vegetables – especially for anyone who lived through World War 2. Remember that the UK was subjected to 14 years of rationing and the British public was encouraged to ‘grow their own’. If they hadn’t, then they might have starved. 

But I must say that I’m intrigued by the idea of a spirit waving onions in his face. So onions also exist in the afterlife? The next time I chop one up, I will bear in mind that it will live on in Heaven.  

Marcus: Now, I know that the lady I have here had taken a bit too much medication. I’m not saying it was something she had meant to do, but she’d taken too much of her medication. Does that help anybody place this lady?

So far, the looks on the faces of the audience have been pretty blank. So he’s now asking a question about overdosing on medication to see if anyone can help him. Why doesn’t he just say the name of the spirit instead?

Marcus: Lady here. What do you think you don’t understand?

Sitter: The last bit you said.

Marcus: About having too much medication?

Sitter: Yes. And um..

Marcus: Could you understand that she was taking quite a bit of medication and she felt it was too much?

Sitter: Yes.

I think that part of the reading was cut here. Marcus is now suddenly asking an audience member what she doesn’t understand. So it looks as though there was some kind of interaction beforehand. Notice how he switches tactics after getting negative feedback. We’ve gone from the spirit taking too much medication to her THINKING she took too much.

[Scene cuts to a post-reading interview with the sitter]

Sitter: It was my mother-in-law who came through. With lots of evidence that left me in no doubt that it was her, really.

Sorry, but even at this early stage of the reading, I’m not convinced. Not only did Marcus get the ‘medication overdose’ claim wrong (which he then tried to correct) but his description of the spirit’s death does not really tie in with what happened to the sitter’s mother-in-law. He implied it was a sudden death with the woman being rushed to hospital in an ambulance before passing to the spirit world. But here is an extract from an e-mail that I received when the sitter’s mother-in-law died in 2005.

As you can see, it was not an unexpected death. She had been in hospital for a week before taking a turn for the worse. And as I stated above, 55% of deaths occur in hospital, anyway.
[Scene returns to the reading with Marcus]

Marcus: Do you understand who pressed flowers between a book…

Sitter: Yes

Marcus:…or pressed flowers because she has a memory or sees this from the spirit side of life?

This is a question, not a statement – used to elicit information from the sitter. Again no name is provided. He’s just mentioned a hobby that was very popular from the Victorian era onwards and asked if she knew someone who did it.   

Marcus: And there’s a lovely bracelet that I see that’s either being bought or somebody wants and I know it feels like it’s a young girl and it’s got jewels in it. I say ‘jewels’, ‘gems’. But I know it’s not hugely valuable, but it’s more like it’s a dress thing and it’s a sentimental thing. And you’re looking at me like you’ve got no idea whatsoever.

Okay, keep in mind EXACTLY what he says here about the bracelet

Sitter: No, I think I know exactly what you’re talking about

Marcus: That’s good, that’s good. So your face didn’t give it away. She had a poker face on there.

So Marcus admits that he’s looking at her body language to see whether he’s on the right track or not

[Scene cuts back to the post-reading interview with the sitter]

Sitter: I think it was amazing. I’ve just been with my daughter in Brighton this last couple of days and I bought her a bracelet for her birthday in October which has magnets in to help with her back. So, yeah, it wasn’t expensive. It’s not worth much, but it’s…you know, it’s part of the healing as well, I guess.

Her daughter in Brighton is a married woman in her mid-30s – not a “young girl” like Marcus described. Notice how he also said the bracelet had jewels or gems. Magnets are NOT gems. It also seems like the bracelet was bought as a healing aid, not the “dress thing” he referred to.

Furthermore, it is not unusual for women to own bracelets or be given them as presents. I have several – most of which are not valuable. In fact, I avoid wearing expensive jewellery because of the risk of it being lost or stolen.     

[Scene returns to the reading with Marcus]

Marcus: And will you understand that if it’s not you, it’s someone close to you? Because she’s talking about the bottom of the spine and going into the hips as being painful and difficult and an absolute nuisance where painkillers have needed to be taken for that as well.

Sitter: Absolutely.

Did nobody take anatomy classes? The bottom of the spine is NOT connected to the hips. He’s also mentioning something that is very common. Who DOESN’T get aches and pains in their back or hips as they get older? And notice how he throws open the field by saying, “if it’s not you, it’s someone close to you”.

Marcus: Okay, you understand that? She also feels that someone has to have blood tests. You understand this? And this is her way of showing I’m around and we’re looking at iron levels

Sitter: Oh yes

“Someone” has to have blood tests? Why be so vague as to who this person might be?
I think we all know “someone” who has had blood tests. They are a routine part of a doctor’s visit if you are feeling unwell. And a full blood count will always measure your haemoglobin levels, which will indicate whether you could be iron-deficient.

Marcus: You understand what she’s saying? And she’s talking about someone’s liver function’s being looked at as well, she said.

Same technique as above. Why can’t you mention any names, Marcus?

[Scene cuts back to the post-reading interview with the sitter]

Sitter: I was meant to have surgery for my hip, which I can’t because my blood sugars aren’t right because I’m diabet – diabetic. My daughter has just been diagnosed as being very, very severely iron-deficient. So, she’s got anaemia. Blood disorder. When I have my diabetic blood checks, they also look at liver function as well, so yeah…

All these conditions are very common. Statistically, 160,000 hip and knee replacements are carried out every year in England and Wales.

I myself have had anaemia several times, and I can think of numerous diabetics I’ve known  – including my great grandmother, my great uncle, my best friend’s mother, former colleagues, and people I went to school with.  

Sitter: This is the second time my mother-in-law has come through. We didn’t particularly like each other an awful lot. Our relationship was always a bit….erm…fraught, I think is probably the politest way to describe it. Although in her later life, I think she…I think we perhaps warmed to each other as we both got older. And I think she certainly appreciated the help that I offered once she was living on her own and disabled.

But she was a very private person as Marcus described her when he first started talking. Before she was disabled, she loved gardening and he talked about having a garden before and growing vegetables which she always did.

When did Marcus describe her as a “very private person”? There was no mention of that in this video, unless it was something that was edited out. But being “very private” is not exactly an earth-shattering revelation. Neither is growing vegetables. As I mentioned above, practically everyone who lived through the war years did so.

What happened to the onions, though? What was so significant about them that the spirit had to wave them in Marcus’s face?

[Scene returns to the reading with Marcus]

Marcus: She feels that there was a worry of cancer in the family.

Sitter: Yes, just this last week actually.

Marcus: Oh, okay. Because she’s saying I see these thoughts from the spirit world, stop worrying, look after yourself and just really, really embrace life.

One in three people will develop a form of cancer in their lifetime. So it’s not surprising that someone in a family would be concerned about it. I realise that this is meant to be positive advice. But should he really be saying “stop worrying” where a potentially serious illness like cancer is concerned?

Marcus: I know I have a lady here that makes me feel like she’s mum to you, that makes me feel like she’s mum. And I know as I’m here with her, it’s the funniest little thing, do you ever remember…did you say your mum is in the spirit world?

Hang on a minute! Is Marcus saying that it is the sitter’s mother who has come through? So NOT the mother-in-law? And WHY does he need to ask whether the sitter’s mother is in the spirit world – if he is supposedly communicating with her?

Sitter: Yes

Marcus: Do you ever remember your mum drinking hot chocolate or Ovaltine in the evening before bed?

Sitter: Yes

I would be shocked if she hadn’t. Hot chocolate and Ovaltine are traditionally drinks that people have before going to sleep. In fact, Ovaltine has often had an image problem in that it’s regarded as a drink that is only enjoyed by old people at bedtime.

Marcus: Because she’s just said to me while we’ve got time I want you to take this Ovaltine, take this hot chocolate and just have a drink on me. Some spirit people bring a glass of beer or whatever. Ooh! Your mum’s handed you a massive box of chocolates

How bizarre! It turns out that not only do onions have an afterlife in the spirit world, chocolates do too. I wonder how that works. Are there cows in the spirit world which are milked to produce it?

Sitter: Ooh!

Marcus: Your mum’s handed you a massive box of chocolates and I know that’s what she just did for me. I’m really sorry. Do you understand whether there’s been diabetes in the family as well?

Sitter: That’s why I pulled a face at the chocolates. I’m diabetic.

I’m afraid that by ‘pulling that face’, you gave away the fact that there’s an issue with someone giving you chocolates. Marcus hit on the most common condition for people who can’t eat sugary foods and – yet again – he expanded the field to ask if it was in the family.

Marcus: That’s why she said have the chocolates, but can’t all have them and that was to do with that. And she’s giving me the ones with the hazelnuts in as being her favourite.

Sitter: Oh, my goodness! I was just….I did some allergy testing last week and hazelnuts was something I reacted to.  

This is information which the sitter voluntarily gives to Marcus. Not something that he tells her.

Marcus: That’s what she’s just plucked out. There you go and she’s teasing you with it, she’s saying “that’s my favourite.”

[Scene cuts back to the post-reading interview with the sitter]

Sitter: Oh, that’s amazing. I was away last week and I had some allergy testing done. And some really random things came up that you wouldn’t think and one of them was chocolate, interestingly, and the other one was hazelnuts….
Okay, so here’s my mother-in-law offering me chocolates and showing me the hazelnut one. It’s just amazing, isn’t it?

Well, I find it amazing that he could suggest that a mother would give her daughter chocolates with hazelnuts, knowing that she is diabetic and allergic to both those things. And even if we think it was the mother-in-law instead, would she really do that to you? Even if you didn’t always get on with each other. 

Sitter: I find it very reassuring to know that there’s something other than this earthly life. I’ve pretty much always believed that, but it’s just nice to have that evidence and that confirmation with very specific things that, you know, only relate to you.

There was absolutely nothing that I could find in this reading that was “specific” or would relate only to the sitter. In fact, I regret to say that it was exactly the opposite.

This article is not intended in any way to criticize or belittle the sitter, who is a lovely lady. But I became very concerned that she was being taken advantage of, and that vulnerable, grieving people could be misled into thinking that Marcus Day can really contact deceased loved ones.

As I say, you are all free to form your own opinions on him. But I hope my analysis encourages people to be skeptical of his show if it ever sees the light of day. Or exercise extreme caution before booking a reading with him. Or better yet, avoid booking one with him at all.