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)

Proving Psychic Alan Bridges Wrong

I thought that since Daniel Craig has just signed on to do another James Bond film that we would travel back in time and revisit the psychic predictions of Alan Bridges.

Here is what he said back in November 2005

Join me as we explore what the future holds for this actor as this month’s Celebrity Spotlight shines on Daniel Craig! 

When I connect with someone’s energy and look into their future, I have to call it like I see it. I must remain objective even if I don’t like it.  

I have to remain true to what I sense. And with that padding, I guess you’ve already guessed that I’m not predicting a huge success for our new 007. But before you label me a Craig-basher, hear me out! 
I have to say that I sense that he’s already struggling with the role. In fact, I feel that he fears it. He talks about the challenge of it, but my intuition tells me that he’s “shaken” at the moment. I also feel that he’s seeking out too much advice on the role instead of listening to himself and interpreting his own vision for the role. 

Despite his comments to the contrary, I see him reinventing the role. I predict that many of the Bond trademarks will be absent in his spying debut. Unfortunately, I see diehard fans being disappointed by the film and character not delivering what it says on the tin. Moreover, I’d like to bend the ear of the marketers as I don’t have the planned campaigns getting through to potential new fans. 

And here’s where I go out on a limb – I predict that Craig will become known as “the last Bond”. So does that mean that Casino Royale is the last Bond film? Not exactly, as I see him hitting the screen in a total of two Bond roles. But I fear that Bond and his secret missions will fail to resonate with audiences as they have for years. And while I do see one more actor in the role, it’s Craig’s name that will become the last to be synonymous with the 007 moniker.

So lets address some of his points directly.
Alan states "I’m not predicting a huge success for our new 007"

Well 4 films
Casino Royale (2006)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Skyfall (2012)
Spectre (2015)
Combined they have taken $2.7 Billion at the Box Office. So it is safe to say this is a HUGE success for Daniel Craig as the lead actor in these films. So Alan Bridges was wrong.

He also stated "I see him hitting the screen in a total of two Bond roles"
Well with 4 in the bag and 1 more planned, Again Alan Bridges is a really poor psychic.

But when we originally called BS on Alan Bridges claims, we noticed that what he has said about Daniel Craig failing had mysteriously been removed from his site and replaced with the following.


I saw clearly that the new 007 would manage to pull it all off – unlike the scores of critics and legions of diehard Bond fans who doubted him.
So not only was Alan Bridges wrong, he also went back and edited his site to then try to claim he was right all along.

Now we originally called him out on his lies back in 2008. And it looks like he has moved away from making psychic claims in public, and is now an "Intuitive", whatever that is supposed to mean.

Either way if you ever come across this man, be very weary, a man who edits his past when he gets it wrong, is not a man to be trusted.

By Jon Donnis.

13 August 2017

A Warning about Deborah Davies Psychic Medium aka Deborah Jane Higgins (McDonald/Davies)

UPDATE: 14/08/2017
Just a small update, since we published this article Deborah Jane Higgins changed her social media name in an effort to throw people off and so that this article would not be linked to her in google searches.

This article was originally published in September 2014, and the information contained will refer to her under the name she was using then.

I republish this article due to the fact she has been getting some media attention and that people need to be aware of the truth about her and her claims, as well as her history.



The following article was sent to me, the author wishes to remain anonymous due to the aggressive nature of the psychic being talked about, as such you can direct all your abuse to me on Twitter @JonDonnis Please enjoy my little disclaimer below, as we all know how much these psychics like to use Disclaimers!

The following article is the opinion of the author and may not correspond with the opinions of BadPsychics.com

This article is for Entertainment purposes only, and/or for scientific experimentation



I have pondered long and hard about whether I should write this article, and come to the conclusion that it is in the public interest that I do so. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly because I think there is a chance that vulnerable and grieving people might be ripped off.

And secondly because of something which happened last year that I found extremely disturbing (this is detailed at the end of this article - under the section entitled Madeleine McCann Claims).

I therefore ask all readers to carefully consider the evidence that I provide here, do more research as they see fit, and then make up their own minds about this person.

Background of Ms Higgins
Sometime last year, I happened to come across a Facebook page called “Deborah Higgins Become a Fan!!” It is run by a self-proclaimed psychic/medium by the name of Deborah Jane Higgins, who is also known as Deborah Jane McDonald (her maiden name) or Deborah Jane Davies (as a result of her second marriage). Although I hadn’t heard of her before, I was astounded to see what a huge following she has. It has since swelled to over 140,000 Facebook “likes”. That's almost double that of Sally Morgan and around four times as many as Derek Acorah. 

As far as I can ascertain, Ms Higgins has managed to gather a huge number of fans even though she has not appeared regularly on TV, nor does she perform shows. According to my research, she simply ran a beauty salon in Stockport - which may have since changed hands or been dissolved since the official website given on the Facebook page no longer seems to work. If it has been dissolved, then it wouldn't be the first of Ms Higgins' businesses to bite the dust.

Funnily enough, I also came across this article which publicised her (failed) slimming business. No mention at all of her having psychic powers, even though Ms Higgins claims in one of her YouTube videos to have heard voices since she was young.

One also wonders, if she was really psychic, why she didn't see the failure of her previous business(es) coming.

Analysis of Ms Higgins' Psychic Ability and Claims
But I digress. Returning to the subject of her Facebook page, I personally wasn't too impressed or convinced by some of her readings. Take a look at the following examples below:

Note how she simply asked for someone called Emma Louise whose grandfather was called Albert.

1. Isn't it funny how the spirits are never able to say what their surnames are?
2. Isn't it even more strange that the spirit actually got his relationship to his descendant wrong (great grandfather instead of grandfather)?
3. What's particularly interesting, though, if you look on the right, is just how many people called Emma Louise this statement could have applied to! Theoretically, all she had to do was pick one of them!

Or how about this reading:

Again this is very vague, and the spirit isn’t even able to say for definite who he is – leaving the customer to supply the relationship. The name “Rose” is very common, and the letter “E” could be just about anything. This smacks strongly of cold reading, a technique which stage magicians or mentalists often use to convince the audience that they know more about them than they really do.

And then, we have this very strange reading:

So let’s get this right. With her previous messages, Ms Higgins wasn’t even able to convey the exact full names of the people who had passed, yet here she has a spirit message from a dead dog?! I wonder what Marley had to say; “Woof! Woof! Woof!”?

These were not the only assertions by Ms Higgins that some have found questionable. On her official website Ghost Antics (which has since been redesigned, but the info is still available here via The Wayback Machine), she made the rather grandiose claim that her mother was also a psychic/medium who had been responsible for locating one of the bodies of the Moors Murder victims, as well as working on the Ripper case.

This was later challenged by others - and simply met with personal attacks:

We will return to the subject of Madeleine McCann later in this article. But I personally also find it highly unlikely that Ms Higgins' mother really managed to locate one of the Moors Murder victims’ bodies. I apologise in advance for linking to this video - as it is extremely graphic and distressing - but it also backs up what the challenger to Ms Higgins' claim said.

As for the Ripper, again I don't personally see how a psychic/medium could possibly have helped in cracking that case. According to this link, it actually took over five years to apprehend Peter Sutcliffe. He had been interviewed by the police on at least one occasion – before they finally caught him red-handed with a prostitute in a car which had been fitted with false number plates. The investigation had been hampered in part because of a number of hoax messages sent to the police by Wearside Jack.

Allegations about Ms Higgins ripping customers off
Nevertheless, whether or not you choose to believe that Ms Higgins is psychic, there are other things that she has been accused of. I came in contact with a group of former admin from Ms Higgins’ page (see their Facebook group here) who claimed that there were several clients who paid Ms Higgins for readings that they never got. Or found that the readings they did get from Ms Higgins were duplicates. Apparently, when the clients tried to make enquiries via Facebook, they were blocked. According to the ex-admin, Ms Higgins left them to deal with the unhappy customers - while she went off on holiday. The ex-admin then allegedly decided that enough was enough and "outed" her on the Facebook page.

This version of events was also detailed on a now-defunct website, a copy of which can still be seen here, c/o the Wayback Machine.

Now, in the interests of fairness, I have to say that Ms Higgins and her supporters claim that her Facebook page had been hacked. However, since the people who allegedly "outed" her were actually ex-admin that she herself had appointed, I'm inclined to think that "hacked" is inaccurate. Again, please note that despite claiming to be psychic, Ms Higgins apparently didn't foresee the problems with her admin team. There were also accusations from her side that this was part of a huge hate campaign because ex-admin were jealous and wanted to make money from doing psychic readings themselves. I honestly do not know if the ex-admin had ulterior motives, but let me assure the readers that if this does eventually prove to be the case, then I shall add this info to this article in due course.

Nonetheless, there were one or two points on which Ms Higgins and/or her supporters have (perhaps unwittingly) agreed with the ex-admin's story.

Firstly, on the subject of duplicate readings, I came across a number of people claiming that Ms Higgins had given them readings which mentioned Peter André. I'm not sure in what context, but take a look at this (written by two different people):

And then Ms Higgins gave this interesting response:

So, it seems to me that Ms Higgins has effectively admitted giving duplicate readings and blamed this on the other people picking the same cards. I will leave the readers to decide for themselves how likely it is that two people picked the same cards. I will only say that there are generally 78 tarot cards in total in each average pack. Thus, the odds of two people picking the same cards are less than the chances of a person matching the lottery numbers drawn each week. And the chances of winning the lottery are, incidentally......................................................1 in 14,000 000.

Then I noticed this:

So here Ms Higgins' supporters are admitting that she was behind with her readings - yet she still went on holiday! Not something a professional would do - but again, make what you will of that.

Madeleine McCann Claims
And finally, we come to why I decided to write this blog entry. In August 2013, I was made aware of a series of disturbing posts on Ms Higgins' page. She has since deleted them - but fortunately, I was able to obtain screenshots - along with a statement on psychics from the official spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann (taken from Jon Ronson's excellent article here):

I think most of us must be aware of the tragic case of Madeleine McCann who has been missing since 2007. One thing I detest about self-proclaimed psychics is when they interject themselves into missing person cases and divert the investigation with misinformation - costing precious time and resources (see Sylvia Browne’s involvement with the Shawn Hornbeck case as one example of this). Note too that according to the McCann’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, the investigators look into anything demonstrably checkable - which would mean approx. 100-150 psychic leads in Madeleine's case. All of which, logically, must have been a waste of time because poor Madeleine is still missing. Make of that what you wish. I personally consider it to be evil!

But see here that Ms Higgins claimed she knows everything, that Madeleine is still alive and seems to be blaming the police for not taking her seriously when she tried to contact them two years ago.

It is very odd that Ms Higgins claimed the police were not taking her seriously, given that she had indicated on her own website that she has successfully worked with the police in the past on missing person cases:

But then again, I have found that Ms Higgins isn't always consistent in her claims. PLEASE take a look at this post (on the left) she apparently made about Madeleine McCann on 15 January 2013 and just see if you can spot the differences!!

I really have no words for this. I just leave you to draw your own conclusions

Still, for a brief while at least, Ms Higgins did actually do herself a disservice where her fans were concerned. I'll leave the last word with them - before their comments were removed, that is: