1 November 2020

REVIEW: Derek Acorah's The Past Hunters - SE2 EP1 - Thackray Medical Museum - Never Aired On TV


At the start of this year (2020) after a brief battle with illness, Derek Acorah died.
I wrote a piece about Derek on that day, you can read that here.

But just when you thought Derek was out of your life, almost like a Phoenix rising from the flames, Derek is back from the afterlife and gracing your screens once more!

Many of you will remember that Derek did a show that aired on "YourTV", but unfortunately that Station was closed down by it's owners, and the second season of The Past Hunters was left on the scrap heap, never to be aired, never to be seen again.

But out of nowhere the "ghost hunting" group that appeared on the show with Derek have decided to air the show on their youtube. And since it is Halloween and there is no other similar ghost hunting show out there to watch, that features an entertaining fake psychic on it, I thought I would review this instead. After all whats the worse that can happen? Derek ain't gonna come after me..... Or is he? No he is not. He has had his chance to haunt me, and he has decided to leave me alone.

Anyway on to the blurbage of the show.

Derek Acorah's, The Past Hunters investigate Thackray Medical Museum, believed to one of Leeds most haunted buildings. Workers claim to have witnessed constant paranormal activity in the museum and one claim is that two Victorian ghosts are trapped inside of the location.

Now before you read my review, you can watch the whole episode on the embedded player below, or you can go to the youtube page itself to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-8ZQ1dwDNE


As the opening theme plays and the obligatory screams, and over acting from Derek is previewed, I just feel so at home.

And first thing you will notice is the half decent production value, so rare these days, and then there is Rebecca Palmer, also known as "The Nigella of Ghost Hunting".


She has everything you need in a good female host, the good looks, the hair flick, and the seductive looks to camera. 

Anyway they are in Thackray Medical Museum, a 19th century medical museum. Just about as spooky sounding as you can get. We get a nice little package covering the location, it's history, and the fact it is known as "Leeds most paranormally active location", a claim that you could literally give to any place in Leeds, mainly due to the fact that ghosts do not exist.

After the package finishes, we get a truly unique and excellent scene in what I assume is Derek's minivan. Yes really! I wonder if Gwen was driving?


We get our first full hair flick from Rebecca, or Bex as she likes to be called. A perfect drinking game for those watching, down a shot for every hair flick.

We learn how someone who works at the museum decided to contact The Past Hunters for help to find out what is going on. Of course this is a totally genuine call for help, and not an attempt to get some publicity for what does look like being an excellent museum. Derek does his best "I have never heard of this Museum", despite it being billed as Leeds most paranormally active place, and that was literally Derek's job to know about places like this! But let us be fair here, if Derek said "Oh yeah I know Thackray Museum, was there last week with Gwen", then that wouldn't be as much fun.

There is a third person in the car, I assume it is Sean Reynolds, if Wikipedia is to be trusted, for some reason only Bex had her name pop up on screen, and Derek truly needs no introduction.

I should also say that there is a good chance that I have in the past had run ins with either Bex or Sean, I say that not because I remember any run in, but because a lot of these ghost group types tend to mix around, and I have argued with so many of them other the years, made fun of them and so on, and they are such touchy people, that there is a good chance I have pissed off both of them, so if that is the case I will happily apologise right now, and I give you both a completely fresh and clean slate. I cant remember what you have done in the past, it was forever ago that I watched previous Past Hunter episodes, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and know that me making fun or having a joke, is purely done in a light hearted manner with no offence meant. And if you are offended, tough.

Right I reckon that will cover me for a bit.

After some more talking in the Fiat Scudo Panorama Diesel Estate, they arrived at the location.


Frustratingly we can't see who was driving? Was it Derek, or was it someone else. These are questions that need to be answered! Our first true unexplained mystery of the day.

Now I am never one to comment on people's trousers, for I have an unusual taste myself, and I like bright colours, however.....


These trousers are unacceptable!

I do however fully approve of Derek Acorah and his Rupert The Bear scarf. 

Oh God we are only five minutes in and I am already referencing Rupert the Bear.

The team get introduced to the museum by the man who called them in, and they are shown around. 

Derek talks about residual energies, and 4 different levels of activity. No idea what that means, but it sounds good.


We start the investigation and Sean appears with a creepy "haunted doll" that says "I'm watching you" when you press it, along with some motion detectors. 


He sets the doll up next to some museum mannequins, which are creepy as hell in their own right. 

We now cut to a "baby centre" and he has another doll, a less creepy one this time, and he puts a vibration sensor inside the doll, all of these dolls have static cameras filming them, which is a smart decision. Because if anything happens, I want to see it.

Bex and Sean lead Derek to a room and they have some items placed on a table, Derek is asked to do some "Psychomotrising" on them. Basically he is gonna handle them and say what he feels. He describes a fat old man, and describes his character. This is some classic Derek. He is a fun story teller. And I think everyone can enjoy Derek here, you can tell he is enjoying himself, and regardless of your beliefs it is fun to watch. Derek comes up with the name ALFRED, and we get a note on screen confirming that an Alfred has been connected to the Thackray Museum.

I would suggest that the name Alfred would have been incredibly common in the 19th century, so that on it's own is not so impressive.

Derek is now talking to Alfred while holding his bag, I always love the way that Derek reacts to the ghosties, almost like a grandparent would when on the phone to someone and his hearing is starting to go. Here is a question for you all, has there ever been a famous deaf medium? I know there has been blind ones, but a deaf one? Answers on a postcard please.

We now have a ghost called Christina who has appeared, a screen overlay confirms that a Christina has been confirmed to have been an old inmates housekeeper in the early 1800s.

Derek on a roll here!


Bex does a good job here of questioning Derek, asking him what he is experiencing, what he sees and so on. 

Derek starts to play with one of the contraptions.
"I feel like I have got white powder, it's not drugs, but it is a drug, but it's not drugs"
Glad that has been cleared up.

We get another overlay on screen, confirming that the contraption has been confirmed to have been used to make tablets. Wow! Derek is right again. How does he do it! It is almost as if he has visited a medical museum before.

The items used for "psychometrising" are now moved to another table, and they are going to conduct a seance.


Sean want's to ask questions to the ghosties, but Derek stops him, and says that the ghosts react better to a woman's voice, and asks Bex to speak out to them. Derek is very smart here, he knows that Bex makes better TV. 

Poor Sean.

I suspect Derek might be building up to something here. We can only hope.

A ghost is now stroking Derek's cheek, Christina is stroking Derek's cheek. (His facial cheek you filthy perverts!)

Nothing else happens so they move on to a recreation of a Victorian Street, apparently it stinks, so I wonder if Most Haunted had filmed there previously?


They hear a noise and we get this awesome reaction from Bex!


Bex is the Queen of the reaction shot. I feel a bit sorry for Sean here, as Bex moves right in front of him and blocks his shot to camera.

Poor Sean.


A few more noises and Bex gets a bit scared so quickly grabs the most manly and safe person in the room..... Derek.

Poor Sean, this is not fair. He is her Husband (Maybe fiance). It's those pink trousers. He needs to wear more manly trousers.


They keep investigating, they hear a breathy noise, and some cold breezes. The usual stuff.

"My name is Isaac", A ghost tells Derek, another overlay on screen confirms that the name has been connected on other paranormal investigations. Now that is interesting, maybe Derek's research was not just relegated to the Thackray website, but also other groups who have investigated there.


More hair flicking from Bex, if you are not drunk by now then you have not been paying attention to the drinking game.

And finally we get a bit of old school Derek now as he goes into one of his legendary possessions! COME ON!


Derek is fully in character now, even growling. 

As Isaac he says to Bex "You deserve to be on your back, that's all you're good for".

Sean is trying his best not to laugh here.

Look, if you are not watching, or don't want to watch and are just reading this review, please just watch this bit as it is brilliant, starts about 27 minutes in. 

"Wenchy Wenchy, Witchy Bitchy".

Derek as Isaac is trying to get Bex to have sex with him. I have not laughed this much in a while.

Derek at his best here. 

Poor Sean.

"Your delicious eyes and hair, so be quiet"

Also worth watching Sean as he keeps trying to get on camera.

And before you know it Derek is back. Possibly the best 5 minutes of Paranormal Investigation TV I have seen in over a decade. Just brilliant.


Sean is now filming the camera crew with a thermo cam, however it just looks like his Smartphone that he is holding, so not sure if it just an App, or a real thermo cam here.

He also detects movement, however he is filming through a window, so is it just picking up their reflection. They get quite excited at what they are filming in a room. Personally I cant quite see what they are getting excited about. 

Derek decides to put Bex in a room on her own for a lone "vidgual". She seems a bit scared by the suggestion, but she agrees. 

Bex is alone in "The Pig Room" with a K2 Meter and a Crystal. She is actually filming the room and not up her own nostrils, which is a pleasant surprise.

Just a quick note on the use of night vision. They are using real night vision as opposed to a filter as far as I can see, however it is not really that dark, but they never once claim that it is pitch black or anything, so I wont moan too much.


Unfortunately Bex has bowed to the pressure and decided to film up her own nose.
Blair Witch Project has so much to answer for.


The Queen of the Reaction shot does it again, her K2 meter flickers slightly.

You have to give it to Bex, she is very entertaining. And I think a lot of it is natural as well, you just cant fake these reaction shots.

Derek has come up with another name, Sadie, and yes the overlay confirms that she has also been connected to the location, but only by other paranormal investigators.


Sean hears a noise and grabs Derek for protection, Derek doesn't flinch, what a professional. No ghost is gonna scare Derek.

Poor Sean.

Bex gets scared, screams and calls for help. To be fair it seems like a real reaction, a bit of hysteria that you can easily create for yourself when in the dark, especially when you are supposed to be in a haunted place. Hilariously she comes back to the group and the first person she hugs is Derek. 

Poor Sean.


And with that the investigation is over, and they are now sat in an office discussing the events of the investigation.


Looking back at the episode I want to point out that nothing was thrown. There were no obviously faked events, noises, things being moved and so on. The investigation as a whole was a fair and honest investigation. Now obviously things like the K2 Meter are evidentially worthless. I am a bit suspicious about the Thermocam which looks like an App you buy from the App store. But we have to be realistic, sometimes you need a few gimmicks to make things interesting, and although Bex reacted to the K2 meter going off, and Sean claimed to be seeing something moving on the thermocam, this was not necessarily them trying to con the viewer, instead it was them reacting to the equipment they were using. So you can blame the equipment here. I did not think at any point that they were trying to con the viewer or make claims that were too over the top etc. 

Remember a 100% legit investigation, with 100% scientific legitimacy, would be the most boring thing ever.

Now I did just say nothing was deliberately faked, yet we had Derek being possessed by Isaac and trying to have sex with Bex. Was Derek really possessed by a ghostie here, of course he wasn't, but what do you want him to do here? Derek is a performer, he is famous for getting possessed. Think of it like employing Carol Vorderman to be on your show, and she wears loose fitting clothes, and refuses to do any maths, everyone would be pissed off.

There is no point for me to slate Derek now, to prove him a fraud, to go on a deep dive of his claims, and so on. Believers of his will always believe, and skeptics of his will not. Instead think of Derek Acorah as a character createdby and played by Derek Johnson, a psychic medium who gets possessed by the dead, are you entertained by his act? If yes then enjoy him. If not, then do not watch.

Summary:
The Good
Well produced episode, Derek was at his best, and I genuinely laughed out loud at his possession, it was classic Derek. Bex is great, her reaction shots are almost perfect, she is like-able, and does her job really well.

The Bad
Pink jeans. Sean trying his best to get on camera, and grabbing Derek when he heard a noise. Sean needs to man up!

Overall
I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Often when reviewing these types of shows, I find myself bored shitless, I end up rambling on just to fill an article, this episode I actually enjoyed, and would have happily watched even if I didn't write the review. It is only 45 minutes long. And if that is too much for you, just watch 5 minutes from27 minutes onwards, you wont be disappointed.

8/10

Review by Jon Donnis



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31 October 2020

Interview with James Randi from 2009

Interview conducted by BadPsychics member Phil Jenkins in 2009.

Following the sad passing of the Amazing Randi I thought I'd republish this interview that we conducted in 2009......

Background.

The Blackpool Magic Convention is world's biggest annual convention of its type; regularly attracting over 3500 magicians from around the globe. For three days attendees are treated to performances and lectures from some of the worlds leading conjurors including Jeff McBride, Rudy Coby, Wayne Dobson and James Randi.

I was lucky enough to catch up with James Randi in the main concourse of the Winter Gardens and he kindly answered a couple of questions.

Question = Q
James Randi = JR

Q. Have you heard of the Badpsychics website?

JR. Yes.

Q. Do you think that it's a worthwhile venture or do you think we're fighting a battle we can't win?

JR. Unfortunately, I can't answer that. For me to give a specific answer I'd have to do some research into the website; in order to see how successful it had been in the past at achieving its goals. Having said that, anything that helps to educate people can't be a bad thing.

Q. Last year Uri Geller was presented with a 'Services to Magic' award what do you make of that? (This was a question that I heard several times over the weekend)

JR. Geller would accept an award for being the 'best dog in show' if it meant publicity. What you must remember is that it was presented to him by David Berglas (former President of the Magic Circle) who's a friend of his. What I can't understand is why David has started to take his side; after all David Berglas was the first person in the UK to expose Geller for what he is… a fake. I've not seen David for sometime but I certainly intend to put him on the spot when I do.

It's also interesting to note that Geller is starting to change his stance. He no longer wants to be called a Psychic instead he prefers the term Mystifier. Personally, I think he's created a monster that he can longer control. Over the years various governments, companies, etc have spent millions of dollars researching his claims. Just imagine what these organisations would do to Geller if he was to ever admit that he doesn't have any special powers; that he'd lied to them. I can see the lawyers queuing up now. A similar thing happened to the Fox sisters (spirit rapping) and Elsie Wright & Frances Griffiths (Cottingley Fairies) once the monster was out of it's cage they couldn't stop it.

Q. Do you believe in God?

JR. In my view atheists fall in to two categories; those who do not believe full stop and those who are willing to believe should they be presented with sufficient evidence. I would say that I fall into the second category. As it is I don't see any evidence for an afterlife.

Q. Do you think that there are any special powers be they magic, psychic or esp, that might be proven over the next 15 years and are there any mysteries you can't explain??

JR. Yes, there's one… Sophia Loren! How the hell she can look so good at her age is a mystery to me (laughs). To answer the first part of your question… no. I don't believe that anything like that will ever be proven.

Q. What do you make of faith healers?

JR. These are some of the worst kind of Woo merchants. Over the years I've had lots of visits from people asking for help after one of their relatives got involved with one of these individuals. The stories are very sad "Mother has given all her money to a faith healer, she's penniless" etc. I'll offer advice where I can but often they don't have a legal leg to stand on. Not only that but many people won't go to court because it would mean admitting they've be duped.

One of the worst healers I came across was Peter Popoff who was making approximately $4 million dollars a year 'curing' people. I took Steven Shaw (better known as the mentalist Banachek) and a camera team from the BBC to investigate one of his meetings; what we found was absolutely disgraceful. Steven managed to get close to Popoff and quickly reported back that he (Popoff) was using an ear piece. We quickly set up a scanner and started to monitor the venue, within seconds we started to pick up transmissions that were being sent to Popoff by his wife. She was giving him the details of various people in the audience; what their name was, where they were sitting, what was wrong with them, etc all of which Popoff would repeat out loud to the amazed audience. Some of what was broadcast was sickening racist comments that I won't repeat here. Another thing which emerged was the use of wheelchairs as a gimmick. People would be wheeled onto the stage and subsequently cured; rising from the wheelchair and walking away. Only problem with this was that these people didn't need a wheelchair; they were just put in one in order to get them onto the stage. Then Popoff worked his magic on them and to the audience it looked like he'd cured them. The final thing we found was possibly the worst of all. In order to gain access to the venue you had to be vetted by Popoff's security team who were under strict instructions not to allow any seriously ill people in to the building. We filmed a mother with her 8 year old son who was seriously ill being refused entry; she was absolutely desperate and had been following Popoff around in the hope of meeting him but was always denied access. Finally, out of shear desperation she pushed past the security guards and managed to confront Popoff. She pleaded with him to help her child. Placing his hand on the child he said "God cure this child, I know you're busy so if you can't do it right now can you do it some time in the future. Whether it's in half an hour, a week or years from now cure this child'. What a cop out! The woman was then hustled away and thrown outside. We had the whole episode captured on film and were prepared to expose Popoff but then his lawyers contacted the BBC and threatened to sue them if they showed the footage. This would hold up the film for years and would be extremely costly; the BBC backed off and the film was never shown. Fortunately, I was able to arrange for some footage to be shown on the Tonight Show and this time we were able to include the prompting from his wife. In 1987 Peter Popoff filed for bankruptcy.

Q. Have you ever been threatened?

JR. Yes, lots of times usually by telephone or email. I just pass the information on to the FBI. Sometimes I'll get a call back saying the 'problem' has been dealt with.

Q. Can you tell us about the TV series you had in the UK in the 80's?

JR. The programme was called James Randi - Psychic Investigator which I believe was wrong. I am not a psychic investigator I am an investigator of psychics; but it was their programme so I had to go along with it.

I'm amazed we had so many people apply for the programme considering what it was we were setting out to achieve, i.e., to expose fraudulent mediums etc. Some of the candidates did get quite volatile when things didn't go their way.

I remember we had a Psychic Medium called Maureen Flynn appear on the show. She did a sitting for one of her clients; it was typical cold reading. Afterwards we interviewed the client to see how accurate she had been and he said how good she was. One of the questions we asked him was 'how many names did she bring up'. The gentleman was adamant that she had only brought up about 6 names and that most were a hit. We then showed him a transcript of the sitting and pointed out that 37 names had in fact been mentioned. He still wouldn't listen; which just goes to show how difficult it is to change the views of a believer.

Q. How do I enter the Million Dollar Challenge?

JR. It's quite simple. You fill out the form on the JREF website and send it in. Basically, you have to tell us what you can do and with what accuracy. If you are accepted to take the challenge you must first take a preliminary test and if you score high enough on that you are then invited to take the main challenge for the million dollars. To date no one has gotten past the first test.

Also, I should like to mention that there have been many claims by psychic, mediums, etc that the million dollars doesn't exist. Well, I can assure you that it does and anyone can apply for proof just by asking. The fact of the matter is that none of the psychics, etc who are making this claim have ever asked to see the proof.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to take this opportunity to thank James Randi for his time.

Interview conducted by BadPsychics member Phil Jenkins in 2009.

22 October 2020

RIP James Randi


The Randi Foundation have revealed that James Randi has died, aged 92.

Truly one of the greatest voices in skepticism in history, he will be truly missed.

An inspiration to me personally, and a hero, I only spoke with him a few times, and he once listed us a "recommended reading" on his website, he helped us massively, and allowed us to grow, he didn't need to do that, but he appreciated the work we were doing and wanted to help us. For that I will be forever grateful.

Thank you to James Randi for everything you did in your life. Rest in Peace.




19 September 2020

The Jon Donnis Show - Psychics Help or Hinder?



An short original Documentary made for www.badpsychics.com, part of "The Jon Donnis Show" Network

21 August 2020

Why can't Psychics gets The Lotto Numbers? - A Commentary by Rob Lester



Blame karma or blame the intentions of the psychic and the ever-shifting energies of the universe, but never get close to admitting that you might just not be psychic or your skills might be extremely poor.  And even if psychics were real, most aren't doing a good job and maybe the best they can do is normal intuitive stuff, not really displays of extrasensory skills. 

And if you were good and selfless, why wouldn't the universe want to make you better off so you can help others? 

Karma or fate or whatever on this, it's nonsense.  You just don't have the ability, and the new age movement needs excuses for believers and frauds to say why they aren't building new-age philosophy schools based on lotto wins.

3 August 2020

Do you want an article written about you removed from BadPsychics? Here is how.


For so many years, many many years, we have exposed psychics/mediums on this site, but we have never really given a guideline for how a psychic can have an article about them removed.

Now why would they want an article removed? Well we rank very high on Google for a start, so anyone searching for a psychic's name, may very well come across this website and a negative article about them.

I do not accept bribes, quite a few have tried. I do not listen to threats, I have seen and heard it all before.

So if you want to have a single article removed, or even all articles about you removed, you only need to do a couple of things.

1. Publish online a video of you looking at the camera stating the following.

"My name is [insert name], I am not really psychic, I do not have magic powers, I cannot see the future or the past through any kind of supernatural ability. I do not communicate with the dead. What I do is an act, specifically a psychic/mediumship act. It is purely for entertainment purposes only.

2. Publish that same statement as text on your own official website, or official social media page.

Once you have done that, send me a link to the video and the text. And upon checking, I will remove whatever you like about you specifically, from this site.

Really! That's it. Just do that one simple thing, that being honest. And all is forgiven and forgotten. You can carry on doing what you do, and I will not care, I will not report on it, I will not expose it. And as long as you keep that video and statement online, then as far as I am concerned I have no interest in you or anything else you say or do.

I wont even publish the video statement either. As long as it is on your own site and stays there, then as far as I am concerned you do not exist in the same Universe as me.

Who wants to take me up on the challenge? No tricks. No secret articles. I will do as I say.
Surely doing this is much cheaper in the long run than wasting money on lawyers who will only tell you, you don't have a leg to stand up.

By Jon Donnis

29 July 2020

I Tricked Psychics Into Contacting FAKE People - By Jaack Maate


Psychic Mediums claim to speak to your passed loved ones, whilst charging extortionate amounts of money to do so. Are they real? Today, I decided I'd try and find out.

Check out Jaack's Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/c/jaack



Links for those in need:
Cruse: http://www.cruse.org.uk/home
Cruse Helpline - 0808 503 4193
NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/coping-with-bereavement/
BEAD: https://www.beadproject.org.uk/
G ENCOUNTER: https://www.griefencounter.org.uk/

30 June 2020

What to do if you believe you have been scammed by James Higgins TV Psychic Medium or anyone else


In October 2018, Bad Psychics published an article entitled “Why you should avoid James Higgins Psychic Medium, which you can read here.

Much to even our surprise, it provoked a huge response – as you can see from the comments section. He now ranks as our most complained-about psychic ever with posts such as these:

Please note that all images can be clicked on and enlarged to make easier to read.


However, as appalling as his alleged behaviour is here, things have recently taken an even darker turn. In the last week alone, we have been flooded with messages, all telling very similar disturbing stories. We therefore felt it was important to do a follow-up article with information about this and advice on what to do if you ever make the mistake of paying for a reading from a psychic/medium.

James Higgins’s latest scheme

If you visit Mr. Higgins’s Facebook page, you’ll see that he has now amassed several thousand followers. A closer look will reveal how he has done so. He live-streams videos practically every day, asking people to send him messages if they want the chance to get a free reading. The word ‘free’ is guaranteed to grab people’s attention – and it’s also a sure-fire way of getting his page numbers up. Especially since he also tells his followers that they must share his videos and like his page to take part.

Needless to say, many people messaged him in the hope of winning. They then got responses like these:







And these:






And these:





Can you spot the differences?

Nope! Despite shameless claims such as “you are one of the first I feel drawn to”, and “I believe there is something you need to know”, they’re all identical automated replies – with just the recipients’ first names changed.   

But sad to say, many people did fall for this, clicked on the attached link which took them to his ‘Spirit HQ’ page, and paid around £32+ each for a reading.

It should be mentioned here that most of the customers only did so because they had suffered bereavements, were feeling very vulnerable, and were desperate to hear from loved ones again. In fact, to illustrate this, here is a selection of just a few of the distressed messages which we have received over the last few days.   






Think for a moment how despicable it is to take advantage of people who are grieving. But I’m afraid it gets worse. Because not only did his customers never receive their readings, they just got more spam when they tried to make enquiries:



And then to top everything off, they were blocked from his page when they asked for refunds!

As a result of all this, we’ve been inundated with messages from his customers asking us what to do.

Well, in answer to this, we have three pieces of advice.


1. Get Your Money Back

If you paid by PayPal, log in to your account and open a dispute in PayPal’s Resolution Center.

Information on how to do this is here on PayPal’s official site. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/security/buyer-protection-resolution

And you can also find step-by-step instructions in this article:
https://medium.com/@grailed/how-to-file-a-paypal-claim-ae9372cb371f

If you paid via any other method, contact your bank or credit card company.

For those in the UK, you should be entitled to a refund under the ‘Chargeback Scheme’. But make sure you do this within 120 days of paying for a reading.

Further information can be found here on the Citizens’ Advice Bureau website: 
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/getting-your-money-back-if-you-paid-by-card-or-paypal/


2. Report! Report! Report!

If you ever experience a situation like this with any (England/Wales-based) psychic, you MUST report them to Trading Standards!

If Trading Standards get enough complaints, they will investigate and can take the psychic to court or stop them operating.

To contact them, you must file a report via the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Instructions are here: 
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/


3. NEVER EVER Pay For A Psychic Reading Again

I have looked closely into the psychic world for over 15 years (while Jon Donnis has investigated it for even longer). Neither of us has ever come across conclusive proof of anyone having psychic powers. In our experience, psychics/mediums always fall into one of two categories.

a) Deluded people who believe they have psychic powers
b) Con-artists/tricksters who exploit grieving and/or vulnerable people.

It’s a sad fact that happy people rarely consult psychics/mediums. The psychic market usually consists of people who are down on their luck for one reason or another, and are looking for someone to bring them hope. But believe me, a psychic or medium will never provide that! As the late great skeptic Robert S. Lancaster, among others, once observed, psychics/mediums will only:

i) Take money under false pretences from people who are in a very vulnerable state emotionally

ii) Make these vulnerable people so dependent on them that the victims will not be able to move on with their lives. Unfortunately, there have even been cases where victims have been scammed out of their life savings and ended up in debt because they believed what the psychics/mediums told them and kept going back for more.

iii) By inventing messages from people who have passed, the psychics/mediums will be stepping on the true memories of your loved ones.   

And on that note, I’ll end by saying that if you ever have problems or feel depressed for whatever reason, there is no shame in asking for help. There are professionals who can offer confidential support and unlike psychics/mediums, they will not charge you a penny.

If you are in the UK, you can contact the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or via their website: 
https://www.samaritans.org

Or if you are in the USA, you can call the Lifeline Network on 1-800-273-8255, again for free, or contact them via https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/ (N.B. This service is also available to those who may not be contemplating suicide).

Both phonelines are there for you 24/7 – day and night.


Addendum
As at the time of writing, James Higgins's main Facebook page has been deactivated. He has now moved his business to his Spirit HQ page, and is bizarrely blaming Facebook for “temporarily unpublishing” his Facebook page because of “high levels of engagement”. He also rather audaciously claims that he thinks he “holds a record in relation to levels of engagement and followers”. Make of that what you will.

In addition to that, some people have contacted us about a private Facebook account in his name (and with his photo) that appears to be messaging people and sending out friend requests.

However, we believe that this account is NOT actually James Higgins, but another scammer who is trying to cash in on fans/followers. See the screenshot.


Notice that this scammer wants money to be sent to the PayPal account of someone called Wycliffe Mutsami.

No doubt this is an impersonator from Africa. This is a VERY common trick that scammers (particularly from countries like Nigeria) use. They set up fake accounts in the names of celebrities or people who have a lot of Facebook followers and try to befriend their fans to get money out of them.

DO NOT accept any friend requests from this account or click on any (phishing) links it sends you. In fact, do not engage with it at all. Just block and report it.


--- The following paragraph is written by Jon Donnis---
Article written by someone who wishes to remain Anonymous, I have verified their identity.
Please understand that the amount of abuse someone gets for daring to speak out against people like James Higgins is huge, as such if you do want to be abusive you will be met with overwhelming kindness, facts, and knowledge. You wont scare us, you wont make us go away.

26 June 2020

Could a Psychic Guess When a Slot's Going to Pay Out?


There are many mysteries that people haven’t figured out yet. One such mystery is the existence of psychics, and why despite how many times they are exposed, you have a constant stream of new claimants.

There have been many supposed psychics throughout the history of mankind and one of the most famous is Nostradamus. He was a seer that seemingly managed to predict several things in the future, and although believers in him may need to decipher what he said as a way to make his prediction fit current events, there are many who think he was the real deal, but there are many others who just see a desperation of believers to make things fit.

Psychics claim to have what is known as ESP and they say that this helps them predict the future and even read minds. This sounds too good to be true and you know the old saying about things that seem to good to be true. There have been lots of fake psychics that have been exposed throughout the years, something that we on this site have done more than most. We have yet to find that elusive "real" psychic.

If a true psychic existed then he or she will have the power to predict what happens next. That would be especially helpful if the psychic is a casino enthusiast. The person would know when to increase or decrease a bet, when to switch from one game to another and would find himself/herself banned from a lot of casinos.

The thing about casinos is that most of them are online now. There are plenty of such sites that offer lots of games to players. The one game that would be a challenge for a psychic would be any slot game. Sites like Casimba Slots offer more than one slot games so players have a variety to choose from. They also throw in some bonuses to make things interesting. And to make things fair they use a Random Number Generator. Now if you were really psychic, surely this is the easiest way to prove it?

The Random Number Generator
This is something that every casino site has on offer. The generator makes sure that every sequence it pulls out is a random one. That’s why slot games would be a challenge for a psychic. They would probably know what game to pick and when to pick it so they could get a payout.

The True Psychic vs an Expert Slot Player
If you’ve been paying attention to history then you’ll see that psychics aren’t that much concerned with payouts from online slot games, or from Casinos at all. In fact there isn't a single psychic in history who has come forward and said, "watch this, I will take $1, and make it $1 million". Ask yourself why that is.

Master slot players might be lucky a few times since they’ve played a game for a long time which is why they might be able to “sense” what’s coming next. But usually that sense comes from watching a machine over hours, working out how much money is in the machine as it has been used by other players. On an online Slot machine, this isn't possible, so it really does come down to chance, or if you were a real psychic then it would be your abilities, yet instead psychics "waste" their time giving readings to vulnerable people for $20. Still think they are real?

Unfortunately, the world is short on psychics that would test their skills in online slot games. And if any have tried it, then they have failed every single time. And that is why you never ever see a psychic make a claim that is easily debunked. Gotta keep things vague!

8 May 2020

Sylvia Browne Predicted the Covid19 Coronavirus and Skeptics are going crazy!


UPDATE: Please Read This First
I hate that I have to write this, but due to the abuse I am getting from the so called Skeptic community I think it is best I say a couple of things.

1. READ THE WHOLE DAMNED ARTICLE!
2. The whole point of this article is about the difference between a good skeptic and a great skeptic. Taking a deliberate "click bait" type headline and breaking it all down. A good skeptic just debunks a claim. A great skeptic gives the claim the benefit of the doubt, gives the claim every possible chance to be real, puts the claim on a pedestal and STILL debunks it. And by doing so removes all doubt.
3. If you read the whole article I actually expose Sylvia's claim, yet I have skeptics who only read half the article and then call me a "Sylvia Browne Apologist". You people are not true skeptics, you are imbeciles. And you are the very people I reference in the headline about "going crazy".


By Jon Donnis
I have always wanted to write a ridiculous click bait type headline like that, and now I have my chance.

So before I start let me make a few things clear. Sylvia Browne is dead, she died on 20th November 2013, and up until the day she died she maintained that she was a real psychic medium, who could communicate with the dead and see the future. That was a lie. She was a fraud. Like literally, a convicted fraudster. In 1992, Browne and her then-husband Kenzil Dalzell Brown were indicted on several charges of investment fraud and grand theft, she was found guilty.

So to make absolutely clear where I stand on Sylvia Brown, she was a fake, a fraud, a con-women, a charlatan, in fact I was exposing her as such decades ago, and in fact I helped the late great Robert Lancaster start his "Stop Sylvia" website, and when he started that, I stepped back from writing about her, as he was going to only concentrate on her.

Now with that out of the way, let's get back to the lovely click bait headline, that any hack at the Tabloid media would be proud of.

Sylvia Browne predicted the Covid19 Coronavirus.

This was bizarrely first brought up by everyone's favourite tooth shaped celebrity Kim Kardashian.



Sylvia wrote a book in 2008 called "End of Days" whereby she recorded many future predictions.
And yes in that book is the very passage that Kim shared on her twitter account.


She wrote
"In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tunes and resisting all known treatments. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it arrived, attack again ten years later, and then disappear completely."

Now let us ignore the ten years later bit, as we will have to wait until 2030 to see if that happens.
So did she get this prediction correct? Yes.

Unlike the vast vast majority of psychic predictions she was very specific. She gave a year, she described the symptoms of the disease, and how no treatments would work.

These claims are objectively true. Let us look closer at what she said.
"around 2020"
Well the virus officially started in 2019, but it became a global pandemic in 2020, so for her to use the word "around" is actually more accurate than it is vague. A lot of skeptics have tried to use that as an excuse to dismiss it.

"a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tunes"

From a laypersons point of view, she perfectly describes the symptoms of the Covid19 Coronavirus. This is not some vague "he felt a pain in his chest before he died" type of claim you often get from mediums. This is an accurate and very specific description of the main symptoms of the virus that people suffer with who get very ill and then die.

She also stated it "will spread throughout the globe", again this is objectively true. She could have easily just said the United States, in fact if I was to make a vague future prediction, it would be easier to just say one country, that way if there was a bad flu outbreak that year (which there was at the end of 2019) you could claim that you were correct. But instead she clearly states it will spread around the globe. Unlike any other major outbreak of this kind in history, this virus has spread around the globe, to more countries than SARS, MERS, or any of the big name coronaviruses you will have heard of.

Next up she stated "resisting all known treatments" again so far this is objectively true. China knew of the virus at least 6 months ago, if not longer, but at the very least 6 months, so after 6 months can you name a single confirmed treatment that works? There has been some promising results with a few treatments, but at the best they may help you recover a couple of days sooner if at all. So 6 months after the virus is out there, and we have no truly workable, accepted treatments. Now that doesn't mean there wont be one, but as of writing this, her prediction is objectively true on the treatments aspect, and even if there is a treatment found tomorrow, that's 6 months worth of her being right.

The rest of her prediction we can't answer since we don't know if it will just vanish itself, or if it will come back, so that has to be left open.

Up to this point of the article I can see you all scratching your heads and asking "I thought Jon was supposed to expose fake psychics and mediums, yet all he has done so far is point out Sylvia Browne was right".

And now we get to the problem I have with this whole story. As skeptics we are supposed to look at the evidence and build our opinion based on that evidence, and so far pretty much every skeptic has blindly dismissed Sylvia Browne's prediction, just rubbished it without any real explanation. I have seen some skeptics just say she was vague, others just refuse to even talk about it, yet I have shown here she was not at all vague, she was incredible specific. Others have pointed out that she was a proven fraud so what's the point of giving any credence to this prediction, and yes there is some weight to that argument, but there is also the counter "black swan theory". In other words it only takes one black swan to prove that black swans exist. (They do exist by the way, the theory was talked about when there was a presumption that none existed).

So where does that leave us?
It leaves me annoyed with the skeptic community, for they do the very thing they accuse others of doing, ignoring the evidence, being closed minded, dismissing out of hand something just because it seems impossible or unlikely.

As skeptics the thing we demand more than anything from psychics is for them to be specific, we don't want vague comments that could apply to anyone, we want specific dates, times, names, descriptions, we harp on about this all the time, and this one time we get the kind of super specific example of a psychic prediction, and the skeptic community buries its head in the sand.

I refuse to do that.

So I am stating here that in 2008, in her book "End of Days", Sylvia Browne made the single greatest, most accurate, self proclaimed "psychic" prediction in history. Her prediction on any level of understanding was correct and it could yet further come true as time passes.

But now the big problem. I am a skeptic, I have accepted that her prediction came true, it was not at all vague, how do I deal with this. Quite simply really. Of the thousands and thousands of predictions she made in her life, she got one right. It's that simple. She had a failure rate of 99.99999%. She was a fraud, a fake, and just once, she got something right.

If I make a pinhole in a wall, pick up a handful of sand and throw it at the wall, and one single grain of sand lands in that pinhole, I can claim correctly that I threw a single grain of sand and it landed in a pinhole, something so impossible to do, that the fact I did it means I have magic sand throwing powers.

Now we can talk about how and where she came up with the idea of the prediction, well the SARS outbreak happened a few years before she wrote her prediction, that virus infected over 8000 people around the world, killing 774. It infected people in 29 different countries, so very much a "global" disease.
But here is where it gets interesting, the SARS virus came, it then went, it then came back and then it disappeared, and there has not been a single case of it in over 15 years. Sound familiar?

There was no treatment for SARS and no vaccine was every created, and in fact Covid19 is a strain of that virus, so if we had have developed a treatment for SARS it would likely help in the fight against Covid19.

When you look at the SARS outbreak, the lack of treatment etc, it kinda sounds like what Sylvia predicted does it not?

Since she released her book there has actually been 4 different outbreaks that had she used a different year in her prediction, they would also fit.

Swine Flu 2009-2010 (200,000 Dead)
MERS 2012-2020 (850 Dead)
Ebola 2014-2016 (11,300 Dead)
Covid19 2019-2020 (270,000+ Dead)

Remember no where in her prediction did she actually state number of people who would die.
So if a virus had killed less than 1000 people like MERS has then her prediction is just as accurate as Swine Flu which killed 200,000 people.

Before the SARS outbreak, with the exception of HIV, there had not really been any major worldwide virus since the late 60s and the Hong Kong flu.

The question you have to ask yourself, would she still have made the same prediction had the SARS virus never have happened? or if it had not gotten media attention? Probably not.

So when you look at these things as a whole, when you put things into context, then you can figure out the more likely reasons behind the prediction, but to just dismiss it, is a mistake, for when you just dismiss such things, you make yourself a target of the deluded.

Never back away from such a claim, I didn't, and I'd like to think I explained away her prediction pretty well. But let us not pretend that her prediction was not in itself, and on its own, and without further context, the single greatest "psychic" prediction in history, it was. But that still does not make her psychic.

By Jon Donnis.

(Some of my numbers might be off, or might change as time passes, so please if anything is wrong feel free to correct me in the comments, also please feel free to leave your opinions, and if you think I am wrong, then say so.)

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30 March 2020

(4 Minute Video) - Does a Spiritualist Medium's Anecdote Prove The Afterlife?


The codeword claim is almost always the worst kind of evidence and made more magical by believers who pass on the story as evidence. 

Anecdotal evidence is the worst kind of claim to evidence. 

Even if it happened straight away in your story, it doesn't confirm your faith. 

Check out Rob at
https://twitter.com/RobLesterFilms

27 March 2020

REVIEW: Most Haunted - Series 1 Episode 5 (25th June 2002) Leap Castle, Coolderry, County Offaly, Ireland


As I write this it is the 27th March 2020, the world is on lock down, due to a world wide pandemic. Thousands of people are dead due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak, the streets are empty, it literally feels like we are living in a post apocalyptic world, people in massive queues to get bread and toilet tissue, people scared to even get close to each other in fear of catching this deadly disease. But with all that happening I have decided to do something even worse! I have decided to review another classic episode of Most Haunted.

I have also stuck to my promise that I would not review any of the new Most Haunted stuff unless it got over 100,000 views, their new stuff at most is getting between 10,000 to 15,000 views, which is hardly surprising.

We travel back in time to Series 1 Episode 5 (25th June 2002) Leap Castle, Coolderry, County Offaly, Ireland. A time when bog rolls were aplenty, brand name bread cost just 50p a loaf, and Karl Beattie still had his original hair, long before the transplant. So with that, let's take a look at the blurb.

"The Most Haunted team travel to the Republic of Ireland to visit historic Leap Castle. Legend says the castle is home to a half-man, half-animal elemental. The Most Haunted crew hold a séance in the infamous Bloody Chapel."

This is the first episode of Most Haunted I will have reviewed since the death of Derek Acorah, it will be interesting to watch him, back in his prime.

This episode is one of the Most Haunted Unseen episodes, I don't recall exactly what that meant, I assume it just meant it had a few extra scenes thrown in? I grabbed it off youtube, so what can you do.

We start off with Yvette and for some reason she seems really aggressive in her intro, I am guessing she was trying to get across how scary and dangerous this place was.


Many a cow had to die for that long leather coat.

She tells us that the castle is home to a "half-man, half-animal elemental" ghost. I hope Derek Acorah gets possessed by this. I wonder if in the afterlife Derek has met up with all these ghosts who possessed him? Even the famous monkey from episode 1 I think it was? That would be interesting to see.


Now although Yvette Fielding does look fetching in her red leather trousers, as a vegan I cannot approve.

She sits down with actor Jason Karl who is playing the part of a parapsychologist to talk about the castle. Worth noting that despite being an employed actor playing the part of a parapsychologist, I give him credit as being one of the more skeptical people who played this part, and as such was many times more credible than those who followed him. And in case you didn't know, he was only fired from the show, because he became too popular with the viewers. Remember this whole show was supposed to be a vehicle to relaunch Yvette's career. As history now tells us that failed and Derek Acorah quickly became the true star of the show.

Jason explains how the elemental ghost is created by negative energy. He also talks about these "coil" types of energy that only appear in photographs, as always a real skeptic knows the cause of such "manifestations" are usually a hair near the lens, or the camera strap hanging down, funny how these images pretty much disappeared from the genre as cameras on Smartphones became more prevalent and of higher quality.

Yvette tells us how she is scared for the arrival of Derek Acorah who apparently has "no idea about Leap Castle at all", well that's 4 minutes in and we get our first direct lie. Derek worked as a spiritualist medium, the idea that he would have "no idea" about Leap Castle is ridiculous. It was his job, it was his life. He knew.


We then get an interview with Sean Ryan the owner of the castle, and boy is this a treat, he is like the character Ted from The Fast Show.



Sean does a decent job "selling" his tourist attraction. We also get a quick piece to camera from a small child.


Now to make you feel old, she is nearly 30 years old now! And has had a career as a professional dancer and teacher. A seven times provincial champion and a top 10 World championship medal holder for eight consecutive years!

Check out her page at https://academy.riverdance.com/blog/instructor/ciara-callanan-ryan/

You could argue that she has had a more successful career after appearing on Most Haunted than Yvette Fielding has, after all Ciera only appears once on the show, and Yvette is still trying to make a living from pretending to see ghosts.

Ok I have lost my train of thought now, yes we were watching a program about fake ghosts.

We see some footage from Karl's camera, he is filming in the day, worth noting Yvette calls him "our producer Karl". He films a burning fire from afar. This is something that any good ghost hunter should do more often, just film a fire burning, with a bit of luck you will get at least a single frame of something in the fire that looks like a face, purely a pareidolia effect, but it would look great for your gullible fans.


Completely pointless segment and totally understandable why this got cut from the original airing.

Yvette is still wondering around doing pieces to camera, great to see them do some effort with production too, some nice shots with candles burning and so on.


Jason Karl announces that the battery in his camera has gone dead. He also clearly states that he has been using it all day. That's how batteries work mate, you charge them, you use them, they go dead. To try an make this some kind of paranormal event is ridiculous and just shows a total lack of intelligence, but then again it could also be that you are doing it deliberately as part of your "gas lighting" of the audience.


Rick Fielding of the Fielding family claims he has heard a whisper noise in his ear. Jason Karl then pulls out an EMF meter and says there is a high reading right where they are, the fact he is surrounded by people holding electrical equipment all giving off electromagnetic fields seems beyond him.

15 minutes in and the investigation proper finally starts, Derek has now appeared.


Derek looking smart gets straight into his act as they go up some stairs, and he claims he can see a figure, and is very descriptive of her.


I really had forgotten how good Derek was at describing made up ghosts. But there is also the problem that everything he says just sounds like innuendo.

Derek is now describing the ghost as not just spirit but as inter dimensional, whatever that is supposed to mean. The ghost is changing shape, so it's an inter-dimensional, shape shifting being. We then hear the owner of the Castle off camera getting a bit nervous and warning Derek about the elemental spirit.

Derek then comes up with the name "Sir Henry Darby", an on screen graphic confirms the name and that he was born at Leap Castle in 1749 and served as an Admiral in the British Navy.

The funny thing is that back in the day, when this show would air, you would have the believers quickly declaring that this was proof that Derek was legit, and you had skeptics quickly checking the internet to see how easy such information could be found out, and then the battle between the two opposing groups. I took part in such battles, and I am a bit embarrassed that I did now. It so obviously faked, and although I knew it was faked, I spent way too much time proving it was all fake. I was one of those skeptics.

If this was to air today, many many less people would believe in Derek as they did in the past, and only the hardcore would really get into arguments trying to prove it all one way or another. I think it is partly a shame that both believers and skeptics got so annoyed with each other, when realistically Derek was just playing the part of a character on a TV show, no different to Jason Karl playing the part of parapsychologist.

But we did take it all too seriously back in the day, non more so than me.

Now when I see him come up with a name, I really have no interest to check if it's a real name or not, or how easy it is to research, it really doesn't matter.


This guy starts talking about how some batteries are running down and how there was some audio issues, of course the presumption is that this is caused by the ghosties.

Derek has found a small room, which has a ghost monk in it. Derek is in full "Degsie Mode" here. Of course what he is saying matches up to some Monk who was at the castle hundreds of years ago.

Worth noting here how they regularly seem to switch from a black and white filter to REAL night vision mode.

Great way to spot night vision is the eyes.


Of course it is completely pointless as the area is well lit, there are candles lit everywhere, a big roaring fire. It is not dark in any way, so this is purely a production choice to make things seem more spooky.

Karl is with Rick and is desperately trying to get him to have a seance. Rick is not interested though.

We then get an "orb". I had forgotten about them, boy did they go on about them a lot back in the day.


Yvette does her best Blair Witch Project shot, but the problem is that in the Blair Witch Project, it was done with full colour.


We then get another orb shot, Yvette proudly declares on voice over that Orbs are the first signs of a ghost manifestation.

Karl and Rick are doing their seance stuff, but it comes across more as just two nervous blokes having a laugh on camera, which ironically is exactly what they were.

Yvette is now pretending to cry as a ghost is nearby, putting her trained actress skills to full use there.

Remember when Yvette pretended that Harry Styles tried to seduce her when he was 16? About as likely as Karl claiming to be the worlds last samurai.

I've started to get bored now, not enough Derek. Need a good possession to get me interested again.
Come on Degsie, you can do it.

Yvette is with Stuart, and Stuart closes a door and Yvette has a break down and starts crying because she is so scared. All very pathetic and over acted.

Karl is with Marcel, whoever that is.


Derek has seemingly disappeared as Karl heads off to the cellar.
And is filming orbs. I will not even waste my time explaining them, if you don't know by now what they are you never will.

The investigation ends, and we get the post investigation comments. I wonder if Derek went home early on the night after he did his little spot? Also in the post investigation comments, Jason Karl reveals that he told ALL of the crew where they were going before the investigation and wonders if the expectations of phenomena and that auto suggestion might have had an effect on people.

Jason Karl then summarises all of the nights events, and gives a skeptical opinion.


This shot of Derek really needs to be made into a meme.

Well the episode ends, and it was an ok episode, the lack of a possession by Derek really hurt the episode, and he hardly appeared in the episode. As such I can only score this a 3/10. Unlike the first few episodes of the season, this was definitely a filler episode.

Review by Jon Donnis

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By Jon Donnis