At first we were impressed that Derek (aka "Degsie" to fans) could pull out historical facts from the ether with the help of his psychic guide Sam (an ethiopian who lived centuries ago).
We so wanted to believe!
The show Most Haunted has been a huge ratings winner for a little cable channel in UK - and the show crossed over onto our basic cable in the USA. It does nicely for Travel Channel in the USA.
After a little digging and googling - and reading about some behind-the-scenes entrapment by the crew who planted fake info to Derek before tapings -- we are now bigger fans than ever.
We know from media reports that he was slyly given anagrams of the words "Derek Lies" (Rik Eedles) and "Derek Faker" (Kreed Kafer) and he grabbed onto the names he overheard from the crew and sure enough these fake names of souls promptly came through during the taping !! Brilliant! We love this show anyway!!
Derek may give hope to millions that there is something in the next world, and sweet souls are in "visitation" among us -- but to us - "Degs" is simply a classic TV showman.
A few seasons into the series - Degs began to get possessed during seances. He would bellow and hiss as the supposed spirit persons who were hanging around old cellars, castles and manors.
In one classic show, he became possessed by the spirit of a pagan hag and barked at an interviewer when asked "her" name -- Degsie hissed: " What's YOUR name, leper ?!! " After these entertaining possessions, Derek usually collapses into a heap, is escorted out and his work is done. ("Derek, come forward!")
Derek (a former footballer turned spirit medium) supposedly arrives at these "haunted" locales "with no prior history of the building." However, many of these locations are famous "haunted" UK tourist destinations (many with "ghost tours" available to the public).
Sometimes Derek forgets a date or a surname - but he usually covers by getting distracted by another spirit and the question is never answered.
The show is hosted by a former UK child star named Yvette Fielding. Co-hosted by her campy historian colleague and part-time ghost walk tourguide Richard Felix, with "base line readings" taken early in every show by Phil Wyman (thru season 4). Phil is a husky and cute lad prone to wearing tight dance club Tshirts. I love Phil!!
Watch for: Yvette sitting in a dark empty manor and asking ever so politely "is anybody here?" --- "please make a noise if you can hear me." --- "a noise...a bump...anything".
Watch for: Derek being "drawn" to "an area" and after being prompted by Yvette if he'd like to go towards another room, he says "may we?". (Yes! we want to yell-- That's why you are there!)
Watch for: Derek to use A lot of descriptive words to reveal very little info.
The MH producers perhaps became hostile towards -or- jealous of Derek's antics & fame - and he left the show after 6 seasons to star in his own spin off series "Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns" (where he has even more over-the-top possessions, and brings celebrity to ordinary people's haunted houses. In the spin off series, attention seekers drop by the "Ghost Truck" for pre-interviews. How handy!).
Most Haunted was a cult sensation in the UK - with French & Saunders even spoofing it on their BBC comedy special.
After 7 years of investigations and a parade of psychic mediums, the show has uncovered little in terms of proof of hauntings or the paranormal- except the occasional bump in the night, TV sets that turn on & off, and those frequent "light anomalies" (which look a lot like dust floating past digital handi-cams).
Most Haunted with Derek Acorah and his predictable enthusiasm, edginess and histrionics is a terrific way to pass an evening in front of the telly --with or without "a grounded soul in visitation".
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