Dr Ciarán O’Keeffe talks Ghostbusters and scepticism with Spooky Isles’ JOHN AMBROSE MARTIN at Ireland’s Day of the Unexplained in Wexford.
Dr Ciarán O’Keeffe is a parapsychologist and member of the Society for Psychical Research. He is known for his work on The Battersea Poltergeist and several TV appearances, however his most notable role has been parapsychologist and paranormal investigator on TV’s Most Haunted.
Forthright and definitely not sitting on the fence with his work, the Academic and University lecturer has dug deeply into some dark cases. During his work on the BBC’s podcast series on The Battersea Poltergeist, Dr O’Keeffe said of the phenomenon, “the argument from some parapsychology theorists is that it’s about attention. We’re seeing effectively, a ghost with a tantrum.” In his work as a forensic psychologist, Ciarán has gone as far as to say he “sees what the killer sees.”
During his time on Most Haunted, Ciarán O’Keeffe was not only vocal on his scepticism of the show and “performances” of participants, he went so far as to organise a sting to effectively out self-proclaimed medium Derek Acorah as a fraud.
These revelations have not harmed the media career of the Norwich-born ghost hunter and he crossed the Irish Sea to Irish para-con Day of the Unexplained where Spooky Isles’ JOHN AMBROSE MARTIN caught up with the ghost hunter to find out more:
JOHN AMBROSE MARTIN: So what Ciarán, brought you to Day of the Unexplained, why did you decide to come over to us?
CIARÁN O’KEEFFE: I enjoy meeting ghost hunters and other people involved in the paranormal, but what really brought me here was Anthony Kerrigan (GhostÉire). Anthony has done some courses with me, ‘Deliver Us From Evil,’ (kind of an Exorcism course) and he said come over here to New Ross. I have been up the road in Carlow, I know some ghost hunters up there and I’ve got family in Dublin and Cork so, a perfect opportunity to come over here for a paranormal conference.
John: What got you into the paranormal?
Ciarán: Ghostbusters! How long have we got (laughs)? I have always been fascinated by ghost stories, like reading fiction and then Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World and then Ghostbusters in ’84 I think, cemented it – thinking as a teenage boy that’s what I could be, which I didn’t end up being because I don’t have a proton pack or the lovely car – but yeah that was kind of what cemented it, a boyhood fascination with ghosts. It grew from there, but more the academic route.
John: Are you a total sceptic, an open minded sceptic? How would you describe yourself?
Ciarán: I’m a total sceptic in the true sense of the word, open minded, but questioning, I think that’s the best way of explaining it. I’m not cynical by any means, but I’m also not dogmatic, it’s kind of that middle ground and that’s the best way to be.
So we leave Dr Ciarán O’Keeffe to lecture on the paranormal to an attentive crowd before continuing his exploration of the spooky county of Wexford!
Many people, cite Ghostbusters as a reason for the love of the paranormal. Are you one of them? Tell us in the comments section below!