Is Most Haunted Fake, Real Or Somewhere In Between?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Some call Most Haunted fake, but others disagree. Guest writer FIONA GLASS takes a look at controversial paranormal TV programme, loved and hated in equal quantities…

Most Haunted fake or real?

I can’t remember when, exactly, the doubts about Most Haunted started to creep in. I’d been watching the show for some time – at least one series and possibly more – and had, until then, loved it.

The very first episode I ever caught involved an old abbey. It was ancient, it was ruined, it was simply overflowing with Gothic atmosphere and ghosts, and my background as a historian meant I was instantly hooked.

Flicking through the cable channels one evening, I paused, got involved, got scared, and watched to the end – and hunted down further episodes set in caves, old theatres and stately homes, like a bloodhound with a paranormal nose.

At first I liked the format, with enough historical information about each venue to lend it some gravitas; plenty of filming of weird events after dark; and of course, resident medium Derek Acorah contacting some of the restless spirits and finding out more about who they were.

Gradually, though, questions began to stir. It all seemed so convenient.

No matter where they turned up, at which kind of property, with whatever kind of paranormal activity, the ghosts always appeared as if on cue.

If there weren’t ghosts, there were orbs, “captured” on camera, or some kind of unusual movement – doors slamming shut, furniture rocking, footsteps when there was supposedly nobody about.

And there was always a lot of screaming. But somehow, in episode after episode, it felt like behind the effects, nothing much was actually happening.

Read Article: Most Haunted – do you love it or hate it?

Ghosts tend not to be a regular or predictable occurrence.

Even at some of the most haunted properties in the country (Bolsover Castle, for instance) they appear at random, over extended time periods, often with no showings at all for months or even years.

Is Most Haunted Fake, Real Or Somewhere In Between? 1

So how come they were always on hand when the Most Haunted film crew turned up? Was there a possibility that sometimes, there was no supernatural activity to film?

And if so, how much of the programme was down to good, old-fashioned special effects? After all, so much of what they seemed to be filming would be easy to fake, especially in the dark.

All of the interiors could have been one big film-set, with objects rigged to move of their own accord; or people could have been employed to make things move, and then edited out afterwards.

Is Most Haunted fake?

I started to notice other things. The orbs often looked as though they’d been added onto the film afterwards.

The contact with spirits was very much hammed-up, and regularly involved people whose names didn’t match the genuine, painstaking historical research.

And at about the same time, there were some fairly lurid revelations about Derek Acorah’s personal life in the press.

I didn’t pay much attention to those – everyone’s entitled to some privacy in my book – but in amongst the gossip was a strong suggestion that he was a fake.

And added to my other concerns, it tipped the balance of probability for me between the show being genuine, and it being a hoax.

Author Fiona Glass
Author Fiona Glass


  1. I totally trust the folks on most haunted. I really don’t think that they are faking anything! Ghosts will act ” on cue” if they wish to communicate with you. I love the show! And the lovely people who are in the show!

  2. I’m really pleased you love the show so much, Tammy. I know it’s still incredibly popular so they must be doing something right!

  3. I’ve had first-hand experience being on the show, as an outsider invited in for 2 episodes, and was never given a script to follow or seen any scripts with the medium Johnny Fiori or other Most Haunted regulars. I would be doubtful of others who claimed such after being on there.
    I 100% agree about the history too Fiona, it was a massive draw for me too and gave it something different. I think everyone I speak with says they loved the earlier ones the most too. 🙂

  4. It’s an ‘entertainment’ show.. nothing more. What started out quite creditable – quickly became a show that needed more.. more dramas, more action – something that very rarely happens on investigations. (think there’s only been 2 nights in 17 years when its gone potty!)
    I did enjoy ‘The Derek Years’, he’s a showman.. certainly made the programme more interesting.. (Pendle Hill, Ram Inn etc) – as the years passed – scripting was put into play. Having worked with various mediums from the show on a professional level – all they could tell me was.. that my thoughts were confirmed.
    Little fact for you.. the infrared camerawork only came into play when Jason Karl (guest parapsychologist) – bought his own personal camera onto set.. and ended up using it for most of nightshots in the first episode.

  5. I have experienced hauntings first hand, but I think this crew are fakers, ie ….did you hear that , nothing ever caught on film and the list goes on. Trust me if they were confronted by an apparition they would be out of there like a shot.


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