Our Evening with Derek Acorah Remembered

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Derek Acorah had many fans and detractors. GEMMA JOHNSON recounts a profound experience 18 years ago with the late TV psychic medium that left her with a lasting impression…

Our Evening with Derek Acorah Remembered 1

There can be a great deal of mistrust surrounding mediums, and quite rightly so in some cases. I have witnessed my fair share of mediumship ‘performances’ where there has been blatant cold questioning and manipulation of the answers.

However, I have also encountered mediums that have recalled information that there was no way of them knowing, accurate details relating to family members who have passed, and also those that are still very much alive.

Just recently, I came across a note that I had scribbled down during a private reading over 10 years ago. Several of the predictions that were made have come true. I won’t bore you with them, but needless to say, my sceptical husband was even impressed by them.

That tattered old piece of paper got me reflecting on mediumship, specifically the medium with whom I had an astounding experience with – Derek Acorah.

There is no doubt that there has been much controversy surrounding Derek. Those who watched the early days of Most Haunted will remember the infamous Creed Kafer incident, an incident that led to ridicule and followed Derek around after his time with Most Haunted had finished. Derek played a character on Most Haunted; it did draw in the viewers wanting to see his ‘possessions’ and his eccentricities, but then this created a cloud of doubt that remained with him. Even today, almost four years after his passing, the ridicule remains and has created, in my opinion, an unfair legacy of his mediumship.

Speak to anyone who knew Derek outside of Most Haunted, and they will tell you – as they have told me – that he was vastly different from his character on the programme. Derek embarked on a series of stage shows where the audience was able to see a glimpse of the real Derek away from the television cameras and the focus on viewing numbers. I went to watch Derek in February 2005 at a venue in Greater Manchester with my now-husband and my sister. We had an experience at that stage show that remains with us today.

Before I go into specifics, a little background is needed here. At the time of going to the show, we had a gravely ill family member, a much-loved aunt, who had been battling cancer for some time. The day leading up to the show was unremarkable; no news had been received from our auntie, so we went as planned.

When we arrived at the venue, we were seated on the upper level, facing the stage. The stage had a simple stool and a table with a glass of water on it. Derek was announced, and he came on to a welcoming applause. Sam (his spirit guide) was also present, and the readings began. We watched as there was a mixture of responses to the information Derek was sharing – some right on the mark, some rather vague. A general mixed bag, but that is possibly to be expected.

But then something happened. Derek was in the middle of providing information to a lady sitting close to the stage. During the reading, he seemed to be distracted and kept turning to look to his right. Becoming more and more distracted, he held his hand up, signalling to the audience that he needed to stop the reading.

I remember his words to this day: he said he was being interrupted by a very persistent lady who had come through to him; she had only recently passed, and she was adamant that she wanted to get a message to her family who were in the audience. The whole of the theatre fell silent. Derek took a really deep breath and told us, the audience, that this was very unusual and we should bear with him because she wasn’t going away.

He went on to describe the lady: she was fairly short, had bright red hair, and was wearing red lipstick. She sounded exactly like our auntie; my sister and I shot each other a puzzled look. Going on, he described what had caused her passing: she’s had breast cancer; it has returned and spread; she’s tried hard to fight it, but it was too much. Again, my sister and I looked at each other. Was it? Could it be? Someone would have told us if she had passed away, right? So, we didn’t respond.

Derek pleaded for the family members to come forward, but the theatre remained silent. My sister and I looked at each other again and agreed that no one had told us anything about our Auntie so it couldn’t be her. At that exact moment, Derek informed the audience that the lady had just realised that her family, present at the show, didn’t know that she had passed earlier that day, but when they find out, they should be comforted knowing that she isn’t in pain anymore and that she is with the family. With that, it seemed that the lady had stepped back, and Derek continued with the show.

During the drive home, we were talking about Derek and his readings, coming back again and again to the information that he shared about the lady who had just passed. It was obviously just a coincidence, but we wanted to be sure. We dropped my sister off at home; the car hadn’t even fully stopped before we both jumped out. My sister flung the door open, ran in to find my mom, and asked the question about my auntie – had she passed?  Mum told us both to sit down – that’s when we knew. It turned out that she had passed early in the morning; at our auntie’s request, we were not to be told until after our night out.

I know that everyone has their opinions on Derek, and some may disagree with my thoughts here, perhaps disbelieving them or finding other explanations for my experience. Whatever your thoughts, the encounter we had at that show brought great comfort to us during the difficult times that followed. Unbeknownst to Derek, he became part of our family story that evening, a testament to the fact that we still talk about it 18 years later.

Tell us your memories of Derek Acorah in the comments section below!

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