Article from The Mirror, a British Publication
28 October 2005
SPOOKY TRUTH: TV'S MOST HAUNTED CON EXPOSED TV
By Matt Roper
The TV show that has spooked millions with its footage of hauntings
and poltergeists is today exposed as a fake - by one of its own stars.
Resident parapsychologist Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe has sensationally lifted
the lid on the ghosthunting series, Most Haunted ... and claims that
the public are being deceived by "showmanship and dramatics."
He accuses the show's medium Derek Acorah of hoodwinking viewers by
pretending to communicate with spirits and obtaining information
about locations prior to filming.
The Mirror has also obtained unedited footage which appears to show
presenter Yvette Fielding and her husband faking 'paranormal'
occurrences such as ghostly bumps and knocks.
Most Haunted has quickly achieved cult status since it was launched
in 2002 and is LivingTV's most successful programme.
Millions of viewers tune in regularly to watch Ex-Blue Peter girl
Yvette and her team of ghost hunters spend the night in some of
Britain's most haunted locations.
It has made Acorah - who claims to be guided by an Ethiopian spirit
guide called Sam - into one of the country's best-known psychics.
Tonight the show will start its biggest ever live vigil, a four-night
Halloween special from East London following the murderous trail of
Jack the Ripper.
Yvette Fielding has said of the show - which is made by her husband
Karl Beattie's production company Antix Productions: "There is no
acting in this programme, none whatsoever. Everything you see and you
hear is real. It's not made up, it's not acted."
But our investigation reveals how the programme uses careful editing
to mislead viewers and, on at least one occasion, has even lied about
the location of filming.
Ciaran, a lecturer in the paranormal at Liverpool's Hope University,
knows speaking out will probably put an end to his media career...
but he believes viewers should know the truth.
He says: "I think it's time to open the dialogue about what I've
experienced on Most Haunted. There have been many incidents with the
medium that have been brushed under the carpet.
"I was put in the show to give a professional slant to it, to give it
an element of credibility, but the sceptical argument is just swept
"In my opinion, we're not dealing with genuine mediumship." He says
he isn't the only member of the crew who feels viewers are being
"Other crew members have been irked by Derek and what's going on,
because it turns what should be a serious investigation into a
And our exclusive footage shows other members of the team
occasionally forget they are on camera.
One of our clips, later edited out, shows Karl push an unwitting
sound man in the dark and pretend it was a poltergeist attack.
In the remaining footage he says (after surreptitiously hitting the
soundman): "S**t, did you feel that?"
Yvette: Are you all right? What's happened?
Karl: I felt something touch me on my shoulder.
Soundman: I felt something hit me.
And in another edited clip with medium Ian Lawman, Yvette is seen on
camera making a deep sigh. In the scene that eventually went to air,
Ian (after Yvette sighs) says: "What's that noise?
Yvette: What noise? Like a moan?
Ian: Breathing or something.
Yvette: I heard like an 'arrggh'.
Ciaran, who joined Most Haunted in April 2004 became suspicious of
Acorah's antics on a shoot at Castle Leslie, Co Monaghan in Ireland
where a 17th Century four-poster bed has been claimed to levitate.
Ciaran recalls: "As we walked into the bedroom, Derek touched the bed
and came out with extremely accurate information.
"He insisted he got all the information just from touching the bed.
But it was the wrong bed."
Antix Productions claims the mediums have no idea where they will be
filming or know any details about the history of the locations.
But Ciaran says: "Derek must have had prior knowledge of the
He devised a plan to see if Derek was deliberately deceiving the
While on a shoot at Bodmin gaol he invented a long-dead South African
jailer called Kreed Kafer - an anagram of Derek Faker.
"I wrote the name down and asked another member of the crew to
mention it to Derek before filming.
"I honestly didn't think Derek would take the bait. But during the
filming he actually got possessed by my fictional character!"
On the next shoot at Prideaux Place, Cornwall, Ciaran made up another
fictional character, highwayman Rik Eedles - an anagram of Derek
Lies. Sure enough, Derek made contact with the dead outlaw.
Ciaran says: "In my professional opinion we're not dealing with a
"When Derek is possessed he is doing it consciously - all we are
seeing is showmanship and dramatics."
Ciaran went a step further at Craigievar Castle, near Aberdeen.
"I made up stories about Richard the Lionheart, a witch, and
Richard's apparition appearing to walk through a wardrobe - the lion,
the witch and the wardrobe!" True to form, Derek mentioned all
Ciaran's stories - even though Richard I reigned 500 years BEFORE
Craigievar Castle was built.
The final straw came last month when Most Haunted presented a three-
night special from Manchester.
On the second evening, the show claimed to be broadcasting live from
the site of Cheadle's Victorian asylum, a place where - according to
presenter David Bull - thousands died in torment. In fact they were
in the derelict remains of Barnes Convalescence Home - where nobody
died in torment.
Ciaran remembers: "Derek was communicating with spirits that sounded
as if they'd been in an asylum, but it was never an asylum."
Yesterday the Mirror confronted Derek Acorah with Ciaran's
allegations. He told us: "I've worked with Ciaran for many shows and
he's got every right to say what he says. However, it does shock and
surprise me. Not only do I believe that I am a genuine medium - I
live my work 24 hours a day. If I thought that I wasn't a true
medium, I wouldn't work as one."
A spokesman for LivingTV said: "Ciaran O'Keeffe has worked as the
programme's official sceptic for 18 months and during this time has
not brought any of his concerns to our attention.
"LivingTV has not seen any of your filmed evidence, but will fully
investigate your claims."