Dead Psychic Still Scamming Grieving Relatives FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE
When psychic medium Sylvia Browne died in 2013, there were still multiple upcoming tour dates listed on her website. While I would certainly never cheer anyone's death, because that's gross (even if she was an awful human being who told the parents of Amanda Berry and Shawn Hornbeck that their children were dead when they weren't), it was a fairly satisfying moment.
Earlier this month, Derek Acorah, another psychic known for telling parents of missing children that those children are dead (and also for doing a Michael Jackson seánce on live TV), died from complications of pneumonia. You may know him from such shows as "Most Haunted" and that one episode of “Doctor Who" where they thought everyone had come back from the dead as "ghosts" but actually they were Cybermen from a parallel universe.
But like the spirits he's claimed to be able to speak to, lo these many years, death is not keeping Derek Acorah down. In fact, up until this weekend, his website was still offering text message "readings" from Derek for £3 ($3.90) for those who wished to receive his help to contact their deceased loved ones. Each follow-up message cost £1.
The site was taken down after a reporter from the Daily Record pretended to be a customer who wished to hear from his dead uncle:
Posing as a bereaved relative, our reporter texted to say his uncle Joe King had passed away two years ago, and asked to make contact.
Within minutes, a series of three messages arrived back at a cost of £1 each.
One said: "Welcome darling. He has been trying to contact you and is coming through to sit with you now. He says that he is worried that you tend to allow yourself to get into ruts in life."
The last text finishes by saying "More darling", and which point we responded "Yes please, Derek". Another three premium rate texts were duly delivered, with one advising: "He says that you will never know what you like or are capable of, if you are not willing to try new things."
The last text again ended by prompting to request even more information from the fictitious relative.When the Mail contacted Acorah's spokesman, he refused to comment on the record but threatened legal action if we ran a story.
Now, I don't know if anyone texting that number actually thought that they were getting actual text messages from this actual guy, or if they figured it was sort of a Miss Cleo situation where people were aware that they weren't going to speak to him but to someone working for him. It seems highly unlikely that he was writing these text messages from dead people himself while he was alive, either. That would take up a LOT of time.
I understand why people might find something like this comforting when they are grieving the loss of a loved one. I don't blame them at all. I am a "whatever gets you through the day" kind of lady. What I don't understand is how someone decides to make their living (or, in this case, deading?) by scamming grieving people.
In conclusion: The Fox Sisters were cracking their toes, Uri Geller was using pre-bent spoons, no one has magic powers and this is now your open thread!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse