Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Waking the Dead Bored

First of all, I need to be clear. I do not believe in an afterlife – and so find it hard to believe that anyone can speak with the dead – because there isn’t “any-body there”.   However, nobody really knows if it is possible that people can contact the spirit world, so I find the idea of mediums fascinating and have spent a quiet night or two sat at the back of a Spiritualist Church enjoying the amateur dramatics along with a cup of tea and a biscuit. (Nice folks at the Derby Spiritualist Church…they had hob-nobs).  A Trance Medium whose wife would sing a song “of her own making” to invite the spirits to visit was particular treat.

Best bit of talking to dead people
Despite the fact that Derren Brown is clear in his assertion that he is not a  medium – the results he gets are spooky – and always provoke the question “how did he do it?!” So, I was curious to see what a show by the UK’s leading Psychic Sally Morgan, who claims to have an extraordinary gift, would be like.  Would I leave converted? Amazed? Entertained?  Sadly the answer is no. I got Bored.

On arrival my friends and I were invited to complete a “love letter” on which you could write your name and the details of a dead love one you wished to contact.  I’m not certain I really understand why some-one with an extraordinary gift would need these prompts (especially as they were only used twice in the show) but we all cheerfully completed ours trying to encourage my friend’s Granddad to get in contact (He didn’t). 

Once in the theatre we were stoically informed that due to New European Legislation Sally can’t claim to be Psychic and that the show was for ”entertainment purposes”… That legislation would be The Consumer Protectionfrom Unfair Trading Regulations 2008…hardly new and not very European. Seems the language of UKIP has seeped into the next life too… 

The show was split into 2 halves of an hour each and if I’m honest was dreadfully dull.  Sally started strongly and (working from memory) was speaking to a “Paul”, who died in a way that involved him shaking.  A lady stood-up and identified who this was that he had been in a car accident driving near Skegness.  “That’s it!” declared Sally; apparently the crash would explain the shaking.  Although why “Paul” didn’t just say “I died in a car crash” only his spirit will know.  There followed a conversation about the accident that warmed the audience to Sally’s ability.
The impact of this conversation was diluted for me when the lady being contacted confirmed that she’d seen and met Sally in Skegness. The same lady also claimed to recognise at least 3 other “leads” throughout the night – she clearly enjoyed the interactive part of the show.  This was interesting. The lead from the spirit could have been as vague as “I’m getting the name Brian…” and hands would shoot up all over the theatre. People were so desperate to either be put in contact with loved ones or to be part of the show. 

This desperation inadvertently produced the funniest/saddest part of the night. While putting a woman in touch with her dead husband (and I feel faintly disgusted writing that sentence) Sally asked if the name Michelle meant anything…possibly to do with work.  The Dead Man’s weeping wife – clutching at any part of his life to make the message more personal was reduced to offering that he bought his petrol at a Shell garage. The crowd laughed and moved on. Reflecting the day after, I feel embarrassed to have been involved in finding her grief entertaining.

The second half matched the first in terms of form, but without any big wins for Sally’s extraordinary gift. As lead after lead went cold and Sally’s suggestions were met with blank faces and shrugs, the crowd around me got bored and started giggling.  And this is ultimately how I feel about the show now. Bored. If this is typical of a big Psychic show I simply don’t understand how they make a living out of it. 

There are many reasons you might think you want to go to a Sally Morgan show but I think most people will leave disappointed.

If you’re a Skeptic hoping to understand how a top drawer Psychic operates – you won’t get much insight, if I were you, I’d spend your money on a James Randi Doll. If you’re hoping to get in touch with a loved one (and you’re lucky enough to get a lead) you won’t receive much of a message beyond “They love you”, which you already knew.  A friend or relative who actually knew your Dad can share his memory and tell you that he loved you while you save 25 quid. If you’re looking for a good night out, you won’t find it here.

Next time I need to be bored by a woman shouting out seemingly unconnected names for 2 hours– I’ll ask my Gran about the old days…  So, we still don’t really know if it is possible that people can contact the spirit world, but I do know I expected a bit more of a show from a woman with a self-proclaimed extraordinary gift. There weren’t even any biscuits.


  1. There is no afterlife. Before she died my Mum said if there was any way she could come back and tell me if there is an afterlife then she'd be back. 30 years on she's never visited. If anyone could make the trip it would be my Mum!!

  2. Hi, CM. I'm pretty certain my Mum would be determined to haunt me as well!!! She's still with us so I might make a similar arrangement. Hopefully she won't expect me to hand over £25 quid to get the message.