Derek Acorah, famed psychic known for the reality show Most Haunted, has died from what sources has said to be sepsis.
His wife, Gwen Acorah, shared the news in a statement on his official Facebook page, adding that the psychic had been in intensive care after falling into a coma. “Farewell my love! I will miss you forever! I’m devastated to announce that my beloved husband Derek has passed away after a very brief illness,” she wrote.
He made his name as the resident medium in the first six series of the TV program Most Haunted (2002-05),Often his ratings were split, many called him a fake and fraud, while others believed he was the real deal.
A visit to Samlesbury Hall, a medieval manor house in Lancashire, was typical of the Acorah spookfest. He entered to the sound of “girlish laughter”, sensing he was in a former educational establishment, he wrote in his 2004 autobiography, The Psychic Adventures of Derek Acorah.
“The energy around me changed and I felt as though I was in an inn. Once more there was laughter around me, but this time it was accompanied by the smell of ale and roasting meats in the huge fireplace … Then I heard a loud bang! ‘Somebody shot themselves here,’ I said.” Acorah came up with a name, Sir John Southworth, adding that he knew the man had suffered at the hands of witch-hunters.
However, Acorah’s credibility was questioned in 2005 when Most Haunted’s parapsychologist, Ciarán O’Keeffe, accused him of being a fake. He claimed that he fed Acorah false information about spirits, including a dead South African jailer called Kreed Kafer – an anagram of “Derek Faker” – at Bodmin Jail, Cornwall, then saw the medium “possessed” by him.
Fielding, who owned the production company that made Most Haunted with her husband, Karl Beattie, said: “We tell people everything is real, then it turns out he was a fake, so he had to go.”
Nevertheless, the television regulator, Ofcom, ruled that the broadcasting code had not been breached by “fraudulently contrived” events because the programmed show was broadcast as entertainment, not as a legitimate investigation into the paranormal.