Dear Psychic Sally,
I want your job.
I’m not quite sure what it is that makes people flock to TV Psychic’s like Sally Morgan, lunacy maybe, an inexplicable need to hear someone speak in fine detail on a subject without actually speaking of anything at all, pick any example from her weekly column in the Daily Mirror to see how she replies to each correspondent in no particular detail at all and yet still manages to make the message seem personal – its a skill, there is no doubt.
My family is fixated by ghost-hunting and speaking-to-ghosts stylee programming, there is barely a weekend that goes by without a marathon session of Sally Morgan, John Edwards, Colin Fry or the grand-daddy of all ghost hunting programmes, Most Haunted, the pinnacle of true bollax on TV and a wonderful example to us all that indeed you can make sellable TV programming for the cost of a £50 digital videocam and a dark cellar.
The burning question is of course, which one is correct, do ghosts only appear in pitch black cellars by means of banging on doors or tables, or are they stage struck and happy to chat away merrily to a middle aged woman on stage in a well lit theatre who’s only qualification for selling the place out at £20 a ticket being that she has the sort of personality that you would never tire of slapping if she were stood behind you in a queue anywhere ?
You also need to question just why it is that ghosts, spirits, angels can speak to the likes of Sally Morgan and not to their previously loved ones, why is it that a dead husband will “come through” to Sally in a theatre with 2000 people in the audience to speak to his wife in the 17th row when he’s been dead these past twenty years , and why is it that all they tell Sally is the most mundane of detail ?
“This is a message from George to Edith, is there an Edith in the audience ?”
“Oh yes thats me”
“Well I’ve got your George here, has he passed over?”
“He says something about a train, I can see a train”
“Yes he fell off a train and was run over”
“”He’s getting faint, I think he’s going now, he just wanted to say hello”
“What, is that all, I paid £20 for my George to tell me something I already knew…its a bloody rip-off”
“Actually he said he’d changed his mind about speaking to you love”
Or does Yvette Fielding get closer to the truth in Most Haunted when she finds ghosts that live in dark cellars eager to speak only to the man with the blond highlights, annoying scouse accent and a terrible line in amateur dramatics, Derek Acorah…
“Can we turn the lights out please ?”
“Is there anyone there, can you indicate to us that you are there…”
“Did you feel that ?”
“A draft, there is someone there”
“It could be just a draft”
“No its definitely a servant from the middle ages, Paul is his name, he’s 22 years old, short and has dark hair and he died in this cellar in 1543 when someone switched the light s out and he tripped and fell over”
“Has he just told you all this?”
“Yes I’m speaking to him now, hang on I’ll speak in his voice, <cough> Hello Yvette I’m Paul, I’m 22 years old, short and has dark hair and he died in this cellar in 1543 when someone switched the light s out and he tripped and fell over”
“Wow, we’ve found a real ghost, can you bang on the table Paul”
“Did you hear that ?”
“He just banged ont he table, did the sound man hear it on the mic ?”
“Well he just banged on the table”
“Will you be sending my cheque to the usual address ?”
How ironic that The Living Channel devotes 50% of its airtime to dead people …