James Randi offered one million dollars to anyone who could prove they had a supernatural or paranormal ability under agreed scientific criteria in 1964. The challenge was terminated in 2015. No one claimed the prize.
Why, within the 51 years, had no one been able to prove such an ability?
There is an abundance of mediums and psychics out there who claim they do have such an ability.
What are mediums and psychics?
Let’s look at the definitions:
Mediums. Those gifted people – or not – who claim that they contact the dead and receive messages for me and you.
Psychics, on the other hand, do not claim that they have a connection with spirits. Instead, they claim to use “vibrational energy” to pick up information.
Our experiences with mediums
Our very own Dale Makin has been involved with the paranormal world since the 90s. His interest started when watching the original Ghosthunters on Discovery.
Since then, he has met quite a lot mediums over that time. Those mediums provided general answers that were right to 90% of the audience. When further pushed, they got information wrong half of the time.
Dale is yet to be convinced. He believes it is almost if not impossible in the modern day to prove a medium’s ability.
“With the amount of information on the internet, it is impossible to say they haven’t looked it up beforehand. No matter what you do, it is hard to control.”
Justin feels that the use of psychics or mediums don’t have a place in paranormal investigations where auditory and visual recordings are the primary source of evidence.
To the polls!
We asked our amazing Facebook community if they thought mediums brought value to an investigation or were a distraction (thanks for voting!).
Out of 50 respondents:
62% believed they added value.
38% believed they were a distraction.
To dig further, we interviewed a few respondents to get their perspective.
Chris Gillott, Organiser of Haunted North East England, has had many experiences with mediums in the past and believes he has been a victim of them. “They will always be in doubt… because they don’t have proof of what they are experiencing is real. They lack detail in their thought process”. For Chris, if a medium was to hit detail on the head, with something personal, that would make him believe in them more.
Craig Fraser’s mother experienced that personal detail. After her husband died six years ago, she attended a local medium. She had joined Facebook weeks before, but there were no details such as family photos on there. The medium first described almost perfectly her husband and followed with messages and names from her brother and dad who died over 20 years before.
Craig himself has never felt like paying for a service he is not 100% sure of. Although, he did attend a Derek Acorah show during his Most Haunted period and was very unimpressed. Despite small successes, it was “a fairly poor experience of a man guessing his way through a show.”
It is important to remember that these big name mediums and investigators like Derek Acorah and Most Haunted have to put on a show week-in and week out. If they don’t get any evidence, they will lose their WOW factor, and fundamentally won’t get paid. Hence, a lot of these big names get exposed.
Still, it is unacceptable to fake evidence. In truth, very little happens during REAL investigations. Just look at our videos. We are open and honest: if nothing happens, we show you nothing.
Julie McMaster, a paranormal investigator, has experienced both bad and good mediums. She wants a medium who is genuine and truthful about their abilities. The turning point for her was when she visited a medium who was recommended to her. The medium revealed the joke that her and her grandfather had, a master mason for 58 years who would not share any details about it. The message? “Did you get my Masonic diary?”
Do mediums bring value?
Julie had voted that mediums added more value to an investigation. She believes that “they can help with the energy in the place to make it easier for things to happen that can be captured as evidence, [such as] moving things [or] lights/torches being switched on.”
Ian Varrow, from Residential Hauntings, has also had good and bad experiences. He is sceptical of mediums he does not know but trusts the two he works with and others he knows personally.
He refers to “cold readers” who simply start with very vague details (such as “I have a man with a name beginning with E”) and then cold reads whoever put their hands up. When it doesn’t go their way, these cold readers move on until they can successfully read someone.
He did visit a couple of mediums with his family, who had a message for his mother from her brother. All information was correct and there were no random bits that didn’t make sense. This is when he began to consider mediums more seriously.
He later had a reading from a Tarot card reader – completely out of the blue – who was spot on with their information. They even said he had visited a financial advisor, who he had seen a mere 30 minutes beforehand. Even more impressively, what was predicted for him happened.
When to use mediums?
Ian uses mediums for his cases, but only when required.
“If a case is scaring the hell out of them (the kids), I will go round with the full team including mediums to get a quick resolved case.”
In other cases, he will bring them in at a later date as in his experience, mediums can cause little or no EVPs.
“If the mediums can hear them, why are they going to talk to our devices?”
Take care with mediums
We have said that proving mediums is extremely difficult in this day and age. It looks like a very personal experience, which cannot be scientifically proven. If the medium reveals something that YOU believe they could not have sourced or guessed, then it seems you are more likely to trust their abilities.
However, take care. Especially in times of need, we can go and believe anything. Mediums claim to have this amazing power – and if proven, it would be amazing – and for some people, any glimpse of that possibly being true, they latch on and take it as evidence.
For example, if your father had just died suddenly and you are heartbroken – who wouldn’t be? – if someone said that “they were safe and had a message for them”, you might be more likely to believe that. To have that one last conversation with them would mean the world.
In times of emotional distress, we sometimes lack logic. What we desire the most, we would do anything to achieve. This desire can cause our logic to become blurred.
For those that are investigating mediums, we advise to approach them from a very scientific angle. Even more so than when you investigate ghosts. Human-to-human manipulation is easier than you think. Look at sales psychology. How many times have you been conned into believing you NEED something you never considered before?
Paranormal Truth does not use mediums because they lack scientific evidence. We are still waiting for someone to prove their ability to us. We want that personal message that we know and can prove was impossible to obtain elsewhere.
Mediums: we do not have one million dollars to reward you. However, we still challenge you:
Prove you are real.
Paranormal Truth is ran by Dale Makin and Justin Cowell, two open-minded, sceptical paranormal investigators. They travel the globe visiting the most haunted locations and document everything with their cameras. Their “no-trickery” stance often returns them with no evidence, but they stand firm in their scientific approach to the paranormal.
The pair are releasing their documentary about Ouija boards on Friday 13th April 2018. Alongside special guests (to be announced), they have devised a scientific method that will prove if the infamous game really contacts the dead or is a victim of the ideomotor effect. Join our Facebook event to stay updated.