Speaking to the Dead

The Fox Sisters, courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsMediumship, clairaudience, clairsentience… all terms for communication with the Dead.  This is an ability a select few in almost every society since the dawn of the written word (and probably before then!) have claimed to possess, but do these claims hold any credence with modern knowledge of psychology and human interaction with the world around us?

Otherworld North East do not utilise mediums in our investigations, or more ‘spiritual’ communication tools such as dowsing or talking boards.  So why is this?  The answer is a very simple one, and can be demonstrated by the following example.

Take a hypothetical investigation, say at a reputedly haunted hotel in Northumberland.  In the first scenario, the medium ‘comes up with’ names and dates that fit perfectly with the location.  Instantly, there’s a problem:

  1. Those names and dates could have been researched prior to the ‘medium’ going on the investigation;
  2. Names and dates are often written down somewhere in an historic site, providing the visiting medium with information.
  3. Names and dates could be gained from other people on-site through use of techniques such as cold reading etc.

Now, take the same investigation, but this time the medium comes up with names and dates that don’t match the historic record.  The problem is obvious:

  1. Without being able to corroborate the names/dates in the historic record, there is only the medium’s word that the ‘person’/’event’ even exists.

So, its easy to see the double-edged sword that is mediumship on investigations.  What is comes down to is trust, and unfortunately trust in an unproven ability cannot in any circumstance be classed as evidence.  So why not?  Why not trust a medium?  Take another hypothetical situation.  A medium comes along to an investigation and claims that a spirit by the name of James is haunting the corridors.  He’s an old servant there who can’t rest while people visit the building and disturb it.  Now then, another medium comes along and claims that a pink fluffy dinosaur named Gertrude is haunting the corridors of the the building, not a servant named James as the first medium claimed.  Obviously, the human instinct is to laugh at the claim of Gertrude the Dinosaur, but is there actually any evidence that James is a more likely candidate than Gertrude.  The answer to this is no – all you have is the word of a person, with no actual physical evidence to support James or Gertrude’s existence.

So where does this leave the medium?  This leaves the medium as a focus of investigation, not an investigation tool.  Extraordinary claims, such as those spoken by those claiming to speak to the dead, require proof.  While many seek the guidance of a medium in times of strife or grief, surely before listening to the medium, evidence of an actual ability should be sought.  Would you pay for a random guy to fix your carbon monoxide leak on boiler, just because he said he could… or would you ask for proof of qualifications and ability.  Surely, when its your base emotions about to be ‘tampered with’, you’d need as much proof from a medium as you would any other profession.


In Summer 2008, OWNE sent out a challenge via the website to test the North East’s mediums, but despite over several thousand visits to the webpage (presumably some by mediums!), no-one has answered the challenge in NEARLY 10 YEARS.

The challenge is this:

  1. Members of OWNE will engage the medium in an interview;
  2. Controls and experiments will be put in place to test the medium;
  3. All procedures will be filmed/recorded;
  4. All findings whether positive or negative will be published online;
  5. The medium must be willing to sign a document allowing publication, and the medium must be willing to use their own name, and have any stage names broadcast.

So if you’re a medium from the North East of England, whether you read privately or are part of an investigation group, why not take the challenge?  If you’d like to enquire further, please contact us via our Contact Us Page.