MOST  HAUNTED - Bodmin Gaol, Cornwall




Series six of Most Haunted began with an episode filmed at Bodmin gaol,  a grim-looking place on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.  The episode is most memorable as the day Derek Acorah was set up by Dr Ciarán O'Keeffe, the team's parapsychologist.

To test his theory that Acorah was not receiving genuine messages from the dead, Ciarán took the  words 'Derek' and  'faker' and created a South African  named Kreed Kafer from them.   His nationality was chosen because of the name's spelling.


Ciarán passed the piece of paper bearing the name Kreed Kafer to another team member who walked Acorah around the property.  During this, Acorah was told of a story about the South African, but it was impressed upon him that the information would not be used during the programme as there was nothing in the prison's records to verify it.

Ciarán hoped that Acorah would mention the name either during a séance or at the Ouija board., but could not believe his luck when Acorah was fully 'possessed' by the anagram!


Ciarán was not certain that the 'possession' would survive the editing suite, but when the episode was aired, the only thing that had been lost was his spelling of the name, with the caption writer guessing at 'Creed Kaifer' in the absence of any written guidance from historical records.

Since the programme's airing, arguments have raged across the internet, with those of us who had prior warning of the set up watching in amazement as Acorah's fans produce one wild theory after another to explain it all away.


Ranging from "the records of him were lost", through "it was spelt wrong" and "you can make an anagram out of anything" in the beginning, to "Ciarán made it up after it was filmed", to "Acorah probably picked it up psychically from Ciarán", when Ciarán came forward and revealed he was responsible for the anagram.  In fact, the fans would grasp at anything rather than accept the more mundane truth that Acorah was given the name by a team member prior to filming.


No records from Bodmin Gaol have been lost - all remain in the archives at the Shire House and the Bodmin Library, both of which received numerous phone calls after the programme.   No South African was ever in the prison in any capacity - in fact, the Union of South Africa did not come into existence until 1910.


Spurred on  by his success with the anagram, Ciarán went on to provide another one for Acorah to embrace, in the following episode, at Prideaux Place.  This time it was highwayman Rik Eedles - an anagram of 'Derek' and 'lies'. 


Add to those The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Craigievar Castle, and the final nails in the coffin were knocked home by Ciarán, all of which he revealed when he was asked to give an interview to Matt Roper of the Mirror newspaper , published 28th September 2005.



Footnote:  The Bodmin Gaol episode is conspicuous by its absence in the Series 6 list on Acorah's Official website.  How interesting that one should have been 'forgotten'.  Let's make sure it's never forgotten!


©2005 Emma Gee


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