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  • Jon Matthews

The Ghost of Derek Acorah Lives in my Basement



The ghost of Derek Acorah lives in my basement. I didn't even know he'd died until I moved into my new house this August. I was up late one night playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt when I started hearing a strange, strained Liverpudlian voice from below. I turned to my wife who was watching an episode of Come Dine With Me on her phone and said, 'Did you hear that?'

She looked up, a glazed expression on her face and replied, 'What?'

'I think,' I explained, 'I think that Derek Acorah is in our basement.'

'Isn't he dead?'

'I don't know,' I responded cautiously, unsure if having a dead Derek Acorah in the basement was more or less disturbing that having a live Derek Acorah in the basement.

'Okay Google,' My wife said in a forced tone, 'Is Derek Acorah dead?'

Google didn't know either.


Perhaps, I wondered, he used his powers to see into the future and decided that spending infinity trapped between realms, eternally bound to our basement was more desirable than living in a world where I'm a Celebrity: Get me Out of Here takes place in an English castle.

'Ah,' my wife interjected, 'Derek Acorah never claimed to be able to see into the future. He claimed to be able to communicate with departed souls. Maybe that's what he is doing in the basement.'


I ventured down the creaky steps with a torch in one hand and a cricket bat in the other. I don't know why I took a cricket bat. Does the ghost of Derek Acorah even play cricket? If he does I expect he'd be much better at it than me.


As I reached the bottom of the stairs and stepped into the damp, fetid air of the cellar, I shone the torch around and sure enough there, in the corner, stood the ghost of Derek Acorah. His arms were held aloft and he was speaking to no one in particular in a strange, strained Liverpudlian accent. 'What's he doing?' my wife asked from behind me.

'He's standing with his arms aloft, speaking to no one in particular in a strange, strained Liverpudlian accent.'

'I can see that,' she replied sharply, striking me on on the arm, 'But why?'

'I don't know.'

'Can he see us?'

'I don't know... Derek, Derek Acorah, can you see us?' Nothing. 'Can you hear us?' Nothing. The ghost of Derek Acorah continued standing in the corner with hands aloft, speaking to no one in particular, varying the cadence of his voice from time to time. We left him to it and returned to Geralt of Rivia and David Lamb.


From that evening on, every night when the hour grows late, the strange strained Liverpudlian tones of the ghost of Derek Acorah can be heard emanating from our basement. The ghost of Derek Acorah, it seems, has convinced other ghosts that he has the power to traverse the void and communicate with the living. Every night desperate ghosts from all across the country gather in our basement, in the vain hope that the ghost of Derek Acorah will help them communicate with their living loved ones who have not yet departed. Every night Derek Acorah can be heard entertaining them in our basement, changing the cadence of his voice as he claims to communicate with the living in a strange, strained Liverpudlian accent.


At the end of each night, if we are still awake, we witness the visiting ghosts file up from the basement and shuffling through our front room. Some are in floods of tears, delighted to have received messages from the other side, whilst others debate whether or not the ghost of Derek Acorah really possesses the power to communicate with the living or if he is just some ghostly fraud. They pass through our front wall into the cold air and disappear into the night.


From time to time, my wife and I join the ghostly seance and attempt to speak through the gossamer thin veil between the living and the departed, to communicate with the ghosts gathered in our basement. Our entreaties invariably fall on death ears - are we so lost in this world that even the ghost of Derek Acorah cannot hear us?

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