Conversations With Spirits

By E O Higgins

The story of a dissipated genius in a borrowed hat and coat

Monday, 5 November 2012

Laars Head's seance - the script

Part 1 – a powerful display

HOST: Good evening ladies and gentleman. Thank you for braving the cold to be with us here this evening, on what we’re all hoping might prove to be a rather fascinating demonstration of the supernatural. The 30th of October is - as many of you will already know - the true Halloween. For those of you that aren’t aware of this, let me explain. It is now generally understood that due to a series of transcendental shifts in the upper astrals during the 6th Century, the date on which we now traditionally observe ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ actually became severed from the old Gregorian calendar and it was thrown forward a day. The 30th of October is actually the date upon which, for hundreds of generations, Halloween was celebrated - and the date on which many leading astrologers – including The Daily Mail’s Jonathan Cainer – maintain to be correct. But what exactly is ‘Halloween’? And what is it that brings us here tonight? ‘Halloween’, as every child knows, is the pre-Christian Pagan festival of the dead. But, in truth, it’s much more than that. Many spiritualist mediums believe that it is the day that the physical and supernatural worlds are at their closest. It is also the night on which our ancestors believed that the spirits of the departed rose from their graves and literally wandered the earth. Many of them in torment… (Pause, then upbeat) That’s what we’re going try and recreate here tonight - and to do that, we’ll need the help of my special guest, the UK’s top psychic journeyman, Mr. Laars Head.

Upon hearing his name, LAARS affects his 'psychic stance’.

Host: Laars, would you like to introduce yourself?

Laars: Of course.

LAARS steps forward. 

Laars: My name is Laars Head and my World-renowned psychic abilities are well known. If you’re wondering how it is that my name is not familiar to you, it is because I am not a showman – for the past 15 years my work has demanded that I occupy the shadowy underworld of the phantasmagorical. To some I am known as a 'Shaman’, to others a 'Diabolist’. The uninitiated may simply refer to me by my given name. Like many children, I grew up – but that’s where the similarities cease. Because, unlike other children growing up in the Pontypridd area (we moved soon afterwards), I had a spirit-guide. My spirit guide is a conduit to the world beyond this world. With his sanction, I am able to channel the essences of those who have passed across the veil. I am then able to translate the messages they direct to their still-living friends and family. I pass these messages on. Sometimes I incorporate regional accents. In life, my spirit guide’s name was Ulrik Andersen. He was a Danish Viking Warrior. I call him ‘Ben’. Ben’s human life was tragic – but, now, as a ghost, he has met me. Together, we spend our time exposing so-called ‘psychic performers’. The sort of glitzy showmen and theatrical conjurors that fill out working men’s clubs and church halls in provincial towns. Such as Portsmouth. Sometimes they appear on cable television with Yvette Fielding and lock members of the boy-band McFly in a cellar. It is these entertainers - masquerading as psychics - that have distorted the fundamental truths of Mediumship, aiding the dominance of the naysayers. Unlike other physics, I am not a sceptic. The truth of the cosmos is known to me. But with this great knowledge comes great responsibility - which is why I use my powers for good – and never practice the dark arts. Though I could, if I wanted to. With your help, it’s time to put my intensive training into action. And so, now, I begin my ministry. Over the years I have consistently travelled the hard road – doing battle with my personal demons of drink, drugs and critical self-loathing. Now, with my chakras in order, I set out on a spiritualist crusade. I will teach Britain’s disaffected youth the art of mesmerism, promote true Spiritualism and Mediumship – and, crucially, help everyone get the most out of their dead friends and relatives. Amen.

HOST: Thank you. Before I say a little about the history of the building we’re standing in, can I first ask you, Laars, what are your first impressions of this room?

LAARS: It’s quite nice.

HOST: No, I mean, from a spiritualist perspective.

LAARS: Oh, I see. Yes, I do sense a presence in the room. I feel that something happened here. Something bad. There’s a man. He died here in this room. I sense a great deal of pain. (Beat) What’s that, Ben? He wore a red coat.

HOST: Well, it’s interesting that you say that. The reason we’re gathered in this room, in particular, is that it’s actually referred to by staff at Blacks as the 'hanged man room’. Back in 1817, a man by the name of Sir Christopher Prone hanged himself from the rafters in room.

LAARS: Did he wear a red coat?

HOST: I don’t know. Obviously, there’s no record of that…

LAARS: (Smug) I think you’ll find he did.

HOST: The room is also said to be visited by two other ghosts…the spirit of a grey lady, said to hover in the back of the room with a bored expression on her face…and that of an elderly Welsh pop star. So, tell me, Laars, what sorts of spiritual phenomena can we expect tonight? Will you be creating ectoplasm?

LAARS: No. I don’t really do that anymore.

HOST: Really? Why’s that?

LAARS: I found that a lot of my audiences tended to find the sight of me regurgitating ectoplasm quite harrowing. Think of a cat sicking up a hair-ball - only a hair-ball with a face.

HOST: OK. So how would you like to begin?

LAARS: I think before I begin the séance, it would be a good idea to give my chakras a chance to warm up with a few simple demonstrations of my psychic power. I need to be able to focus my mind’s energy, so I can reach the forth level of consciousness.

LAARS centres himself.

LAARS: Could I please have a volunteer the audience? This first demonstration you may have seen performed by Derren Brown. Derren always maintains that his performances involve a combination of 'suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship’. That’s one way of doing it - I find it easy just to read minds. Can I have another audience member please? Preferably someone I don’t know - and, preferably, someone with a jacket or coat with pockets?

LAARS selects a member of the audience (JEMIMA).

LAARS: What’s your name?

JEMIMA: Jemima.

LAARS: We’ve never met before have we?


LAARS: And, let’s face it, you would've remembered. Now if I could position you with your back to the audience. And if you put your hands behind your back, so the audience can see your fingers - but I can’t. Now, without showing me, hold up any number of fingers between 1 - 10. And please can no one in the audience tell me how many he’s holding up. (JEMIMA nods, and puts three fingers up behind her back.) Have you done it? OK. Now, look at me. And keep thinking about the number. (Pause) Three!

JEMIMA is duly amazed - and pulls out three fingers from behind his back.

LAARS: (To audience) Now you’re probably thinking that someone signalled to me from the audience. I promise you that isn’t what happened. So, now let’s try that again - but this time, I want you to put your hands inside the pockets of your jacket. (To JEMIMA) And can everyone just look and make sure that I definitely can’t see her hands. OK. Once more, hold up some fingers, look at me, and think of that number. (Pause) It’s two, isn’t it?

JEMIMA: (Pulls out two fingers from jacket) Yeah!

LAARS: OK, let’s try and do that once more. Put your hands back into your pockets. Got a number? You’ve gone for low numbers the last two times…so this time you will be using both hands…so six. Five and one, six.

Amazed, JEMIMA pulls out five and one.


LAARS: So, this time we’re going to do it again, but again slightly different. This time, I’m going to have my back to the audience and you’re going to guess how many fingers I’m holding up.

LAARS manoeuvres JEMIMA around, so that their positions are reversed. With his back to the audience, LAARS thinks for a minute and then holds up 5 fingers on one hand.

LAARS: (Urgent) Right, without thinking about it too much about it - how many fingers am I holding up?

JEMIMA: (Uncertain) Five..?

LAARS pulls out hand and displays five fingers to audience.

LAARS: You see, ladies and gentlemen. The power of the mind.

JEMIMA is forcefully pushed back into the audience. 

LAARS: I will now give you a demonstration of tele-savalis – the ability to move solid objects with the power of the mind. For this, I asked Blacks to provide me with an object connected with this room. And, finally, provide this (holds up a key), which is the key to portcullis that stood on this site during the medieval period. I know it looks too new for that, but that’s only because I’ve been at it with some Brasso and wire wool…

LAARS hands the key to an audience member.

LAARS: I’m going to hand it out to some of you to have a look at, so that you will be able to tell that there’s not unusual about it – it is just a normal key. There are no wires or working parts.

LAARS hands out the key to the audience and encourages them to pass it around.

LAARS: And whilst there is nothing unusual about, I must stress - under no circumstances swap it with another key...

LAARS takes the key back again.

LAARS: Thank you. Now, I will need to select an audience member to help me with this demonstration.

Selects KATIE from the audience.

LAARS: Have we met before? Say 'no, Laars’…

KATIE: No, Laars.

LAARS: What’s your name?

KATIE: Katie.

LAARS: How nice. I have a granddaughter called 'Katie’. Please, before we begin, have a look at the key. Is there anything unusual about it?


LAARS: So, in your judgement, it would be quite difficult for me to move it, without it touching it?

KATIE nods.

LAARS: OK, so…now, hold your hand as flat as you can.

LAARS puts the key flat onto KATIE’s palm.

LAARS: (To the key) Come on, turn for me, turn for me…

Slowly, without LAARS touching the key, it begins to turn.

LAARS: (To Katie) Keep your hand as flat as possibly.

The key suddenly turns.

LAARS: Have another look at the key. There’re no wires or anything attached to it. It’s not magic, people. This is simply a demonstration into the science of the supernormal. (To KATIE) Thank you. You may now retake your place. But I will require another audience member for this next demonstration – which I like to call ‘mind control’. Can I have another volunteer please?

LAARS selects another member of the audience.

LAARS: 'Mind control' is, well, to put it simply…in layman’s terms, that you people will be able to understand, it’s the ability to control minds. Not your own mind, necessarily – but other people’s. (LAARS selects an audience member at random) Please, sir, come with me.

LAARS and the volunteer go to the table. On which, the blue, yellow and red ‘mind control’ cards are placed.

LAARS: On this table, I have three cards. One with a yellow circle, one with a red circle and with a blue circle. In a moment, I will ask you to choose one of these, but before I do that, I have to ask you, do you think it’s possible for me to influence you in such a way, that I’ve already made that choice for you?


LAARS: Interesting, before you make your choice then…I want you to do something for me, if you will. In your mind, I want you to remember the smell of granny’s shoes. You know the smell I’m talking about…like a kind of fusty, crab-apple smell. Have you got it? OK, now with that in your mind, choose either the red, yellow or blue card…

The AUDIENCE MEMBER picks a colour and LAARS astounds him by revealing that he knew which one he would choose.

LAARS: Thank you. You may now return to your place. (Pause) For the next demonstration, I will require the use of a light-bulb. I asked Unbound, who are organising this tonight, to supply a light-bulb – not of the new long-life ones, can’t use them. A lot of psychics like to bend spoons or stop clocks, I prefer to something less destructive. So now, I will endeavour to light this bulb using only the power of my mind.

LAARS takes a light-bulb off ISOBEL.

LAARS: Thank you. Let me pass this around the audience. So that everyone can satisfy themselves that it is just an ordinary light-bulb.

LAARS the picks up the bulb and he gurns for some minutes, using his 'powers' – however, it fails to work. After a while he realises something is wrong. He puts the bulb next to his ear and shakes it.

LAARS: The filament’s gone. Sorry, can you fish out another bulb from the drawer?

LAARS hands back the bulb to ISOBEL.

LAARS: We’ll come back to that later. Right, moving on, for this final demonstration of my psychic powers, I will require another member of the audience. And, because it involves numbers, someone who can do basic mathematics. I recently tried to do this in a working man’s club in Romford and it didn’t really work – frankly, the people there were little better than beasts.

LAARS selects a VOLUNTEER (a stranger) from the audience.

LAARS: Now, I want you to pick a number between one and ten. Have you got one?


LAARS: (To audience) If you could all do this as well, that will help generate a psychic field within the room. (To Volunteer) You have a number between one and ten? Now, multiple it by two. Have you done that? Now add eight. Now half that number. And, then, subtract the original number you chose. Have you done that now?


LAARS: Good. If you’ve done it right, you should have a number between one and twenty-six. Is that correct?


LAARS: Now, because your number is between one and twenty-six, we can match it up against the alphabet. So now I want you take that number and match it up with the corresponding number in the alphabet? So, 1 would 'A’…2 would be '‘B’…3 would be 'C’, and so on. Have you done that?


LAARS: Excellent. Now take that letter and think of a country whose name begins with that letter. Have you got one? Think about it.

LAARS picks up a pad and thoughtfully writes something on it. Tears the paper and folds it up and hands it to the VOLUNTEER.

LAARS: Can you hold this for me?

VOLUNTEER takes the folded piece of paper.

LAARS: Right, thank you. Now, I want you to go to the next letter on in the alphabet. So, if you had an 'A’ last time, go to 'B’, if you had 'B’, go to 'C', and so on. Have you done that?


LAARS: OK. Now, I want you to think of an animal beginning with that letter. Do it quickly, and keep thinking about it. Visualise the animal…

LAARS returns to the pad and writes pensively. Tears it off and returns to the VOLUNTEER.

LAARS: Keep thinking about the animal. Keep it in your head. (Pause) Is it…grey?

The VOLUNTEER nods. LAARS opens his piece of paper. It has 'Elephant’ written on it.

LAARS: And, if you open the piece of paper in your hand. (The Volunteer opens the piece of paper) The country you were thinking of was 'Denmark’, wasn’t it?

LAARS: Thank you! (LAARS returns the VOLUNTEER to the audience) Can I ask, with a show of hands, if anyone else had made those exact choices?

Members of the audience raise their hands.

LAARS: Excellent. Then the psychic field is in place.

HOST: Shall we break there? How do your charkas feel?

LAARS: Gorged.

HOST: Excellent, well then, perhaps we should break for ten minutes? And then come back for second part of this demonstration of the supernatural - the séance…

Part 2 – the séance

HOST: (Hushed, reverential) Thank you everyone for coming back for this, the second part of tonight’s experiment into the paranormal. Laars has been steadily drinking for the last ten minutes, as he endeavours to loosen up - he tells me this is in an effort to make himself more open to the probings of the eternals. When the spirits of the departed enter his body, they often do so quite forcefully, which can result in an unpleasant stinging sensation…

LAARS enters and limbers up.

HOST: In a moment, Laars will take his place at the head of the séance table, and he will invite the rest of the sitters to take their places. Those of you who have some knowledge of spiritual circles, will have already notice that on the table are situated the traditional trappings of the séance room - the bell, book and candle.

LAARS mooches up, eyes flickering like an idiotic cat.

HOST: What's the matter, Laars?

LAARS: There are a lot of orbs in here tonight.

HOST: Orbs?

LAARS: Yes, orbs. Don't tell me you don't know what orbs are?

HOST: (Covering) Well, yes, obviously I know what they are. But would you mind explaining for the people here...

LAARS: (Grudgingly) If I have to. Orbs are a kind of ectoplasmic energy - spirits that, for reasons best known to themselves, have chosen to take the appearance of light-balls. You often see them in the corridors of stately homes, or in episodes of Living TV's Most Haunted, when the producer figures it’s a bit of a slow week. Sure, the scientists and the boffins will attest that they’re just airborne dust particles caught in camera light, but that's nonsense. And for obvious reasons.

HOST: And there are many in the room here now with us?

LAARS: Of course. They're all around us. Can't you people see them?

The crowd wavers (- presumably).

LAARS: Perhaps, if I can harness Ben's psychic energy, I will be able to show you...

After a pensive moment, LAARS lunges forward and extracts an orb from the air. It glows in his fingers. Then he grabs another…

LAARS: Many healers use orbs to help them heal the sick. And pinpoint areas of discomfort. For example, if I may come up to you, sir.

LAARS selects a man from the audience. Runs his hands over him and comes to rest over his crotch. His hands glow.

LAARS: I see you're experiencing some discomfort in this area. My advice to you would be to buy some boxer shorts...they give a bit more wriggle-room than the average brief.

HOST: Perhaps, we could move on to the séance, Laars?

LAARS: Of course. Those of you that have a place around the séance table, I will summon you forth now...

The sitters take their places. 

LAARS: Please everyone sit down. (Beat) It is my sincere hope that all of you here today see something of the celestial empyrean that exists beyond this plane of reality. As non-sensitives, in your day-to-day lives, your brain will have developed in such a way that it naturally phases out the spirits that are actually around you at all times. I'm hoping that - some of you here tonight - will be able to glimpse that larger world. I want you all to experience an epiphany - just as Saint Paul did on the road to Domestos...

LAARS joins the table at the head.

LAARS: Let's begin. Because we’re a group, we have to act like a group. I want us to actually breathe as a group. So, together, let’s all breathe in through our nose and out through our mouths. In through the noses, out through our mouths. Let’s all do that together…

The group join in and do and for a half a minute this is all that can be heard, then - suddenly – BETH (seated at LAARS' side) screams wildly! LAARS visibly jumps.

LAARS: (Visibly shaken) What was that for?

BETH: I thought I saw something…a figure by the curtains…

LAARS: (Surprised) Really? (Covers) Right, well, I can sense there are spirits in the room. But there’s no reason to worry. Fortunately for you, I am absurdly gifted. (The sitters settle.) Please, everyone - try to relax. Clear your mind, and try to get rid of all your negative energy. Focus on the flickering candle flame. Keep your eyes on the candle flame...

LAARS gets up and goes to get something from his bag. 

HOST: Laars will now pick up the 'Silk of Clun'. This will allow him to ascertain if there are any spirits here present in the room - and if they are wishing to communicate with us tonight. The silk is actually a high-denier nylon, that has been impregnated with a psychic field by the famous 'third-eye forcas’, Erasmus Bread. Hopefully, by draping it across the objects on the séance table, we’ll be able to see quickly if there is a reaction - and any spirits present.

LAARS rustles around in an ASDA carrier bag.

HOST: But he must first remove the Silk of Clun - from the Sheath of Tallamazoo!

LAARS pulls out the 'Silk of Clun’ and presents it to the crowd.

LAARS: Repeat after me, sitters - 'Behold! The Silk of Clun!’

The 'Silk of Clun' is a pole with a cloth draped over it. He wafts the material across the book and the bell. Suddenly, the book opens. Then the bell rings. He puts the silk away again. (As he puts the pole down, the fake hand on top of the pole is discarded with it.)

LAARS: The spirits are indeed among us. Any fellow sensitives in the room, may have observed that the temperature in the room has dropped considerably. If the sitters around the table, could please join hands…

The sitters around the séance table quickly join hands.

LAARS: Now, using nothing more than the power of my own mind, I will join you at the table the close the circle.

LAARS takes his place at the table; he joins hands with BETH and LES. As he does, BETH screams out again. LAARS jumps.

LAARS: Jesus! Now what’s the matter with you?

BETH: (Whimpering)…Sorry…

LAARS: What is it?

BETH: I thought…someone touched me…

LAARS: Yes, I did. I just held your hand.

BETH: Oh, yeah. (Sighs with relief) Sorry.

LAARS shakes his head, mutters invective under his breath.

LAARS: Right, where was I?

LAARS settles, closes his eyes.

LAARS: Someone steps forward. It’s a man. An old man. He has grey hair. He wishes to speak to you…

LAARS indicates LES, who looks shocked.

LAARS: This man, his name…I’m seeing the letter 'J’. John…or James…

LES looks baffled.

LAARS: (Urging) John? Or James…?

LES continues to look baffled.

LAARS: No? Could be 'Joe’, at a stretch…?

LES shakes his head vacantly, shrugs.

LAARS: What? You never met anyone called John, James or Joe…?

LES: Not that I think of, no.

LAARS: Really? That’s weird. (Beat) Well then, what about Alan? Or Phil?...Desmond…?

LES: Chris…?

LAARS: Chris? OK then. Who’s Chris?

LES: My uncle.

LAARS: And he’s just passed to the other side, has he?

LES: No.

LAARS: (Getting increasingly annoyed) Well, why did you mention him then?

LES shakes his head and shrugs again.

LAARS: Well, do you have any friends and relatives who have crossed over, who might want to contact you?

LES: No.

LAARS: Anyone who has died? Friend…relative…doesn’t matter.

LES: Not that I can think of.

LAARS: You can’t think of a single person that’s died? Then what are you doing at a séance? (Under breath) Fucking time-wasters! (Beat) Well, fortunately for you - unlike other psychics - I am unique in so far as I don’t only channel the friends and loved ones of my sitters, I also channel the spirits of strangers…

LAARS’ head drops, eyes roll, etc.

LAARS: Yes…a spirit person has entered into our energy. I see the figure of an old woman with white hair…she sat next to you on a bus in Penge in 1986. She says that you should make some changes in your life, though due to unpleasant looks and poor personal hygiene you are unlikely to ever be happy. In fact, she thinks it might be better for everyone, if you just stayed at home and locked the doors, so that no one needs to look at you. (Pause, LAARS looks up guiltily) Sorry, normally the messages are positive than that.

LAARS turns to BETH.

LAARS: I sense there is someone...

BETH starts screaming again. LAARS stares back at her. Finally, she stops.

LAARS: Look, this is ridiculous. Sorry, but can you swap seats?

BETH: What?

LAARS: Sorry, can you change seats with someone else, please?

BETH: (Explaining) I'm's just I got a bit frightened when you -

LAARS: - Yeah, I'm not putting up with that. Can you scoot up and let someone sit down there?

BETH: (Getting up) I'm sorry - but it's was just...

LAARS: No, no more. I'm not getting in a dialogue with you, love. There's just no way I'm not having a screamer next to me. I had my ears syringed last week - and that was like fucking white noise.

BETH and the NON-CONFEDERATE (the next chair up) swap places. LAARS looks deeply at the NON-CONFEDERATE for a while, then:

LAARS: (Softly) Now, we've never met before, have we?


LAARS: (Looking intently, nodding sagely) No. What’s your name?

The NON-CONFEDERATE says their name.

LAARS: So, tell me, (insert name here), would I be right in saying that your great-great grandfather on your Mum's side has passed over?

Hopefully, the NON-CONFEDERATE will confirm this.

LAARS: Yes, I feel that. Well, you know that - though he's gone away in body - he's still with you, don't you?


LAARS: He's got a lot of love for you, you know? Do you know that? And he says he's very proud. I can feel his energy and it's a warm. I can feel his love for you. He says he watches over you every day and you make him so proud. (Pause) But he says that thing you know, when you think no one else is around...that dirty, mucky, unnatural thing that you do...he says he sees that. (Beat) Yes - even when you do it in the dark...

A long, uncomfortable pause.

LAARS: We shall now move on to the Ouija board. Those of you around the table that can reach it, I would ask you to press your fingertips to the planchette.

Sitters – including LES and BETH – press their hands to the planchette.

LAARS: Please do not push the planchette - simply allow the spirits to pass through your body and guide your hand. Just try to relax…


LAARS: (Calling) Is there anybody there…?

LES and BETH slowly move the planchette to the 'YES’ section of the Ouija board.

LAARS: We have established contact. Spirit, do you wish to pass a message to we mortals?

The planchette moves off the 'Yes’ and then straight back to it. 

LAARS: Who are you, O, spirit?

Slowly, the planchette moves around the board, LAARS reads out the letters:

LAARS: I-A-N-C-O-R-BY. (Pause) Ian Corby? Ah, I think this one’s for me. Sometimes – when you’re a medium, like I am - you do pick up wayward spirits that sort of follow you around. Ian Corby is an animal spirit. When he was in the living realm, many of you will remember him as the talking dog from the TV show That’s Life with Esther Rantzen…(Beat) Do you have a message for us, Ian Corby, the talking dog from the TV show That’s Life with Esther Rantzen…?

Slowly, the planchette moves around the Ouija board again:

LAARS: S-A-U-S-A-G-E-S. (Beat) Sausages. Yep, thought it would be. Thank you, Ian Corby. Are there any other spirits present with messages for we travellers in this mortal realm?

Slowly, the planchette moves to the 'No’ part of the board.

LAARS: No? (Sulky) Fine! Be like that…

HOST: (Breaking the silence) Erm, Laars, do you think that now might be a good time for you to try and go into a trance state?

LAARS: (Shrugs) Yeah, I suppose I could try...

HOST: Are there many spirits in the room that you might be able to contact?

LAARS: There's a few actually. I feel the spirit of a Scottish writer very strongly. But, actually...there's another man who's coming to me now quite urgently...

LAARS closes his eyes.

HOST: Who is it?

LAARS: I don't know. The spirit of an older man, with long yellow hair and very unusual clothing...

LAARS' head drops down. And then swings around wildly. Suddenly, he opens his and stares sightlessly across the table.

LAARS: (Poor impression of Sir Jimmy Savile) Now then, now then, now then. ’Ow’s about that? Ooh, Showaddywaddy. Boys and girls, boys and girl…ooh

LAARS pulls himself forcefully from his trance. It has left an unpleasant taste in his mouth. (Presumably one of cigars and cadavers...)

LAARS: (Poor impression of Tony Blackburn) “Hi, It’s Radio Caroline here on one-nine-nine, home of the good guys...OK, now, it’s eight o'clock, it’s Bulova watch time. B-U-L-O-V-A - Bulova, the world's largest makers of quality Swiss watches...”

LAARS enters his trance again.

LAARS: 'Tis I - the Scouse Michael Jackson from Derek Acorah’s Michael Jackson séance. Dem doctors messed me up! Give Quincy Jones my love. Shamone!

LAARS enters a trance once more.

LAARS: (Terrible Scottish accent) Aye,hallooo – it’s me, Arthur Conan-Doyle - the creator of Sherlock Holmes – and other significantly less successful characters. Ach, y'know...Sherlock Holmes - from off the television. I've finally got back to living world, like I always said I would. And, as I result, I hereby bequeath all my once-worldly goods to Laars Head, with you all here as witnesses, the finest psychic that has ever been. Ooh aye, and whilst I’m here, I should say that I believe that there is excellent new book about me called Conversations with Spirits coming out, written by very handsome and talented author called E O Higgins, which I urge you all to buy. I tell ye now, it's certainly much better than anything I ever wrote. Anyway, I must be off, there’s a new episode of Elementary airing on CBS tonight and I don’t want to miss it. You’d probably think that I wouldn’t like that show, what with it basically begin a pile of shite, and you’d be right …but, actually, Lucy Liu playing Doctor Watson…brilliant. Why’d I no think of that?

After this, LAARS collapses on the table, apparently exhausted.

HOST: Well, there we have it. It just remains for me to say thank you –

ISOBEL hands the HOST a new light-bulb.

HOST: (Distracted) Oh. I don’t know… Laars looks exhausted. (To LAARS) Laars, I think they’ve got a new light-bulb for you…

LAARS looks up, dazed.

LAARS: (Heroically) No, it’s fine! Even though I am feeling transcendently knackered, I shall try again.

LAARS takes the light-bulb from ISOBEL and - after a moment’s gurning - it lights!

HOST: Truly incredible.

LAARS: Thank you. Thank you.

HOST: Thank you everyone. Just to reiterate the words that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ghost definitely did say earlier, please do pledge to buy Conversations with Spirits by E O Higgins at Not only is he an excellent writer, but I happen to know for a fact that he didn’t get the Jacamo advert. (Beat) And, finally, though you’ve seen some extraordinary things tonight, please don’t have nightmares. But if you do have nightmares, know this, we aren’t culpable – I’ve checked with our legal team. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and good night…


Laars Head would like to thank his researchers: Jack Lenox, Katie Rawlins, Jemima Headey, Beth Troake, Les Hargreaves and Isobel Frankish. And all the good people at Blacks and, who made the event possible.

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