Birthday: January 27, 1950
Died At Age: 69
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Also Known As: Derek Francis Johnson
Born Country: England
Born in: Bootle, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Famous as: Actor
Spouse/Ex-: Gwen Johnson (m. 1995), Joan Hughes (m. 1972 - div. 1982)
father: Frederick Johnson
mother: Elizabeth Courtney
Died on: January 3, 2020
place of death: Scarisbrick, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Cause of Death: Pneumonia
Derek Acorah was an English self-styled psychic and spiritual medium. He had his first psychic experience at a tender age. Soon, he realized that he had the ability to communicate with spirits. Acorah had a short-lived football career, too, which, however, ended with a leg injury. He then began his career as a psychic and made every possible attempt to reach the maximum number of people. Acorah was best known for appearing on the TV show 'Most Haunted' and for conducting demonstrations on stage. He eventually used his psychic abilities to enter the unknown world of the paranormal. Acorah had authored 11 books and written columns for magazines such as 'Fate & Fortune’ and 'Soul & Spirit.’ He also demonstrated for several media and corporate events. Acorah delivered readings to numerous celebrities but always maintained confidentiality, never revealing his clients' details to gain publicity. Despite his success, Acorah was lambasted for fakery.
Childhood & Early Life
Derek Acorah was born Derek Francis Johnson, on January 27, 1950, in Bootle, Lancashire, England, to Frederick Johnson and Elizabeth Courtney. He spent his formative years in Scarisbrick near Southport, in North West England.
Acorah went to a secondary school at Warwick Bolam. During his school years, he was an avid football player. He initially played for the 'Bootle Boys' and then for ‘Wrexham's academy. He was also drafted to the Liverpool team.
He had his first psychic experience at the age of 6. Acorah, apparently, saw the spirit of his dead grandfather in his grandmother's house in Liverpool. He then shared the experience with his grandmother, who herself was a psychic medium. She realized the extraordinary gift that Acorah was blessed with and inspired him to become a medium for spirits.
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His Psychic Experiences
Acorah always knew that he was gifted to know about things that others did not. While pursuing his football career, he would sometimes pass on messages to his colleagues and fellow players. However, this did not sit well with people back then, especially in the football scene.
Additionally, Acorah had experiences of premonitions. He once told football player Emlyn Hughes to be careful with his new car. He also claimed that he had spoken to the spirit of football player and manager Bill Shankly.
In May 2012, Acorah claimed that a "spirit guide" had delivered a psychic message to him from Madeleine McCann, who had mysteriously disappeared on the evening of May 3, 2007. He revealed that Madeleine had conveyed that she had died some time ago but would soon be reincarnated.
The confession triggered a widespread media outrage, and Acorah had to apologize to McCann's parents through the same newspaper.
Family, Personal Life & Death
Acorah was initially married to Joan Hughes, from 1972 to 1982. The couple had a son. The marriage ended in a legal separation. He married Barbara Keeton in 1985. This marriage, too, ended in a divorce.
He was married to Gwen Johnson from March 1995 until his death.
In 2003, Acorah and Gwen joined the 'Patron of Pathfinder Dogs,' a charity that trains German Shepherd dogs to become guides for blind people. He helped the charity to raise funds.
In March 2014, he was booked for driving without due care and attention and not providing a breath sample after a car crash. He received a 28-month ban from driving and had to pay a fine of £1,000.
Acorah died on January 4, 2020, in Scarisbrick, Southport. His wife later confirmed that he was initially hospitalized for his short-term pneumonia, which had then led to sepsis and had caused his death.
Gwen also stated that while Acorah was on his death bed, a couple had sent him messages to ask about his status. He had informed his fans about his illness through a 'Facebook' post.