Review: 'Scream Queen' By Yvette Fielding

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By Steve Higgins
June 03, 2024 1:00 AM ‐ Most HauntedBooksParanormal
Scream Queen By Yvette Fielding
'Scream Queen: A Memoir', the new autobiography by Yvette Fielding, offers an eye-opening look into the life of the renowned TV presenter and paranormal investigator. This book is a must-read for any 'Most Haunted' fan, and probably because we have ghost hunting in common, it's one of the most interesting celebrity biographies I've read.

In the book, Yvette shares candid memories of growing up in the 1970s in the North of England, painting a vivid picture of her childhood with a pony, a dog, and her cousin Stuart Torevell. Then we start to learn why Yvette is so interested in the paranormal, as she shares the tale of her first ghost sighting at the age of 26 while staying at her mum's house in Cheshire.

Some of the most interesting parts of the book cover Yvette's time on 'Blue Peter' as the show's youngest-ever presenter. Contrary to the glamorous image of show business, her experiences at the BBC were fraught with challenges. However, Yvette believes these tough times equipped her with the resilience needed for her subsequent career.

The book is as much a story of 'Most Haunted' as it is Yvette’s own life journey. Created by Yvette and her husband Karl Beattie, and also featuring her cousin Stuart, 'Most Haunted' has been a significant part of her life for over 20 years. We learn in the book that the show was almost named 'Yvette's Haunting Truths', a title that even Yvette admits was terrible.

'Scream Queen' delves into notorious moments from 'Most Haunted' live broadcasts, controversies, and the team's adventures in the US, including details of their unprecedented weeklong stay aboard the Queen Mary. Yvette recounts one of her most intense investigations, a live show broadcast from Pendle Hill in Lancashire, spread over three nights. Several crew members were affected, none more than Stuart, who passed out, marking it as their scariest investigation to date.

When discussing how 'Most Haunted' has stood the test of time, Yvette writes, "It goes to the core of what 'Most Haunted' is all about: one minute the audience is quivering under a blanket watching the show, the next minute they're howling with laughter - that's the magic ingredient. We're essentially a bunch of pals going on a ghost hunt, and what you see is our very real reactions to what we experience."

Of course, the story everyone wants to hear directly from Yvette is that of resident psychic medium, Derek Acorah's, departure from the show. Yvette recalls how they signed Derek up after she worked with him on his show 'Predictions With Derek Acorah'. She described Derek as "a cross between an American television evangelist and a club entertainer," noting, "I don't think anyone had ever seen a medium quite like Derek before, certainly not in this country."

There's no denying that Derek's unique presence significantly contributed to the show's popularity, but Yvette writes that she was warned about working with him from the beginning, and over time, working their working relationship deteriorated. Eventually, disputes and disagreements, like Derek asking for a share of Yvette and Karl's production company, led to his departure from 'Most Haunted'.

This experience left Yvette questioning the credibility of psychics, she writes, "The jury is still out on whether the mediums we've used can talk to the dead or not. I can only speak from my experience, as it's not for me or anyone else to judge the veracity of mediumship any more than it is to question if a vicar or priest is truly speaking to God. That said, anyone can draw their own conclusion from the decision Karl and I made to dispense of mediums completely in our later series of 'Most Haunted'."

Interestingly, beyond Derek, Karl, and Stuart, the book offers little mention of other 'Most Haunted' team members, often referring to them simply as "the parapsychologist" or "another investigator." This omission might leave readers feeling that the book isn't a complete "tell-all" but rather a selective recounting of her experiences.

Towards the end of the book, Yvette shares her belief in a possible global paranormal cover-up, suggesting that powerful people may be working to downplay the existence of an afterlife and stunting research in this area. She reflects on the backlash against their evidence, which led to the disclaimer "for entertainment purposes only" being added to each episode of their shows.

'Scream Queen' is a compelling read, providing an intimate look at Yvette Fielding's life and career while raising thought-provoking questions about the paranormal. Whether you’re a long-time fan of 'Most Haunted' or simply curious about the woman behind the iconic show, this book is well worth your time.

'Scream Queen: A Memoir' is available now in hardcover, and you can pre-order a paperback copy that will be released next year. The book is also available as an eBook for Kindle and as an audiobook on Audible.
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