Just before Derren left Bristol behind and headed up the M4 highway to super stardom he put on an event in Bedminster.

Myself and a few staff members attended, and one of them – Jill – even ended up on stage as a volunteer for part of the show involving a ‘haunted chair’. At Derren’s command she sat down, only to get ‘spooked’ and leap back up again. From the outside, as audience members and observers, we had no idea to Jill’s experience.

After the show I spoke with both Derren and Jill, and this is what they said…

Derren: “what the audience sees and what the volunteer experience are often not the same thing”.

So, what was the difference in this case? We were told the chair was ‘haunted’ (or similar, my memory fades…) and we don’t have another explanation that’s obvious – what could it be?

Well, this is what Jill said…

Jill: “there was a nasty little electric shock connected to the chair”, and it was this that led her to leap up and out of it.

What you experience and what anyone else does depends on whether you get the shock, the mental jarring that comes when the door of referencing opens.