The Da Silva Linings Ghostbook is a podcast from Carrie Saxon and starring Sylvester Da Silva.
As is tradition, I’ll start at the beginning. My name, as it has been for 17 years, is Sylvester da Silva. I’m a psychic medium with a penchant for the spooky, macabre, and all things supernatural. What does this translate to in “real life”? My occupation involves facilitating communication between the dead and the living. I also dabble in exorcism and confronting the machinations of evil forces invading the physical realm.
I’m also very keen on hyperbole.
My name is a professional one, as you may have guessed. It’s not entirely stolen as my Portuguese grandfather will tell you - I can arrange this. He may have departed this world thirty odd years ago, but I can hook up a call.
During the early years of my career, I went around holding seances and speaking to small groups about the “other side”. Typically, these talks were held in dilapidated community centres, and the clientele was more interested in cheap parlour tricks than they were about learning the true mysteries of the spirit world.
And then, she came along.
I was approached by a (now long dead) TV production company with a pitch. Apparently, one of their researchers had seen a few of my clips on YouTube and thought I’d be perfect for this new show they had in mind. This was spearheaded by the show’s host - Katrina Woods.
I was told much later Woods had a sort of professional rivalry with another female TV host and would do anything to show her up. In this fateful instance, the other female had just started a “paranormal investigative”. And Woods wanted to steal some thunder.
I was very naive back then. Of course, with the promise of starring on TV, an “interesting” wage and free travel across the country (and sometimes Europe) I was never going to say no. “Ghost Sleuthers” had found its resident psychic medium.
Now, what exactly does that entail? My impression was, as I’ve described, I would facilitate any form of communication between the investigators, or “Sleuthers” (I know. Awful isn’t it?), and any spirits who happened to be visiting or residing in a specific location. It started off that way. Certainly for the first season, which was thirteen episodes. Woods had other ideas.
I genuinely think the work, or at least certainly mine, in the first season of GS was of real evidential value. However, someone thought everything was a bit dull. Apparently Woods, in her manic, obsessive way, would pour over every minute of our competitor’s show in an effort to think up ways of besting them. And so in came the theatrics.
Anyone who has seen a few episodes of GS, or that other show I will not bear to name, will know the simple premise. The crew sets off to a reportedly “most haunted” location, films the grounds, explores the local history and then begins The Vigil. This involves floating about the building or site at night, calling out in vain to any ghosts that happen to be nearby. This goes on for around several hours (condensed to approximately ten minutes for the TV edit) until the host gets bored and starts getting members of the crew to throw things, loudly whisper down corridors and pretend to be attacked by a spirit of a witch. All in the name of paranormal investigations.
As I mentioned earlier, our first season was as close to legitimate research as we were ever going to get. After that, it descended into pantomime. All with Woods at centre stage. My final episode was Llanorfa Hall Theatre in Cardiff after the Infamous incident with Katrina, and I could never go back.
Ghost Sleuthers ended after series 6. Came back in 2014 for 2 more series. Continues via
YouTube. I wish them luck!
I was residing in Virginia, USA when I became front page news again but returned to the UK later last year. My whereabouts at the moment are strictly private.
I spend my time collecting haunted artefacts. I have a growing collection from all the investigations I've conducted since Ghost Sleuthers. I've also conducted a few cryptozoological investigations whilst in America. This is my pet project. No results so far.
Are you being troubled by strange noises in the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or your family ever seen a spook, spectre, or ghost? If the answer is yes, then don't wait another minute.
Carrie Saxon has had a twenty year career in writing and journalism. She is not sure she will have that career after this.