This is the second part of a two-part investigation of the Beaumanor Hall in Leicestershire. You can read about the first half of the investigation here, or read more reviews, and episode guides in my Most Haunted section.
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Yvette Fielding resumes her investigation of a huge Victorian country house in Leicestershire, the manor is so big that this investigation has been split in two parts. In this, the second part, the team seek out paranormal
activity in the building's cellars.
The history of the house can be traced back to around the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, but the building as it stands today was built in the 1840s by the architect William Railton under contract of the Herrick family who had owned the estate since 1595. The house stayed in the family until the War Department requisitioned it in the run up to World War II.
The hall was put to use as a top secret military intelligence listening station. Some time after the war the property fell into the hands of Leicestershire County Council and is now used as a training centre, conference centre, and residential facility for young people.
The Story So Far
The first half
of the investigation in the house's huge two-level attic proved to be pretty scary for certain members of the team, Yvette had a fright on the upper floor when a framed painting smashed having fallen off of a shelf.
The team heard plenty of knocks and bangs. Karl Beattie achieved some interesting results using some electronic ghost hunting gadgets, and Darren Hutchinson was pushed to his limits by the show's demonologist, Fred Batt.
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Is Beaumanor Hall's Cellar Haunted?
Like the rest of the hall, the cellar is said to be haunted by a tall dark shadow of a man, who is said to be dressed as a coachman. He's been described as being angry and unfriendly. There's also said to be the spirit of a female ghost from the Victorian era, perhaps a housekeeper.
The cellar has such a foreboding atmosphere that many staff refuse to go down there alone. Lots of people have witnessed strange phenomenon in the labyrinth of underground tunnels, including ghostly whistling that seems to come from nowhere, as well as whispering, talking, and heavy knocking.
Part of the cellar was used as an air raid shelter during the Second World War, terrified local villagers would have taken refuge down here, could they have witnessed the coachman?
Another part of the cellar is dressed up to show what life was like in the hall. The show's skeptic Glen Hunt says, "it brings it to life, an otherwise lifeless, cold cellar, looks as though it's quite vibrant and there's things going on here to this day," could this stir up memories from the past?
Yvette is very excited about the cellar, she said "what do you think, Glen? Fantastic isn't it?" Glen wasn't so excited, "well, it's a cellar isn't it, I'm not that impressed." He says the nature of the a cellar could cause them to attribute normal phenomenon as paranormal, "there's exposed brick, it's very echoey, that's going to carry the sound, so when the lights go out we could be mistaking any echo for the paranormal."
The Story Continues...
With the lights out, the team split up. Glen took the show's Fred and Darren to one end of the cellar, with Gregg Smith on camera duty. We joined them as they heard a loud bang. After a quick search they found a large wooden door had been slammed shut.
At the other end of the cellar, Yvette was alone with her hubby Karl. Straight away they heard a whine, which Yvette said sounded like someone saying "here." As they walked into a small storage room, Yvette called out "if there's anybody here, if you can hear our voices, if you can see us, can you make a noise?"
Back out in the corridor they heard a rumbling sound, before stepping into a room that was decorated to look like a seamstress' chamber. Karl asked, "would you ever go in a room like this on your own?" Yvette adamantly said, "no, why would I? I never do, not if I can help it."
Karl then saw an opportunity and leapt back through the door, leaving Yvette inside in the darkness and shut her in. "Just see what it's like," he told her through the door as she screamed "I don't want to do that." He let her out after a few seconds. Looking very angry, she said "you're such a plonker sometimes, Karl. There's no need to do that."
They then thought that some old photos scattered around on the top of a sideboard might have moved. Karl reported hearing the sound of a card sliding across the wooden surface and the photos seemed to be in a state of disarray. Karl said he had a shot of the photos from earlier so they could check to see if the photos had moved, we never got a replay of this and the team re-group before continuing their investigation.
Morse Code Experiment
Yvette and Karl were joined by Glen to conduct a seance and morse code experiment, while being watched over by Gregg with the camera.
The session started as normal with the team stood around a small table, with their fingers places on the surface as Yvette called out "if you can hear my voice, can you make the table move or knock on the table."
She then tried something new, "if you were here during the war, please come and tap out using morse code." Glen had brought along mobile phone app which translates morse code into letters, the idea was if the team heard knocks they could copy them by tapping on the screen in the hope that this might allow the spirits to spell something out.
The team didn't experience any tapping to start with but felt the table vibrating, Glen described it as "oscillating." So, they gave up on trying to receive taps and instead generated a message in morse code using the app. Glen typed in the word "hello" and the app repeatedly played the beeps which correlated to the letters of the word. It sounded quite eerie as it echoed through the dark stone corridors.
As the beeps continued to echo around them, Karl said he saw "something in the darkness," Gregg spun the camera around but there didn't appear to be anything there.
They then started hearing some tapping, so Glen started mimicking it on his phone's screen with the same rhythm. It wasn't too accurate but it did seem to spell out a phrase, "it's me."
Glen then tried asking the spirit its name using a phrase in morse code, they got back the response in morse code taps, "Eric Topple," who was apparently in the building in 1943.
The morse code was an interesting experiment that worked very well for this location which has a history of wartime communications. Although, it didn't really get the team any more information than a ouija board would have.
According to a caption on screen, there was an Eric Topple who served in the military in 1943, but there's nothing to suggest that he is linked to Beaumanor Hall.
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Darren & Fred
Fred was at the other end of the cellar with a very reluctant Darren, who was already complaining, "is there any chance we could just check out the ghosts
that are already down here, rather than trying to bring some horrendous things?"
As Fred started chanting his incantations, "I summon you to come forward," Darren walked off saying "I'm not doing this anymore," but begrudgingly he stuck around.
Fred then shouted "behind you," causing Darren to panic. Apparently Fred had seen a red shadow behind the nervous sound recordist. After this, Fred really started pushing his luck, calling out "touch Darren, kick him, push him, he doesn't believe in you." I'm surprised Darren had stayed alone in the dark with Fred for so long. Especially as Fred was clearly on the wind up. Darren said, "I'm going to do one more minute of this, Fred. I just hate it."
Fred began to chant again, Darren had had enough, "right stop it now, stop it, stop it, stop it!" He said he'd felt something behind him. Darren walked off, presumably trying to find his way out, while Fred could be heard "still going off" in the distance.
Fred then shouted "Darren where are you?" and hilariously Darren ran off leaving Fred calling out for him alone in the darkness. Darren now hiding from Fred said, "this is like some sort of dark comedy now." Fred briefly found Darren, but he made a run for it again in an attempt to get out of the cellar. He eventually found his way above ground and into the carpark, and with relief in his voice said, "I'm done for the night."
After a short break, Yvette managed to convince Darren to rejoin the investigation with her and Gregg, far away from Fred. Yvette started calling out, "if there are any spirits here with us now, can you make a noice." They then heard something that Gregg described as "a weird click" or as if he'd walked in to a chain to make a metallic clinking sound.
They continued to hear tapping from one side of them to the other, moving around the room. Gregg said that it was as if the spirit was playing with them.
They all then heard a very faint tap coming from the direction of a table with old wartime artefacts on it. Examining the old radio set, Yvette found that turning the knob made the exact same sound as the tap they had heard.
Meanwhile Fred had been teamed up with Glen, they heard a lot of unexplained bangs around them. However for Karl, who had bravely gone off alone, the source of the sounds around him were obvious.
He was alone in a washroom area, he said "I have to say, it's quite spooky down here". Just as he'd called out "if you're here can you move something? Show me you're here," he jumped at the sound of a metal wash tub moving across the floor.
After hearing another sound, he said "I have to say, this is so bloody scary." He heard a bang in an adjoining room and went to investigate, as he left the room he heard a crash from the washroom. He went back in to find one of the tubs had been dragged across the room.
After the event Karl said, "that's amazing. There is no one in this room, there is no way that could have done that."
The new series of Most Haunted continues on Really. Watch on Freeview (17), Sky (155) and Virgin Media (129), or watch previous episodes of Most Haunted on demand on the UKTV Player.For reviews of all of the new episodes, plus highlights and evidence from the shows, and to find out when Most Haunted is on next, visit the Most Haunted episode guide.
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