Barri Ghai, Jayne Harris and Ian Lawman return in the first of a new six-part series, 'Celebrity Help! My House Is Haunted'. In the first episode the team travel to Surrey and the home of Alex Best, which is plagued by paranormal activity with family connections.
We're not a showbiz site and quite honestly have no idea who Alex Best is, but that knowledge isn't really important since the team normally visit the homes of members of the public. So to us, this is just another anonymous stranger's home, and since the show's format remains the same, we're expecting the same meticulous level of investigation, scares and some good evidence to debate in each episode.
However, if you're wondering... Alex Best is a former air hostess and glamour model who is best known as the ex-wife of the late footballing legend, George Best. The pair divorced in 2004 after a nine year relationship, since then she's appeared in several celebrity reality shows including 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!' in 2004, the same year that she was honoured with the prestigious title of Female Rear of the Year.
Alex, who turns 50 this month, said "I'm really looking forward to it, I'm actually intrigued to find out all the evidence and everything, and yeah, very excited actually, but nervous."
She added, "I think whoever is around is quite cheeky, it's almost like someone is playing around with me, joking with me." Could this be the spirit of her late husband, Manchester United legend, George? Alex thinks not, she said, "everyone jokes and says that it's George, but I know for sure that it's not, this is a very old house and the amount of people who've lived here, it could be anything."
Before they even arrived at the 1820s farmworker's cottage in the village of Kingswood on the North Downs, dark art specialist Ian has some insights into the property. As the show's psychic
medium and an ordained exorcist, Ian is always kept in the dark about the location in advance, but as he was driven their with his team mates he said "I'm picking up on poltergeist activity," adding, "I think the house must have some history because it's quite old. Maybe the person who's connected to the property has an attachment or spirits connected to them very strongly in some way."
Ian's Walk Around
More From 'Help! My House Is Haunted'
You can read more and the team's investigations on our 'Help! My House Is Haunted' hub, where you'll find detailed reviews of each episode, trivia quizzes and news on future episodes.
As always, Ian was the first to enter the property alone in order to conduct a psychic sweep. As he walked into the remote cottage, he said "as soon as you come in here, you can feel the heaviness in here, I feel quite down, anxious and depressed in this property." This is a striking contrast to Alex's description that the haunting is playful, but he added, "for such a cute cottage, there's a lot of activity in here."
Ian also picks up on some kind of deteriorating health, possibly related to smoking, he singles out the master bedroom as a paranormal
He later summed up by saying, "there's an immense energy of poltergeist activity, very playful, and then I was also conscious of a man with a very strong personality, who I think could be the playful energy."
Advertisement ‐ Content Continues Below.
Jayne Delves Into The History
Jayne, a psychologist and the show's historian went off to meet local expert Lorraine Spindler at a nearby pub to find out more about the house and its local area. She uncovers that the property was part of a complex of farm buildings.
Lorraine told Jayne, "where we are on this land, there was a George Best living here." Of course, this is not the famous footballer, but his namesake lived in the area near Alex's cottage in 1902. The cottage itself was formerly owned by someone called William Best.
Meanwhile, technical expert, Barri, went to meet Alex's best friend, Carol, who has experienced a number of strange things when staying in the house and is convinced there is a male presence in the house. She said, "I think it's someone who lived here before."
After completing their initial investigation, the team re-group at the house to talk through what they've found out and put a plan together. They start by inviting Alex and her friend Carol to join them for a "spirit trigger" session, where they hope that Alex's presence will stir up the ghostly activity.
They break the news to Alex that her house was once the home of another Best, her and the team seem genuinely shocked by this, but is it just coincidence or does this have some greater significance? Jayne also tells Alex that the Best family had a daughter called Lily, who died at a young age.
They begin sat around the dining table, close to the stairs where a lot of activity is said to have taken place. They have a REM-Pod in the middle of the table, which Jayne describes really well, "this is emitting its own electromagnetic field, so if anything comes close to it and breaks that field, we'll hear an alarm and the lights will flash."
Ian started by calling out, "tell me your name" and a REM-Pod placed on the stairs started beeping seemingly on cue. The device went on to indicate to the team that something was communicating that was connected with the house and Alex.
The team were also recording the session on a digital audio recorder, when they played the recording back, they thought sounded like a child's voices, Barri thought the voice was saying "Lily's here". Moments later, Ian was able to make direct contact with Lily and said, "she fell in the well."
Ian then shocked Alex by telling her that her late husband was here, he said "I just feel he wants to protect you." He added, "he is in peace, but he's looking out for you."
Alex and Carol were then left alone to conduct a session using a spirit box, a ghost hunting
device which rapidly scans through radio frequencies. It's believed that spirits can manipulate the white noise in these frequency ranges to form words and sentences. During this session they believed they obtained direct responses from a child and a male spirit.
Barri and Ian began the nighttime investigation using a REM-Pod
and a similar device called a Mel Meter. Barri was using an app called the EchoVox, which is pre-loaded with the phonetic sounds that make up every English word. The app randomly spews out these sounds and it's believed that spirits can affect the random nature of this app in order to form the words they are trying to communicate. At one point they thought they heard the name "Alex Best" in a male voice, which leads them to believe this is George. But was it footballing George, the ex husband of Alex? Or was it the 1902 George, a relative of Lily who they feel they're in contact with?
Later in the episode Barri had a strange experience like he was being tickled by an unseen static field in the living room. As the team continued, they heard the name George come through their ghost hunting gadgets several more times.
The team then notice a book is sticking out of the shelf on the stairs, on closer inspection Barri finds this is George Best's autobiography. None of the team recall the book sticking out previously, so the crew review the footage from a static camera placed on the stairs and make an incredible discovery.
In some black and white night vision footage, the book is seen to move out of the row of books on its own, completely untouched. Barri said, "this is clearly a sign isn't it? It's an indication that he's present." It was some incredible footage and was followed a little later by a loud bang that was heard on the window while Barri was in the bedroom alone.
These were both real, tangible phenomenon. While spirit boxes provide some evidence, the voices can often be hard to interpreted and are subjective. Ian told us when he joined the team, "it's a standing joke now, because Barri and Jayne will get excited and say 'oh my god' when I play it back and say 'can you hear that?!?', but I can't hear anything."
Similarly, although Ian's psychic insights are often very accurate, again it's not tangible or something we as viewers can see. However, a book moving on its own on camera and a loud bang picked up on the camera's microphone are great evidence. The book in particular is probably the best and clearest evidence the team have ever captured.
The episode was a really strong start to the series, and the fact that the home belongs to someone who is arguably a celebrity really doesn't detract from the show or what the team do in any way. Especially since for the bulk of the investigation Barri, Jayne and Ian are alone in the house anyway.
The investigation of Alex Best's house is available to watch on demand on Discovery+ now, with the next episode of 'Celebrity Help! My House Is Haunted' dropping next Friday.
More From 'Help! My House Is Haunted' View All