Yvette Fielding and the Most Haunted team capture some of their most shocking evidence to date during a two-hour, "as live" special at Codnor Castle Cottage in Derbyshire.
We're just past the midway point of series 22 of Most Haunted and in this episode Yvette and her team embark on a two-hour, "as live" special in a 17th century farmhouse near Derby. This is just the first have of a two-part investigation, which concludes next Friday.
The investigation takes place at Codnor Castle Cottage, an isolated once-family home, overlooking the beautiful Erewash Valley. The show has been produced in the same style as one of the live shows, meaning it's unedited and uncut. The show starts with a promise from Yvette that "we are going to keep the cameras rolling no matter what, as we investigate Codnor Castle Cottage, where some of the locals affectionately refer to it as Hell House."
The cottage is built on the grounds of the Codnor Castle estate, a medieval castle which sits right on the border between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The estate is surrounded by countryside that has been parkland for a hundreds of years.
The castle is first mentioned in the doomsday book of 1086, this was a long time before the stone castle we see today was built. The castle is now in ruins after it was nearly completely dismantled in 1643 and the stone and timber was used to build seven farmhouses in the local area, including Codnor Castle Cottage itself, which now lies derelict.
Is Codnor Castle Cottage Haunted?
It's said that many visitors to the derelict farmhouse have witnessed dark shadows, poltergeist activity, and disembodied voices, from cries and laughter, to blood-curdling screams. A negative energy is said to lurk in the attic rooms, waiting to strike fear into the unsuspecting. Some have fled in abject terror, while others have refused to enter this eerie, foreboding place.
For years nobody has lived in the building, witnesses say there is too much negativity and no living soul could possibly endure it. During the 1950s, one of the owners allegedly killed himself in the attic area, he attached a length of rope to the window and jumped to his death.
There are stories of murders, four reported suicides, and accidental deaths which date back centuries. Could these tragic events be responsible for the numerous stories of haunted activity at the decaying cottage? The team have one night to find out.
Meet The Dolls Of Codnor
As this is a special, it seems the team wanted to do something a little different. They'd brought along a couple of cursed dolls. The first of which had been sent to the team, and Yvette placed it in the attic area, with a locked off camera fixed on it in the hope that if a spirit interacted with it during the investigation, it would be caught on camera.
Yvette said that the doll had spent the night at her house last night where it was introduced to Watson, Yvette's pet dog who fans of the show will be familiar with. Watson really didn't like the doll, he constantly barked and growled at it.
We later meet a doll which has been brought to the investigation by the show's demonologist Fred Batt. His doll has an intriguing story, which started with one of the best lines I've ever heard on the show, "when I was 14 I ran away with the fairground, I was very friendly with the guy who owned the freak show."
Apparently the freak show owner was closing the show down and gave Fred a haunted doll, it's supposed to be very unlucky. While Fred is convinced the doll is cursed, the show's resident skeptic Glen Hunt isn't so sure, he said, "I just don't buy into the idea of moving dolls."
Yvette is also a bit cynical due to the current trend of people selling supposedly haunted dolls on eBay, "can objects be haunted? Is it residual energy? Is it memories? Is this object picking up on something?" Her husband, the show's producer Karl Beattie chipped in, "it's a step too far for me to believe," he said that dolls were made as a toy, "they were for love, kids grabbed them and cuddle them. So I find it very strange that they can be haunted or cursed."
But Fred say that in the case of his doll, there was love, then it had a bad history, "which is why I've kept it locked up for 40 years." Fred places his doll alone in the smaller of the two cottages that make up the farmhouse.
The Walk Around
Before the cameras started rolling for the uninterrupted investigation, Yvette filled us in on some of the strange events that had taken place at the cottage while they were filming earlier in the day on their initial walk around.
While recording links to camera up in the attic, a crucifix suddenly made a crash as it hit the floor, smashing into two pieces as it did. The team couldn't workout where it had come from. Sound recordist, Darren Hutchinson said, "that is a bad sign, that's a really bad sign."
Yvette said they hadn't called out yet, so they gave it ago and she called out to the spirits, "if you can hear us can you knock? Did you throw this crucifix?" There were then two knocks, which Yvette took to mean yes. This is my pet hate with paranormal investigation. This is the first time they've called out to the spirits, it hasn't been told that two knocks means yes.
Meet The Team
As the cameras start rolling uncut, Yvette brings the team together to find out how they feel about the night ahead. Karl confesses he's "nervous, actually to be honest. Watching what's gone on today, that's happened almost as soon as we've walked into this building." He added, "we've had a few places like this, a few of us have had headaches, we've felt quite ill from here, and it's not the fact we've been ill, it's this place. It's horrible."
Darren, who had already refused to go upstairs on his own to check a camera, was also feeling apprehensive, "I feel really odd in this place, I feel kind of nervous as if something horrible is going to happen." Camera man Gregg Smith said he was feeling "excited to see what happens next, I think there's loads that's going to happen tonight."
Glen has a rational take on the negative vibe in the house, "there's been massive solar flares in the last couple of days, the whole atmosphere of the planet right now is charged with electromagnetic energy, is that going to have a direct effect on this house tonight?"
Then just as Karl heard something upstairs, Yvette suggested starting the investigation, "let's turn all the lights off, let's go night vision. Good luck, everybody."
As the team climbed the staircase, they all straight away started reporting that the house felt very different in the dark. Yvette wasted no time and started calling out to the spirits, as the team reported feeling the temperature drop, before hearing knocking all around them.
Karl then reported hearing children laughing in a adjoining room and moved through to investigate. Finding themselves in a small box room, Darren smelt a waft of a strong floral scent, like a perfume.
As they walked through into the second bedroom, Karl heard what he thought was a man's voice. He described it as being, "a low level murmur." They also heard rhythmic tapping, like footsteps.
Karl then heard something out of the landing, and ran out of the room and back into the first room, "there's nothing here," he said but swore that he heard "proper footsteps," Darren confirmed that he had heard the same and said it was "as if someone was approaching us."
Karl said he's "starting to feel really uneasy," and Yvette called out "can you use your voice?" Karl said he heard the word "no" coming from outside the room, and the team all reported various sounds from all around them, like the rustling of clothes.
As they went to investigate, Karl suddenly said "right, now I'm smelling fire," Yvette agreed, describing it as "fire mixed with perfume, and that wasn't there earlier in the day, that smell."
As Yvette suggested splitting up, they heard what Karl described as a "proper groan." Sadly, so far none of these noises or sounds have been caught on the cameras' microphones.
They then all said they could see the outline of somebody outside the door. "It's like a grey outline," said Yvette and Fred, like a person stood watching. Karl went over to the spot and said it was freezing there.
Yvette asked the spirit if they should venture into the attic, she called out, "do you want us to go upstairs?" There were two very clear loud knocks, but with the recent activity, Yvette wasn't as keen to split up, "you know I said split up, shall we all go up together? I've suddenly become quite scared about going up there."
As Yvette leads the team up the stairs to the attic, she says "now, tell me what you're smelling when you come up here?" The team described differing scents, from disinfectant or TCP, to the smell of body odour. Moments after walking into the attic, they heard a clatter from behind them and found a handful of old pennies had been thrown on the floor in an empty adjoining room. The team gathered up the coins which were dated 1908, they collected 16 in total.
Yvette was very impressed by this occurrence, "I can't believe that, I'm so chuffed." Glen was also impressed but said he still needs more evidence to be convinced of the paranormal, "it's one thing having it drop behind me, but I want to see where it's coming from."
The investigation resumed. While calling out, Yvette said she saw a circular white light moving past a door. Karl and Glen went to head downstairs with camera man Stuart Torevell. Stuart was stood at the top of the stairs filming them going down and behind him another load of coins were thrown, right in front of Yvette and Darren.
Yvette said she could see all the team at the time, meaning they were all accounted for. Glen said, "I was halfway down the stairs, I was looking this way and I saw them appear from seemingly nowhere." When Karl, Glen and Stuart made another attempt to leave, another handful of coins landed on the floor.
Darren speculated about the repeated throwing of coins, "do you think something's trying to keep us together?" Yvette said she thought it was, which made Darren wonder "is that a good thing or a bad thing? Maybe they only have the energy to attack us in one place."
The gang finally split up, Karl, Glen and Stuart went back down to the bedrooms, leaving Yvette, Darren and Gregg in the attic. They heard more knocking all around them, then Darren said he saw two "bright lights like little cats eyes" at head height, from the location where the coins had come from.
Then Gregg said he could see a smoky shape that was almost like the camouflage used by the alien hunter in the movie 'Predator'. Although he said he could see this on camera, I couldn't see anything on screen. Darren said, "I can see it there, I can see it right there," Gregg said it was getting mistier in the room they were looking into.
Darren threw some coins back into the room as a gift to the spirit, he was getting very excited by all this, and reaching out into the room said he could physically feel something on his hand.
Karl radioed through to Yvette to announce that he was coming back up. They'd heard a few noises downstairs but nothing worthy of showing us. The rejoining team members, all also witnessed the same mist coming towards them, although again it wasn't visible on camera.
Gregg said, "it's like there's a cloud in that doorway and it's coming towards us, it's like a mist in the door."
Glen and others then heard a cry or a scream from the distance and went to investigate. After hearing a breathy moan, Karl then said he felt a hand on his shoulder and witnessed some more faint knocking sounds.
Yvette, Glen, Darren and Gregg went to the adjoining cottage, where Glen set up his laptop in the hope of capturing some EVPs, while the others stood around. They then heard shuffling in the hallway and went to investigate. Yvette found some creepy looking stairs, which she hadn't seen before and went up to investigate... but the next moment they are back down stairs in the kitchen.
Yvette called out to the spirits and the team introduce themselves but they got little response. They head back to Glen's laptop and review the recording, there's seemingly nothing ground breaking on it, other than what sounded like someone clicking their fingers while the laptop was left on its own in a room.
Back In The Attic
With most of the team in the adjoining cottage, and Karl on his own wandering around the bedrooms. Stuart and Fred were attempting to stir up the spirits in the attic. Fred was reciting some of his trademark incantations, "Lucifer lord of the underworld, come forth. I forward and see us."
As he chanted, coins started being thrown around again. Stuart said, "I can't seem 'em, I can hear them, but I can't see a damn thing." One of the coins then hit Stuart in the back, "holy crap!" Moments later there was a bang and he screamed "argh, holy..." a door panel had been thrown behind him.
Fred continued, "if there's anybody here, come forward," this was followed by a loud scraping sound, like furniture sliding. It seems the metal frame of a bed had moved across the floor.
Then the camera cut away to the haunted doll and it suddenly burst into flames. Fred is first to notice something, "what's happening down there?"
Stuart cries out "holy ****, what is that?", and ran down to the end room in the attic. On seeing the burning doll, he said "no way! The dolls on fire!" Shouting for the others on the radio, the team rushed to the attic, although Gregg seemed unsure who is calling them as he thought the voice sounded odd, "we could be being lured up there by someone."
Stuart at first tried to blow the doll out like a birthday candle, before knocking it off of its plinth and stamping it out, "how the hell did that happen?" he asked.
Yvette eventually arrived on scene with Gregg, Darren and Glen. Gregg said "that is, to be honest, terrifying. The fact that it's burst into flames, it's spontaneous combustion basically." Yvette was amazed by what she had seen, "a thing has just spontaneously burst into flames, should we not be worrying? Should we really be here?"
Glen chipped in, saying that what had happened to the doll is exactly the reason why they should be there, "if you're thinking on the grounds of the paranormal, then we should be here, this is exactly the kind of thing we hope for isn't it." And he seemed pretty convinced that this was genuine evidence of the paranormal, "I'm looking for any signs of tampering, if anyone's put any charges in her or anything, there's no signs of that."
With the doll safely extinguished, the team then discussed what should be done with it. Karl shared his thoughts, "I think we take it out to the bloody field," Fred added "they need to be buried about three foot down."
This dramatic occurrence isn't the end of Most Haunted's investigation of Codnor Castle Cottage, the investigation concludes in a regular episode next Friday night.
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.
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