Help! My House Is Haunted: 'A Sinister Séance' - Series 5, Episode 1 Review

October 02, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ TelevisionParanormal
Help! My House Is Haunted: A Sinister Séance

Barri Ghai Punched By A Demon During A 'Help! My House Is Haunted' Investigation In Devon

Paranormal investigators Jayne Harris, Barri Ghai, and medium Ian Lawman return to Discovery+ with a new series of 'Help! My House Is Haunted'. The first episode, 'A Sinister Séance' sees the team attempt to banish a violent spirit, leading to a shocking attack.

The team have been called to a 1930s semi-detached house in Sidmouth, Devon. 60-year-old retiree, Terina, inherited the home, which she grew up in, from her parents. The house has a long history of paranormal activity in the form of terrifying experiences going as far back as Terina's childhood, including visions of a little boy and hooded figures with horse heads peering through the kitchen window.

More recently, she's experienced menacing encounters, even feeling physically restrained in bed by an unknown force. Terina also reveals that her parents conducted a séance in the early 1960s, raising the possibility that they may have inadvertently invited malevolent entities into the home.

Ian, the show's resident medium, isn't given any knowledge about the property in advance, but he admits feeling unusually anxious before arriving at the location, even consulting his Bible for confidence. He is the first to enter the house alone, and immediately senses a dark and negative energy. As his initial walk-around progresses, he becomes more convinced that something demonic may be present in the house. He describes feeling breathless and overwhelmed, especially in certain rooms.

Barri interviews Terina's son, Richard, who describes the emotional toll the haunting has taken on his mother and confirms that multiple family members have experienced similar terrifying events. Richard himself became a believer after experiencing a bone-chilling cold in the house.

Meanwhile, Jayne consults local historian Professor James Clark to gain historical context for the haunting. James reveals a local tradition dating back to the 16th century involving the public shaming of people who have liaisons outside of marriage. These shaming ceremonies involved effigies with horse heads, providing a possible link to Terina's strange visions.
Help! My House Is Haunted: A Sinister Séance

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.

The team ask Terina to join them for the first part of their nightlong investigation, which they call "spirit triggers." They hope that Terina's presence my prompt whatever lurks in the house to come forward, they plan on conducting a recreation of the past séance to facilitate this.

It becomes clear that the entity may not just be haunting the house but might be attached to Terina herself. Ian Lawman suggests confronting the entity, asking it to reveal itself. Terina feels hot and hears voices taunting her, as she seemingly relays messages from the entity. During this session, the investigators sense that the entity might be shifting from Terina into the house.

This ends up being one of the most dramatic spirit trigger sessions in the show's history, but Terina feels a weight lifted off her as the team conclude that the demon is driven out of her, but thus leaves the unsettling idea that while she may be free from the entity's direct influence, it is still present in the house, posing a potential danger to the investigators.

After Terina leaves for the night, Barri sets up static night vision cameras around the property and the team formulate their plan, which begins with them using various ghost hunting equipment such as an SLS (Structured Light Sensor) camera. This is a specially adapted 3D mapping camera that is capable of detecting human-like shapes in its field of view and highlighting them on its screen in the form of a stick figure.

They were also using a REM-Pod, a gadget that radiates its own electrostatic field; and a Mel Meter, a type of paranormal multi-tool that has a REM-Pod built in. If anything gets close to either of these devices and interferes with their fields, the device alerts the investigator with an audible tone and lights.

Throughout their investigation, the team capture anomalous voices and disturbances, but things take a sinister turn when Barri experiences what he believes to be a a physical attack that knocks him off his feet, suggesting that the entity is both malevolent and capable of causing physical harm. A little while later, Barri shows signs of early possession, prompting Ian to consider using his exorcism kit.

Despite all the drama and some seemingly very meaningful two-way communication, the team were yet to establish the name of the entity. In spiritual or occult practices and, by extension, in paranormal investigations having a name does indeed give a sense of control, based on the belief that names hold power. It's a principle that's been prevalent in magical practices, folklore, and religious texts for centuries. Knowing the name of an entity theoretically grants you power over it, allowing you to banish or command it.

The team call an end to their investigation and go through the evidence they'd captured. Barri says that demonic entities use reversed speech to confuse their victims. This could potentially reflect a certain cunning or trickery attributed to demonic entities, aiming to prevent humans from gaining the upper hand. But it could also be seen as an illustration of the lengths to which investigators go to interpret data, often applying reverse playback or other manipulations to find what they then interpret as hidden messages.

Reversing some of the audio captured, Jayne finally identifies the name of the demon. This name, "Paimon", appears to be associated with a demonic entity known for causing hallucinations, confusion, and chaos, which correlates with Terina's experiences around the property.

The episode ends with ordained exorcist, Ian, using this this newfound knowledge and various religious and spiritual methods to expel the entity. His exorcism ritual, now made presumably more potent by invoking the demon's name, seeks to cleanse the house and protect its inhabitants.

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