Help! My House Is Haunted: 'Playing With The Devil' - Series 3, Episode 10 Review
For the tenth episode of the third series of 'Help! My House Is Haunted', Barri Ghai, Jayne Harris and Ian Lawman head to a 17th century pub in Lincolnshire, where the landlord says a sinister spirit resides.
The Black Dog is a Grade II listed pub in Grantham, its landlord, Chris Knowles, says "I never believed in the paranormal, up until moving in here. Within days of being here, things started to happen, which made me question as to whether or not the possibility there's something else there."
Chris has no idea how many ghosts haunt the pub, but said "I've definitely seen one, which was a small girl. I'd say she was probably around three years of age." He added, "in the bar area, we've had full trays of glasses that have literally, some how, launched themselves from the work surface on to the floor."
Doors are also said to open and close on their own, and stools have moved across the floor. In the staff flat above the pub, pungent smells have been witnessed. Above this on the top floor, there's another flat which no one has braved to live in for years. Chris tried to renovate the space, but workmen downed tools and left after they reported that their tools were moving around, as well as hearing growling noises and footsteps.
Ian, the show's resident medium knows nothing about the location or the case in advance, but while he's driving through Grantham en route to the property, he gains some psychic insight. He tells us, "a figure has just appeared to me, like a cloaked figure." Ian thinks this could indicate a connection to monks or a monastery.
Ian also had an idea of the type of property he was heading to. He said, "I'm seeing old, I'm seeing carriages and horses. Whenever I feel that, I always feel I'm going to a coach house or a public house." Ian, who admitted to feeling anxious, said "I just feel that my airways are suffering to take in any air, so there's certainly something that's tightening around my airways."
Chris called in the team for answers, he said he wants to "find out why these entities are here. If whoever it is who is haunted the derelict flat needs to move on or is stuck, then it would be to try and help them to move on."
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Ian Explores The Location
Ian is always the first to arrive at the location so that he can conduct a psychic sweep alone in the property. Stepping into the pub, Ian felt drawn to the bar area where he was aware that there might be a lot of poltergeist activity. He also said he was very conscious of "residual apparitions" in this area.
Ian said, "the further I go back into this pub, the more uncomfortable I become," he said he could also see the hooded cloaked figures he'd picked up on during the car journey. Upstairs in the first floor flat, Ian says "I get the sense someone is watching me." He adds, "I'm very aware of things being moved around, so I do feel that the poltergeist activity would kind of counteract into this room."
As Ian made his way up to the abandoned flat on the top floor, he said "this place isn't great, there's just something not sitting right with me." Once inside the flat Ian was overwhelmed by what he described as "a stench of death." He said, "I can hear stuff already." In one of the rooms Ian said he felt his throat tightening, he said "someone hanged themselves in there."
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Barri & Jayne Look For Leads In The Local Area
To find out more about the pub and the reported paranormal activity, Barri met up with Jamie, the assistant manager of the pub. Jamie lives in the first floor flat in the building. Jamie said he's witnessed quite a few odd happenings in the pub. He said, "one afternoon we had a power cut, I went upstairs to the flat to make sure everything was a-OK, a I did see a black figure that was quite tall, it was quite broad as well."
Backing up what Ian said, according to Jamie, objects have been thrown across the room while he's been sitting there.
Jayne headed to the centre of the market town, where she met with Dan Cod to find out more about the local area. The historian told her, "in 1290 the greyfriars established themselves in Grantham," their priory was located on a site that's now occupied by a housing estate, but their land could have extended as far as the pub the team are investigating. Could this be the reason why Ian had reported seeing the vision of a monk?
Furthermore, it's possible that the Black Dog is built either on or near the priories cemetery, which would have originally occupied an area of land in the town where over 300 years worth of friars would have been buried.
Jayne did some digging of her own and uncovered a friar named John Colsell, who she says was accused of necromancy in 1535. Necromancy is a type of dark magic that some people believe brings a dead person back to life.
Jayne speculates, "could John Colsell still be here in spirit still trying to bridge that gap between the living and the dead from the other side?"
Spirit Trigger Experiment
The team came together to share the findings from their initial investigations, before meeting the landlord. Chris was able to tell the team a little more about the history of the pub, including something which backed up what Ian had felt. Chris said, "we found out there had been a hanging here, upstairs on the top floor."
To try to trigger the spirits and encourage them to interact, the team take Chris to the abandoned flat on the top floor. Not long after they got started, Chris felt as if something pushed the back of his leg.
Barri is using an app called Necrophonic, an app that is pre-loaded with partial words, reverse audio, and the phonetic sounds that make up words. 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. The words which are generated have an eerie echoey tone to them, this is because the app applies a reverb effect, which is said to help with real time communication.
Before long the felt they had the voice of a little girl coming through. The team though one of the responses was saying, "help me now". When Barri asked "what are you?" A voice in response seemed to say "demon". This leads Ian to conclude that the apparition of a little girl that Chris has seen here could be a demon.
Barri said, "we're going to get rid of you," and seconds later he fell to the ground. He said, "someone's kicked the backs of my legs, that was both the backs of my legs at the same time."
As darkness falls, Chris locks up and leaves for the night as the team prepare for their night-long investigation. Barri had rigged eight static night vision cameras around the three-storey property. Ian was keen to ramp up the activity to see what the demonic entity residing on the second floor was capable of, so the team started their investigation back in the abandoned flat.
They decided to split up, with Ian in one room, Jayne in another and Barri in the corridor between the two rooms. They once again started to get responses through their ghost hunting app, this time they were using ParaTek, a word generator that works based on the belief that spirits can influence the magnetometer and accelerometer sensors in a mobile phone. Based on variations in these sensors' inputs, the app selects words from a pre-loaded database. After a while, Ian said he could smell burning, but nothing came of this and after the word "searching" came through the app, the team took this as a sign they should search elsewhere.
Moving down to the first floor and the bar manager's flat, the team gathered in the living room. Jayne then decided to try to contact the hooded figure. Having come to the logical conclusion that this figure is a monk, Jayne said "this friar who in 1535 was accused of necromancy, attempting to raise the dead, let's see if he's here."
They started calling out to the spirit of John, but when they asked "we been told you walk across this corridor," a voice through the device spewed out a response that the team thought was saying "it's an imp." As Barri explains, "imps are small elemental creatures often conjured, and can be demonic." With the revelation of the potential for imps in the property, Jayne speculated "I'm wondering if John opened up something here, that's allowed other things to come through."
Towards the end of the investigation Jayne braved the upper floor alone, which proved to be a challenging experience which made her feel very uncomfortable. She was later joined by the others, so Ian could try to channel the spirit of the person who took his life on the top floor in order to get some answers.
The episode was very app heavy, all the evidence obtained was through some kind of ghost hunting app, rather than physical gadgets like REM-Pods or even visual evidence or movements caught on camera. While the apps did seem to produce enough evidence to support the investigators' take on the case, ghost hunting apps aren't generally a very trusted method of communication.
However, they did come into their own in correcting a potential misunderstanding relating to the haunting. When the investigators called out to John specifically they didn't get a direct reply, but later the app provided the name Paul, not John.
This may well have been a misunderstanding of the history relating to the grayfriars of Grantham. It turns out John Colsell isn't actually specifically named anywhere as being accused of necromancy, although he was accused of "using the deceitful art of magic and astronomy". It was actually another friar named Gervase Tyndall who was accused of being involved in necromancy with a group of other unnamed friars.
The team did get responses that confirmed to them that a friar who meddled in dark magic haunted the pub, so it could have been that the team were in contact with Tyndall or one of the friars affiliated with him. It's possible that John was one of the unnamed friars working with Tyndall, but since the name John was ignored during the investigation, it's more likely that it wasn't him haunting the pub.
It turns out that the name Paul was very significant to the investigation, and the team wouldn't have been aware of that name without their apps.
You can watch the whole third season of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' right now on Discovery+, as well as the show's whole back catalogue.
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