The 'Help! My House Is Haunted' Team Investigate Phantom Handprints In Bristol Home
The 'Help! My House Is Haunted' team have been called to Bristol to help an anxious homeowner besieged by a spirit whose identity she knows.
The case unfolds in the fourth episode of the current series, entitled 'Law & Disorder'. The episode promises to be one of the most incredible hauntings the team have ever witnessed, as they try to get to the bottom of the paranormal
activity at a seemingly ordinary semi-detached home, which is actually situated just five miles from Higgypop HQ.
Ian Lawman, Jayne Harris and Barri Ghai head to the city in the South West of England in torrential rain to help Emma, who has lived in the house with her son for the last eight years. Speaking in the episode, Emma says that the most frequently occurring activity in the home is disembodied voices, unexplained smells and the sound of children running. She even said, "when my son was little, there was a child looking over the cot." Emma describes this scruffy-haired child as appearing semi-transparent.
Emma went on to describe a very strange phenomenon she experiences in the house, the spontaneous appearance of handprints. Emma says, "they're a lot bigger than mine, some we have wiped off and they disappear and come straight back." Emma had the prints dusted, which revealed a name, John T Spring. She found out that this man was the father of her next door neighbour and that he had died in her house.
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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.
Ian's Psychic Sweep
Ian is the show's psychic
medium and is told nothing about the case in advance, but while driving in the direction of the house on a wet motorway near Bristol, Ian started to receive psychic messages about the property. Normally the information he picks up on en route is quite insightful, but this time he just says he feels relaxed, and told his teammates, "we could be going into a location that's quite pleasant, quite calm."
As always, Ian was the first member of the team to enter what he described as a "normal family home" for a solo walk around. It made a refreshing change for Ian to walk in and say that the property felt calm, rather than dark or negative like in most episodes of 'Help!'. He said, "whatever's here, I just feel they're quite comfortable, but I do feel it is a gentleman that wants to talk to us." Ian picked up on the man having headaches and missing his family.
Barri went to meet Emma's next door neighbour, Sally, who grew up in Emma's house. In fact, Sally's dad died in the house of a brain tumour in 2003. This of course ties in with what Ian had said. She thinks the paranormal activity could be caused by her dad, who was a former police man, which is why his fingerprints were on record and could be identified.
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Spirit Trigger Experiment
The team came together to share the findings from their initial investigations with Emma, and invited her as well as her neighbour to take part in the first part of their investigation, which they call spirit triggers. They hope that Sally will produce a strong reaction from her dad.
They begin in the dining room, the room where Sally's dad died. They are using an app called EchoVox. Jayne tells us this app has a bank of tens of thousands of phonetics, the sounds that make up words. However there are actually only 44 phonemes that make up the English language, and only around 800 phonemes when you include all the world's languages.
Jayne continues, "the idea is that applications like this will put those phonetics together," of course the combination of these phonemes would give tens of thousands, if not millions of possible results in the form of words and sentences. It's believed the spirits can manipulate the app in order to form these messages.
They soon hear a string of sounds, which they interpreted to be saying the name John, followed by "this is my house." The voice also confirmed there were two child spirits in the house and gave the name Edward, which Jayne potentially linked to a little boy of the same name who died on the road outside the house.
It's a really strong start, they seem to have made contact with the exact spirit they expected to and were able to confirm his name. With the spirit's daughter present this seemed like a great time to continue asking questions and get some closure, but Jayne told us "despite making contact with John, we need to move on" and Sally is taken upstairs by Barri and Ian to conduct a fruitless experiment, while Jayne and Emma watch on from their nerve centre.
After Emma and Sally left the property, the team were left alone for the night to conduct their investigation. They started in Emma's son's bedroom where they tried to learn more about the child spirits that roam the house. They were using an Alice Box, a device that spews out random words and sentences from a pre-loaded library. The idea is that spirits can affect the random nature of the app and use it to communicate. They got some very relevant responses including "crime," "men" and "please help," which they thought might relate to the second child spirit, a little boy who vanished from a house two doors down the road.
Jayne then spent some time alone in the house and captured what Barri described as a "grade A EVP
." Jayne was using a digital audio recorder to attempt to capture spirit voices, known as Electronic Voice Phenomenon. She captured a sound which the investigators believed was a spirit communicating its name, "Edward."
The next day, Emma and Sally were invited back into the house with the team for the final step of the investigation, which involved helping the spirits move on.
It was really nice that this was a calmer, nicer and happier haunting, a really refreshing break from the "unprecedented terrifying paranormal activity" and the homeowners "too terrified to sleep" that we encounter in most episodes of the show. It was also unusual that the team knew the identity of the spirit in advance. After 49 episodes it made for a nice change to have a break from the show's regular rigid format, after all, no two hauntings
are the same.
The evidence Barri, Jayne and Ian obtained in the form of EVPs, words and phrases through ghost hunting gadgets, and the stick figures caught on the SLS camera were also seemingly very relevant and fitting to the investigation.
The most impressive piece of evidence in this episode was what seemed to be the spontaneous appearance of a handprint on the kitchen window, but compared to some of the less tangible evidence obtained through various apps and gadgets, the team didn't seem too impressed by the handprint. None of the three investigators seemed particularly amazed by this strange happening and no attempts were made to understand its nature, at least we weren't shown that. Did it have a smell? A taste? Could it be wiped away? They didn't even address the obvious question of whether the handprint was inside or outside.
The narrative around John, his handprints and his responses through the gadgets were very impressive, but Emma has also reported children running and had seen the apparition of a young child in the house. This side of the haunting was not so well represented.
For example, the little boy the team were hunting down who went missing from a few doors down the road. The team claimed that this boy was never found, but as you can see from the above, a quick Google search reveals the boy was found so he's pretty unlikely to be haunting a random house further along his childhood street.
You can watch the full fourth season of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' so far right now on Discovery+, with a new episode dropping next Friday.
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