Help! My House Is Haunted: 'Devil In Disguise' - Series 4, Episode 1 Review

Trending
By Steve Higgins
September 23, 2022 2:00 PM ‐ TelevisionParanormalLong Reads
Help! My House Is Haunted: Devil In Disguise
Photo: © Discovery+

'Help! My House Is Haunted' returned to Discovery+ for its fourth series. The much-loved British ghost hunting show sees a team of experts travel the length and breadth of the country trying to assist those experiencing paranormal activity in their homes.

The team consists of ordained exorcist Ian Lawman, paranormal historian Jayne Harris, and technical expert Barri Ghai. Together they investigate haunted homes in an attempt to gather evidence, communicate with spirits and return these places to the hands of the living.

In the season's first episode entitled 'Devil In Disguise', the team head to a home plagued by a poltergeist in Peterborough, where its owner, Kevin, has been pushed to his limits.

Peterborough, a city that is surprisingly older than Jayne realised. She tells us there's been a settlement here since before the bronze age, but the home they're heading for is much newer - a 1970s family home owned by Kevin and Lisa for the past four years.

The paranormal activity at the seemingly ordinary home started out as knocks and bangs, but Kevin said "this year in January, that seemed to be when the activity picked up." Since then furniture has been moved around, voices have been heard and Kevin even reports being pulled out of a room by his leg, an incident that left him with three scratches. Just weeks later Kevin felt like something tried to push him down the stairs and found three more scratch marks across his back.

In the episode a tearful Kevin says "I'd like the team to come and tell me what it is, try to control it, or get rid of it, because emotionally I'm just at the end of my tether."

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.

Ian's Psychic Sweep

Help! My House Is Haunted: Devil In Disguise
Photo: © Discovery+

As the show's resident psychic medium, Ian know nothing about the case in advance, but while en route to the haunted home he said he was feeling shaky, adding "I've got kind of vibrations going through my body, which indicates not a good sign if I'm honest with you." He puts this feeling down to "inner psychic nerves," admitting "I feel quite uncomfortable about the location today."

Upon arriving at the property, Ian said "it doesn't look haunted, does it? It just looks nice." But his opinion soon changed when he entered the property alone to conduct his initial psychic sweep. Ian is straight away drawn towards the kitchen where he tells us, "things have definitely happened in this kitchen, I'm quite confident in saying there's poltergeist activity in this property."

Later Ian found a child's toy at the foot of the stairs, which he was sure hadn't been there as he passed when entering the property. He said, "this could mean one of two things. It could mean that they're just letting me know they're here, but it could also be a sign for help. I'm being left a message."

Upstairs, Ian is drawn to the attic. He says, "any kind of energies or anything negative try and hide in corners where they can't be seen." He sits under the loft hatch and soon hears a voice aloud. In the master bedroom Ian saw what he described as a "shadow form" move off of the bed as he entered.

Advertisement ‐ Content Continues Below.

Jayne Learns About Peterborough's Past

Help! My House Is Haunted: Devil In Disguise
Photo: © Discovery+

To find out more about the local area, Jayne headed to a station along the nearby Nene Valley Railway to meet historian, Neil Storey. Due to the proximity of the railway, Neil tells Jayne, "maybe what you have there is the lost spirit of a railway man, that just wants to find his way home." According to Neil, there's one infamous story that might support this that relates to a man named William Wilson who was killed in an accident on the shunting yard in 1872.

Jayne isn't convinced that this story relates to the sinister activity reported in the house, but Neil also tells Jayne about old newspaper reports that related to a "demonic hunt" in the area.

Meanwhile, Barri was with Kevin's wife, Lisa, who told him they'd experienced footsteps, bangs on walls, an unsettling male voice. She confessed, "my biggest fear is that you can't get rid of it and we've got to live with whatever's going on for ever more."

Spirit Trigger Experiment

Help! My House Is Haunted: Devil In Disguise
Photo: © Discovery+

The team came together to share the findings from their initial investigations, before meeting with Kevin and Lisa. They invite the couple to take part in a spirit trigger experiment with them. They hope that Kevin's familiar presence might encourage any spirits present to interact.

The team are 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. They're also using a digital audio recorder in an attempt to capture evidence of ghosts in the form of recordings known as EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomena.

Jayne began by calling out to the spirits, but initially failed to get a response until she gestured at Kevin and asked "can you tell me who this is? Who am I sitting opposite?" A sound could be heard through the device seemingly in response, which the team believed was saying "Kevin". Jayne them gave Kevin the device and almost straight away another sound was heard which was interpreted as "demon".

Moments later, Kevin reported that he was feeling angry, which he said was out of character for him. To try to understand this further, Barri and Jayne take Kevin up to the bedroom that he reported being dragged out of. The team are using a specialist ghost hunting app on a tablet. Barri was also armed with an SLS camera. This is a special type of camera that uses 3D mapping technology to detect human shapes and highlights them on its screen in the form of a stick figure.

Before long Barri's camera mapped out a figure floating around in front of Kevin. This doesn't come as a surprise to Kevin who confesses, "this would be my fault as I offered myself to hurt me and not my family." Apparently Kevin took this protective measure when the activity started to ramp up at the house.

After saying, "I think it's here," Kevin's demeanour changed and he became very angry and aggressive, much of which was aimed at Barri. Before long he grabbed Barri and said, "it just feels like I just want to push you out the room because I've really had enough." The team backed off, leaving Kevin's wife to console him as he cried, "why are you doing it to me?"

Ian, an expert on all things dark, said that while this is distressing to watch, "the only way to remove Kevin's demonic attachment is to let it take him over." After complaining about a head ache, Ian ran in to try to drive the entity away. He called out, "we asked of you to leave Kevin, to leave this vessel alone and stand back." He demanded one last time, "stand back," and Kevin seemed to return to his normal self.

Lockdown

Help! My House Is Haunted: Devil In Disguise

Although Kevin had been freed of the entity, Ian felt that it was now roaming the house. Luckily, the team still have their full night-long investigation to find out. With the house rigged with static cameras, the homeowners left and the team were locked down inside.

They begin in the kitchen where they once again attempt to capture EVPs, but during their session something incredible happens. A cupboard seemingly opens on its own and the moment is clearly caught on camera. Moments later it happened again, at the same moment the table seems to move. This is fantastic evidence and worthy of more investigation, but the team soon move upstairs after hearing what they believed to be a human spirit saying "help me" in their recordings.

The team spread out across the rooms upstairs, placing a REM-Pod in the master room, the one room they left empty. This device radiates its own electrostatic field and if anything enters this field, the device will alert them by emitting a beeping sound. It didn't take long for the REM-Pod to sound despite there being no one in the room, so the team moved into that room, where Ian told his teammates that he feels there's an intelligent spirit in the house, as well as the darker entity. This leads Jayne to suggest calling out for William, the railway worker who was killed nearby. The team agree and straight away seem to hear the phrase "help me" through a ghost hunting app running on a tablet Jayne is holding.

Moments later the production crew radio through to tell the team they lost power in the nerve centre. Ian points out that demons like energy, so it's curious that a demonic entity should cut the flow of energy to the only part of the building that was powered up. All other rooms were in darkness and powered down for the investigation.

The team didn't have time to debate this as seconds later flies appeared in the room with them. Barri said, "fly infestations are often an indication that demonic entities are present." With the power out, Barri went to check on the camera he'd placed in the kitchen, where he and some crew members experienced more incredible activity.

The team regrouped in the living room, where they were once again using an SLS camera and a ghost hunting app called Spiritus Ghost Box. The camera soon showed a large stick figure stood in a doorway. They began to ask questions and once again received what they believed to be requests for help. They then heard another voice, Jayne picked up on the fact that this voice sounded backwards. She said, "some so-called Satanic worshippers will recite backwards, it's almost a mockery of the bible." This leads the team to believe they've made contact with the demon.

The audio was later reverse and seemed to be saying "the queen of death," other parts of the backwards audio were harder to decipher, although the words "confusion" and "thinking" were easily picked out.

After a voice said "ceiling," Barri headed upstairs to the attic hatch. While poking his head through the hatch from the top of a step ladder he felt as if something tapped on the ladder. Seconds later a piece of roof tile fell from above him, narrowly missing Barri and falling through the hatch on to the floor below.

One final piece of evidence obtained through the team's apps told them the name of the demon terrorising the family. This information enabled Ian and Jayne to conduct a full cleansing ritual and move the demon on.

Conclusion

It's always great to see the return of Ian, Jayne and Barri. 'Help! My House Is Haunted' is by far the most-loved British paranormal show on television, and this first episode provided a very promising start of the fourth series.

What was quite striking in this episode was Kevin's reaction to the haunting at the start, he was clearly very distressed by the situation he had been put into. I'm sure that the production company had done their due diligence before filming, but as a viewer who isn't privy to this background work and research all we see is Kevin quite quickly being encouraged to enter into quite an aggressive and potentially dangerous state.

What makes this worse as a viewer is that we're not shown any good reason beforehand why they should be exposing Kevin to this risk. We haven't seen the team encounter any paranormal activity at this point in the episode, other than two words through a Spirit Box. So as far as we can tell as viewers they have no reason to assume this is a valid haunting yet, that hasn't been confirmed.

This work probably did go on behind the scenes as part of the production team's research, but portraying such a deep dive into something so potentially psychologically damaging without showing the journey of that due diligence and explaining their duty of care, feels a little unethical and worst of all, a very bad example to set amateur teams. I think this is why it's so important that shows like this carry the disclaimer "for entertainment purposes only" to lessen the chances that this is taken as an educational guide that copycats might attempt to recreate without any duty of care or due diligence.

I personally don't think that the team have done anything wrong, but I just worry that the vast majority of viewers won't be aware of the work that goes on before hand to keep the homeowners safe.

Throughout the investigation the team got several words through their ghost hunting tools that seemed to relate to the Devil and even a demonic sounding growl. This provided a strong narrative for the episode and really helped the investigators form a picture of what was going on in the house.

Some of the best evidence captured in the episode happened in the kitchen, where the cupboard doors were seen opening three times. Later some objects sat on a counter fell into the kitchen sink, which was also a great capture. Unfortunately it was only caught on one camera from a view that makes it look like it could have been knocked over by one of the crew, but I think this is down to the angle and actually there was quite a bit of separation between the sink and the crew member.

The falling roof tile was also a very interesting moment. Of course, it's hard to say for sure whether this is genuine paranormal activity or not. It could be that there are structural issues with the house which could explain the falling tile and the bangs the family hear. However, you do have to weigh up the chances of this particular piece of tile falling just moment after Barri opened the attic, was it thrown by a supernatural entity?

You can watch the first episode of the fourth season of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' right now on Discovery+, with a new episode dropping next Friday.

More From 'Help! My House Is Haunted' View All

Tags:

Daily Horoscopes

Libra

It may seem to you that absolutely nothing you can do would help certain people understand or respect you. So why not just go ahead and be yourself? Try to avoid getting all wound up about what other people are... Read More