Help! My House Is Haunted: 'Taking The Biscuit' - Series 3, Episode 7 Review
As the third series of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' continues, Barri Ghai, Jayne Harris and Ian Lawman have been called in to investigate reports of a child spirit who throws stones by the owners of a home in County Durham.
Ryedale House in Hartlepool is a vast 20-room property in Hartlepool, built in 1885 for William Foxton, a wealthy biscuit manufacturer. Various family members lived there, until his youngest son died in the house in 1957.
The 19th century mansion is now home to Georgina Holmes and Barry Fishburne. Georgina, who has lived at the sea-front property for more than 17 years said, "since I've lived here there's been televisions switched on in the middle of the night without them being plugged in, we've had different experiences with things moving, stones being thrown in the basement - apparently a little boy." Shadow figures have also been seen in the property, as well as full apparitions. Georgina's partner Barry has also had his own terrifying experiences. He said, "I woke up with a feeling someone was overpowering me, looking over me in bed. I woke up with such a fright, it was a lady."
With activity in the property seemingly becoming more frequent, Georgina and Barry have called in the team to help identify the cause of the haunting and move the paranormal entities on.
Ian, the show's psychic medium, is kept in the dark about the location. The only information he's given is the GPS coordinates to tap into his sat nav to get him there. But despite being clueless about the case, before he even arrived he said, "I feel there's a lot of history to this property, so it's going to be quite exciting. And I almost feel the house is famous for something. I feel it's a family connection, so the family must be well known in this area."
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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 Initial Walk Around
As always, Ian was the first to arrive at the location. As he stepped inside the property he said, "when I was driving here I was very aware of somebody either hanging themselves, or they were throttled."
Sitting on a bed upstairs, Ian said "I am very aware of someone in what appears to be a nightgown." Ian said that he was very conscious of the spirit moving from one room to another, and then standing in the bedroom's doorway before walking to the bed. He said, "it's almost as if they're wanting to push down." He clarified that he felt the female energy would want to push down on a person in the bed, which links in with the witness statement given by Barry, the home's owner.
On the basement floor, which is now a self-contained flat, Ian said he was aware of "an energy in here, like a poltergeist or something, that's certainly throwing things or moving objects." He added, "all the time I'm walking down in this basement, somebody is trying to get my attention."
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Jayne & Barri Research The House
To try to find out more about the history of the property, Jayne went to the nearby Spion Kop Cemetery to meet local historian, Jo Banks. The cemetery is where William Foxton's youngest son, John is buried after taking his own life in the house. This of course ties in with what Ian said at the house.
Jayne asks Jo about Parthenia Foxton, John's sister. According to the historian there are no photographs or records relating to Parthenia at all. Despite there being seemingly no evidence that Parthenia actually existed, Jayne asks "there is a lady in spirit apparently seen upstairs in the house, in the bedroom. What's the likelihood you think that this may be her?" Jo agreed it was a strong possibility.
Meanwhile, Barry met with Elizabeth, whose sister-in-law lived in the mansion in the 1960s. She had an unsettling experience while babysitting. She told Barry, "all of a sudden I could hear creaking, the next thing I saw was the door open slightly, and then there was the figure of a little old man walking towards me." She added, "I was absolutely terrified, and I've never felt like that in my life before."
Barri asked what we're all thinking, "how do you know it was a ghost?" And Elizabeth said it was because of his eyes, which she described as "just black, the same as his mouth. That was just black, you couldn't see any teeth."
Barri also spoke to Georgina's daughter, Genetta who lives in the basement flat with her husband, Mark. Mark said, "I've had stones thrown at me." The stones were being thrown from a small water ornament. Genetta says that they've been told the spirit is called Daniel.
Spirit Trigger Experiment
After coming together to share their initial findings, the team gather with Georgina and Barry and ask them to help with a paranormal experiment where they planned to use an item familiar to the resident spooks in order to encourage them to communicate. Jayne suggests using a Pilot biscuit, the crunchy treat that made the original residents of the home their fortune.
Barri is using a spirit box, a device that rapidly scans through the radio spectrum, as it does the sounds of white noise and fleeting snippets of radio broadcasts can be heard. It's believed that spirits are able to change or influence these bursts of audio in order to form sounds, words or even sentences.
Jayne is using ParaTek, a ghost hunting app that can generate words 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. During the experiment, the name "Jen" came through. Georgina explains that her family call her Jen.
After Georgina and Barry lock up and leave for the night, the team prepare for their investigation. Barri had rigged eight night vision cameras throughout the huge eight-bedroom property. They started their night-long investigation in the basement flat. As the team walked down the stairs into the basement the mobile on the baby's cot suddenly started playing music on its own.
They set up some cat toys in the living room, this plastic balls light up and flash if they are moved. The team hope that the spirit of the young boy, who they believe is called Daniel, might be tempted to play with them.
They are also using EchoVox, an app which is pre-loaded with the 44 phonetic sounds that make up all English words. The app randomly spews out these phonemes 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.
As well as this they have a Mel Meter set up. The Mel is a type of paranormal multi-tool that has a REM-Pod built in. A REM-Pod is a gadget that radiates its own electrostatic field, if anything gets close and interferes with this field, the device alerts the investigator with an audible tone and lights.
It didn't take long for something to trigger the REM-Pod, despite no one being close to it. A noise suddenly burst through the EchoVox, which the team thought was saying "John". Moments later one of the cat balls started flashing, seemingly on demand. Could this activity be being caused by the child spirit or John Foxton?
After a while Ian said, "we've had some good responses here haven't we, I think, even though we've not come to any conclusion." So, the team decide to go on the hunt of the female spirit that's said to haunt the bedroom.
Since Georgina and Barry have reported that their television regularly turns on, even when it's not plugged in, Barri has brought an old TV with him. The team start with the set plugged in and switched on to see if it will turn off. This also gives the team the ability to use the white noise generated by the untuned television as a channel of communication, but before they even got started a bag fell from where ever it was being stored elsewhere in the room. The incident gave all of the team quite a fright.
As the team began to call out to the mysterious Parthenia to try to understand whether it could be her spirit haunting the room, Barri suddenly saw a full-bodied apparition walk behind Jayne. Moments later as they continued to call out Jayne and Ian heard a female voice.
Then Barri saw something that terrified him. A head came around a doorway and looked at him. Incredibly the moment is caught on camera, something can clearly be seen moving and it did look eerily like a head. Summing up what had happened to him over the last few minutes, Barri said, "I first saw an absolutely solid human shadow, like one of our shadows, walk past the corner of the kitchen." He also said, "someone just popped their head round the corner and looked at me."
The episode ended with the team attempting to reunite the spirit of John Foxton with his sister, Parthenia.
The episode was one of the strongest in the new series, with the incredible standout moment being the incident that involved a creepy head-like shape appearing around the corner of a doorframe. It's a shame the area outside this door wasn't covered by one of the static cameras.
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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