10 Things We Learnt From Series 2 Of Help! My House Is Haunted
The second series of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' saw three paranormal experts travel the UK tackle 12 new cases at a new selection of haunted locations. They aim to help families living in haunted homes, using the the latest technology to try to capture never before seen proof of the paranormal.
The team consists of Chris Fleming - a world renowned psychic who can see and talk to spirits directly, Jayne Harris - a self-styled "ghostorian", and Barri Ghai - the show's tech expert. The show is created by Zak Bagans, star of the popular US paranormal show, 'Ghost Adventures'.
After a successful first-series run, the show returned to the Really channel in November for a new 12-part series. Along the way they introduced us to a few paranormal phenomenon and concepts, and now the series has come to an end, we're taking a look back at some of those memorable moments.
In the first episode of the series, the team head to Hertford to investigate reports of a haunting at the Corn Exchange, a popular music venue with a dark past.
While the team were setting up their kit, Chris became unstable and fell backwards. He then started wheezing and speaking in a strange voice while writhing on the floor. Luckily, this didn't last long and a few moments later Chris snapped back to reality and came around from this unexpected experience, but he needed to take a break from the investigation and stepped outside.
Barri told us that Chris had become the victim of a 'walk-in'. It's sometimes referred to as a temporary spirit walk-in or step-in. This normally happens when the investigator gives any spirits present permission to use their energy and enter into their body.
The spirit will normally use this opportunity to share their emotions or feelings with the investigator so that they can experience what the spirit went through in their final moments before death. While in this state, investigators have reported feeling totally different, sometimes not recognising the people around them who should be familiar to them. After the incident they may have missing memories and feel very weak and drained as walk-ins can be quite a shock to the body.
After the event, Chris said "it was our first case and episode for season two. I was on no sleep for over two days having just arrived from the States. I had jet leg and having difficulty with the time change. I was in a weakened numb state. Somewhat tired mentally and physically. This left me open to attack."
2. Animal Spirits
The team's next stop was Stable Cottage in Buntingford, where one of the spooks they encountered was the spirit of a dog. Chris first picked up on a canine energy during his initial walk around the property. Holding a digital audio recorder in one hand, Chris came out with one of the best lines of the series, "is there a dog spirit in this house? If there is, please bark or growl, so I know you're here."
Later with the residents of the house, Chris captured what sounded like a dog's bark on a recording, the residents recognised it instantly as their former pet.
Reports of ghosts of animals aren't as rare as you might think, especially when it comes to pets. Tales of animal spirits include horses seen galloping across battlefields, Carew Castle in Wales is said to be haunted by the laughing ghost of a murdered pet monkey, and even the Tower of London is haunted by the ghost of a bear. Across England apparitions of ghostly figures riding horses are quite common.
Episode three took the team to the Essex countryside, where they tried to get to the bottom of a haunting at Little Easton Manor. At one point in the investigation, Jayne put some marbles down on the floor. Barri called out, "if you can move one of those marbles for us we would be forever grateful." Chris heard a direct response that said, "I can't".
In the paranormal field, this is known as a DVP or Direct Voice Phenomenon. These are disembodied voices that are heard during paranormal investigations, séances or at a haunted location, which are spoken directly to the investigator or witness. A DVP is heard without the use of any audio or electrical equipment, they are heard live, in real time with nothing more than the human ear.
Direct voice phenomenon are very rare, almost as rare as full bodied apparitions, but it's not uncommon for people to report hearing laughing, cries or even menacing voices shouting "get out" while at an allegedly haunted property.
Later in the series the team spent the night at Uncle Tom's Cabin, a quaint rural pub in Somerset. The team started their investigation in the pub's cellar. Chris was using his audio recorder and called out "who are what is down here?" When he played the recording back a very clear voice said "get out of here".
Chris said he had a pretty good idea what this presence was, he called out "are there any imps in this building?" This time when he reviewed the recording, a voice seemed to be saying "imps". This wasn't the only time in the series that the team think they encountered imps.
These non-human entities are usually described as being mischievous, but less powerful than other supernatural entities such as human spirits or demons.
Perhaps the most famous story of imps in the UK comes from the city of Lincoln. The tale, which dates back to the 14th century, tells of the Devil himself visiting the town upon the completion of the cathedral. He's said to have brought two imps with him who wreaked havoc in the building.
Barri, Chris and Jayne tackled an interesting case in Morchard Bishop, Devon. The owners of the Old Cottage said they were being tormented by strange goings on in their home. As the team got deeper into the investigation, it transpired that they might be dealing with an ancient form of elemental spirit, pixies.
Later in the episode, Barri was using an SLS camera, a device that can map and record anomalies that appear outside of the visible spectrum. If it detects an anomaly it displays it on its screen in the form of a stickman - and one such figure appeared, it looked smaller than a human. The team thought this could have been a pixie. Then Chris caught a glimpse of a pixie with his own eyes in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
The team conclude that the pixies in the house have been angered after the residents cut a tree in the garden down. Barri said, "to me this seems pretty conclusive, planting new trees will placate the elementals and restore nature's balance.
Pixies are a mythical creature found in folklore, but some paranormal investigators think their myth is based on one specific type of elemental spirit. Barri told us in the episode that elementals are part of folklore and ancient believe systems, he said they are "the building blocks of nature - earth, water, air and fire".
Pixies are a big part of Devon's folklore. In one town in East Devon, locals celebrate Pixie Day every summer. The day commemorates the legend of pixies being banished from the town to local caves known as the "Pixie's Parlour".
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We've covered the little guys, imps and pixies, but in episode eight we met the big boys - demons. The team encountered one demon in particular at a haunted house in Nuneaton.
The team started to suspect they could be dealing with a demon in the normal, two-bedroom, semi-detached house when they found a cross that had been on the wall had fallen from its hanging, landing at the bottom of the stairs. Chris said, "demonic entities will do that as a form of intimidation".
Later the words "demon" and "zepar" are captured as an EVP in an audio recording. They discovered this was in reference to a demon called Zepar. According to Barri, "Zepar is not an easy demon to work with for the inexperienced. He has been known to cause some issues for occultists."
Many different traditions and cultures have varying beliefs of what a demon fundamentally is, but the best way to describe a demon is simply as a non-human malevolent entity. Some traditions go as far as to say that demons may not even be from our plain of existence, instead believing them to be entities that have survived from a former universe, or have found a way to cross over from a parallel universe. Wherever it is they come from, demonologists tend to call it the "Infernal Realm".
Towards the end of the series, Barri, Chris and Jayne investigate a modest house in Norfolk dubbed the "Tivetshall Murder House". At one point in the investigation Jayne goes alone into the shed, the part of the house the residents fear the most.
She decided to try an experiment using a fog machine, the type you'd see a mobile DJ use. Jayne said that the experiment is based around the art of hydromancy, which was originally a type of divination that allowed shapes to be seen in water.
In this case Jayne used water vapour, and hoped that any spirits at the property might be able to use the smoke to communicate and allow her to capture them with her camera. Jayne showed the photos to the residents at the end of the episode, one of which looked like there was a figure made of smoke.
The Help! My House Is Haunted team often rely heavily on EVPs in their investigations, but in their case 'The Gedling House Of Cricket' they captured some of the best examples in the series. EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomenon, is the method of spirit communication that involves capturing the sound of spirit voices in audio recordings, usually using a digital audio recorder.
During the investigation they used a spirit box, a device that rapidly scans through FM and AM radio frequencies producing bursts of white noise and random flashes of radio transmissions. The theory behind this is that spirits can create real-time EVPs by manipulating these sounds.
At one point Jayne asked, "where did you kill yourself?" A voice through the device said "upstairs... in... kids... bed... room". Later Barri asked "who found your body?" The reply seemed to say "Gertrude," which ties in with the house's history. These were some of the clearest captures of spirit voices in the whole series.
In the penultimate investigation of the series, the team help a young couple who feel they are being haunted in their home in Nottingham. The team's psychic medium, Chris, always insists on being kept in the dark about the location, but while the team were travelling to the property he became aware of the word "gateway" and the phrase "I unlocked the gate".
Chris had a hunch that this could relate to the practice of communicating with sprits, which some say could open a portal. In the paranormal world a portal is believed to be a gateway to another plane of existence. It links the physical world we live in to the plane of existence that ghosts and demons inhabit - the spirit world.
Later in the episode it seemed that Chris' hunch might be correct when it was revealed that the residents are amateur ghost hunters themselves and have tried various methods to communicate with spirits in the house. This theory was strengthened when the team captured an EVP that said "a gate" in the living room.
Upstairs Barri spotted something odd while using his SLS camera. There appeared to be a figure stood right in front of him on the stairs to the attic, as if blocking his path. Seconds later the twitching figure on the screen seemed to warp and roll up into an abstract ball and then vanish. Chris excitedly shouted "dude, it went through a portal!"
Barri said, "this is amazing evidence and seems to confirm we're dealing with portals or gateways."
10. The Roeites
In the final episode of the series, the team investigate reports of paranormal activity in a rural pub in Nottinghamshire, but they soon realise that the strange phenomena aren't limited to the pud and extend their investigation to the whole village of Calverton.
As well as the tales of witchcraft in Foxwood, one of the most interesting things about the village is a religious society that formed in the village and practiced there in secret for many years. The team believe its founder, John Roe, could be one of the spirits haunting the area.
Roe founded his society, The Roeites, in 1780 as an offshoot of the Quakers movement. The group had strict beliefs on arranged marriages within the sect and buried its members in the grounds of their chapel in unconsecrated ground. After his death in 1823 at the age of 91, the Roeites slowly disbanded.
Today there is little sign of the secret society left. Roe's chapel no longer exists and the headstones of his followers' graves are now buried beneath a row of modern houses. Jayne thinks this could explain some of the paranormal activity in the village.
This series the production quality has levelled-up with an exciting new opening sequence, featuring dramatic narration by Ian Shaw. The opening segment and the introduction to the location is slick and snappy, making it an engaging start to each episode that is similar in style to Unexplained: Caught On Camera - a show that aired on Really last year and is produce by the same production team.
Jayne fitted into the show like she should have always been there, and the three of them worked really well together, each bring very own area of expertise within their more defined roles. Chris mainly focussed on the energy of the building, Barri investigating the paranormal claims, and Jayne looked into the building's history.
As the series came to an end and the case files were closed on 12 more haunted locations, the team hopes that the residence will no longer be pestered by things that go bump in the night. As for those watching at home, the show generally received positive reviews and there's already cries for Help! My House Is Haunted to return for a third series.
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