Help! My House Is Haunted: The Cage, Essex - Series 1, Episode 12 Review
In the final episode of REALLY's newest ghost hunting show, the team head to St. Osyth in Essex to investigate a small home, which has recently been called Britain's most haunted house by the press.
Throughout the series, Sandy Lakdar, Barri Ghai and Chris Fleming have been travelling the length and breadth of the UK and using the latest ghost hunting gadgets to try to capture evidence of the spooks that are haunting the homes of average families. For the final investigation in this series, they help a single mother of two who's terrified by the ghostly goings on in her house, known as "The Cage".
The house is situated 60 miles from London in the historic village of St. Osyth, in the heart of rural Essex, but one building casts a sinister shadow over the picture-perfect community. It's said that many of the house's past inhabitant have been trouble by mysterious and sometimes violent paranormal activity.
The house earned its nickname due to its historical use as a holding cell for witches in the 16th century, including a local witch by the name of Ursula Kemp. She was imprisoned here before being hanged as a witch in 1582.
The current owner, Vanessa Mitchell, who bought the house in 2004, had her first odd experience on the day she moved in to the house. While unpacking, she saw a dark shadow figure, on another occasion she said she was pushed by an unseen force. She said, "the house is bad, there's something wrong with this house."
Vanessa has called Sandy, Barri and Chris to investigate, but as always, Chris didn't have any knowledge of the location before arriving. He enters the house alone to investigate and immediately gets the feeling that something doesn't want him here.
As Chris walked upstairs he said, "there's a slight pressure change up here with both ears, I feel kind of like when you're on an airplane, which means that we have an actual presence that's effecting the electromagnetic field." I mean what absolute bollocks! Electromagnetism has nothing at all to do with pressure, and even if there was an EM spike in the atmosphere, he's done nothing to rule out a natural or technological cause, he's just jumped straight to the conclusion that its the result of a "presence". This man is not a paranormal investigator.
Back down stairs later, Chris got the feeling that something had been buried underneath the house, then moments later he said he was "physically attacked by an unknown force". He said the sensation felt like he had been stabbed in the side of the head, "I felt it go right through until it was almost in the back of my throat and in my sinus."
Chris, clearly not up on his medical knowledge then asked a member of the team, "if a knife goes right in through here and goes right through the back of the eyes into the brain, would that kill somebody instantly?" Would a knife through the brain kill someone instantly? That's what he's asking, would an actual knife going all the way through a human head kill them instantly? No wonder this guy is a medium and not a surgeon.
With the light fading outside, the team began their all night investigation of The Cage. Barri and the home's owner keep warning that they need to be careful during their investigation and say that the house is dangerous, but the truth is no one has ever been hurt or injured at the house. There are reports of hauntings including people being pushed, but there has been no serious or damaging violent behaviour.
The team began their investigation armed with night vision cameras at the bottom of the stairs where Chris was attacked earlier in the day during his walk through. As soon as they arrived in this part of the building, Chris jumped as he felt something touch his face.
Barri then pulls out his SLS camera, he describes this as "a device that maps anything that manifests outside of the light spectrum visible to the human eye," which is sort of true. It's actually a normal camera that uses a grid of infrared light in order to build a 3D map of its surroundings. The camera's software is designed to look for human-like shapes within this abstract noise. Barri said there was a figure on the screen that was leading them upstairs. Another ghost hunting device called a REM-Pod that Sandy had placed upstairs also started flashing and beeping at the same time, indicating a change in the static electric field around it.
Barri then had a little sit in a tiny cupboard on his own, his logic for doing this was that "we known that ghosts like small dark areas". While alone in the dark, he felt like something had put its hand on him and he jumped out of the cupboard. It seems that his paranormal body armour had failed him.
Later in the investigation, while upstairs in the child's bedroom, Chris felt something move his necklace. The static camera in the room did show some kind of movement on his chest. They also heard several knocking sounds and at one point what sounded like footsteps.
Towards the end of the episode, the team uncover a hidden cellar beneath the dining room floor, which tied in with what Chris said earlier about something being buried. Barri climbs down inside the chamber and at that moment, Chris captures what sort of sounds like a growl on his audio recorder. The noise could a growl, it's not really clear, but Barri describes this as "compelling" evidence of the presence of a demon.
Moments later, Chris was calling out "what is your name, demon?"
The hidden cellar actually looks more like a more recent archeological dig, as the hole in the floor has a modern wooden surround, there were no walls, just mud, and the space wouldn't be big enough to be a room.
After a cleansing ritual involving a Tibetan singing bowl, which Sandy couldn't use properly, some incense and some preyers conducted by Chris, Sandy said that the atmosphere in the house changed, "I'm confident that whatever has been tormenting Vanessa has finally gone."
This episode marked the end of the series of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' and I have to say, I'm pretty glad it's come to an end. I committed to reviewing the show but each week it's just got worse and worse. It's a shame because I really like Barri and Sandy and I know that they are genuine paranormal investigators, but in this show it's all drama. The team make no effort to eliminate normal causes for activity during their investigation and instead jump straight to the conclusion that everything is paranormal.
Then there's Chris, the medium who can talk to spirits, yet always uses a dictaphone to capture EVPs to communicate with them. I'm sure he's a lovely guy in real life, but the over dramatic caricature of himself we see in this show adds nothing to the programme and only detracts from Barri and Sandy's investigation.
I was hoping that this final episode would leave me wanting more, I was quite excited about the location as it is nothing more than a normal family home. In fact it's the only property the team have investigated during the series that actually fits the show's premise of "my house is haunted". However, I didn't really learn much, if anything about the house's past or its current hauntings.
You can watch 'Help! My House Is Haunted' on the REALLY channel, which broadcasts in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the UKTV family of channels. You can watch REALLY on Freeview (17), Sky (142), Virgin Media (129) and Freesat (160), plus YouView, BT TV and TalkTalk TV.
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