In the ninth episode of REALLY's newest ghost hunting show, the team head to West Sussex where they lock down an 18th century pub with a sinister history.
Throughout the series, Sandy, Barri and Chris 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. This week's average family home is The Dolphin in the costal town of Littlehampton.
A terrified pub owner, haunted by a vengeful spirit has called Sandy Lakdar, Barri Ghai and Chris Fleming to investigate the strange goings on. The Dolphin is situated in the small seaside town on the West Sussex coast. The pub's current owner, Ellie Boiling fell in love with the building after working there as a part-time chef in 1989, when the lease became available she snapped it up.
Ellie has reported a whole array of paranormal activity, including loud unexplained bangs and disembodied laughter. One of her guests staying in room two once asked to be moved late at night after witnessing someone walk through his closed door. Ellie moved the terrified guests up to room six, but in the morning found they had fled in the night.
There's also the ghost of a little girl who's been nicknamed Dolly, who's said to take a liking to ladies with red hair, but there's one other spirit she's afraid off, who is believed to be called William.
As always, the show's psychic, Chris didn't know anything about the property prior to his arrival. The three paranormal investigators entered the pub. Sandy met the owner in the bar for a chat about some of the odd happenings here, but during the conversation she had a strange experience of her own. Sandy experienced a sudden odd sensation like she was losing her hearing. She described it as feeling like she was wearing headphones.
Ellie then showed Sandy some CCTV footage, which she claimed showed an imp moving in the pub. The strange smokey shape moved past an unaware customer in the bar. Ellie said, "I need someone from your crew to speak to him, he doesn't listen to me. He wants my job basically, he wants to be in control of this Dolphin."
Meanwhile, Chris went straight down to explore the eerie cellar on his own, where he picked up on an unknown presence. Chris then picked up on a former spirit of the pub in the bar area, his psychic powers told him that this guy used to drink a lot. On the top floor, Chris picked up on a dark entity, he felt like the presence was hiding somewhere in the dark.
Sat in a creepy room with dolls, which has clearly been laid out for ghost hunters, Chris took out his audio recorder in an attempt to catch spirit voice. He spoke to the spirits, asking them if there was a negative spirit in the building. When he played back the recording he said he could hear the words, "negative ghost." I have to be honest, I couldn't hear it, it was just noise to me.
While all this was going on, Barri was at a local graveyard with historian, Mark Green. The two were stood in front of the grave of a young girl called Aida Parish, who once lived in the pub as a girl. It's said that during a diphtheria the children were put down in the cellar when they were ill to keep them cool, but Aida refused to go down to the creepy cellar and instead stayed in the nursery where she died.
The grave had the nickname "Dolly" etched into the stone. Weirdly, a close up of the stone showed what looked like "Mr & Mrs Parish," so I'm not too sure how she died as a child and was also married. It might have just been that the old headstone was hard to read.
With the light fading outside, the have from dusk until dawn to get to the bottom of the pub's hauntings, while locked down inside the building. As the team prepare for their investigation, they places static cameras around the building. While crew member Andy was installing a camera in room seven, a light behind him started flashing. Unbelievably, we didn't get to see any single member of the team go into the room to check if the bulb was screwed in properly or not. I don't know of any other paranormal show on television that makes such little effort to debunk their findings.
In fact the 'Help! My House Is Haunted' team have made absolutely no attempt to validate or debunk anything at any of the locations they've been to so far this series. If they don't attempt to rule out the rational, how can we trust that what we're seeing is paranormal?
The team start their investigation in the cellar, now with the lights turned off and filming with night vision cameras. Barri then said he felt something like cobwebs on his face after walking through a doorway. Chris said it couldn't be, "there aren't any cobwebs here." That's because Barri just walked through them!
But, I wouldn't want to say Chris doesn't know what he's talking about. He added, "you're feeling the residual static of the spirit that's effecting you some how." Ahhh, residual static that's effecting him some how... so not a cobweb then.
Other than the cobweb incident, we weren't shown what the team did in the cellar, and before long they were headed back upstairs to the bar. Here they used a spirit box, a device that scans through radio frequencies and is said to give ghosts the chance to speak through the white noise.
Chris started to call out, "spirits the occupy this bar, come forward now. Say hello." They heard a few fleeting snatches of radio noise, the first of which they thought said "hello." The alleged voices in the spirit box confirmed that investigators beliefs that having Ouija boards in the pub was a problem. Chris asked "why is it a problem?" And the team said that the box answered with the word "imp", something that Chris described as "disturbing."
Then the team's interpretation of the spirit box seemed to go way off the rails. They heard the words "upset" and the spirit gave its name as "William". Sandy then asked "why are you mean to Ellie?" And the team heard the response "I'm sorry." This lead them to the conclusion that William has been trying to warn Ellie about something. Barri said, "this is unsettling news, but real progress. The spirit of William isn't a threat to Ellie, he's actually sorry and has been trying to warn her of a much darker presence." It was never made clear how they came to this conclusion, perhaps the team got more results from the spirit box than were shown in the programme.
By this point the team and heard the word "imps" on the spirit box three times. Chris wondered if this was a sign that the Ouija boards used in the pub have acted as a gateway allowing the demonic imps into the building.
The team then split up, Sandy and Chris went to room seven, the most haunted room in the pub. Chris immediately spotted the attic hatch, noting that entities, dark spirits and imps hide in dark spaces like that. Chris then pulled out his trusty audio recored again and asked the demons of the pub "who or what brought you here?" They heard a quite clear reply that seemed to say "ouija."
Meanwhile, Barri was down in the cellar using his SLS camera. He said he could see two energies, which were made visible as stickmen on his camera's screen. The evidence was questionable at best, but Barri didn't question it in anyway, instantly jumping to the conclusion that this could only be paranormal entities and not glitching software. In fact, when Barri asked several time, "can you put your hands in the air?" It didn't respond. But moment later one of the figures seemed to point towards a cupboard and a creepy doll that was inside. This evidence was hyped up as quite a big deal and Barri wondered if the doll might have a demonic attachment. Chris, who had joined him in the cellar said, "let's find out," but we didn't hear any more about the doll in the episode.
The team then headed back to where the presence is strongest, close the portal and banish the demons, this happened to be room seven. Chris and Sandy conduct a ritual here stood around a spirit box. Chris got a bit religious and read some text from his phone to banish the demons. It was probably an exorcism ritual he'd found on Creepy Pasta. He then sprinkled what was presumably holy water around the room.
Once the sun had risen and the investigation had come to an end, Sandy said "the Dolphin has been a dramatic and demanding investigation."
The episode ended with the team telling the owner, who was already upset, that her pub isn't just haunted by ghosts and spirits, but demons. In fact Chris said even the ghost of "Dolly" is in fact a demonic imp that is pretending to be Dolly, which is a bit odd as Barri went to the cemetery at the start of the episode. It turns out that whole bit of the show was irrelevant and unrelated.
Sat prominently on the high street, the Dolphin Hotel is one of the oldest pubs in the town and with a history that includes tales of murder and the pub being used as a safe haven for smugglers, it's not surprising that it has such a haunted reputation.
The paranormal activity includes the disruption of electrical equipment, sudden and extreme temperature drops, unexplained sounds, footsteps and dark shadows. The pub's landlady has even caught what she believes to be an apparition of a ghost on CCTV camera.
The pub has two very famous ghosts, Oliver Reed is said to have once stayed at the hotel and never left. The pub was also once visited by the famous poet, Lord Byron, and some think he may still haunt the building. The pub's most frequently sighted spooked is that of a young woman called Jane who has been spotted in the women's toilets. She was allegedly murdered by her uncle and he too is said to haunt the pub, many women have reported feeling his presence stood behind them.
Some of the most active parts of The Dolphin are the eerie cellars, room two where a woman in white floats through the door, and room seven, which is said to be haunted by ghostly women and children from the Victorian era. They have been seen and heard in the room.
This isn't the first time that the pub has been investigated by stars of the small screen. Derek Acorah, the former psychic medium from the long-running ghost hunting show, 'Most Haunted' once visited the pub and confirmed its spooky reputation. As did fellow psychic Ian Lawman, who has most recently appeared on REALLY's 'Ghost Chasers'.
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.