Help! My House Is Haunted: The Smugglers - Series 2, Episode 4 Review
Barri Ghai, Chris Fleming, and Jayne Harris, head to Eastbourne on the south coast to investigate reports of paranormal activity at a historic 16th century inn with a sinister reputation.
The team head to The Smugglers, an inn in the village of Pevensey, armed with specialist paranormal equipment, in order to get to the bottom of a report that a ghost known as Mary is haunting the historic building.
Sisters Petra and Nuala, who run the inn and have made it their home, have been plagued by strange goings on since taking over the pub. They think that the ghost of Mary could be responsible for touching guests, even waking them in the night and causing items to go missing.
The sisters say that locals have told them that Mary's life ended suddenly, either after being hanged outside of the building, or by having her neck cut with a wire. Petra said, "we would love to have the help to identify if there is any currently paranormal activity going on within The Smugglers building itself or on our land."
Hoping to provide Petra and Nuala with the answers they're looking for, Barri, Chris and Jayne arrive in their mobile nerve centre. Before even arriving at the property, Chris, the show's medium who knows nothing about the location in advance, picks up on tables and woman standing between the tables. Apparently this woman is aware that Chris is on his way. Speaking from the back of the van, he then said "now I'm seeing, like a wheel... a wooden wheel". He also picked up on something red, that wasn't too clear and said the words "fire hydrant".
Chris' Walk Around
As always the team split up and go about their specialist roles alone in order to find out more about the property and its paranormal history. Chris begins by doing a walk through the property alone to try to get a sense of what spirits they could be dealing with.
Once inside, Chris picked up on the residual energy of a woman walking back and forth, between the tables that seemed to match what he'd previously picked up on. Chris then moved upstairs where he picked up on what he described as a "close-knit and illicit group". Chris determined that it was a "brotherhood", a group of powerful men who came together with their own set of rules and laws.
Moving deeper into the upper floor Chris felt a strange tingling sensation in his legs, which he said tells him that there is a spirit presence with him. Suddenly the cause of this spirit energy came to him, he said "someone had passed [here]".
Chris then moved on to an outbuilding behind the inn, where once again he picks up on residual energy, this time of a carriage, although without the horses. Chris thinks this relates to the vision of the wheel he'd seen during the journey to the inn.
Chris grabbed his trusty audio recorder and attempted to capture some audible evidence of a spirit presence. He called out "hello" and played back the recording to check for any response in the form of an electronic voice phenomenon (EVP). The recording appeared to contain a female voice saying "hello" back to him.
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Jayne & Barri Delve Into The Haunted History
Meanwhile Jayne had met up with a local historian, Rob Salter, on the beach to learn more about the history of Pevensey. Rob told Jayne how the village has a longstanding connection to the sea, trade and smuggling, which is of course where the pub the team are investigating gets its name from.
Leaving the beach, Jayne and Rob went to the old court house, which is situated right across the road from The Smugglers, and would have been the building that criminals of the day would have been taken to if they had been caught smuggling.
Rob tells Jayne about one famous case that took place in the court house that involved a woman called Mary Taylor who was convicted of stealing cloth and was sentenced to a flogging for her crime. This could possibly be the same Mary that is said to haunt the inn.
Barri was also trying to uncover the inn's secrets with one of the pub's regulars, Terry, who is an eye witness to paranormal activity at The Smugglers. Terry said that one night he was at the bar playing cards when he felt a tug on the back of his shirt, he looked around and there was no one there.
The team re-group to share what they'd learnt and then invite Petra and Nuala to join them as triggers to help elicit a response from any spirits in the building in order to build the energy and open the channels of communication.
Jayne has in front of her a ghost hunting gadget called the Ovilus III, which contains a bank of phonetics, the sounds that make up words. It monitors various atmospheric metrics, such as electromagnetic field strength. It's said that spirits can affect these atmospheric condition in order to form words and form intelligent responses.
Barri is using a REM-Pod, which lights up and beeps if it detects a change in a static electricity field that it radiates from an antenna on top. He's also armed with an SLS camera, a device that can map and record anomalies that appear outside of the visible spectrum.
The sisters have also brought along some interesting items, including some old photos of the inn. One of the photos shows an old fire brigade carriage, which had wheels just like the ones Chris had described, and could also explain why he was thinking of a fire hydrant.
Jayne starts calling out and immediately Chris says he's aware of two children, a boy and a girl, looking in through the window. Then the Ovilus III sprang to life and said the words "mummy" and "outside". Moments later Barri picked up what he thought could be a spirit, it appeared in the form of a green stickman on the camera's screen, but vanished seconds later.
As Chris called out to the spirits, asking any present to interact with them, the REM-Pod started beeping, the team took this as a sign, then the spirit reappeared on Barri's camera.
While Nuala is a believer in the paranormal, Petra isn't convinced and admits that up to this point she hasn't believed anything she's seen - which was actually very refreshing to hear on a ghost hunting show. To try to convince Petra, Jayne takes her upstairs to the room where Mary is said to have been murdered.
It shouldn't be too scary for a sceptic, but Petra is terrified of the dark and going to investigate in the pitch black pushed Petra to overcome her fears. Watching in the nerve centre, Nuala told Barri and Chris that her sister's scepticism might be routed in their parents' death and the fact that they haven't come back to give the sisters a sign.
Then seconds later the Ovilus III said the word "pet", which Petra said was the nickname that her parents gave her. Could this be them giving her a sign? Unfortunately, they never found out as the vigil fell silent after this.
As the light fades outside, Petra and Nuala leave, and static cameras are rigged around the property. The team are then locked down inside the inn for a 12 hour investigation throughout the night.
The team start their investigation in the bar, they're using contraband items as trigger objects to try to encourage the spirits of any smugglers that might still roam the building in death. Raising a glass of dark rum, they invite the spirits to communicate with them. This time they're using a spirit box, which scans through radio frequencies and allows spirits to communicate by manipulating white noise.
When Barri tries to antagonise the spirits by suggesting he's going to take the contraband rum away, a voice through the spirit box seems to say "piss off" and then the sinister phrase "slit his throat". Moments later a response seemed to say "attic," which the team took as a prompt to move on to the next part of the building.
Climbing up into the attic Barri thought he heard several odd sounds around him, but persists and makes his way to the far end of the roof space where he finds what appears to be a forgotten entrance and a tunnel into a hidden room. He then grabbed a thermal imaging camera that appeared to show unexplained heat sources in the secret room - Barri thought the heat source looked human. Sadly we never got to find out what was causing it.
Meanwhile, directly below Barri, Jayne was alone in Mary's room where she was attempting to make contact with her spirit, but her vigil was abruptly ended when she heard unexplained tapping sounds. It turns out the sounds were coming from a filing cabinet behind her, but as a viewer it had been hard to tell at the time because of the dramatic sound effects and eerie music that had been overlaid on the scene.
Mary & The Children
Chris had gone outside to follow up on the appearance of the two children he had seen earlier. He started by grabbing his audio recorder and attempting to capture some EVPs. When he replayed the recording he heard a voice saying "let us in", Chris says this makes sense as he'd seen the spirits trapped outside.
Heading back inside, Chris decided to try to use these spirits to help him find out more about the spirit with Mary. Here Chris had a breakthrough when he captured the name "Mary" as an EVP.
Continuing his investigation, Chris went back to the outbuilding. As soon as he walked through the door he could feel the presence of someone in the building and noted that it was colder inside than outside, he then noticed a foul smell. Chris said, "I know from experience spirits sometimes use strong odours to repel me, they're trying it now." And the smell only got stronger, and became unpleasant to the point that Chris was forced to leave.
Hearing the commotion in the back yard, Barri and Jayne come to check on Chris, and the team venture back into the outbuilding together. Although the smell hadn't let up, they began to call out and the team felt that the REM-Pod triggering on cue was a sign a presence was with them. Jayne said, "something in here is mocking us now".
Due to the strong smell they retreat from this area and head back indoors for a calmer séance. Once again using a spirit box, Chris calls out to the spirits asking them what they want and a reply seems to say "heaven".
As a result of this response, Chris tried to help guide the spirits to the light and free them from the building. With that the investigation came to an end, and as always Chris performed a cleansing ritual around the building to clear any negative energy.
This week's episode had a different feel about it. Even the team admitted that they weren't able to get any conclusive evidence or spirit responses, and they failed to convince Petra of the paranormal. That's just the nature of ghost hunting, not every investigation is packed full of EVPs and sightings of shadowy figures and having a healthy bit of scepticism at any investigation is never a bad thing.
'Help! My House Is Haunted' continues next week on Really as part of the channel's #Freakend event, bringing viewers two nights of paranormal entertainment every Thursday and Friday.
You can watch in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the Discovery 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. Or watch previous episodes on demand on dplay.
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