For the penultimate episode of the third series of 'Help! My House Is Haunted', Barri Ghai, Jayne Harris and Ian Lawman are in Lincolnshire investigating a haunting at a former church which is now home to the Trinity Arts Centre.
Lisa Weller has been the box office manager of the music and theatre venue in Gainsborough for over 20 years, but due to the unsettling activity there, she fears going into certain rooms and has called the team for help once and for all.
There's been reports of a wide range of activity, including lights and other electrical equipment turning on and off, and a ghostly apparition that was photographed in a seat in the auditorium. Lisa said, "the studio is one place I'd rather not go in on my own," she added, "it's quite a large room and there is a big mirror, which I tend to avoid looking at."
Lisa said, "I work here and I love working here and I'd like to stay working here, so I really would like some help in just making it easier to be here on my own."
Ian, the show's resident medium knows nothing about the location or the case in advance, but while he's driving to Gainsborough, he gains some psychic
insight. He said, "I'm getting a feeling of what I would call poltergeist activity, I also feel because I'm seeing several deaths or several spirits, I feel there's going to be something very close to it, like a cemetery or a graveyard."
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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 Psychic Sweep
After arriving at the location, Ian said "all the time I was driving here I was conscious of something below my feet, and I thought it was in the building, but as I've got out the car I just feel... I feel we're walking on bodies." Ian then takes a stroll around the outside of the former church, the headstones confirm his hunch that there are bodies buried there.
Ian is always the first to arrive at the location so that he can conduct a walk through alone in the property. Walking in to the building's more modern extension, Ian said "even though it's new, I still feel there would be bodies or something under here."
In the auditorium, Ian said he was aware of people sitting there, which isn't massively insightful, but he added that these people could be from the building's days as a church, as well as the current theatre. Now sitting in a back corner of the auditorium, Ian said he was aware of a presence behind him. He said, "I can hear it talking."
As Ian entered the old vestry, he feels an energy change. He said, "I feel really sad in here". He then moves on to the studio, a room which he says is very spiritually active. He says, "I see a lady in here, she's showing herself in light form, and she's walking around this room."
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Jayne & Barri Look For Leads In The Local Area
To find out more about the building, Jayne met up with local historian, Darren Childs. He told Jayne, "the amount of bodies that exist in this patch of ground is still difficult to know exactly today, we know that things like the cholera epidemic that came in 1849 ran ravage through this town and actually killed over 250 people. So, this graveyard will be full of victims of cholera for sure, and we're obviously looking in to thousands of bodies." Darren says that these bodies aren't just in the graveyard, but also at the rear of the building, which is where the carpark Ian had his hunch about bodies being below him now lies.
Meanwhile, Barri had been to meet the centre's general manager, Craig. He tells Barri about the land, "it was de-consecrated in the 1970s, and what's happened in that period of conversion is, because there were bodies laid right around the perimeter of the church, they've had to move the headstones for health and safety reasons, but the remains are still where they were originally." Apart from few graves that had to be moved to allow for the construction work.
Spirit Trigger Experiment
The team came together to share the findings from their initial investigations, before meeting with Lisa. They invite her to take part in a spirit trigger experiment with them. They hope that Lisa's familiar presence might encourage any spirits present to interact.
They conduct the experiment on the theatre's stage where Jayne is using an SLS camera, a special type of camera that uses 3D mapping technology to detect human shapes and highlights them on its screen in the form of a stick figure. Jayne says, "if we get that in a spot where there's not a living person standing, it possibly indicates the presence of a spirit."
Barri has also put a ghost hunting
gadget to use. He's placed a REM-Pod on the stage, a device that radiates its own electrostatic field. If anything conductive enters and disturbs the field the gadget will alert the team by beeping and lighting up.
As Ian starts to call out some LED lights lining the steps in the auditorium flicker, the team think the spirits might be responsible for this. Seconds later the REM-Pod beeps, not because something has broken its field, but because it detected a drop in temperature - another function it has.
The SLS camera then starts to show a twitching stick figure stood in front of the stages curtain. The figure seems to be responding to the investigators' instructions and possibly even interacting with Lisa. Interestingly, although the camera mapped a figure that couldn't be seen, it failed to map out Lisa on the screen, which does cast some doubt over its accuracy and reliability.
Ian asked Lisa to communicate with the spirit and tell them the first name that came into her head, she said David - could this be significant?
Barri and Jayne remained on the stage where they were using an ghost app called Necrophonic, which is pre-loaded with partial words, reverse audio, and the phonetic sounds that make up words. The app randomly spews out these sounds 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. The words which are generated have an eerie echoey tone to them, this is because the app applies a reverb effect, which is said to help with real time communication. Almost straight away, Jayne heard the name David echoing out of the app, giving her and Barri the confirmation they needed.
Ian then took Lisa to the studio, the room she doesn't like to enter. Ian asked her to take part in a scrying experiment, this involved sitting her in front of the large mirror on the wall. The technique is similar to gazing into a crystal ball, but instead you stare at your own face in the reflection. It's said that if a spirit is present they can affect what you see and even alter the vision of your face. Ian says this method can allow visions of the past to surface.
At one point Lisa said the face in the reflection didn't look like her, and she became very emotional. She said, "my face started to change, it's changing now. It looks different... I think it is a child." When she was pushed for more information, Lisa said she was seeing an old man and a young girl, and they were associated with sadness. Ian suddenly said he could see her, between them they concluded that the young girl misses her father and she can't find him.
As darkness falls, Lisa locked up and left for the night as the team prepared for their night-long investigation. Barri had rigged eight static night vision cameras around the centre. They kicked things off in the auditorium. Ian was sat towards the back in the spot where a figure had been caught on camera. It wasn't long before he saw a gentleman sat at the end of his row. Ian felt this man has something to do with the theatre.
To try to find out more, Barri attempted to capture EVPs using his audio recorder. An EVP
, or Electronic Voice Phenomenon, is a form of spirit communication that involves capturing the sound of spirit voices in audio recordings. Barri asked, "David, are you connected to the theatre? Were you a director? A producer? An actor?" When he played the audio back, what sounded like a 'yes' was heard after his question about being a producer.
Not long after this they decide that David isn't the negative energy they're looking for and move on to the studio, where this time Jayne is at the centre of the scrying experiment. While Jayne and Ian call out, Barri is monitoring the output of the EchoVox app, which works in a similar way to Necrophonic.
Seemingly in response to one of Jayne's questions, the word Drust comes through the app. Jayne recognises this as the surname of a family who are buried in the churchyard. A little while later the names William and Sarah came through. This matches the names on the graves, William Drust, who is buried with his two infant children Thomas and Mary. Elsewhere in the churchyard there are graves for William's son, John Drust and his mother, Sarah.
Jayne concludes, "so William and Sarah are apart. William is buried with his two infant children, or was. Remember, bodies have been exhumed and reburied, they might not be together now." Jayne adds, "if the Drusts bodies were together, but now they'd been separated, maybe that's why they're not at rest."
The investigation ends with the team trying to put the help the Drusts. This involves the use of dowsing rods, which Jayne hopes will lead them to the family's burial sites.
The episode was fast-paced and action-packed, with a slightly different feel to others in the series, just because the investigation naturally took a slightly different form, perhaps because they initially picked up a false lead with the spirit of David.
One of the stand out moments came in the episode's conclusion, when the team were 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.
Getting into the spirit of the church, Barri called out "our Father, who art in heaven," and a sound coming out of the spirit box sounded like a voice continuing the prayer, with "hallowed be thy name."
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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