What Do You Want?: 'Help! My House Is Haunted' Team Capture Clearest EVP Yet
The 'Help! My House Is Haunted' team head to Somerset, where Ian Lawman, Jayne Harris and Barri Ghai work together to unravel 700 years of history in an attempt to get to the bottom of what's haunting a historic hotel.
In the latest episode of the fourth season, entitled 'Unfinished Business', the team are called to Bridgwater, which paranormal
historian Jayne tells us used to be a bigger port than Bristol. She added, "it was really significant during the industrial revolution."
They're in the historic market town to help husband-and-wife, Pete and Candida Starling, the owners of The Old Vicarage Hotel. According to the couple the 14th century hotel, where it's said that a phantom woman sits on the end of the bed in Room 5. Footsteps have also been heard in this room and the covers have even been pulled off the bed by unseen hands. In Room 7 guests have been troubled by lights turning on and off, resulting in one man spending the night in his car instead. Room 3 is also said to have a negative atmosphere and poltergeist activity has been reported in the form of items moving around the room.
Peter said in the episode, "we're hoping that the team can help us be reassured that any paranormal activity within the hotel is non-malevolent."
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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
As the show's resident psychic
medium and ordained exorcist, Ian is told nothing about the location prior to his arrival, but before the team arrived on site, Ian's senses were already feeding him information. He told Barri and Jayne in the car, "I feel we're dealing with several rooms, so it could be a large house, or something along those lines." He added, "I do feel like there's been poltergeist activity because I can see things being moved around." He also said he was aware of a dark shadow and the smell of wood.
Ian was the first to enter the building, and as always he was alone to allow him to conduct a psychic sweep of the property. Upon entering Ian headed upstairs, where he was immediately drawn to Room 5. He found himself in a room with a pitched-ceiling, with heavy wooden beams on display. Ian said, "this is the wood that I saw when I was travelling here."
Moments later he heard a door slamming out in the corridor, but still in Room 5, Ian was aware of a man with him and said he heard whispering. A little later Ian heard crying coming from Room 3, it's not clear if this was a psychic awareness or a real sound. Crying could be heard at that time, but it seems this was dubbed on after rather than being caught at the time - although it's not really clear either way.
In Room 7 Ian found what he thought might be a priest hole. These small, hidden chambers were used to hide clergyman during the dissolution of the monasteries. In this tiny room Ian said he felt physically sick. Later in the yard, Ian also became aware of voices that related to the ground beneath him.
Ian summed up his walk around by saying, "I'm absolutely blown away by the intensity of this property. No matter which room you go into, it's haunted."
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Jayne Digs Into The Local History
Jayne went to meet a local historian, Hannah West, to find out more about the story of the hotel. Hannah tells Jayne that there's evidence that, true to its name, parts of the hotel were once a vicarage, while other parts were used as a school room.
The hotel was originally five dwellings. Hannah tells Jayne the grim history of one in particular. The owner of this tenement was said to have been feuding with his brother over an inheritance, but ultimately vanished along with his family. Hannah says, "local legend has it that they were buried in the back yard." Are these the voices Ian heard in the yard his initial walk around the property.
Meanwhile, the show's technical expert Barri, went to meet Julie to find out more about the type of paranormal activity that's been happening at the hotel. Julie has been the general manager of the business for the last nine months and is so terrified of some rooms in the building that she refuses to go in them.
Julie also tells Barri that some of the negative energy in the hotel has been attributed to a man who is said to have murdered his wife by throwing her down the stairs. Julie said, "I'd like to know who it is. Is it going to cause us any harm? Can I go in the room without feeling scared?"
Spirit Trigger Experiment
The team came together to share their findings with each other as well as with the property owners, Pete and Candida. They then invite the couple to join them for the first part of their investigation. They hope that their familiar presence might trigger paranormal activity.
They begin in Room 5 by conducting an EVP
sessions. This involved using a handheld digital audio recorder to attempt to capture EVPs, or Electronic Voice Phenomena. These are said to be spirit voices captured in recordings. The team call out to any spirits that might be present and encourage them to answer.
When they played back their recording a raspy voice, unmistakably said, "what do you want?" The team were visibly shocked by this response. Barri said, "that's the clearest EVP I've ever heard in 20 years."
After Barri was sent to investigate a lightbulb that seemed to have blown elsewhere, the team re-grouped with Pete and Candida in Room 7. Barri called out, "can you knock on the door?" and behind them they heard two knocks, as if someone obliged. They then caught another EVP, which the team believed was a voice saying "don't ask" in response to Barri asking the spirit's name.
With the house rigged with seven fixed night vision cameras, the owners left for the night and the team were locked down inside the hotel. The team started their night-long vigil in Room 5.
They were once again trying to capture EVPs with an audio recorder, but also using a ghost hunting app that 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 team had several responses through the gadget, including an indecipherable whine, but interestingly when Jayne asked "can you repeat that please, the exact same sound was heard again." Ian felt this might have been the crying lady he'd been aware of on his walk around trying to reach out with him, so they headed to Room 3 where Ian had heard the moaning on his walk around.
Barri was left alone in the room, he was blindfolded to focus his senses on a ParaTek, the paranormal device he was using to attempt to communicate. Ian and Jayne monitored via a remote camera feed from nerve centre. As he led on the bed, Barri felt as if he was touched on the hand, moments later the name Alison came from the ParaTek, which is similar to the app the team were using previously, but in a handheld form.
Barri picked up several other responses including "chase," "angry" and "dominate," which they linked to the story of the woman being killed in the property by her husband. Was her name Alison? Barri said, "now we've established why Julie feels so uneasy in Room 3."
Jayne headed alone to the bar. Jayne was using an interesting piece of kit called a Ghost Lamp, which acts as a seismometer that detects vibration, and a REM-Pod that radiates its own electrostatic field and if anything enters this field, the device will alert them by emitting a beeping sound. This tool didn't prove to be too useful given everything else that was going on - an EVP which Jayne believed was saying "I hated him" and related to the feuding brothers, and an unexplained flashing that lit up the wall behind her.
Having felt she'd made contact with one of the brothers, Jayne went out to the yard to see if the spirit would lead her to the location of his buried brother using dowsing rods.
Meanwhile, Ian and Barri returned to Room 5, where quite soon there was a scare for Ian as he screamed and said "somebody ran across the mirror." The sighting happened seconds after Ian had called out to the spirits "show yourself, come on." The pair were once again using a speech synthesis app, which spewed out the words "grave" and "dirt", this happened to be at the exact same moment that Jayne was outside looking for the buried former resident.
Feeling they had got to the bottom of the ghosts
that haunt The Old Vicarage Hotel, the team ended their vigil by conducting a spiritual cleansing to help any trapped spirits move on.
I thought this was the strongest episode of the new season so far, in fact one of the strongest episodes of any paranormal show I've seen for a long time. The evidence they presented was very tangible, it was physical knocks and bangs.
The first EVP the team caught, the breathy voice saying "what do you want?" Often I feel that in these sort of shows our perception of EVPs is shaped by a caption on the screen telling us what the investigators think the alleged voice says. That didn't happen in this case, but as soon as I heard the voice I knew and understood what it had said and my jaw dropped. I have to agree with Barri, it's the clearest EVP I've ever heard. If I ever capture an EVP that clear, I wouldn't leave that room until I heard it again.
Even Ian was the first to exclaim, "no way," and Ian has a similar opinion to EVPs as I do, yet he was impressed. Ian once told me
that he often struggles to understand EVPs captured on the show. "Barri or Jayne will sometimes give me a voice recorder to do some EVP sessions," Ian said in an interview last year, "Barri and Jayne will get excited and say 'oh my god' when I play it back and say 'can you hear that?!?', but I can't hear anything."
There was another really interesting moment when a flashing light lit up the wall behind Jayne in the bar. The cameraman was heard asking "what the f**k is flashing behind you?" and an amazed Jayne questioned "what is that?" But sadly the scene cut as the dramatic tension music grew, when we cut back to Jayne it was never mentioned again. Was it debunked? Did they find a cause? Was it just an iPhone's infrared face recognition being picked up by the night-vision camera?
Jayne used dowsing rods in this episode, which is a controversial technique that was originally used to locate ground water. The movement of the rods is generally agreed to be nothing more than an example of the ideomotor phenomenon, a psychological response where a subject makes motions unconsciously. However, you can't deny that in this case the rods did seem to lead Jayne to the exact same spot in the yard where Ian had previously picked up on the body of the murdered brother.
You can watch the first three episodes of the fourth season of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' right now on Discovery+, with a new episode dropping next Friday.
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