Most Haunted At The Judge's Lodging, Presteigne - Series 20, Episode 9 Review
In the first of this two part special, which marks the end of season 20, Yvette Fielding spends a night with her team of ghost hunters at The Judge's Lodging in Presteigne, Wales. A building which is said to be haunted by the spirit of the convicts who passed through the building.
The episode was a little different to usual. Normally Yvette opens the episode with a brief introduction, and then she walks around with the show's resident skeptic, Glen Hunt. But in this week's episode there was so much unusual activity while recording these initial segments of the show, that it lasted for about two-thirds of the episode.
So, it's lucky that this is a two part episode, as this building clearly has quite a story to tell.
Is The Judge's Lodging Haunted?
The building and its courtroom were first used in 1829, and over more than 150 years was a place where hundreds of people were tried for their crimes, many of whom paid the ultimate price for their misdemeanours and were sentenced to death.
It's said that many of the dangerous criminals, as well has a few judges have refused to leave the building after their death, and have been witnessed in the form of dark shadows which are seen walking the courtrooms and the judge's living quarters. The cries of a woman who was sentenced to death is often said to be heard, many believe she wanders the building looking for her baby, which she was prosecuted for the murdered off.
In the building's basement, below the courtroom, visitors have reported hearing strange growling and groaning coming from the empty cells. As well as cell doors slamming, before being pounded on from the inside.
In the courtroom itself, witnesses say they've heard voices and noises, even the banging of a gavel, as if the court is in session. Upon entering the room, they've found it to be completely empty.
The upper floors are where you'll find the lavish living quarters which were inhabited by the visiting judges, this area of the building is believed to be haunted by a woman dressed in white. She's said to have been seen walking through closed doors.
In the lodging's kitchen, there has been reports of objects being thrown at unsuspecting guests, and it is in this room that most of the action in tonight's episode occurred.
Before the lights were out and the nighttime vigil even got underway, the team experienced numerous objects which were seemingly thrown around the rooms they were filming in. On the upper floor, in one of the bedrooms, two old, heavy, silver inkwells were thrown four times with a bang.
Later on in the kitchen, a knife and fork were heard clattering has they hit the stone floor from an unknown source. Several other objects also moved seemingly on their own, and most impressively, a large bread basket was thrown across the room, landing with a bang as it hit the wall and fell to the floor.
Yvette described this activity as "extraordinary" and "brilliant" and took this as a sign of a good investigation, "we're in for a bit of a night tonight, guys. I'm just telling you now."
With the lights finally switched off, the team split up and started their night long investigation of the Judge's Lodging. Karl Beattie took the show's demonologist Fred Batt to the kitchen where it was camera man Gregg Smith who stepped and attempted to make contact with the spirits.
It seems Gregg was even given the night off operating a camera, and he did a good job of calling out, "if there's somebody here with us, can you throw something else? That was brilliant, it's exactly what we're after. Can you throw something, can you knock something over, can you effect one of us?"
After a wooden spoon was caught on camera falling from a Welsh dresser and a rolling pin seemingly rolled off of a table on its own, the activity, which the team described as the work of a poltergeist, put Fred on edge.
Fred's concern was as a result of previous episodes when knives had been thrown in kitchens, most notably at Standon Hall in Staffordshire, an incident Fred had been involved with, along with Karl. Fred pointed out that in this kitchen, as well as plenty of knives, there was also a potentially deadly axe beside the fireplace.
Luckily, the axe wasn't thrown and Fred started to relax. By the end of their time in the kitchen he even described it as nice, "it's not anything to be frightened of, it's like a happy sort of servant that was down here in the kitchen. That's what I think, because it feels nice around me".
Gregg agreed with the demonologist's assessment and added, "it just feel mischievous". Gregg also said he felt something in the air around them, "can you feel that, it's almost like a static charge?" he asked.
Glen's EVP Experiment
Meanwhile, Yvette and Glen are in the old courtroom where Glen has had a "tri-era EVP experiment" running all day. The aim of the experiment is to capture evidence of ghosts in the form of audio recordings known as EVP, or electronic voice phenomenon. Talking about EVP, Yvette says, "we know it works, EVP does work and it's been proven".
Glen's experiment involves the use of an old bakelite radio, so old that it uses valves. This has been left with the dial between stations on the AM band so that it just produces static, or white noise.
It's a little like the popular ghost hunting gadget known as a 'spirit box' which rapidly scans through radio stations which results in paranormal researchers being able to hear snatches voices amongst the scrambled sounds. Glen's experiment is a little different as it doesn't scan through the stations, it just produces white noise.
Explaining the experiment to Yvette, he said, "people bang on about how great spirit boxes are, I think they're a complete waste of time because they're just scanning radio signals."
Alongside the radio was a 1970s reel-to-reel tape machine which had been set to record via an external microphone. Glen explains that the tape is a good tool for capturing EVPs, but there is always a background hiss which means you can't pick out quiet sounds in the same way as you can on his third piece of kit, a laptop.
The laptop has also been set to record, and it was through the audio editing software that Glen and Yvette were now trying to listen for sounds of the supernatural, but they were distracted by several loud bangs of unknown origin.
The episode ended with a huge crash and a promise of more to come from the Judge's Lodging in the second part of the investigation in next week's episode.
The new series of Most Haunted continues on Really. Watch on Freeview (17), Sky (155) and Virgin Media (129), or watch previous episodes of Most Haunted on demand on the UKTV Player.
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