Yvette Fielding and her team of ghost hunters look into claims of ghostly children, a phantom tea lady and a malevolent entity at Knottingley Town Hall in Yorkshire.
The foundation stone of the hall was laid on 29th June, 1865 by Sidney Woolf. The building opened in September of the same year and became the central point of local residents. It was built on land which was once a medieval monastery, the area is also said to have been used for witchcraft and pagan rituals.
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Is Knottingley Town Hall Haunted?
Knottingley Town Hall has seen celebrations, great wars and tragedy, so its no wonder there are so many ghost stories associated with the building. Visitors to the hall have witnessed spectral shadows, ethereal noises and strange knocking. The stage in the ball room is said to be a hotspot for paranormal
The boardroom has been used as a meeting room for many years, debates and heated conversations have taken place here, and the massive horseshoes-shaped table in the room is known to vibrate and move on its own. The show's skeptic Glen Hunt raised the question of whether the table has moved during council meetings or just during paranormal investigation, he said "if it had moved in front of councillors I would find that absolutely fascinating, but at the moment it remains to be seen."
The hall's dark, foreboding cellars touch upon what was once a medieval monastery. Some World War II airmen were killed tragically in a car accident outside this building, there bodies were brought into the cellar until it was time for them to be laid to rest. Could they be responsible for the strange paranormal phenomena? Visitors have reported being grabbed by unseen hands in this part of the hall.
The show's resident demonologist, Fred Batt, said, "tonight this is a very interesting location, as far as I'm concerned, it's built on the remains of a medieval monastery, in fact it's mentioned on the doom's day book." He added, "tonight I'm going to conduct an experiment that will change the life of one of the crew." Fred promises, it's going to be "spectacular".
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The investigation got off to a slow start. Cameraman Gregg Smith and sound guy Darren Hutchinson went to the stage area to conduct a séance. Sat face to face at a small table, Gregg called out, "if there is anybody, if they can use our bodies, channel your energy through us, and make this table move." But it seemed the spirits didn't want to play.
Meanwhile, Yvette and Glen were in the cellars. Yvette was holding the camera herself. They went into the small room with the camera, small room where the airmen's bodies were taken. Glen said he could smell burnt wood in the room. There was an old fireplace on one wall, but it hadn't been used in years.
Yvette called out, "hello is there any spirits with us now? Can you make a noise?" They thought they heard what sounded like footsteps coming from the corridor behind them, as well as a few other minor unexplained noises. Eventually they boarded an elevator, which is said to be haunted, and made their way back upstairs.
The team re-grouped and Yvette went upstairs to the boardroom with Glen, Gregg and Darren. They held a séance around the large meeting table, while at the other end of the room Eamonn Vann-Harris was using his "two-way machine" to try to capture spirit voices as EVPs.
The sounds coming out of the machine were quite frankly ridiculous, nothing more than garbled noise, which potentially could have drowned out any other paranormal sounds in the room. After a while, Eamonn and Gregg joined the team at the table, but they didn't seem to have any response from the hall's resident spooks.
Fred was down in the dark cellar with Karl Beattie and Stuart Torevell. They heard several knocks early on, they said it sounded like someone was under the floorboards knocking. They also experienced loud bangs and a moaning sound, Stuart said "that sounded like a female voice."
It seemed that whichever end of the cellar the team was in, the sounds were coming from the other end. So sensibly, they split up. Karl stayed at one end, Stuart went to the other and Fred floated around somewhere in the middle.
But, that experiment lasted about 15 seconds. It came to an end when Karl heard a sound at his end of the cellar, he described it as sounding like a moan. He called Stuart down to investigate, and as he ran along the corridor, a reel of electrical cable was thrown behind him.
A few minutes later Karl said he saw a something walk by the end of the corridor, which apparently coincided with the security motion detector flashing. They discussed this for a bit before running out of the cellar on Karl's instruction. He said he had seen a dark mass at the end of the corridor coming towards them.
Fred Batt's Voodoo Experiment
With the cameras synced up most of team, including Yvette stayed in the boardroom where Fred had instructed them to conduct a ouija board session. Meanwhile Fred went down to the cellar with Karl manning the camera, where he revealed his secret plan.
Unbeknown to the rest of the team, Fred was going to perform a voodoo ritual, and the victim was Most Haunted's very own, Stuart, who was upstairs with Yvette at the time. Showing the eerie doll with Stuart's face on it to the camera, Fred said, "this has been charged up before we came down here, I've put a spell on it, I've got bits and pieces of Stuart's personal things that belong to him inside."
Karl asked if Fred could tell us exactly what was inside, but Fred said, "I can't tell you, no. I don't want people to know what we're doing on-screen, because I don't want people to try this at home." Fred says he has made his doll using the old English witches way, which is using hessian, he added "you've got bits of certain plants and straw and stuff like that inside, so it's a real old rustic way of making one."
Two floors above, Yvette was leading the séance and calling out to the spirits, with Stuart sat to her right. First Yvette asked the spirits to spell out its name and the name "David," was slowly spelt out on the board.
Back in the cellar, Fred stuck in a pin in the doll's right arm and at the exact same moment Stuart reacting, pulling his arm away from the planchette. The others asked what was wrong, rubbing his arm he said, "I've just had a sharp sensation."
Moments later, Fred put a pin in the left arm of the doll and once again Stuart reacted, "it's happening on that arm as well." Yvette then twigged, "is this what Fred is doing? Is he doing a voodoo doll?"
Fred then stuck a pin in the doll's leg, which Stuart felt instantly. Fred then moved on to the other leg. Fred then covered the eyes of the doll with a finger and Stuart said, "I can't see, all my vision's impaired. I honestly can't see. I can't see a thing." A few seconds later, his vision came back and he said, "this is the most surreal moment, I've ever had in my whole life."
Fred ended the experiment by walking off with the doll to secretly chant and remove the curse.
They made a big deal about the camera's being synced up with the same timecode, but the only kept one camera rolling throughout uncut, the camera on Stuart. The camera on Fred appeared intermittently side-by-side, so as a viewer it's impossible to know if the pins definitely matched up with the sensations Stuart reported. Fred's shot could have been edited or recut.
Yvette said afterwards, "after watching the footage back several times, I'm still mystified what to make of it. I'm sure this will polarise opinion to those watching, I know it has within the team. Perplexed and bewildered, our investigation had now come to an intriguing end."
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