Yvette Fielding took her team of ghost hunters to a 19th century manor house in St Helens that is known for its abundance of spiritual activity from the inquisitive to the negative.
The manor, which is now a care home run by Age UK, was built in 1850 under instruction from John Andsell. Upon its completion, the lavish property was known as Cowley House and was a Victorian gentlemen's residences. And with 12 bedrooms it was the talk of the town, even though there was only one bathroom.
The Andsells stayed in the home until John's passing in 1885, following his death the house and grounds were bought from his widow for £11k by the St Helens Corporation and the contents of the house were auctioned off.
In 1892 the house briefly became a museum, after its closure it became derelict. In 1993 the charity took over the property and began converting it into a care home.
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Is Mansion House Haunted?
The Mansion House has its fair share of ghost stories and the building is said to take on a totally different feeling in the dead of night. Witnesses have reported hearing thumping and knocking noises. Ghostly children are heard playing, heavily booted footsteps are heard, and the phantom image of a woman has been seen peering through a door in one of the downstairs room.
The house's most famous ghost is that of a young woman who is seen on the stair. It seems that every large haunted house, that has a large staircase as a strange story connected to it. Mansion House is no different.
The woman is believed to be a maid who was having an affair with a local gentleman. Sadly, he assaulted her which drove her to take her own life, she hanged herself from the balcony at the top of the stairs.
Since then there have been reports of strange ghostly moans and cries, and some people have felt themselves being grabbed by unseen hands.
The show's resident skeptic, Glen Hunt says "these stories you hear about, they're passed down from generation to generation, or through visitors who come and visit places such as these and we don't know if there's any fact behind them and it lends itself very well to a mansion that should be haunted."
Demonologist Fred disagrees, "remember the servants here probably couldn't write, so everything was told from mouth to mouth, they were just passed on over the generations, so that's the only way the story could be passed on."
Glen thinks the uneasy feeling many report on the stairs could just be due to the design of the stairs, "the railings are quite low, you could easily just topple over those. Anyone who doesn't realise it who has a bit of vertigo, they're at the top of the stairs, they're looking down and they'll feel uneasy, it's just a natural thing."
In the mansion's cellar, visitors have reported encountering a negative entity. Dark shadows lurk in the corners, and poltergeist activity has been reported here.
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This week's vigil started with Yvette, Glen, and Eamonn Van-Harris on the haunted staircase. They all reported feeling fine, but Fred who was with the insisted that he found the stairs where the maid hanged herself uneasy.
Fred pointed out that there were powerful elements coming into the stair well, "you've got the glass roof, so you've got the rain, you've got sun. Everything to do with witchrcaft is above this area here."
While in this area, the crew heard what sounded like the banister being kicked. Moving down to the bottom of the stairs, they heard tapping which seemed like a spirit trying to communicate. Karl Beattie, who was manning the camera, also claimed to have seen a shadow figure behind fellow camera op, Stuart Torevell.
With the tapping dying down, the team moved in to one of the downstairs room and set up a ouija board, while Eamonn manned a laptop to record audio in the hope of capturing spirits voices, known as EVPs.
The team asked the spirits present a few questions. After confirming that the spirt was that of the maid who took her life on the stairs, Yvette asked her name, the spirit spelt it out on the ouija board as Fred wrote down the answer, "Edith Dunn."
Yvette then asked, "what year did you hang yourself?" and via the board, the spirit indicated "1865," a date which does tie in with the construction of the house.
After some initial responses on the ouija, the voices left the team, so they decided to go and find them. They started their search in the mansion's derelict and extensive cellar.
While in this dark, brick-lined chambers, the team heard what sounded like a child's voice, although the sound was not picked up on camera.
They ventured in a little deeper, which caused Yvette to show some concern for her hubby, Karl, "he's getting his brand new Christmas jumper all filthy."
They once again performed a séance in the dark cellar, but they were frequently disturbed by loud knocks and bangs, a growl, and even what sounded like a man's voice coming from an adjoining chamber.
Fred Tries Scrying
The gang then split up. Karl and Stuart staked out the stair well, where they heard the usual disembodied tapping sounds. While Fred, was joined by cameraman Gregg Smith and sound guy Darren Hutchinson on the ground floor.
After a strange draught the team couldn't account for and Fred's claim that his arm was pushed by a spirit while sat on a sofa, Fred decided to try a technique called scyring.
This involves staring at yourself in a mirror, usually in low light, in the hope that a spirit my show themselves to you. Fred called out, "if you are here, come to me in the mirror, change the way I look."
I'm not sure how long Fred would have tried this paranormal
experiment, but only a few seconds of the ritual made it into the show.
Alone In The Cellar
Meanwhile Yvette was back in the cellar, this time on her own. Which I have to say was a very brave move for Yvette, and perhaps one she regretted.
After entering the dark sub-level on her own, she said, "I am very nervous, so let's see what happens," and it wasn't long before what appeared to be paranormal activity started to occur.
Early into her lone vigil a light coloured rock was thrown across her path in the distance and was seen whizzing past the camera,
She then captured a sound on camera which sound like a loud band on a piece of wood. Followed by a loud scraping sound, upon inspection this could have been the sound of a plastic storage box being moved around in one part of the cellar.
For the next few minutes, Yvette was tormented by something in the cellar, and she retaliated, calling the mischievous all sorts of names, which were of course censored for broadcast. It wasn't long before Yvette had had enough, "I don't know where I am, I'm going to have to go now," she said before running for safety.
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