Most Haunted At Derby Gaol - Series 1, Episode 7 Review
This article is more than ten years old and was last updated in July 2020.
Yvette Fielding and a team of experts head to Derby, a city which calls itself the ghost capital of England. There they spent the night in Derby Gaol, which was built in 1756 and played host to total incarceration and many brutal executions.
The Old Derby Gaol is now a tourist attraction, but still exists hidden in basement beneath buildings and under the pavements. Since 1756 housed hundreds of prisoners, many of them died here and it's said many refuse to leave. It was designed to hold 21 prisoners at any one time.
Visitors and staff at the prison have seen ghostly face and heard the sound of heavy-booted footsteps and dragging sounds in the otherwise empty corridor, which runs through the goal.
Early in the episode we meet the property's owner, a historian named Richard Felix, who will one day become a regular member of the Most Haunted team. This is followed by a conversation about the paranormal between Yvette and the show's parapsychologist, Jason Karl. Jason told Yvette the origin of ectoplasm and told her how as a skeptic if something odd happens he doesn't jump to the conclusion that it's paranormal.
With that in mind, he then talked her through some experiments he was planning for the episode, one involving a cross as a "trigger object," he said this might work as the goal has connections to an old nunnery. Jason placed the crucifix on a piece of plane paper in the goal and drew around it. He said he did this so that "we can tell even if it moves a few millimetres. If it does move, then it'll be paranormal." So much for not jumping to the paranormal conclusion. After placing the trigger object in the cell, Jason locked the door. When he went back into the room an hour later, he found that the cross had moved almost 7mm, despite no one going in the room.
Luckily there was a locked off camera in the cell and the crucifix could be seen moving on a close up. Unfortunately the whole piece of paper it was on moved and the camera angle wasn't wide enough to see the whole piece of paper, so it's impossible as a viewer to rule out that someone living moved the paper.
With the experiment out the way, Yvette and Karl took the show's psychic medium Derek Acorah down into the goal for an initial walk around. He picked up on the presence of a woman named Alice Wheeldon, who was imprisoned in another Derby jail for plotting to poison the Prime Minster in 1917. Derek even mentioned the PM's name, David Lloyd George. Quite why her spirit roams here is unclear.
Yvette suddenly reported feeling sick to her stomach and walked off and burst into tears. Once she'd calmed down, Yvette said "I feel so embarrassed about this, I have to say. It was just like the sickiest feeling in my stomach, and then the desire to... I just can't explain it."
Derek also picked up on several other spirits associated with the gaol. Then with the lights out the investigation started properly in the cell where the cross had moved. Straight away they all smelt a very strong scent of flowers, roses. Jason described this as a classic "phantom smell," which characteristically dissipated very quickly. Before they carried on, Jason declared to all, "in order to irradiate any possible natural causes, I need to check everyone's perfume, male and female." Camera man, Mark Ellison, looked a little unsettled by this.
Mark and Ian French stayed in a cell alone where they caught several orbs on camera and participated in an automatic writing experiment which had been set up by Jason. The idea was to try to encourage the spirits to write through them while isolated in the cell. However, only a few "lines and squiggles" were drawn, which meant nothing.
Meanwhile, Yvette, Derek and Jason were in a neighbouring cell, where nothing seemed to be happening. So, soon after the investigation came to an end. All the activity the occurred in tonight's episode, the smell of roses, the moving crucifix and the orbs, all happened in the same cell.
Yvette summed up by saying, "I wanted to leave Derby Gaol as quickly as possible, it was a strange place with an oppressive atmosphere. Everyone had been effect in one way or another and nobody was keen to go back."
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