Yvette Fielding and the team head to Stoke in tonight's episode of Most Haunted to investigate a pub, which originally opened in the 1700s as a coaching house and inn. There's clearly plenty of ghostly goings on at The Leopard Inn, as the mammoth investigation is spread across three episodes.
The Burslem pub is one of the region's oldest and most important buildings. Originally built as three houses, it has been a working inn for over 250 years. After initially being a thriving establishment, the inn fell into disrepair by the mid-1850s, but after a refurbishment and the addition of a hotel extension, it became the largest commercial hotel in the area, boasting over 50 rooms.
Although popular for 100 years, the Victorian accommodation was closed in 1956 because of structural damage and was left deserted.
The empty rooms of the Leopard Inn are now said to be the domain of many ghosts and strange happenings. Footsteps are heard walking along corridors when the building is all but empty, doors slam, children's laughter echoes throughout the darkness and shadows are seen walking from room to room. With this and poltergeist activity, the Leopard Inn is reputedly one of the most haunted locations in Great Britain.
Dark shadows have been seen walking through the bar area. The show's resident skeptic, Glen Hunt isn't convinced by this, he thinks drink might be to blame for some of these reports. He also said, "consider the fact we are right on the road and it's a very busy road. Cars going past fleetingly, that casts a different shadow or a light goes on in a building opposite it changes the look of a room straight away."
The last orders bell in the bar is also said to ring on its own. Meanwhile, upstairs in the abandoned hotel area, in the room which is said to have once used as a children's nursery, lots of people have witnessed the sound of children playing, laughing and running around. A music box in the room is also said to mysteriously play on its own.
Glen very astutely pointed out that the wallpaper in the room isn't consistent with the decor of the nursery and feel that because of this, the claim of its former use as a nursery may be nothing more than an unsubstantiated story that's been passed along.
The bedroom next door to the nursery is said to be one of the most paranormally active rooms in the building. The landlady, Sharon Crisp, once brought her doberman into the room and he coward near the wall, terrified of something that Sharon couldn't see.
Before the investigation even got underway, the team witnessed paranormal activity while getting shots of the building. While Karl Beattie and Stuart Torevell discussed a shot, six doors along a corridor slammed in succession. Karl and Stu grabbed the camera but they were unable to find any explanation for the occurrence. As the pair talked about the incident, two more doors slammed loudly around them.
Later while Karl was filming alone in a corridor, a creepy doll fell out in front of the camera from one of the rooms. The team also picked up on strange tapping sounds during Yvette's initial walk around the building with Glen and at one point Karl felt like his camera was being pulled out of his hand.
With the lights out and the cameras switched to night vision, the team split into two to begin their investigation. Glen wanted to go it alone in the cellar, where he heard a few odd sounds, but it was generally pretty quiet. Meanwhile, Yvette, Karl, Stuart and Darren Hutchinson began on the derelict upper floors. Straight away Yvette saw a light anomaly cross the corridor with her naked eye, the type that is usually caught on camera and called an orb.
Then the tapping started again. Yvette called out "how many of you are there?" and there were several rapid taps in response, Yvette counted it as seven. Moments later they heard footsteps and walked along the corridor to move closer to the sound. As they did they heard a strange unidentifiable sound. They also heard a low growl-like sound coming from one of the rooms.
Later in one of the bedrooms, Karl said he saw a white shape over Stuart's shoulder. A few minutes later, back out in the corridor, Yvette braved walking further into the darkness on her own and while she was separated from the rest of the crew, they heard a noise. It turned out to be a fork landing on the floor near Yvette, where it came from was unclear. Then more objects, including spoons were thrown.
We were then shown a replay of a moment when Yvette called out to the spirits. She said "can we hear your voice? Say 'hello'." And with enhanced audio someone whispering the word "hello" can clearly be heard. It was a really good example of an EVP. Yvette says, "this stands as one of our most remarkable and chilling pieces of voice phenomena to date."
Yvette then heard a long sustained breath coming from one of the rooms, the sound was also clearly heard on camera. They all went in the room to see if it would happen again, it happened again a few seconds later while Karl is talking. Interestingly, the sound was only picked up on Karl's camera. He was stood in the doorway to the room at the time, while Stuart's camera in the room didn't pick up the sound, which means the sound was coming from the corridor, not the room. And of course, it couldn't have been Karl because he was talking at the time.
After leaving this room, Karl is forced to move a chair out of his way to pass, not realising that the chair hadn't been there earlier. Another disembodied voice was then captured on camera, which appeared to be saying "demon".
At this point the team decided to split up. Yvette and Darren stayed on the first floor, but they weren't too happy to be on their own. Darren said, "I'm trying to not think about the fact that every horror movie that you've ever seen features a bathroom like the one that we've just been in." Karl and Stuart had left them to go up to the second floor.
With the team spread across the building, the programme came to an end, but with two more episodes at this location still to come, you can bet the Leopard Inn still has plenty in store for Yvette and the team.
The new series of Most Haunted continues as part of Really's #13NightsOfFrights. Watch on Freeview (17), Sky (142), Virgin Media (129) and Freesat (160), or watch previous episodes of Most Haunted on demand on the UKTV Player.