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Halloween night wouldn't be the same without Most Haunted, and tonight Yvette and the team treated us to one of the best episodes of the show in a long time.
As part of a week of new episodes on Really, Yvette Fielding took her team of ghost hunters to Liverpool's Croxteth Hall, a grade II listed country estate which dates back to 1575, for a per-recorded "as live" show.
The two-hour long paranormal
investigation was produced in the same style as one of the live shows, meaning it was unedited and uncut. It felt quite different to the regular shows. Judging by the improved night vision and more cameras, the show had a higher budget than normal.
All together it felt like it was much more raw, it didn't have any action replays or commentary, it was just a gang of seven people and a dog wandering around in the dark getting scared, something Most Haunted have managed to make very entertaining over the years and do better than anyone.
The Most Haunted team are no strangers to Croxteth Hall, they first visited in 2004. The manor house is said to be haunted by numerous ghosts which have been sighted by visitors to the property and even caught on CCTV. Some say the haunting could be caused by the spirit of a former resident, the second Earl of Sefton, William Philip Molyneux, it’s said his ghost wanders the grounds.
Yvette started the show by introducing us to the rest of the her team. There were the regular familiar faces, Karl Beattie, skeptic Glen Hunt, and demonologist
Fred Batt. There's also a new face to look out for tonight, Louise Jones or Lou, the show's assistant producer.
Plus on the cameras as always was Stuart Torevell and Gregg Smith, with Darren Hutchinson on sound, who, according to Yvette is "always pooing himself".
Locked Off Cameras
Yvette then took us to meet someone else, Jenny Bryant, the show's location manager who had the horrible job of sitting on her own in a haunted house all night watching four creepy camera feeds. The cameras have been set up in areas where shadowy figures have been seen, laughs and bangs have been heard, as well as the sound of children's voices.
"I think this is a great place, I think the upper floors and the kitchens are just superb. We've been around here earlier, we've been here all day, there's some weird stuff happening already, door slamming and that, so I think it's going to be a great night."
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As always, the team did a reccy of the building with the lights on before venturing out into the darkness. The first stop was an area of the house which would have once been used by the servants, comprising of kitchens, offices and some creepy corridors. Yvette described this area of the house as a "real life Downton Abbey". She also said that this area has got some "fantastic ghost stories down here".
Skeptical Glen smugly, "well every big house has a ghost story behind it, in this case several".
The team then made their way into an amazing wine cellar, an area where they heard bottles moving and clinking on their pervious visit in 2004. Within seconds the team hear a sound, Fred thinks it sounds a bit like a rolling barrel.
Then, less than eight minutes into the show and we get our first scream from Yvette as a bottle falls to the floor. Luckily Fred is on hand to pick it up and inspect it, "it's German". Thanks, Fred.
Yvette is shocked, "I saw it flying through the air. It was from this corner, I saw a black thing and then it came flying, and there was nobody here. I saw it in mid-air flying."
She turned to Glen for his opinion and to everyone's surprise, skeptical Glen says "I think it's paranormal, is what it is."
Karl thinks the incident is one of the most impressive they've ever witnessed, he said "we're playing it down a bit to be fair, but that's one of the best pieces of phenomenon I think we've ever caught. No one's in that area, a bottle hits the floor and rolls towards us. That's fantastic and that's kind of put me on edge, because if a bottle can be flung we all need to be careful."
In the house's large kitchen, Yvette reminisced about the 2004 episode in the house, "I remember this kitchen as being one of the best kitchens in a house like this, it's so well maintained and it as it was hundreds of years ago. And I also remember being down here in the dark and all hell breaking loose."
Apparently the kitchen is haunted by a French chef and many have reported cutlery being thrown around, as well as other paranormal activity... best keep Karl out the way then! Remember what happened at Standon Hall?
While Glen was showing off his new EVP
experiment in the kitchen, a light seemed to turn itself off over the other side of the kitchen. The light isn't on a timer, it's a normal switch which has been physically turned off on the wall while in plain sight of the team.
Yvette took this as a sign from the spirits to turn the lights off... "well, you've got your wish," she told them.
The Servant's Quarters
As always the group split up, the first we hear from Stuart, Karl, Darren and Fred's team, who have gone up to the servants' quarters, is Stu telling Karl, "you look freaky Karl, your eyes, you look like a mad man".
To be fair, he did have a point... even Karl agreed.
Then Fred lowered the mood by describing the area as being "depressive", is that a real word? He also says, "there's something up here, I can tell by the feel of it".
It seems Fred may have been right, moments later a knife was thrown along the corridor, landing with a clatter on the wooden floor in front of Karl and the gang.
Seconds later there was a loud crash which sounded like a window smashing but turned out to be lightbulb hitting the floor. This was followed by two more lightbulbs being thrown, one of which was a little too close for comfort. Darren said, "that sounded like something exploded right at the side of my face".
After three knives and three bulbs had been thrown, Karl came to the conclusion, "we are basically under attack, I mean that in every sense of the word". Stu agreed, "it's a war zone, this".
Yvette and Glen had been in the wine cellar, but other than a few knocks and bangs, didn't experience much activity, so they came to join the rest of the team upstairs.
It wasn't long before Yvette heard what sounded like a growl, "what the f**k was that? Oh my God, that was a fricking growl. That was horrible."
Next we're treated a brilliant Fred moment. After Karl thought he spotted "a shadow right there" in the corridor, Fred told a horrified Yvette that it was "demons. They're trying to kill us". I don't think Yvette could quite believe what she had heard but Fred assured her, "you don't get this sort of thing from just ghosts".
Then another knife was thrown...
"Ow!" shouted Karl, this time the knife hit him on the back of the head. While most of the team rallied around him, Fred seemed pretty unconcerned, he was still going on about what demons smell like.... not chocolate apparently.
Despite clearly not being happy about it, "I'm sick of having knives thrown at me," it was only minutes later when again a knife hit Karl. This time he described it like the knife took a swipe at him, it caught his hand and even drew blood.
This left Karl to wonder, "are any of us safe?" ...probably not, so the team decided to leave this area for now. Glen left with a pocket full of six knives that he'd picked up along the way after they were thrown.
Before the team get a chance to move on to their next location, it was Stuart who was hit by a flying object in the form of a rock. Talking to camera, he said "this thing came from nowhere, hit me on the leg and landed on the floor. Whether it was aimed for me I don't know. But I don't know where that one have come from".
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Next it was time to try to communicate with the spirits of Croxteth Hall. Yvette made a makeshift ouija board by writing the alphabet on a piece of paper and asked the spirits to tap as she pointed out the letters in order to spell a word. I couldn't hear anything on the recording myself, but Yvette seemed to be hearing taps which enabled her to start forming a word...
Luckily it wasn't spelling what it looked like it was going to, it seemed the ghost had made a typo and was actually trying to say "cut all you", so perhaps not that lucky after all.
The team had already heard a few slamming doors throughout the night, but Stuart got to see a door slam up close.
Having split up again, Stuart was wandering the house alone and the door slammed closed directly in his path at the end of a corridor. Rushing over to it, he tried to open it, "can't even open it, can't even open it. That is solid guys. That door literally just slammed shut"
Yvette & Watson
Meanwhile Yvette went to perform her own vigil alone... well almost alone, she was joined by her dog, Watson.
Talking to camera, Yvette said "Watson and I have come here on our own and we're about to go in to the servants' quarters. And I have to say I'm nervous and yet I'm not as bad because I've got Watson with me."
But it seems Watson was a little nervous too, Yvette noted his behaviour, "he's not he's normal happy self."
Talking to Watson, she added, "I'm actually enjoying this vigil more with you Watson, than with Karl and Stuart. I don't know why, but they scare the s**t out of me when I do a vigil with them."
While in the servants' quarters, Yvette heard footstep behind her, quiet distant taps that seemed to respond to her asking if there were any children here. As well as something that sounded like material being dragged or moved of material.
At one point she got a little freaked out and radioed through to Karl for reassurance, but Yvette was unaware of the strange goings on Karl was experiencing at the very same moment.
The stand out moment of this episode was when Karl was alone in a bedroom on the upper floors and a bed slid across the wooden floor, seemingly with no one touching it.
Karl said, "woah! I'm sure that bed just moved, I'm sure it did." He investigates the bed, and moves the camera around it showing that there's no one behind it or underneath it.
A little shaken, Karl then left the bedroom and went out into the corridor and moments later heard a crash come from inside the room. Talking to himself on camera, Karl said, "there was a noise from that room again, I really don't even wanna go in it".
But reluctantly Karl did re-enter the room and was confronted by this mess, "what the?!? That wasn't like that when I left it". The room had been trashed.
Glen's EVP Experiment
During the recording of the show Glen was conducting an experiment which he and Yvette had devised. It involved trying to capture spirit voices using two different pieces of recording equipment, a laptop and an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. Glen explained, "it's always easy to say with digital recording it's probably easier to manipulate essentially."
But Glen thinks it would be much harder to fake a recording on an "old fashioned analogue recorder", as you'll see the reels go round in real time and it can't be edited easily after. Glen added that at the same time "we will have the digital recorder running as well" and there will be a GoPro keeping an eye on it.
Part way through the show, we see the reel of the tape spinning and hear what sounds like scissors cutting or perhaps knives being sharpened which has been captured by the device.
After all this action, the team re-grouped in the kitchen and the episode came to a close but this isn't the last we've heard from Croxteth Hall. The team kept the cameras rolling all night and captured everything they could, the rest of the action can be seen in the second part of this investigation.
I'm sure there's plenty more for Croxteth to revel too, after all we haven't yet seen any action from the locked of cameras, Lou hasn't yet reappeared, Jenny has been quiet, and the team haven't yet ventured back into the kitchen.
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.For reviews of all of the new episodes, plus highlights and evidence from the shows, and to find out when Most Haunted is on next, visit the Most Haunted episode guide.
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