With torrential rain lashing down on the Botanic Gardens Museum in Southport, Yvette Fielding ventured inside with her team of fearless ghost hunters on Halloween night for a paranormal
investigation as 'Most Haunted Live!' returned.
At 9pm on Halloween night Yvette took us live to the historic museum building within the botanic gardens of Southport. We first see the television ghost hunter standing on the grand wooden staircase in the museum, which closed in 2011. With a smile on her face and unaware of how treacherous the night's broadcast would be, Yvette welcomed viewers to the three-hour show. She said, "Hello, I'm Yvette Fielding and I've brought you to a location that's believed to be rife with paranormal activity. It's Halloween, welcome to Most Haunted Live."
After a quick chat with the 100 audience members, who had come along to watch the live ghost hunting event on the big screen in a cafe adjoining the museum building, Yvette and her team entered the museum for their nightlong investigation. As always, Yvette was joined by Karl Beattie, resident skeptic Glen Hunt, fellow investigator Stuart Torevell, and crew members Gregg Smith and Darren Hutchinson.
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The museum was designed by the local architects Mellor & Sutton of London street and built by George Duxfield of Duxfield Brothers Southport, the museum opened its doors to the public in 1876. The world famous American showman politician and businessman Phineas T. Barnum, who founded the world renowned Barnum & Bailey Circus was used as an advisor in the construction of the museum, where his top hat was once displayed.
Sadly the museum collections were sold off in 1932. However, knowing that the community needed the museum. It was later triumphantly reopened by John Scoles, but with a new collection. Many of the artefacts were donated by local residents, as many of the exhibits dealt with local as well as natural history. The Cecily Bate collection of dolls was added, a Victorian room was constructed and many local artefacts relating to Southport heritage were for the first time available to be viewed in one place by the public.
Due to a cost cutting exercise by Sefton Council, the difficult decision to shut the museum down was made on the 24th of April 2011. The much love Botanic Gardens Museum, once again, closed its doors to the public.
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The team began their investigation in the pitch black museum, but it wasn't just what might be lurking in the darkness that the team had to contend with, outside a fierce storm was brewing, plus behind the scenes crew were troubled by technical issues and power outages caused by water leaking into the building.
After being lead around from exhibition hall to exhibition hall chasing unexplained knocks and bangs in darkness, Yvette conducted an early lone vigil in the curiosities room. Later the whole team, now joined by the show's demonologist
Fred Batt sat around the table in a room that has been fittingly turned into a séance room. Illuminated only by candlelight, the team spent sometime attempting to contact the spirits of the museum.
Then some of the team ventured into the cellar, which was beginning to flood in places. It was here that the first dramatic incident of the night occurred. After a little while in the disconcerting cellar, Karl started to feel unwell and appeared to be visibly shaking. Things escalated quickly and moments later Karl was lead on his back on the floor.
A concerned Yvette radioed through to the production team, "can you get somebody down here please, quickly. Somebody. He's having some sort of fit or something. Please." Yvette then said, "cut to something else please."
At this point viewers were left in suspense and concerned for Karl, as the live broadcast cut to some footage recorded earlier in the day in the gatehouse, another smaller building in the grounds of the botanic gardens. However, halfway through this eventful pre-recorded segment, another unexpected event occurred.
The driving rain outside got into the building's electrics, causing the power to suddenly fail and the live stream to drop until the power could be restored, leaving viewers left wondering what had happened.
Eventually the circuit breakers were flipped back on and the live stream resumed. We re-joined Yvette, now in the séance room, who tells us why the live feed went down. She explained, "the weather here has been absolutely appalling. We've lost everything. All the electricity went in the whole of the building," but she reassured worried viewers, "we're now back on air. I can tell you that Karl is absolutely fine, there is no medical explanation for what happened, but he did lose consciousness."
As the weather thwarted the team's plans to return live to the gatehouse, the eventful night ended with Yvette and her gang gathered around the séance table once again. After calling out to the spirits of the museum for a little while, Yvette dashed off in search of a figure she saw moving through the darkness in an adjoining room. Despite a search of the area, no one was found living or dead.
This search led them deeper into the museum, but with the time fast approaching midnight, the live broadcast soon came to an end. Yvette gathered with the team to say goodnight. She told viewers, "thank you for joining us, thank you for staying with us even though we've had a few technical issues, what with the weather." She parted with her catchphrase, "sleep tight."
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