It wouldn't be Halloween without Most Haunted on our screens, and this year Yvette Fielding and her team of paranormal
investigators gave fans what they've been crying out for, a live investigation on the night of Halloween, and for the first time in almost ten years the team were joined by a live audience.
Having recently parted ways with the Really channel, the three-hour-long investigation was broadcast live on YouTube from the dark and abandoned old police courts in Accrington.
Yvette was joined by her normal gang, including Mary Beattie who first appeared on our screens in the previous series of the show. Yvette kicked the event off in front of the excited audience in courtroom one, one of the building's most haunted locations.
Yvette promised viewers an "interesting and frightening evening" full of ghostly goings on and a paranormal experiment, the likes of which the Most Haunted team have never conducted before, which will unfold right in front of the audience. Before the team got stuck into the investigation, Yvette told us why they picked this location for their Halloween special.
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Designed in 1933 by Percy Thomas, the old Accrington police station and courts opened its doors on May 9th 1935 and stood as a bastion to Great British justice until its closure in 2016. This imposing building is said to have been built on grounds that once belonged to a monastic order of cistercian monks.
Three monks were said to have been murdered by locals who opposed the building of the black abbey. There are also tales of a young monk burned to death by the father of his would-be girlfriend.
Even though this terrifying incident happened many centuries ago, the cowled figures of the murdered monks have been seen walking the many dark corridors of this now deserted building.
While in use, Accrington police station and courts, would have had thousands of people walk through its doors - judges, police officers, criminals both guilty and innocent, as well as other workers and members of the public. Accounts of ghostly apparitions, doors slamming and the deathly groans of the long-dead are witnessed with stark regularity.
One of the most famous occurrences here happened recently. A cell door shut and locked four members of the public in the cell with no apparent reason. The locks had all been disabled and to this day, no explanation of how this could have happened has been found.
When the building officially closed and the last person left, he said he heard footsteps walking in the distance, followed by a long painful cry. Knowing the building was empty, he locked up and left.
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With the cameras switched to night vision, the team ventured into the darkness to begin their investigation, starting out in the building's upper corridors where Yvette was joined by Karl Beattie, skeptic Glen Hunt, demonologist
Fred Batt, Darren Hutchinson, Gregg Smith, and Mary. Plus Stuart Torevell behind the camera.
Straight away the team heard what they thought sounded like footsteps coming from the end of the corridor behind them, so started their investigation by going to see what the cause of the sound was. The team then started hearing a low rumbling sound, but Glen's rational explanation for this was the passing traffic on the street outside. Moments later Gregg heard and unexplained whistle echoing from the darkness.
We were then treated to one of Fred's demonic chants, as he invited Satan to "open the gates of Hell and come and greet us". While most of the team were hopeful that Fred my stir up some energy, Yvette whispered to the camera, "I hate it when he calls out," but moments later confessed that "whenever he does something, stuff happens." And it did. As Fred was reciting his incantation there was a loud sound and at the same moment Fred thought he saw someone or something moving in the darkness.
The team then split up when Yvette sent Karl and Stuart through a little hatch into a dark and eerie looking crawl space. Yvette and co continued their investigation after hearing three loud bangs in the abandoned building.
After an hour of investigation, where the team witnessed countless knocks and bangs, and even whistles and hissing sounds, Stuart, Mary and Darren were left alone in the darkened corridors, while Yvette, Karl, Fred and Glen return to the courtroom to unveil their experiment.
In front of the live audience Yvette explained what the experiment would involved, stating from the start that she was "dead against it". Yvette revealed that the team had acquired a dybbuk box, she explains that dybbuk is a Hebrew word which means "to stick".
Apparently the idea of dybbuk boxes goes back along way, Yvette explains, "they started off as wine boxes and a rabbi would have taken a piece of hair, a photograph and so on, of somebody who would have been a very negative person in life. They would have put all of these elements into a box and sealed it."
They believed that by doing this part of that energy and any potential evil entity is trapped inside the box. And one such box was in front of the team at that very moment, and it was about to be opened right in front of the audience. Yvette said she didn't want to get close to the box, but Fred warned her that "it's not the box you've got to worry about, it's what's inside."
Glen wasn't so convinced about the dangers. He said, "it's funny that 10 years ago these things weren't surfacing anywhere, suddenly they're all over the internet for sale, which I find a bit odd." Glen added that he was 100% sure there would be nothing but fresh air inside the box.
Although Karl admitted that he though the idea of dybbuk boxes is "hogwash", said that this particular boxes comes with a story. He explains, "somebody's friend apparently moved into an old house. Things started to go wrong two or three days into the move, they heard some heavy booted footsteps in their attic, they heard crying and doors were slamming." According to Karl, the friend of the homeowner went into the attic to investigate, found the box and took it back to his house and the activity followed.
Karl was about to pry the box open with a screwdriver, but at the last moment opted for a more efficient method.
As the rest of the team stood to one side, Karl took to the wax-covered box with an angle grinder. Sparks flew as the power tool cut through the wooden box, releasing whatever was trapped inside and for the first time ever opening a dybbuk box in front of a studio audience.
Like Glen, even Karl would admit that dybbuk boxes are all over the place. So seeing someone cutting into one with a loud dangerous tool gave this particular dybbuk opening a refreshing comedy edge and a bit of uniqueness, but the comic relief quickly came to an end when the box broke open and the audience could see what was inside.
As Yvette shrieked, "ugh, it's got hair in it," the audience let out a groan. The next thing that hit the team was the smell, which Yvette said was like ammonia, she added "it's very very strong". Karl then passed the box into the audience for them to examine and sniff.
Was there anything in the box? And now it's free, will it affect the team or any of the audience members over the course of the night?
We were then taken deeper into the building to the old cells in the basement where the team were about to conduct another experiment, this time with just one brave audience member.
The experiment involved a special séance in one of the cells. The table had a copper handrail around its edge, which had a long copper wire running from it into the neighbouring cell where audience member Sean was sat. He was holding a bar connected to the other end of the cable, effectively connecting him to the table.
Yvette was joined around the table by Karl, Glen, Fred, Mary, Stuart and Darren, who refused to sit next to Fred. They all placed their hands on the copper rail. As copper is a conductor of energy, the team's hopes were that Sean would be able to feel what they were feeling or pick up on the energy of the séance.
As the team called out, Sean started to shiver and shake. At the same moment the team reported that the table was shaking and trembling. The team concluded that the vibrations in the table was matched by Sean in the other cell. Halfway through the experiment, Gregg jerked backwards after feeling something tug on his camera's cable. This same thing happened several more times in the same location during the investigation.
Sean then swapped places with Karl and after a few minutes of calling out, Karl felt a shock which caused him to drop the copper bar. A little while later, he suddenly felt that he had been pushed against the wall. Karl admitted that he wasn't expecting it. He said, "because I've already got shocked through that, I expected another shock".
Yvette then took Karl's place alone in the cell holding the copper bar, and she too reported feeling a sensation of static electricity coming through the bar. During the experiment they repeatedly heard a sound like someone walking in the corridor outside the cells.
The team then had a chance to re-group and relocated as Yvette went upstairs for a chat with the audience to find out if they'd experienced anything in courtroom one during the investigation.
Later joined by another audience member named Rachel, Karl and Darren reported seeing a dark figure moving through the darkness in the corridor ahead of them. Rachel did a great job of calling out with the team, and perhaps it was her words that encouraged something that was with them to produce the growl they all heard.
Going into the final hour of the investigation, Yvette said, "I actually feel like the whole atmosphere here has changed now." And Yvette wasn't wrong. There was plenty of strange unexplained knocks and bangs to keep the team searching the depths of the old courts for the next hour.
Towards the end of the episode Yvette and Karl took the dybbuk down to the cells and conducted a vigil with it in the centre of their séance table. Stuart swapped with Yvette at one point during the séance and they were also joined by Jenny Bryant, who viewers may remember from her previous appearances on Most Haunted's 'As-Live' shows.
The vigil resulted in a scary moment for Yvette when she felt something pull on her coat hood. She jumped up and panicked when he vision became blurry. After the incident Yvette said, "I felt it pull really hard and then it was like something put its fingers over my eyes."
A shaken Yvette then made her way to the courtroom, where she began calling out in the space the audience were in, as many of them had reported hearing tapping throughout the night. They experienced some very clear and responsive knocking in this room, but didn't have long with midnight fast approaching.
With that the live stream came to an end, with a tease of another live investigation on the show's official YouTube channel at some point soon.
At its peak the live broadcast had 20,000 paranormal fans watching. The whole event was viewed more than 100,000 times during the three hours and trended at No. 5 on Twitter in the UK as fans of the show talked about the event using the hashtag #MostHauntedLive.
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