Most Haunted Series 21 Review
Late October and early November 2017 proved to be a busy few weeks for Most Haunted fans as the 21st series of the nation's favourite ghost hunting show aired, with six episodes being aired during the week of Halloween and four further episodes over subsequent weeks.
Yvette Fielding was back with her team of paranormal investigators and once again proved that they're the most entertaining ghost hunting team on television. It's true that they might not be as the "scientific" as some of the other paranormal shows on TV, but those shows are dull and packed through of unproven pseudoscience, where as Most Haunted rely on one irrefutable fact... people get scared in the dark and it makes great TV.
Rather than looking for spikes in EM fields or messing around with gadgets with distracting flashing lights, the Most Haunted team simply go to some of the creepiest locations they can and immerse themselves in their surrounding. These locations are said to be haunted and people have experienced ghostly goings on there, so Yvette and her gang just go along to experience it like any other guest to the property.
This most recent series started in Shrewsbury at a large mansion that dates back to the late 1500s, Rowley's House. While here it was Karl Beattie who captured the first talking point of the series on camera.
While on the lookout for spooks with just a camera, he first pans around the room to show us what's there, we see nothing but a filing cabinet stood in the middle of the room with all of its drawers shut. A couple of second after the cabinet goes out of shot we hear a bang and Karl spins around to reveal that the top drawer of the filing cabinet is now open.
Moving across the room for a closer look, Karl says "what the hell? Was that shut before?" After checking if anyone else was around, which there wasn't, a shaken Karl exclaimed, "that's unbelievable".
Next was the eventful episode shot at The Fleece Inn, a 400 year old pub in West Yorkshire. While interviewing the pub's landlady, a chair was thrown off of a balcony, with a huge crash it landed to the side of the camera.
The show's resident skeptic, Glen Hunt said, "there was no one up there, absolutely no one up there. Its's just a mezzanine floor, you can hear the creaking if anybody's up there". Perhaps the event was faked? Glen doesn't think so, "I know this is a television show, but there is no one on this God's earth who would want to throw a chair at someone from a great height".
In the kitchen, Karl once again found himself the target of flying objects. Having already heard several objects moving and even smashing in the kitchen, Karl was surprised to find that the next flying object narrowly missed his head and smashed on the wall behind him. A moment that was caught on camera.
The glass appears to have come from Karl's right-hand side, above head height. Yvette explains, "with everyone else accounted for, this is a great piece of evidence." Although Karl wasn't as excited, "I'm actually not too happy with that, because that was thrown with some force."
Next the team headed to the outskirts of Birmingham and Haden Hill House, a Tudor manor house with legends of an entombed monk, secret passageways and plenty of ghost stories. The house, complete with its creepy trapdoor to an unwelcoming cellar, proved to be a terrifying location... especially for Yvette's dog, Watson who refused to descend the dark staircase to the basement.
The investigation was spread out over two episodes, the stand out moment of the first episode being a piano which seemed to play itself. The moment was caught on a locked off cameras which was places in that room. The enhanced and enlarged footage shows the piano alone in the room, in the dark. You can clearly see the keys of piano moving in time with the sounds.
In the second part of the investigation, Karl was wandering around the ground floor alone. After hearing some footsteps and knocks, he tried to find their source and moved the camera around a fireplace with an old wooden chair next to it. He panned the camera to his right, as it hovered over a solid bench, and the chair moved of its own accord out of shot.
Karl felt the need to explain what he'd seen to the camera, "there was something moving in the corner and I panned the camera and that chair has moved 90 degrees, at least".
Later in the series Yvette and Karl braved on of the most terrifying cellars they've ever experienced while investigating The Old House in Coalville. Glen may have been skeptical about the house's dark past which included unsubstantiated tales of a slaughtered family and suicide, but the house proved that it did have a dark side.
In the cellar, a ouija board spelt out the word, "DIE", after Yvette asked any spirits present to spell "a name, a message, anything." They then witnessed the board spell out "GO". Yvette asked the question, "if we don't go, what will you do to us?" The board replied with "KILL". But Yvette wanted to know more, "how? How will you kill us?"
After receiving an answer which was unbroadcastable, the team heard a prolonged, breathy growl. With that Karl announced that they have a choice, "we do one of two things, runaway like pussies or we need to go and find it, and it's down there".
During their time in the basement, the planchette from the ouija board was thrown several times, and when the team finally ran from the cellar, a sweeping brush was apparently thrown from one end of the basement to the other, snapping into three pieces as it hit the wall.
Keighley Bus Museum was the least eventful episode of the series, there were a few knocks and bags, as well as footsteps heard from the upper deck of buses, but very little was caught on camera.
The most entertaining moment of the show was when demonologist Fred Batt went to investigate the two furnaces, part of the old foundry that the bus depot occupies and the scene of an accidental death. Here Fred befriended a ghost called John. He called out, "I don't know your name but I'll call you John for now. John I know you're hear and I respect the fact that you let me know that you are here, if you want me to go make a really big bang and I'll leave you in peace".
Just as the words had come out of his mouth there was a huge crash, "alright, you frightened the life out of me then, John". And keeping to his word, Fred left the area to leave the spirit in peace.
The series ended with a trip to Wales for a two-part investigation of the Judge's Lodging in Presteigne. The lodging and courtroom, which were first used in 1829, and over more than 150 years was a place where hundreds of people were tried for their crimes, many of whom paid the ultimate price for their misdemeanours and were sentenced to death.
From the offset this location proved to be very active. During their initial filming in the building, before the lights went out, they experienced a whole host of activity which the team believed to be paranormal. Including two old, heavy, silver inkwells, a knife and fork, and a large bread basket.
Things got a little more sinister later when Yvette suggested to Karl that it felt like the ghost of a man was following them. Karl added, "I think we're being stalked, it feels more like that." Yvette even said she thought she heard the stalker, "it just made this noise.... uhhhhhh."
Karl butted in, "I didn't make a noise like that, I haven't made a noise like that in years." Which resulted in Yvette telling him to "shut up."
The highlight of the series was the two hour Halloween special which was broadcast "as live" on the night of Halloween, 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.
The Halloween vigil took place at Liverpool's Croxteth Hall, a grade II listed country estate which dates back to 1575 and was one of the best episodes of the show in a long time.
The first bit of action occurred when I wine bottle was thrown or fell from a shelf in the house's wine cellar. Next the team experienced light bulbs and knives being thrown, before we were 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".
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.
The team's night at Corxteth Hall was concluded in the following episode which aired immediately on Halloween night, brining us a third hour of spooky happening fro the manor house.
The most interesting part of this episode was when Yvette and Glen reviewed what they captured after leaving two audio devices recording during the first part of their investigation. It seemed that they had captured what sounded like scissors snipping, on hearing the sound Yvette covered her mouth in shock, "oh my God!"
The cutting sound was captured on both the laptop in digital form and on Glen's old analogue reel-to-reel tape recorder. Yvette doesn't like it at all, "I can't listen to this," adding "it's horrible, I really didn't think Corxteth Hall would be as violent as it has been".
Gregg then makes a great suggestion, "it'll be interesting to see if that ties in with the bit when we were upstairs earlier," the moment when the spirit had tapped out the phrase "cut all you" on a spirit board. According to Yvette's voice over the cutting sound on the tape did come seconds after the the phrase was spelt out.
There were a couple of slow episodes in this, the 21st series of Most Haunted, but on the whole it was a great watch once again with the highlight being the epic Halloween special halfway through.
The dynamic between Yvette and the rest of the team was great, although we were a bit light on Stuart Torevell this series, he seemed to vanish in the final few episodes, which did deprive of us some of the mischievous Karl and Stuart moments we were treated to in the previous series.
If you missed any of this series on Really, you can watch previous episodes of Most Haunted on demand on the UKTV Player.
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