Blink and you might have missed it, but the new series of Most Haunted aired for ten consecutive nights over Halloween and it was one of the best series yet.
The series started with an "As-Live" special at Ashwell Prison in Rutland. The two-hour long episode was produced in the same style as one of the live shows, meaning it was unedited and uncut. Yvette Fielding was joined by her usual team, including Karl Beattie, Glen Hunt, Fred Batt, Stuart Torevell, Gregg Smith and Darren Hutchinson. Usually the "As-Live" shows are the highlight of the series, but that wasn't the case with Ashwell Prison.
This could have been because I just wasn't overly excited by Ashwell Prison as a location. As a viewer, it was hard to get a feel for the layout of the prison and every area of the prison looked the same, basically just small rooms. It didn't really look like a prison, more like an abandoned office block. Or, it could be that there were much better episodes in this series.
The highlight of the Ashwell Prison episode was probably the moment when Yvette suggested that gay former inmates might have taken a shine to Stuart Torevell. She called out, "do you fancy Stuart?" There was no response from the spirits, but Stuart said, "I'll take one for the team if you show yourself to us, and that's a promise."
Although there were ten episodes in this series, the team only visited five locations and their investigations were spread across multiple episodes. The second location the team visited for a two part investigation was The Bate Hall in Macclesfield, which for some reason the show or channel incorrectly called The Bate Inn.
I think the two episodes shot at The Bate Hall were my favourite of the series, as they featured so much activity from the offset, even before the investigation got underway. While filming in the day the crew were constantly interrupted by objects being thrown, strange noises, a ball repeatedly moving and skeptic Glen Hunt even thought he saw a ghostly figure.
Once the lights were out and the investigation had properly began, Yvette suspected that they might be dealing with a child spirit, so started singing a nursery rhyme and a strange tapping sound could be heard that appeared to be tapping rhythmically along with her. Later, Karl Beattie was hit on the head by what looked like a small metal cup.
In the second part of the investigation, Karl heard beer barrels moving in the dark cellar. Fred also found the cellar an active and eerie place. He said, "nothing normally bothers me, but this place, it's just different to everywhere else I've ever been. It really is and I'm a bit worried about it to be honest with you."
Towards the end of the episode, the whole team gathered together on the upper floor for a séance. They were using glass divination, which is like a Ouija board where a glass slides around the table. Yvette asked the spirit to give them a message by asking it to use knocks to indicate the correct letter as Yvette moved her finger over the keyboard on her phone. The spirit spelt out the name "William Harris" and when Yvette asked what year he died, using knocks the spirit indicated 1862.
Fred had some old documents with the names of previous tenants of the building listed. He pulled it out of his pocket and checked for the name. There was indeed a William Harris who was a servant at the pub, according to the 1851 census.
Ruthin Castle was another strong two-parter, filmed at the a Welsh castle with stories of murder, execution and jealousy that dates back to the 13th century. The investigation started with the team exploring the castle's dungeons, the cellars where Karl experienced things moving around him and the banqueting hall where Yvette held a lone vigil.
Karl and Stuart also investigated room 222, but it proved to be quiet until they heard a noise coming from upstairs. Stuart excitedly jumped over his chair but misjudged it and fell to the floor, it was one of the funniest moments of the series.
At one point in the investigation, Karl went to find the rest of the team. The first member of the team Karl found was Fred, passed out in the cellar. There was no visuals as Fred's camera was just pointing at a random object, but we could hear a concerned Karl saying "Fred, are you alright? Fred?" But there was no reply.
Karl ran back upstairs to Yvette and Glen and said, "guys, come downstairs. Fred's out, Fred's down. I need first aid or something, Fred's gone. He's unconscious down in the mortuary area." As the three of them ran down to the cellar, which was once used as a mortuary during the buildings years as a hospital, Yvette asked, "do we need to call an ambulance?" Karl said, "yeah, we need to call a paramedic."
However, when they got to the cellar they found Fred was OK and was coming around. At this point Fred left the investigation, but the rest of the team continued.
Throughout the investigation, Glen was recording audio on his laptop in the Lillie Suite, which is named after Lillie Langtry, a famous British actress. Glen hoped that he'd catch spirit voices as EVPs. He didn't capture any distinct voices, but several odd pinging sounds could be heard, but compared to other noises caught on camera at the castle, they were pretty insignificant.
Mid-series, the Most Haunted team return to the Ancient High House in Stafford, the episode marks Yvette and the team's second visit to the house, having previously investigated it as part of series eight in 2006.
The team started the investigation by splitting up into solo vigils. During the vigils they heard footsteps and various odd knocks and bangs.
Towards the end of the investigation, the team conducted a tapping board experiment in the Victorian Room to try to communicate with the spirits. The experiment involved a Ouija board on a computer screen which Yvette could run her finger over, the idea is that the spirit taps to indicate a letter and spell out a word or phrase.
Yvette started out by confirming there was a spirit present with a tap, she then asked it what its first name is. The taps seemed to spell out the name William and the surname, Marson. Yvette asked the spirit if he had any brothers or sisters, he spelt out the name Edwin.
According to the documents Fred had with him, the Marsons were a famous family who were associated with the house and on that list were two brothers, William and Edwin. Yvette then asked the spirit if he knew what year it was and it correctly tapped out 2018. Then skeptical Glen took over and asked the spirit to spell out exactly where it was, with the help of Yvette pointing at the letters, the phrase "all around" was spelt out.
During the session what sounded like a child's cough could be heard on the camera's audio, although it wasn't heard by the team at the time.
To end the series, Yvette and the team headed to Stoke to investigate the Leopard Inn, it made up a mammoth three-part investigation. The pub which originally opened in the 1700s as a coaching house and inn and is one of the region's oldest and most important buildings.
Before the investigation even got underway, the team witnessed paranormal activity while getting shots of the building. While Karl and Stuart 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.
Later the team witnessed cutlery being thrown around, very responsive knocks and tapping, and they even caught a very impressive EVP. The disembodied voice in the recording could be clearly heard whispering "hello".
The activity in the second part of the investigation started with Darren hearing a sound in his ear, plenty more slamming doors, knocks and bangs, a couple of chairs being thrown or moving, a music box that twice began to play music on its own, and on several occasions the sound of children were heard and caught on camera.
For the last part of the investigation, the team decided to stick together and conduct a group séance in what is believed to be the children's nursery. The team sat in a circle around a table and placed their finger tips on the surface. Yvette started calling out and encouraged the spirits to move the table.
It took no time at all for the team to report that the table was vibrating and rocking slightly, it then started to creak as it was slightly twisting and contorting under their fingers, then all of a sudden the table started slowly moving around and tilting and tipping on to two legs.
The séance was a bit of a slow end to what was an active investigation and an action-packed series, but I guess that's just the nature of ghost hunting.
The series was one of the best yet. I still really enjoy the new format with Fred and Glen, rather than the older shows which had questionable psychic mediums. I also like that they don't use ridiculous ghost hunting gadgets like many other paranormal shows on television. All of these devices are unproven and detract from the investigation. At the end of the day, people experience ghosts with their eyes and ears and those are the only things Most Haunted base their investigations on.
I have to admit though, I did feel a little let down by the series and I think this was just due to me getting sucked in by some comments that the show's producer, Karl, made in a live stream. Talking about the new series, he said "I think the series we've just delivered, in my opinion, is the best series we've ever done."
That's fair enough, it was a good series, but he goes on to say that the team captured what they describe as "the best evidence we've ever got." Karl said, "something happened and we checked it out and it could only have been paranormal." Whatever this event was, caused Glen to question his skeptical stance on the paranormal, he described the moment as "very enthralling, it's breathtaking."
So, I was expecting something spectacular, something that they got check by a professional, something that could only be paranormal, but there wasn't a moment like that in the series.
Remember that in the previous series a doll spontaneously burst into flames on camera, the series before that a bed was caught sliding across a room on camera, and the series before that a full ghostly figure was caught on camera. If these three events were genuine, yet Karl says that something happened in the new series that "could only have been paranormal," then I was expecting something absolutely undeniable, something better than a bed sliding or a doll igniting.
The best evidence in the new series was probably when a corridor of doors slammed consecutively at the Leopard Inn. While this is good evidence, it's hard to say that it could ONLY have been paranormal as wind could also cause this to happen in the right situation. The part of the building where the incident occurred was abandoned and had broken windows.
I'm not saying that wind did cause it, I'm just saying it's not as groundbreaking as things that happened in previous series. Whereas the doll catching alight in the empty attic at Codnor Castle Cottage doesn't have any other explanation, it was either faked or it was paranormal... it couldn't have been something like a rogue lightening strike or combustion due to an unseen heat source. So, the doll is much more compelling evidence than doors slamming, which does happen regularly in abandoned buildings that are open to the elements.
Although this new series was over and done with in just ten days, Karl has already confirmed that it's not long to wait until the next series, which will return to REALLY in February 2019.
Series 23 of Most Haunted aired on UKTV's Really and was promoted heavily as part of their '13 Nights Of Frights' programming in the lead up to Halloween.
Over the ten nights that new episodes of Most Haunted were shown, the show held off competition from other paranormal shows and became the most viewed show on the channel and also held seven of the top ten slots.
Looking at the whole 13 day period, Most Haunted was only beaten by the one-off documentary film 'Demon House'. Impressively, a repeat of the Most Haunted 2016 Halloween special, that was shown two nights before Halloween, made it in to the top ten show of #13NightsOfFrights.
Most Haunted Viewing Figures
|Fri 19th October
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|Sun 21st October
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|Tue 23rd October
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|Fri 26th October
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|Sun 28th October
||Most Haunted 2016 Halloween Special
|Thu 25th October
||Most Haunted 2017 Halloween Special
|Tue 30th October
|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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