Paranormal Lockdown UK: Hinchingbrooke House
In the tenth and final episode of Quest Red's newest ghost hunting show, paranormal investigators Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman spend 72 hours locked inside of as historic house in Cambridgeshire, that was ravaged by a serious fire in 1830.
Hinchingbrooke House in Huntingdon has played host to British kings, queens and nobles for hundreds of years. The earliest known building on the site was the Norman church in the 12th century, by the 13th century it was a priory for benedictines nuns.
With the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, the property was given to Sir Richard Cromwell, who turned the priory into a country estate. It passed down through the Cromwell line until it was sold to the Montagu family in 1627. The 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Mantagu succeed to the title and house in 1729 and famously hosted parties and British nobility with his mistress Martha Ray, opera singer. In 1779 the affair came to an end, when Martha was shot in the head and killed by a jealous suitor on the steps of Covent Garden Opera House.
There's even two skeletons under the floor in part of the building, still visible today via a trapdoor. The skeletons are those of a nun and her illicit lover, who were murdered for their affair.
By the early 20th century, reports of paranormal activity began to surface at the house. Shortly after the first war, a woman reported seeing apparitions of nuns on the grand staircase. In the 1940s a younger soldier encountered a ghostly lady in white on the grounds.
The home was converted into a school in the 1970s. During renovations, a worked awoke to an apparition of a monk standing over him. Students and staff claim to have seen phantom apparitions in the library and heard disembodied footsteps throughout the building.
For all the reports of paranormal activity, very little documented evidence exists, but now the US ghost hunting duo will spend 72 hours confined to the building and grounds, trying to document clear evidence of the spirits haunting the historic Hinchingbrooke House.
As the pair begin their investigation, Katrina says "Hinchingbrooke House is so huge, there's so much history here. I think the best course of action tonight is to get a lay of the land, figure out where hotspots are and who we might be dealing with."
They begin in the main hall, armed with a device called a Poltercom. It's an electronic speech synthesis device that has a bank of phonetic sounds that it randomly scans through, it's said that spirits can interfere with the random nature in order to form intelligent responses. It also has a built-in microphone that causes Nick's voice to echo back, I'm not sure why this is a good thing.
After a few minutes, Katrina report a pain on the side of her head that came on so suddenly that she felt it that it must be the result of picking up on something in a negative way. Then Nick said he saw a shadow man stood at the other end of the hall, sadly it wasn't caught on camera.
They went through into another area of the house when they heard what sounded like footsteps coming from upstairs. They went upstairs to investigate and heard some odd noises through their Poltercom device, but it soon quietened down so they headed to the house's impressive library. This part of the building was part of the original priory and a lot of sightings of nuns and monks have been seen here.
With that the first night of their investigation came to an end. Nick decide to spend his first night sleeping on the staircase, while Katrina set up her bed in the library.
On day two of the investigation start their investigation in the reception room, which was once the chambers of Martha Ray. Here they used their spirit communication gadgets and were able to hear the words "black monk".
Katrina says, "my first instinct is, crap, did it follow us from 30 East Drive? Where we had really crazy experiences there, not really something I wanna re-visit". This is a bit of an odd reaction. 30 East Drive in Pontefract, which is said to be haunted by a black monk, is over 100 miles from this house in Cambridgeshire and the ghost of a black monk is not unique to that one house.
Nick then set up one of his elaborate experiments on the staircase, which involved a motion activated LED light panel. The idea is that the panels will light up if anything walks past them in the hallway. Nick was also using his Poltercom again. They called out for a few seconds and then heard the words "walk down" through the Poltercon. They took this to mean that the spirit wanted them to walk down the stairs. So, they left the experiment and went downstairs, once there Nick said "you know what we should do right now, we should go outside and [see if we can] make any contact with the lady in white." Uhhh, so what was the point of setting up and explaining that experiment to us?
Earlier in the day, Nick and Katrina had stumbled across an eerie basement in the house which had a small spring flowing through it. So, they decided to go back and investigate it that evening. That night Nick stayed in the basement for the night, while Katrina decided to camp out in the hallway near the bones of the murdered nun and her lover.
Nick is woken up in the night by the sound of something scraping in one of the corridors in the basement, while Katrina had a quiet night.
The duo began the third day of investigations in the reception room, they were using a REM sensor, which detects changes in the electromagnetic field. They called out some question and the REM sensor seemed to beep in response to their questions.
Later in the library Katrina spots the woman in white. Nick gets excited by it turns out she's just spotted a book called 'The Woman In White'. Katrina asks "what are the chances of that though?" The pair seem to think that the book is based on the ghost of Martha Ray who haunts the house. It's not, it's a murder mystery set in Scotland written by Wilkie Collins.
A blissfuly unaware Katrina says, "that's weird, based on a true story. So it's actually a real lady." Nick calls this a "lost book" and says, "we would have never known about it through our research unless we stumbled upon it." Katrina agrees, "yeah, it's not like that's online somewhere in a Kindle book." Well, actually it is.
On the final night they set up their final experiment on the staircase using the REM sensor, Poltercom and the LED light panels, as well as a plasm panel. This is like one of the classic plasma balls, if anything touches it, it should be clear to see. The whole area is also covered in a grid of lasers, which will help then spot if something passes through as the laser beam will break.
Soon after they started they heard the words "who are you? Get out" through the Poltercom, the LED light panels then flashed to indicate something passing over it. At the same moment, a still camera at the top of the stairs seems to show that something was blocking out the laser light in this area.
They then establish that the monk isn't anything to do with Pontefract, of course, but is in fact the monk buried in the building whose skeleton is still present. With this, the investigation and the series came to an end.
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