Barry & Ray's Ghost Hunt At 30 East Drive, Pontefract - The ParaPod Series 1 Special Review
This article is more than six years old and was last updated in March 2018.
Photo: © Mark Stevenson
In the first ever episode of The ParaPod, ghost hunter Barry Dodds tried to convince his co-host Ray Peacock that a normal three-bedroom house on the Chequerfield Estate, Pontefract is haunted. Ray, being a hardcore skeptic agreed to spend a night in the house at 30 East Drive with Barry.
Barry previously said that this haunting is on a par with the famous haunting of Amityville in the US, and is one of the most haunted places in the UK, but would the house live up to its expectation in this special edition two-part podcast?
Within a minute of the start of the podcast, Barry asks in shaky voice, "did you hear that?" And according to Ray, after just ten minutes in the house, which was once home to the Pritchard family, Barry is "already terrified."
Ray then revealed that he is wearing a complete 'Ghostbusters' uniform, despite pleas from Barry before the podcast not to wear it and to take the ghost hunt seriously. But Ray says, "they're making a new 'Ghostbusters' film, I might be able to get in it. How do we know that if we take a picture of me and put it on Twitter that whoever's making 'Ghostbusters' might go 'hey, he looks good, I'll have him in 'Ghostbusters?'" Ray then added, in reference to the news that the film will star an all female cast, "he's got tits, he can be in it."
Ray did justify his decision to wear a novelty costume, stating that it was good that it was irritating Barry. Ray pointed out that according to Barry in the first podcast they recorded together, "ghosts feed on tension and they feed on disharmony. So by coming as a Ghostbuster I've actually done you a favour. I've made it more likely for a poltergeist to get upset."
Barry then wanted to know if Ray was in fact taking this seriously, "do you not find this house spooky?" Ray replied, "not in any way shape or form."
A Tour Of The House
Barry has been to the house in the past many times, so it was time for him to show Ray around. Starting at the kitchen where you enter the house, Barry comments on the dated decor, "it's as it was when the family left"
He tells Ray, "when you came in through the side door, there's a little toilet here, this is where the father got attacked," he says as they peer into the coal hole.
They then passed through the dining room and into the living room. Barry says there's a well under the kitchen. It's said a local monk was thrown down the well after being hanged for assaulting a young girl. It's this monk known as Father Michael or "Fred" that now haunts the house.
They continued their tour, "so here we are now in the hallway. This is the bottom of the stairs, this is where Dianne the daughter was grabbed and dragged to the top of the stairs." These stairs were also the location of the infamous stunt on Most Haunted Live in 2015 which involved one of the show's stars being pulled up the stairs on a rope, which was clearly visible around his waist.
It's claimed that the black monk often stands on the stairs and makes people feel short of breath as they pass through him. Both Barry and Ray reported this sensation after climbing the stairs. While Barry immediately put this down to the supernatural, Ray speculated that it could be a gas leak, an odd change in pressure, or "maybe we're both just little fat lads and we can't get up stairs."
The pair then moved on to the bathroom, Barry says Carol, the next door neighbour and an expert on the goings on at the house, won't go in to this room. According to Barry, she says whatever is in the house and feels nasty starts in the bathroom and moves outwards.
As they started looking around the bedrooms, Ray pointed out that the old furniture and strategically placed creepy dolls and kids toys were designed to make the upstairs creepier.
They then checked out each of the bedrooms. The master bedroom where Jean and Joe woke up and saw a figure of Fred. And the bedrooms of their daughter Dianne, and son Philip. In Dianne's room Barry says that a bed was recently smashed up by an unknown force, apparently against the ceiling.
Suddenly, Barry yelled "s**t!" and sounding angry said to Ray, "you better f**king tell me you've done that you c**t! You've knocked the f**king doll down, you bellend." And according to the commentary, one of the child's dolls had fallen off of a chair. Ray says, "I swear I haven't. I think Carol's in this house now."
Barry put this phenomenon down to the ghost of a little girl called Emma who's said to play with the dolls here.
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The guys were back downstairs in the living room and were discussing placing some ping pong balls near the fireplace to act as trigger objects. The idea is that it's something light and easy for spirits to move. Which as Ray points out, does seem a little unnecessary given that there's already all sort of ornaments and items on the fireplace.
Ray went to get the balls from another room downstairs, while left alone for two minutes while Barry shouted "shi**ing hell, the f**king tripod just s**t me up!" Ray laughing from the other room asked what he was talking about, Barry explained, "I just saw it, there was a big black thing."
Ray couldn't find the ping pong balls anywhere, and Barry came to help him look. Barry spotted them on the landing next to the grandfather clock. Ray swore he didn't put them there, he said "you know I've not been upstairs. You know I've definitely not been upstairs."
Barry sort of agreed. Ray asked "could I possibly have been upstairs?" Barry answered, "you could have thrown them up." But Ray then asked, "is it possible I came through here without you knowing and threw them up there and that they didn't bounce back down the stairs again?"
Barry was forced to agree. Not only that, the three balls were right next to each other perfectly spaced out with the smaller one in the middle. Ray points out that you wouldn't be able to throw them and get them to land like that, "you'd have to have been up the top of the stairs to place them like that."
Ray then pulled out one of the tools from his 'Ghostbusters' kit, a pair of walkie talkies and he headed upstairs on his own, leaving Barry alone in the living room. Barry and Ray spoke back and forth for a while and then suddenly there was a loud bang and Ray stopped responding.
Barry started to get a little freak out and then moments later screamed into the radio, "Ray, get down now! The meter's going! The meter's going, I promise you. I swear to God the meter's going right now!"
There was still no response from Ray upstairs, he pushed the talk button and shouted across the airwaves, "you're a f**king prick, right come down now!"
Ray did eventually return and glossed over his radio silence, and blamed the bang on him dropping the torch. It turns out the lights on Barry's KII EMF meter were flashing. The KII is a really common piece of ghost hunting kit which detects spikes in the electromagnetic field. With a little encouragement Barry realised that the flashing lights on the meter was due to their use of the walkie talkies. Ray said of course, "we're sending radio waves through the house, Barry."
Interview With Carol
The most terrifying segment of the special was when Barry and Ray met the neighbour, and key holder of the house, Carol Fieldhouse. She came across from the offset as being a very defensive witness to the hauntings. She's a psychic medium and claims to know the spirits who live in the house.
Carol was joined by Jason, her "right hand man." She explains that the 19-year-old is like family to her, "Jason come into my group as a visitor to this house and I saw potential in him at 14-years-old and we've not been apart since, he's like my son."
She also said that Jason helps if she is ever possessed by the malevolent spirits of the house, "if I get taken over by anything, that does happen, he's the only one who knows how to deal with me."
Early in the interview, Ray says to Carol, "before we started recording this, what was it you said to me? 'don't ask me any...'" Carol completes his sentence, "bulls**t." Ray continued, "and I said I don't know what that means."
This is where Carol really got aggressive for the first time, "I'll tell you exactly what that means. I do what I do and I believe in what I do. And I'm told what I do is right. So don't come out with daft questions."
"Like what?" Ray asked, to which Carol replied, "oh like, can you do it now? Can you tell me my life story? That's what bulls**t means."
Barry told Carol about the odd paranormal occurrence they'd already had in the house, the balls vanishing and reappearing on the landing at the top of the stairs. Carol said that she knows exactly who did that, "it's a little girl. She's seven. She plays with balls and things."
After the interview, Ray said "I think she preempted me being an aggressive skeptic. In a sense there was no discussion there because she steamrollered it."
One Last Vigil
With the time fast approaching 5am, this was Barry's last chance to get the spirits of 30 East Drive to perform for Ray. Calling out to Fred, Barry said "can you do something to us to let us know that you're here? Can you just make a noise?"
Ray said, "Barry, you're sounding desperate. You sound like you're phoning an ex girlfriend. It sounds pathetic. Please, oh please just do one bang, please."
Barry lost his patience and snapped, "just f**king do something!" To which Ray retorted "what sort of way is that to talk to a man of the cloth? Or indeed any stranger for that matter."
Barry said, "look, decide what camp you are in. He either exists or he doesn't." But Ray insists, "I've not switched camp from day one at any point. This is the stupidest night I've spent anywhere ever."
They sat in each of the bedrooms, took a few photos, and asked for taps in response to their questions, but they got nothing. Towards the end of the investigation Barry said "it feels cold." Ray replied, "it is cold, it's the middle of winter and there's no heating on."
With that, the investigation came to an end. Ray summed up the evening by saying, "look, nothings happened tonight, we've had a nice night." Barry says, "well I've enjoyed it," with Ray adding, "you've been scared." Barry corrects him, "terrified!"
Ray says, "you told me ages ago that's what you want from this. You want the adrenaline rush. You've had it." Ray then lists what he's got out of the evening in Pontefract, "I got to put a doll on the floor. I chucked some balls up the stairs."
Barry, clearly angry says, "you did the balls? Right, you f**king s**t me up! Proper terrified." Ray clarifies, "the problem is Barry, balls can't move unless somebody moves them" and defends his actions by saying, "something had to happen for the podcast."
Ray confessed to throwing the balls up the stairs and explains how he did it. He threw them while stood in front of Barry while he looked away. He did it at the moment Barry was screaming about the tripod, and said that the way they landed was an absolute fluke, "I was so happy, they were perfectly equidistance with the small one in the middle."
Ray says that this fakery was actually quite telling, "Carol said 'we know what's moved them balls, the little girl' she said she was in the room now, if she was in the room she would have said to Carol 'no, that fat bloke moved them'."
Ray sums up by saying, "you have been the most frightened I've ever seen another human being ever." While Barry remains convinced, "I do believe this house is haunted, there's no where in the world that gets me as jumpy as this house does."
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