'Spooked Ireland': Charleville Castle - Episode 1 Review

October 01, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ TelevisionParanormal
'Spooked Ireland': Charleville Castle
Photo: © Warner Bros Discovery
In the premiere episode of 'Spooked Ireland', a follow-up to 'Spooked Scotland', new host Vogue Williams introduces us to a chilling investigation at Charleville Castle in County Offaly, central Ireland. She is joined by a team that includes psychic medium Chris Fleming, tech expert Ryan O'Neill, and parapsychologist Evelyn Hollow. The owner of Charleville Castle, Bonnie Vance, is desperate for answers as she reports experiencing multiple paranormal activities, including screams in the night and children getting locked in rooms.

Vogue delves into the castle's haunting past, explaining that the estate was gifted to the Moore family by Queen Elizabeth I and has seen its fair share of tragedy. The most notable is the death of Harriet, a seven-year-old girl who fell to her death almost 200 years ago

Bonnie reveals that her own children have had unexplained experiences, including being locked in a closet and hearing footsteps on the nursery's staircase where no one was present. These stories set the tone for what appears to be a hotspot of paranormal activity.

Chris' experience in the castle's Red Room is particularly unnerving. He reports a dominant, female energy that seems to physically affect him, including a sensation of being groped. This adds another layer to the castle's mysterious aura, suggesting not just restless child spirits, but also possibly a more malevolent female presence.

Ryan uses state-of-the-art equipment to record temperature drops and EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena), capturing the word "children," which aligns with the castle owner's experience. There is an intriguing moment where multiple devices' batteries are drained unusually quickly, a phenomenon often reported in paranormal investigations.

Evelyn keeps a scientific approach, taking note of the phenomena and suggesting they are mostly auditory, like children's laughter and footsteps. She maintains a critical eye but can't easily debunk the reports or the unexpected draining of the team's equipment.

Even the castle's volunteer staff contribute to the narrative, revealing that many rooms get mysteriously locked even when there are no keys for the locks. This phenomenon appears to be a recurring theme at Charleville Castle, making it a fascinating subject for paranormal inquiry.
'Spooked Ireland': Charleville Castle
Photo: © Warner Bros Discovery

Later Vogue shared a theory based on Irish folklore. According to her, the trees surrounding the estate could be capturing spirits and might be related to the paranormal activity they've been experiencing. Chris ventures into the forest surrounding the castle to try to prove this theory. He is armed with an app called the Miracle Box and seemed to establish contact with the spirit of Harriet. But just as things were getting intriguing, the Miracle Box app mysteriously shut down, erasing the saved recordings.

The team then splits up to cover more ground, aiming to make contact with Harriet, the child spirit they had identified earlier. During their exploration, they encountered additional malevolent forces, including a grieving father figure channelled by Chris. The episode culminated in Chris attempting to help the spirits, saying he could show them a light and pray for them, but ultimately, it would be their choice to move on.

Evelyn introduces a psychological note of caution—audio pareidolia. This is a phenomenon where the brain looks for familiar patterns in random noise, like hearing voices in the wind. This can skew perception, often retrospectively, when someone suggests they've heard a particular word or phrase. To counter this, she sets up an experiment in which she writes down four words on a piece of paper without showing them to anyone. Team member Ryan then asks any spirits present to repeat these words. The experiment, surprisingly, shows promising results, leading Ryan to conclude that there's 'something intelligent here'.

In the alleged nursery, the tension is palpable. Devices designed to detect movement and energy fields are set off, though the team ensures no one is close enough to interfere with the readings. Vogue feels an uncomfortable presence, as if the spirits are unhappy with the intrusion.

Towards the end of the episode, the team attempts to communicate with the spirits, asking pointed questions. Responses suggest a 'liminal' existence for these spirits—stuck 'in between' this world and another. Chris and Evelyn agree to conduct prayers, aiming to offer peace and release to the trapped spirits. They suggest that while the child spirits seem content, it's Harriet's father who might be the source of the more tormented activity.

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