This week Yvette Fielding and the Most Haunted team are in Leeds at the Thackray Medical Museum, a Grade II listed building which is said to ooze paranormal
activity. The building as it stands today was built on the site of a workhouse. Britain used workhouses to support the poor and those who could not support themselves in the community until the 1930s.
Its doors in 1861 to house 784 paupers, but workhouses were grim places. Life here was so much like a prison, that the people who were forced to come here were called inmates. Upon entering, inmates' personal items were taken away, families were split up, and adults worth forced into hard labour.
Over the years the inmate population grew and the building was extended to accommodate them, this included a new infirmary wing to provide free health care for the sick and injured.
In 1915 the building was offered up to the War Department as part of the war effort. The main building became the East Leeds war hospital, and even played host to King George V who came to visit injured soldiers.
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Is Thackray Medical Museum Haunted?
With so much misery and death associated with this building, it's no surprise that there are so many claims that it is haunted. With reports of poltergeist activity, a phantom doctor that's seen wandering around wearing a white coat, ghostly patients, and even dark entity.
During its time as a hospital, the amount of lives lost here would have been in their hundreds. Before 1925 the hospital staff would have been hindered by basic equipment and no electricity.
Staff and visitors have also reported hearing moaning and guttural cries in the dead of night, could these be the ghostly cries of suffering patients?
The show's demonologist
Fred Batt had high hopes for the night, "it's very active down here, so it's going to be interesting tonight just walking around here because what you see conjures up a lot in your mind anyway." Of course Fred also knew about the museum's more sinister history, "apparently there's supposed to be dark demonic things that happen down here, well that could be this person who's thought to be a witch. She was an evil person, very evil. So the evil will probably still be around, it'll still come through. I think we can expect a lot of activity tonight."
Glen Hunt, the show's skeptic also though the venue showed promise, "it's dressed up to be a haunted building, it's a facade, there's dummies, there's displays, there's smells, there's medical equipment lying all over the place, and of course on the ground floor we've got the Victorian street. It plays with our minds straight away, we're already excepting to be as they were in those times."
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In The Cellar
With the lights off the gang split up. Karl Beattie headed down to the museum's cellar with camera man, Stuart Torevell. Almost immediately they heard a metallic clinking sound. Moments later they hear it again but louder, it sounded like a pieces of metal being thrown or falling.
Karl then called out to the spirit's "can you come and talk to us?" They heard what sounded like a voice, Stuart confirmed what Karl heard, agreeing that it was a male voice saying the name "Yvette."
Stuart called out, "is your name Yvette?" They heard what sounded like a voice saying "no," they then heard another odd sound coming from a dead end. Again they heard the name "Yvette" before another piece of metal was thrown.
Stuart then started to feel strange and asked Karl to take the camera. He said, "I'm going to have to go, I'm going to have to leave now." Stuart said if he didn't leave, he felt the consequences would be "quite bad." Stuart then ran out of the cellar, leaving Karl on his own.
Karl coped OK on his loan vigil for a few minutes but he soon started hearing a growling sound, "I can't pin point where it's coming from." He then pinned down the sound to a small room behind him, but after hearing the sound again he too ran from the cellar.
On The Streets
Yvette took to the streets with her team, consisting of Glen, Fred, Darren Hutchinson, Eamonn Vann-Harris and Gregg Smith. This area of the museum is a replica of the streets of Leeds, recreated how they would have looked in 1842. This area is said to be very active, with reports of a very negative dark entity, and odd smells.
Soon after entering, Yvette said "can I say, at this moment I could actually collapse, I could actually faint. I feel lightheaded." The team then reported hearing a whisper so Eamonn set up his laptop to try to record spirit voice in the form of an digital audio recording, known as an EVP.
As he was doing this, Gregg who was manning the camera said he felt like someone was behind him. Over the next few minutes the team heard heard tapping, and signs of activity all around them, so they decided to review the EVP
The team huddled around the laptop to listen to the recording. In the playback Yvette was heard shouting out "can you hear my voice?" Straight after there was what sounded like a response from an unknown voice, "yes, I'm listening." Yvette was then heard asking, "can you see us?" To which the voice replied, "of course."
Eamonn was impressed by the sounds captured in the recording, "I don't think we've had an investigation when we've had so many answers like that."
Yvette and her half of the team then headed up to the first floor to an area of the museum which charts the history of the apothecary. This is one of the only areas of the building that look like a modern museum, and is said to be haunted by strange noises and dark shadows, but fortunately no poltergeist activity has occurred in this room.
Upon entering the room, Eamonn once again set up his EVP experiment on his laptop and Yvette started asking the spirits to copy her while tapping on the glass display cabinets, which were full of hundreds of apothecary jars dating back to the 18th century. These jars would have once held cures for various ailments. Apothecaries were the predecessor to modern day pharmacists, they used to mix the remedies and dispense them.
They then highlighted something that floated through the back of the shot, it looked suspiciously like an orb, something I thought Most Haunted
had left behind along time ago as they're pretty much always either dust, insects or lens flares.
Yvette and Darren then got very excited when they heard what sounded like a classic ghost, "wooooo."
It was then time to review the EVP experiment. Again gathered around the laptop they listened back as Yvette was heard asking, "can you hear my voice?" The eerie reply in the recording seemed to say "I see you". Glen wasn't to convinced saying, "I'm glad you could pick something out, because to me it's just a bit garbled." The rest of the team were all pretty impressed by the audio captured.
Back On The Streets
Meanwhile Karl and Stuart were on the replica Victorian street where they heard the sound of footsteps walking towards them. The sound could be clearly heard on camera, Stuart said that the sound stopped about 10 feet in front of them.
Karl said, "if you walked towards us, can you walk away from us?" The footsteps started again, Karl gasped, "that's unbelievable, it's walking away!"
They then heard what sounded like a woman's cry or scream. Karl shouted out "hello" and again they heard a voice. Stuart said, "that was a female voice that, definitely."
It was then Karl who wasn't feeling too good, he reported feeling dizzy, before having a coughing fit, "my chest is really hurting now, I can hardly breath."
Karl left the area with Stuart following with the camera. Karl eventually found a bench and sat down but could hardly breath. Stuart was forced to put down his camera to help his team mate, telling him to "take some deep breaths."
Ouija Board Session
Towards the end of the episode, the team all gathered together for a ouija board session on the ground floor. Yvette asked any spirits present to spell out their name. The planchette slowly started moving and spelt out the name "Elisa."
Yvette asked, how old are you, Elisa?" and the board answer by sliding to the number six and then one, 61. Karl was next to ask the spirit a question, "did you die here at the workhouse, Elisa?" The planchette moved to indicate "yes." As Karl asked this question a strange whistling sound was heard.
Yvette wanted to obtain some more details and asked, "can you tell us your surname, Elisa? What's your second name?" The board spelt out the name "Bailey." Fred had a document with him which contained a list of name of people who spent time in the workhouse, there was indeed an Elisa Bailey aged 61 on the list.
It was an impressive demonstration of the ouija board, but of course as a viewer it's hard to know the exact conditions of the experiment. As Fred had the list of names, it would have been more impressive if he wasn't taking part in the session so he couldn't purposely or subconsciously affect it, that's not to say he did.
The show ended with another impressive bit of evidence from Eamonn who had been attempting to capture EVPs while the rest of the team were taking part in the ouija board session. He captured what sounded like a voice saying "Elisa."
The new series of Most Haunted continues on Really. Watch on Freeview (17), Sky (155) and Virgin Media (129), or watch previous episodes of Most Haunted on demand on the UKTV Player.
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