Jayne Harris Battles With A Darkness She's 'Never Seen Before' In 'The Yorkshire Exorcist'
As Halloween looms, the season for spooks and scares is upon us, and this year, Discovery+ gives us a compelling reason to turn off the lights and plunge into the eerie world of exorcisms with 'The Yorkshire Exorcist'.
Starring Ian Lawman, a medium and ordained exorcist best known for his role on 'Help! My House Is Haunted,' this one-off special is available to stream on demand now on Discovery+. We spoke to Jayne Harris, who joins Ian in the one-hour-long special.
"Obviously exorcisms should never be carried out alone for safety reasons. If anything was to happen to Ian, and he's alone, then of course, that's a problem," says Jayne. A co-star from 'Help! My House Is Haunted,' Jayne was brought in to provide additional insight and support, particularly given her background in psychology.
The case they team up on revolves around Michelle, a 44-year-old from Skelmersdale, who has been grappling with a sinister supernatural presence for 16 years. Michelle describes her experience as draining, emotionally and physically, and finds herself mysteriously marked by claw-like scratches. The story gains gravity as Michelle recounts her blackouts and significant memory loss.
What sets 'The Yorkshire Exorcist' apart from other paranormal investigations is its focus on the individual rather than a location. "We are delving into the psychology and the effects that a person has, so almost like the haunting of a person rather than the haunting of a place," Jayne explains. She finds the blend of psychology and the supernatural fascinating, especially given her own professional background in person-centred psychology.
During the exorcism, Jayne observed Michelle's physical symptoms and the atmosphere in the room as being distinct from other cases she's experienced. "I saw in Michelle things that I have seen in cases where it's psychological disturbance, however, not as severe and not as fast-moving as I saw with Michelle." According to Jayne, Michelle exhibited physical signs like tremors and sweats, but what truly struck her was the change in Michelle's eyes. "Her eyes certainly changed at one point, when she looked at Ian and Ian was reciting from the Bible. I could see a darkness there that I have never seen before in anyone."
Beyond the physical symptoms, Jayne also felt an unusual atmosphere. "I did also feel an atmosphere in the room, an oppressive atmosphere, that I haven't experienced in a regular case. So it felt different, it looked different to me." With a tone of certainty, Jayne adds, "And of course, I have absolute faith in Ian, and in his diagnosis of what he's seeing in front of him."
Photo: © Discovery+
More From 'Help! My House Is Haunted'
You can read more and the team's investigations on our 'Help! My House Is Haunted' hub, where you'll find detailed reviews of each episode, trivia quizzes and news on future episodes.
Given the intense nature of this field, skepticism often runs high. Yet, Jayne emphasises the importance of taking every report seriously. "Unless we do take every single report seriously, in the first instance, we're kind of failing people really," she notes. It’s a crucial part of the ethical dimension of paranormal investigations and, in Michelle's case, led to a comprehensive understanding of her situation.
Jayne insists that their efforts have a lasting, positive impact. "Michelle's life was changed for the better as a result of our intervention," she states. To underscore this transformation, Jayne points to a telling piece of evidence: a photograph that Michelle later posted on Instagram. In the photo, Michelle exudes a newfound confidence that wasn't evident prior to the team's intervention.
"I became quite emotional," Jayne confessed, "And I messaged her and I said, 'Oh, my goodness, you look absolutely gorgeous." According to Jayne, this single image encapsulates the profound change they aimed to facilitate and serves as a testament to the effectiveness of their efforts.
If you want more from Jayne this Halloween, then you'll be pleased to know that the fifth series of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' is currently streaming on Discovery+ with the first seven episodes available to watch now, but Jayne assures us there are "some explosive and emotional moments" still to come.
Highlighting one of the most memorable moments of this season so far, Jayne brings up the case of Terina, which was the focus of the fifth episode in the series, 'A Sinister Séance'. Jayne described this investigation in Devon as a curveball for the whole team. "This is where Barri got affected because we literally had to end the investigation. We've never had to call time on an investigation because we were genuinely concerned for our teammate." Jayne added, "I remember going back to the hotel and thinking, 'what just happened?'"
Speaking about her busy year filming for the show and its celeb spin-off, 'Celebrity Help! My House Is Haunted'. Jayne said, "This year has been crazy, really, because we filmed series five and then a couple of weeks off straight on to series three of the celebrity series. Then straight onto series four. So it's been a very, very busy year."
If you're looking for some thrills and scares this October, 'The Yorkshire Exorcist' is a perfect pick for this Halloween night. It is available to stream on Discovery+ now, where you'll also find all previous episodes of 'Help! My House Is Haunted' and 'Celebrity Help! My House Is Haunted'.
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