Danny Robins & His Experts Debate That Case Of A Haunted House In Maryport

May 25, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ PodcastsParanormalRadio

This article is more than one year old.

As Danny Robins continues to delve into the eerie and extraordinary in the second series of 'Uncanny', available now on BBC Sounds, we find ourselves in the midst of an unsettling tale titled 'Case 8: The Guest Book'. This episode sees us travel to the coastal town of Maryport, where Kitty recounts her chilling experience in an old Victorian terrace house.

Kitty, a mental health nurse, begins her story in 2012, when she was in her early 30s. She was single and had a young daughter. Through her work, she met Malcolm, an older man who also worked as a mental health nurse and was firmly rooted in his punk rock origins. They quickly developed a close relationship, leading Kitty to spend time at Malcolm's Maryport home – a Victorian terrace that had once been a cobbler's shop.

Malcolm had maintained the house just as it had been during the Victorian era, a detail that seemed at odds with his punk persona. However, it wasn't long before Kitty found herself alone in the historic house for the first time, and that's when things began to get eerie.

Kitty woke one morning to a terrifying presence in the bedroom. Overwhelmed by a feeling of unwelcome, she was filled with such dread that she fled the house, running straight down the hill to the train station.

When she later told Malcolm about her experience, he casually mentioned that a female ghost often made appearances in the house. Surprisingly, he seemed completely at ease with her presence. He even suggested that he maintained the house in its original state to honor this previous resident.

Intrigued by the situation, Kitty began to research the history of the house. She discovered that a woman named Annie had previously lived there, a semi-reclusive individual who resided exclusively on the ground floor, leaving the upper levels untouched. Despite this compelling coincidence, Kitty did not believe the ghost she'd encountered and the woman she'd seen in old photos of Annie were one and the same.

In a twist that complicated things further, Kitty witnessed the house's second presence: a woman in Victorian attire. She felt a different, less menacing energy from this apparition compared to the intimidating presence she had encountered in the bedroom.

For Kitty, life became a cycle of fear and unease as she experienced both the menacing presence and the woman regularly. However, despite the growing distress, Kitty continued visiting the house due to her love for Malcolm. She also began to bring along her daughter, Evie.

In November, during bonfire night, Kitty and eight-year-old Evie had a chilling encounter when Evie spotted a woman in the window of the house's guest room – the same woman Kitty had seen before. It was this event that finally made Kitty put her foot down, refusing to visit Malcolm's house any longer.

To adapt to this change, Malcolm moved into Kitty's place, and his old home was transformed into an Airbnb. It was during this transition, when they were preparing to sell Malcolm's house, that they discovered guests had been leaving comments in the guestbook about their own terrifying experiences, confirming that the house was indeed haunted.

Reflecting on these discoveries, Kitty wondered if Annie, the house's previous resident, had also been too frightened to venture upstairs, hence her peculiar living arrangement. While nothing can be confirmed, it is clear that the house carried a chilling presence, one that continues to linger in the minds of all those who spent time within its historical walls.

What The Experts Think

Dr. Nilufar Ahmed, the psychologist, suggests that the experiences Kitty and Malcolm have are psychological in nature rather than paranormal. She refers to the idea of "groupthink," suggesting that Kitty's experiences might be influenced by Malcolm's narrative of a ghostly presence. Ahmed also speculates that the unusual events, like the flying bookcase, might be explained by natural phenomena such as seismic shifts. She further suggests that Evie, Kitty's daughter, could have been subconsciously primed by Kitty to see a ghostly figure.

Evelyn Hollow, the parapsychologist, provides a contrasting view. She considers the case as possibly genuine paranormal phenomena, indicating that the apparitions Kitty and Malcolm experience are distinct entities. Hollow explains that the brain can generate an illusion of another presence but argues that physical sightings go beyond this phenomenon. She also suggests that the differing experiences of Malcolm and Kitty could be due to different reactions from the same ghostly presence.

More episodes of Radio 4's 'Uncanny' are available on BBC Sounds now and will also be broadcast on Saturday nights at 11:30pm on Radio 4 from April 8.

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