Most Haunted At Llanfyllin Union Workhouse, Part One - Series 22, Episode 2 Review
The first of a two-part investigation of the Union Workhouse in Llanfyllin, North Wales. Will Yvette Fielding make contact with the spirit of a school master, and can Fred Batt cope with the team ganging up on him in the infirmary?
The Union Workhouse is set in the beautiful Welsh country in Llanfyllin. The building is slowly be developed into a community centre and venue for the arts, but parts of it are derelict and in poor condition.
Britain used workhouses to support the poor and those who could not support themselves in the community until the 1930s. They were grim places where life was hard. Adults were expected to work, while they're children who were often taken away from them were put through education on site. At Llanfyllin the working day included grinding corn by hand, picking oakum, gardening or breaking stone.
The standard of education at this particular workhouse was exceptionally high. An 1848 report stated that the workhouse children made better progress with their education than free scholars at other local schools.
The Most Haunted team, fronted by Yvette, found themselves in one such workhouse, a place of sadness and despair. It was constructed in 1837, and was completed and rapidly filling with paupers by 1840.
Is Llanfyllin Workhouse Haunted?
Despite the harsh conditions in the workhouse, it became home to those who were confined there. The building has seen its fair share of birth, deaths and misery, and with so many people passing through this place over the years, it's no wonder that so many people have said the property is haunted.
Visitors have reported hearing footsteps, doors slamming, children crying, and the ghostly cries and shrieks of a classrooms full of children. There's also be claims of shadowy figures, and even the full body apparition of an old school master who is said to haunt the building.
The master is most frequently seen in the building's centrepiece, an area which was original his private quarters. He's often seen looking out of the windows where he would have once been able to oversee the workhouse's four recreation yards.
The episode started with a walk around Llanfyllin Workhouse with the show's resident skeptic, Glen Hunt. He said that "by our standards today, it is grim miserable and depressing" but Glen says the workhouse performed well and it was the norm for people to be detained in places like this.
Based on this Yvette said that the spirit of the master may be "more of a benevolent man than a malevolent man," Glen agrees and Yvette tells him that she's thinking "he must be an evil person, a horrible spirit, well maybe he isn't."
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During this initial filming, Yvette said that she heard the sound of laughter, at first she thought it was one of the show's producers Louise Jones, however she wasn't actually in the room.
Then, after wrapping on her walk around with Glen they heard a sound. It sounded like something falling from above. After a quick search they found an unbroken lightbulb on the floor and concluded that this must have been the cause of the sound.
Yvette then noticed that the camera crew's LED light panels were flickering. One of the camera operators was Stuart Torevell, who makes a welcome return in this episode after not appearing in the last few episodes, said that the lights were flickering as a result of "energy drain," he then noticed that his camera battery has significantly dropped.
The Upper Floors
With the lights out, the team split up into small teams to cover as much of the property as possible. Yvette was joined by Glen on the top floors of the building with Gregg Smith manning the camera. Straight away Glen thought he heard a growl, but Gregg said it was just the stairs creaking under foot.
Yvette started to call out to the spirits, "is there a master here? did you throw something earlier on? do you want us to leave?"
It was a little quiet on the top floor, although they did feel the floor shake beneath them. Later they were gazing up into the attic through a hole in the ceiling where Gregg thought he had seen an odd shadow that he couldn't explain. While they discussed the anomaly the team heard what sounded like a voice, but despite several instant replays, I couldn't hear the sound on my speakers.
They then heard what sounded like something being dragged below them, Yvette then said she heard the sound of distant children. Glen initially said he thought it might have been an owl, but Gregg agreed with Yvette. In the replay it was clear to that it wasn't the sound of an owl and did sound like a school playground. Glen concluded, "so, we're hearing echos of the past."
Usually it's Karl who is given the roughest ride by the spirits of the places Most Haunted investigate, but Karl actually had a pretty quiet night on the lower floors of the building. He started out in the bar, an area which is now used as part of the community centre. He called out, "if you're here can you show yourself to me?"
Karl, who was alone, said into the camera, "the strange thing about this place is, you feel like you're being watched, but it doesn't feel negative." He later moved into another room, "now that's weird, I don't like it in here". Seconds later the sound of a whistle could he heard, Karl didn't mention the sound so it could have been another of the team nearby.
Most of the action in this episode occurred in the infirmary where Stuart lead a team with demonologist Fred, and sound recordist Darren Hutchinson.
As soon as they climbed the stairs into this area, Fred said he was feeling really weak, "I feel as if something's pressing me, right around my chest, and my head, I went lightheaded coming up the stairs, my legs went weak as well."
They moved from the landing into the first room in the infirmary and heard what sounded like something large sliding across the floor, at about the same time Fred said he'd felt something brush past him, "that could have been a child, you know."
Then seconds later they heard a knock in an adjoining room and went to investigate. As they headed back in to the first room something flew past Stuart's head, "that wizzed right by me". Despite a brief search, they couldn't find the object that has been thrown.
This was followed by the sound of a huge bang coming from the direction of the stairs, Stuart said "you go first Darren," to which Darren sarcastically replied, "oh, yeah, great idea," but he lead the way and they went out and found a chair on its side at the top of the stairs.
Fred then lowered the mood, "what you don't understand is, if it's what I think it is it can move anything it wants." Stuart asked, "so what is it?" And Fred said, "probably a demon."
Stuart then started calling out, "whoever's here, do something to Fred or Darren." Darren wasn't happy about this, he said "or Stuart," but this turned out to be the least of Darren's worries as seconds later Fred started reciting his demonic incantations. Darren turned to the camera and said "I want to punch him in the face sometimes."
The same chair was later thrown again on the stairs, they went downstairs to investigate. As they did something was thrown, it was caught on camera over the stairs, it was most likely a lightbulb which smashed halfway up the stairs.
Then a bit of an argument erupted between Fred and his colleagues. Fred was just fulfilling his demonologist role and was calling out to any evil presences in the workhouse, "we're not scared of you, come forward."
But Stuart said from behind the camera, "well I am, Fred." Fred told him not to be scared and tried to put his mind at ease by telling him, "I'll protect you." But Stuart didn't agree, "well you're not doing a very good job so far, I mean there's two chairs that have just been thrown at us." Darren then chipped in, "he's protecting us by enticing demons to come into this room."
Later they heard another loud bang from behind in the first room, Stuart said, "stuff is going down big time now, and we're going to go down with it any time soon if we carry on staying on here." Fred tried to reassure him, "you haven't been hurt yet, you're protected." But Stuart replied under his breath, "that's not to say my pants aren't full though."
Despite Fred accusing Stuart and Darren of running away from the action, they eventually made their way into a small room downstairs where they found two large sofas has been tipped over, the cushions scatter over the floor. Oddly, none of them had heard the sofa move.
Stuart described this finding, "that is poltergeist activity at its finest."
The whole team then regrouped as the episode comes to an end but this isn't the last we've heard from Llanfyllin Union Workhouse. The second part of the investigation airs next week with promises of a ouija board session and a review of Glen's EVP experiment which had been left in one of the class rooms during the investigation.
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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