30 East Drive: Filming Music Video In Haunted House Was Like The Feeling You Get After Watching A Horror Film
For most pop stars, shooting a music video is a glamorous affair, but one British singer-songwriter picked an unlikely and spooky location for her latest music video.
Charlotte Hannah shot the video for her new single, 'POISON' inside of 30 East Drive, a real haunted house that is said to be the most haunted house in the UK.
The South Yorkshire-based musician says she's always had an interest in the paranormal and believes ghost really do exist. Charlotte told us, "when it came to choosing a location and theme for the music video 'POSION' I knew I wanted it to be influenced by either something spooky, the Halloween season or the paranormal... So I went for a bit of everything combined."
After hunting around for a suitably eerie location, Charlotte ended up shooting in a former council house in Pontefract. She said, "I have family living in Pontefract and am a Yorkshire girl myself, so of course I'd heard of 30 East Drive. I've always wanted to go to one of the ghost hunts there."
Charlotte contacted the owner of the house, Bil, to ask about filming the official music video for 'POISON', her track which was released on streaming platforms in September.
The 22-year-old singer was thrilled when Bil excitedly agreed. She said, "being a film producer himself, Bil was so excited about the music video and loved my song too, which really meant a lot. As soon as I saw his email I knew I had to look no further for a location."
As a lover of all things spooky, Charlotte can't get enough of the Halloween season but admits that she never imagined she'd end up filming a ghostly music video in a famous paranormal hotspot. She told us, "I just never guessed that this year I’d take it to the next level and actually enter a house that was really haunted."
The result is the creepy music video for 'POISON' below, which premiered on YouTube just in time for Halloween.
So what was it like filming in a real haunted house? Before filming the video, Charlotte and her production crew took the notion of being in an allegedly haunted location very seriously. She said, "I started to research the house but once I realised its history - I stopped. I wanted to remain professional and go in and film the video without any influence. All myself and the team knew was that it is haunted by a few ghosts and a poltergeist, 'the Black Monk'."
The singer added that the lack of research helped keep her impartial, "I wasn't looking out for any hotspots in the house." Charlotte and her team were also very respectful of the house's spirits, "when walking through the front door, we said 'hello' to any entities to make our peace. Saying that we were here to do a job, not disturb them."
The unassuming house in the Chequerfield Estate provided the perfect backdrop for 'POISON', which the singer describes as "a dark, eerie pop song with story telling lyrics." As well as being haunted by the malevolent spirit of a 16th Century monk, it's also been made famous by ghost hunting television shows like 'Most Haunted' and 'Paranormal Lockdown', and even had a movie made about it, 'When The Lights Went Out'.
Although following in the footsteps of the likes of Yvette Fielding and Nick Groff, Charlotte wasn't visiting the house specifically to hunt ghosts, her primary mission was to film her music video, but she said she went with an open mind, "half of me focused on the project, determined to not let anything spook me, and half of me was keeping an eye on my surroundings for any activity."
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Like many who visit 30 East Drive for the first time, Charlotte was surprised by how cozy and warm the house was - far from our preconceived notions of what a haunted house should be like. The singer said, "on entering the property we were all really shocked to find it was toasty warm. The kind of warmth that you'd expect to find at your grandma's house. We were expecting to be chilly, we even brought extra coats." But Charlotte said it was a little too warm, "it made East Drive slightly oppressive and heavy."
Charlotte was joined by her camera crew, Kareem and Richie from the Steelworks Studio - the Sheffield-based studio that produced the single. Plus her cousin Tyler, otherwise known as CHINA, who stars alongside Charlotte in the 'POISON' video, and her parents who helped out behind the scenes.
Despite trying to get on with shooting a pop video, unexplained things did start to happen. Like much of the reported activity in the house, it happened when the crew were least expecting it. While setting up their camera's in the kitchen they heard footsteps above them, despite no one being upstairs - a commonly reported occurrence at 30 East Drive.
Charlotte told us, "it actually spooked me so much as it was the first thing I'd heard in the property, it made me jump and I ran outside for some fresh air. I stood outside, composed myself and entered back into the house wide-eyed from realisation of where we were... a real haunted house."
That wasn't the last weird thing to happen during their time in the house. The crew experienced objects moving on their own, doors opening, heard unexplained banging sounds, mysterious battery drains, and even experienced the sensation of being touched.
All this led the Yorkshire's starlet to the conclusion that 30 East Drive's paranormal reputation is true. She said, "I have only visited one haunted house in Britain before East Drive, so I don't have a lot to compare it with, but there is one thing I can confirm, and this is 30 East Drive IS Haunted."
Charlotte, who admitted feeling uneasy the entire time she was at number 30, said, "it didn't feel like a 'normal house'." She added, "we had a job to do, our aim of the evening wasn't to listen out for any noises or watch out for anything moving. But what I found is the less attention I paid, the more activity happened."
The singer-songwriter told us, "I've only been to a haunted place once before, so I don't really know the usual regime and etiquette, but one thing I did do was speak out loud to the ghosts and Black Monk the whole way around the house. Simply saying 'thank you for letting us be here, we come in peace, we're not here to bother you' so we didn't aggravate them."
Keep an eye on Charlotte's official YouTube channel over the coming weeks, as the singer says "we have a bunch of behind the scenes content on camera. We documented as much activity as we could while filming."
Charlotte added, "I'm yet to watch the footage back in depth, but we will be releasing a behind the scenes video in case anyone is interested to find out more about what we experienced and get an insight into what really happened that night."
The infamous house in Pontefract seems to have left its mark on Charlotte, who told us "I have to admit after leaving East Drive, I felt uneasy for about a week. The reality of where we had been only hit me once we had left."
She added, "I was jittery the entire week after. The same kind of feeling you get after you've just finished watching a horror film and don't want to walk upstairs in the dark or look in a mirror. I kept thinking I'd seen things too."
Since getting home from East Drive, she's been watching other people's experiences investigating the house. She said, "it was even more thrilling watching ghost hunting videos on YouTube after our visit and seeing that people had experienced the same things as us."
Charlotte’s career began when she took to YouTube, showcasing her vocals and notching up millions of views, but behind a keyboard is where it all really began. In fact 'POISON' started out as a piano ballad by the young up-and-coming artist back in 2017 before sharing the song with producer, Tom Barker, at Steelworks Studios.
Charlotte said, "I sat down at my piano to write and express my conflicted thoughts about a new relationship. I played around with the imagery of alter egos, the temptations of unknown territory and how a relationship can change you for the better or sometimes worse."
Charlotte Hannah's Paranormal Activity Log
When we first arrived that evening at East Drive we had a quick look around. In Phillip's bedroom, there were three plastic balls placed in the centre of the room in a triangle. I assumed that they were there as props to show any activity. We all noted them, and didn't touch them. I wanted to see if they would move on their own, and they did. Firstly the balls moved from a small triangle (about a foot apart) to a large triangle (about 2 feet apart) and no one had been upstairs since we saw the balls in the first place. Mum then rearranged them so they were in a straight line and kept checking them and eventually one of the balls (the first in the line) moved to one side.
I was in the bathroom putting in contact lenses. I left to go into the double bedroom to get some makeup. I'd left the door open and light on, only to find the light was turned off when I returned. I don't know if this is of any relevance but Richie, one of the cameramen for the evening, was calling out to the ghost of Joe Pritchard as he saw his photo and name on the wall in the living room... later I found out Joe died in that bathroom. I don’t know if calling out his named stirred him.
At the start of the evening Tyler felt something, like a hand brush against his neck while stood on the landing at the top of the stairs. He said nothing until we left as he didn't want to scare himself or anyone. Tyler also mentioned, he was sure he saw a vague shape/outline or a person/ghost in the house.
I had been charging the camera batteries up all day. On arrival we started filming on the behind the scenes camera, which ran out of battery just five minutes later. I'd brought chargers with me, so charged it up again - but it was faulty all night. Now it is home again, it works perfectly. From watching a ghost hunt video at East Drive by the Ouija Brothers, I noticed the same thing happened to them too.
Dad saw paper drop off the wall onto the floor and there was nothing on the floor and no paper on the wall to start with. He also saw a ball bounce from the fireplace into the living room. Again, nothing there.
Mum left the double bedroom door shut, once she was stood in the bathroom, she turned round and watched it open and then stop and then open further.
There was a marble placed on a shelf at the bottom of the stairs and it is known that one of the ghosts regularly knocks it off. Midway into filming Tyler had lost a false nail and we were looking for it on the carpet and noticed the marble had fallen off the shelf. I noted it, picked it up and put it back... Only to realise afterwards that is a sign of activity.
We noticed in the main bedroom there was a bunch of dolls on the vanity cabinet, on the floor and on the bed. One eerie thing I noticed was all the dolls faces were covered. They all had bonnets on, and the bonnet had been pulled over to cover the dolls entire face, their heads were also facing down - as if looking down. Tyler noticed one of the dolls, which was sat on a chair moved from the centre of the chair to the left.
At about 1am we were packing up to leave for the night. Tyler was taking his makeup off in the single bedroom and Mum was packing up in the bathroom directly across the landing from Tyler. They both simultaneously heard and felt two bangs under the floorboards that drummed underneath them. We took it as a sign to leave...
As well as all these happenings throughout the night we all heard different bumps and bangs. I felt rather uneasy and like I was being watched the whole time.
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