24 February 2018

REVIEW: Most Haunted As Live - Series 21 Episode 7 (2nd March 2018) Codnor Castle

"Updated 25/02/18 - Please see bottom of article for an update."

A conversation overheard by the Most Haunted Mole at Antix Productions.

"So Most Haunted Live is back! UKTV have decided to throw a fortune at us and let them us whatever we like on a special live show that will air for 5 nights on REALLY and the W channel! Celebrate.....

What? That's not Most Haunted, that's Celebrity Haunted Mansion? So there is not Most Haunted Live? No Studio Audience? No Satellite trucks, fancy trailers, or all you can eat canteen? No big production? Nothing? UKTV are doing that for another show that last time it aired was universally panned as being terrible?

So what does Most Haunted get then? A 2 hour with ads, "As Live" self funded "special". That's it? But last time we did a Most Haunted As Live, those bastards at BadPsychics exposed us for editing the footage and faking events, thus instantly destroying the whole "As Live" claim. Oh well. Guess we don't have much choice."

And with that bombshell, let's take a look at this weeks filthy dirty Blurbage.

"Spook-searching with Yvette Fielding and co! The team visits Codnor Castle which has a dark history of cursed dolls, murder and suicide. Strange occurrences scare them to breaking point."

Yes it is true, UKTV have thrown a fortune at Celebrity Haunted Mansion, meaning there is no budget left whatsoever to fund any kind of Live Most Haunted show. Now from what I was told, the reason UKTV refuse to pay for a MHL is due to Karl getting caught tying a rope around his waste and having Stuart pull him up some stairs and then them claiming it was a ghost.

BadPsychics exposed that, and after that UKTV were so annoyed at the bad publicity, they said that in future all Most Haunted episodes need to be recorded so that any shenanigans could be edited out. But of course here at BadPsychics Towers we love a good challenge, so with this "As Live" episode, I wonder what we will spot.

1. Something will be thrown OFF CAMERA.
2. Yvette will scream.
3. Karl will get caught cheating.
4. Fred will do something suspicious.
5. They will not find any ghosts.

Yvette starts off looking like a physical manifestation of death, but who is that next to her! HOLY MOTHBALLS ROBIN, IT'S WATSON!!

A close up of Yvette reveals a striking resemblance to The Undertaker!

Codnor Castle looks like an interesting place, but I think the investigation will take place in a cottage since there is not really much of a castle left.

Watson has disappeared while Yvette is walking up the stairs telling us about the murders and suicides at the location.

For a show that is supposed to be 'as live', this early walkthrough has clearly been pre recorded and edited. But since it is just the walkthrough I will let them off.

You can tell when it is "As Live" as Yvette will keep fluffing her lines, despite being on Blue Peter, she is not very good as a host doing live stuff.

Amazingly they have a "Locked Off Camera", and Yvette pulls out a "Haunted Object".

She then pulls out this cursed, haunted doll with a suspicious red band or tape on it's left leg. 

My first thought is that since we have seen video of quite a few Haunted Dolls that they need to do something over the top to beat all the other Haunted Dolls, so it just falling over would be a bit crap, I wonder what they will do?

They then shows footage from their house of Watson barking while the doll is in front of him.

Clearly Watson knows the doll is haunted. That or the fact he was not even barking at the doll, but at Yvette who is behind the camera, could mean that they were waving something that usually makes him bark.

Anyway we then get a shot of REHEARSALS for an earlier walkthrough where something is thrown OFF CAMERA, of course there are all manner of crew members there, including Karl who then suspiciously appears from the direction of where the item was thrown.

Karl even looks back at the area HE was in, and says "There is definitely no one back there."

Feel free to shake your head at this whole scene in disgust.

Just noticed Stuart is also on a camera.

We are now 10 minutes in, and they have not shown a single minute of "As Live" footage, just pre-recorded, edited footage of a walkthrough, and Karl throwing something.

Finally the "As Live" part starts, and everyone is stumbling over their words, and Watson has disappeared, I suspect he is having a nap.

If you are wondering what is in Fred's box, its another haunted doll.

Karl and Yvette are both acting quite skeptical towards the idea of a Haunted Doll, so I am guessing that there will be a big stunt with the doll as the finale of the episode. You can see it a mile off.

They remember Watson, so Yvette tells the camera to pan down to Watson, who is sleeping because he truly does not give a shit. And further proves their earlier footage of him barking was a set up, since he is near another haunted doll and doesn't care.

They turn the "Night vision" on, despite it being very bright, and start the investigation.

Karl claims to be cold, but debunks himself by pointing out some of the windows have been knocked out.

You can always tell when it is actually quite bright, as the night vision shots will be perfectly clear and not grainy.

Damn I am bored already, we are just gonna get ridiculous knocks and taps all episode. Suddenly the beardy bloke sniffs Yvette and gets caught, so he tries to pass it off as him smelling ghost perfume. Dirty perv! At least Glen never gets caught when he is having a crafty sniff of Yvette.

The biggest problem with Most Haunted is the endless discussions about things.

Suddenly Yvette hears footsteps and gets scared, and Fred appears suspiciously out of the dark.

The sheer amount of noise the 10+ crew members make as they walk about is ridiculous, but also goes to show that there is absolutely no controls in place. And that instantly makes the entire investigation a waste of time.

Making this an "As Live" special, is completely pointless, since it is clearly edited, and actually takes away from the show as I assume they are trying to film the entire thing within a much shorter time frame.

With a normal 2 part episode, they can film for longer, create set pieces easier which can be filmed multiple times until they get the ghost to do what they want.

28 Minutes in and I have totally lost interest.
I am messing on Twitter, replying to people on Facebook, looking at my phone. Do Most Haunted fans really sit for 2 hours watching the TV and not get bored?

Karl claims he can smell fire? I wonder if this is a pre-cursor to something that will happen later? Hmmm. Can't get that red band/tape on the dolls leg out of my mind.

Realising there are too many people together, Yvette says it is time for them to split up.

Beardy guy comes out with a load of nonsense about things being emotionally charged, and feeling on the edge. Glen just looks at him with utter incredulity.

Yvette is pretending to be scared, some really poor acting.

MAJOR edit in the film right now, as they cut to a different camera at the top of the stairs, remember they claim this is "as live" but it is 100% definitely not being filmed in one go.

Yvette while looking directly at Fred says that as she came upstairs all she could smell was a strong smell of BO (Body Odour), I always imagine that Fred would smell of Old Spice or Brut.

Yvette and the gang go to see if the Doll is still there, it is and it has not moved unfortunately.

"My hairs are standing on edge, my arms, my back" - Fred Batt

I am guessing his back is like a gorilla.

Suddenly a noise behind Karl and OFF CAMERA, a jingling sound, and some old coins have been thrown.

So basically Karl had a load of coins in his pocket, he waited for the camera to be pointing away from him, and he chucked them behind him.

Again Karl points out there is no one in the area where the coins where thrown, only him walking away from the area.

Yvette asks Glen, who is rightfully skeptical.

Notice Glens face here, he knows it was Karl, Yvette knows it was Karl, the viewers know it was Karl. Is there anyone in the world who thinks it was a ghost? Please leave a comment if you are one of those people. And please explain why you think it is a ghost and not Karl.

Even if you trust their word, just consider the ramifications if they were telling the truth. After the first time it happened, you would set up 20+ cameras, covering every single angle. Instead they just carry on as if nothing happened, or as if positive proof of ghostly activity is meaningless.

Throughout history there has NEVER EVER been proof of ghosts, never. It would change science, it would change the world, it would change history. Yet Most Haunted would have us believe that it is meaningless.

As they leave the area, suddenly more coins are thrown.

But hang on, you actually see Karl throw them! OMG they really screwed up here.

Right then, go to the following address to watch the episode.

Go to 39 minutes, and 10 seconds, the screen will go to split screen, watch the screen on the bottom right. You will see Karl who is behind Glen, they reach the stairs, You can slightly hear the sound of Karl gathering up the coins, and then see his hand throw them.

They then count the original load of coins they picked up as if that somehow proves something. You can literally see Karl throw them. Hilarious!

"They came out of nowhere" - Glen.

So that was the big stunt that ends the first half of the episode. They talk for a bit and then move on. The Haunted Doll is still stood there doing nothing. Whats the betting that something happens to the doll right at the end of the episode, I am thinking it get struck by lightening or levitates, that would be cool. Something has to happen, and it will definitely happen at the end for the big finale.

At 43 Minutes, Karl throws some more coins, and you even see him reach into his back pocket just before he does it. Just too blatant for me to even moan about it.

That awkward moment when you can clearly see more coins in Karl's back pocket, and then the camera catches the moment he goes to reach for them right before they are thrown.

They finally get down the stairs, and no coins are thrown, mainly due to Karl being fully in the shot. 

A Cameraman claims to be able to see something on camera, says it reminds him of the Predator film, the Camouflage when he goes invisible.

Of course us the viewer cant see anything. Yvette and beardy start talking to this invisible ghost as if it is a little child, they then throw some coins at the ghost.

Nothing happens.

The way they are talking now is as if it is a kind of smoke, but the camera cant see anything. I am instantly reminded of the smoke monster from Lost.

Yvette starts that annoying whistle thing.
Predator ghost decides not to whistle back.

Everyone gathers up together again, a few taps and knocks, the usual.

Cameraman says he can see an orb, luckily it is quickly forgotten about.
Karl is doubled over keeps saying he feels negative.

Stuart has been very quiet this episode so far. Pretty much just doing his job filming, this would likely point to him being involved in a big stunt yet to happen.

Glen decides to get in on the fun and claims he heard a yell in the distance. Nothing is picked up on camera. But I am sure he did hear something, the problem is that it could be anyone outside of the property, or even the female producer who is sat downstairs in the base room.

Now Karl claims he can feel a hand on his shoulder, Yvette has heard a groan.
Half hour left so they are definitely trying to build the tension now.

Yvette has decided she is psychic and is saying that she is picking up on something horrific having happened in the other room. She is giving the best performance of her acting career since Seaview.

Fred confirms that something had happened in the room they are looking at. Yvette wont go in the room. 

Suddenly Yvette feels fine and goes into the room.

Stuarts hair growing back again, he needs to get the shaver on it.

Yvette decides to split people up again. 

We then get a few minutes of them walking to the next building. 

Stuart is with Fred and coins are continually being thrown, not at all convincing.

Yvette and her gang have decided to go to the kitchen. Sadly no knives on the wall.

Karl is on his own.

20 Minutes left, and 23 minutes till the footy starts, so this will be a close one for my review! As the footy is way more important.

Karl hears footsteps, which sound suspiciously like a sound file that has been added in post production. (1h12m)

Glen finally gets alone with Yvette and his bulge is starting to throb. 

Suddenly Stuart gives off the fakest scream ever, after a noise OFF CAMERA, Stuart is totally over acting here.

Glen is showing Yvette his "special photos" on his laptop. Yvette is not impressed.

Back with Stuart and Fred, and a bed frame has moved OFF CAMERA, the audio added in post production of course. Same kind of thing they have done plenty of times before.

We then get a shot of the doll, damn that red band/tape on its leg looks suspicious.

And hilariously it has caught fire. Hahahahahaha, Oh come on, this is ridiculous.

Burning pretty well. 

Ok so I have looked at the exact moment the doll catches fire. The dolls left leg, where the red band/tape is, it starts from that spot, and the rest catches fire. That is definitely the trigger point. 

So how is it done, that's a good question. The is a very slight flicker as it is triggered. So it is ignited, and I am guessing it was something held by that suspicious red band/tape or the red tape itself. Now the camera was on the doll for a good few seconds before it ignited, there are no shadows or flickering shadows, so it cant be a hidden candle as you would see that. Could it be a lit cigarette placed hidden from view, in that red band? The doll caught fire pretty quick, I don't think an accelerant is used, I just think it is very dry flammable clothes it is wearing.

Obviously you can buy fire lights and charges etc that would do the job but I am not sure exactly how it is done, something is lit and then held in place by the red band, that I am sure of, as the fire is put out, the evidence is destroyed or kicked out of view in the commotion. 

Leave me your opinion the comments.

Whatever you think of the show, this is a really impressive stunt, obviously faked, but still it is a good stunt. I expect Fred is the one who lights it since Stuart is filming.

They then have a ridiculous conversation about what to do with the doll, to bury it, burn it, Yvette decides to put it in a lock up and ask the viewers what to do with it.

They finish with this guy saying he found no accelerant used and no trigger. He states the cause of the fire is unknown. I am guessing he has never watched Most Haunted before! Now if you think Most Haunted paid thousands of pounds for forensic examination, then you are dreaming. UKTV only pay them about £5000 per episode, so they are not bringing in forensics to examine the doll. They have asked this Gary Williams bloke for his opinion, he has picked up the doll, smelled it, looked at it, and that's it. He never examined the location of the fire. Nothing.

My final guess is that the red band/tape is the big give away of how they did it. And was used to hold whatever the incendiary device was that started the fire, whether it was a lit cigarette or a firelight or a match, or whatever.

The red band is no where to be seen after the event, and in photos of the dolls all burnt etc, the red band is nowhere to be seen! Curious.

So to summarize, the exact method, I am not sure, but that red band/tape is the key.

A fun ending to a tiresome episode.
We get some highlights of the next episode, not sure if that is more from Codnor Castle, or another location.

4/10. Without the doll it would be a 1/10, but the doll stunt saved it.

I have been trying to figure out how they did the Doll stunt, I have spoke with many people, and had a lot of suggestions, but we have an answer.

They filmed this show late last year, the Codnor Castle Trust was originally only making a very small income from the farmhouse/cottage, but since they started renting it out for investigations etc they were able to make £200 every time Most Haunted use it, so for their Most Haunted Experience nights and so on.

The doll stunt was performed in the roof area, strangely the floor in the roof is concrete not wood. I have been told that for some reason The Most Haunted crew had drilled into the concrete floor, as well as used pyrotechnics attached to the doll to set it on fire, and after the fire there was some scorching to the roof. As you can imagine the person in charge of the trust was very angry at this.

So there you have it, the doll was set on fire using a small pyrotechnic device attacked to the back of the dolls leg with the red tape/ribbon. A pyrotechnic device as you know can be lit and it takes a few seconds before it goes off. This matches perfectly with what happened, and if you look at the footage, as the doll falls you can just about make out the remains of the pyrotechnic device.

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By Jon Donnis