27 March 2020

REVIEW: Most Haunted - Series 1 Episode 5 (25th June 2002) Leap Castle, Coolderry, County Offaly, Ireland

As I write this it is the 27th March 2020, the world is on lock down, due to a world wide pandemic. Thousands of people are dead due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak, the streets are empty, it literally feels like we are living in a post apocalyptic world, people in massive queues to get bread and toilet tissue, people scared to even get close to each other in fear of catching this deadly disease. But with all that happening I have decided to do something even worse! I have decided to review another classic episode of Most Haunted.

I have also stuck to my promise that I would not review any of the new Most Haunted stuff unless it got over 100,000 views, their new stuff at most is getting between 10,000 to 15,000 views, which is hardly surprising.

We travel back in time to Series 1 Episode 5 (25th June 2002) Leap Castle, Coolderry, County Offaly, Ireland. A time when bog rolls were aplenty, brand name bread cost just 50p a loaf, and Karl Beattie still had his original hair, long before the transplant. So with that, let's take a look at the blurb.

"The Most Haunted team travel to the Republic of Ireland to visit historic Leap Castle. Legend says the castle is home to a half-man, half-animal elemental. The Most Haunted crew hold a séance in the infamous Bloody Chapel."

This is the first episode of Most Haunted I will have reviewed since the death of Derek Acorah, it will be interesting to watch him, back in his prime.

This episode is one of the Most Haunted Unseen episodes, I don't recall exactly what that meant, I assume it just meant it had a few extra scenes thrown in? I grabbed it off youtube, so what can you do.

We start off with Yvette and for some reason she seems really aggressive in her intro, I am guessing she was trying to get across how scary and dangerous this place was.

Many a cow had to die for that long leather coat.

She tells us that the castle is home to a "half-man, half-animal elemental" ghost. I hope Derek Acorah gets possessed by this. I wonder if in the afterlife Derek has met up with all these ghosts who possessed him? Even the famous monkey from episode 1 I think it was? That would be interesting to see.

Now although Yvette Fielding does look fetching in her red leather trousers, as a vegan I cannot approve.

She sits down with actor Jason Karl who is playing the part of a parapsychologist to talk about the castle. Worth noting that despite being an employed actor playing the part of a parapsychologist, I give him credit as being one of the more skeptical people who played this part, and as such was many times more credible than those who followed him. And in case you didn't know, he was only fired from the show, because he became too popular with the viewers. Remember this whole show was supposed to be a vehicle to relaunch Yvette's career. As history now tells us that failed and Derek Acorah quickly became the true star of the show.

Jason explains how the elemental ghost is created by negative energy. He also talks about these "coil" types of energy that only appear in photographs, as always a real skeptic knows the cause of such "manifestations" are usually a hair near the lens, or the camera strap hanging down, funny how these images pretty much disappeared from the genre as cameras on Smartphones became more prevalent and of higher quality.

Yvette tells us how she is scared for the arrival of Derek Acorah who apparently has "no idea about Leap Castle at all", well that's 4 minutes in and we get our first direct lie. Derek worked as a spiritualist medium, the idea that he would have "no idea" about Leap Castle is ridiculous. It was his job, it was his life. He knew.

We then get an interview with Sean Ryan the owner of the castle, and boy is this a treat, he is like the character Ted from The Fast Show.

Sean does a decent job "selling" his tourist attraction. We also get a quick piece to camera from a small child.

Now to make you feel old, she is nearly 30 years old now! And has had a career as a professional dancer and teacher. A seven times provincial champion and a top 10 World championship medal holder for eight consecutive years!

Check out her page at https://academy.riverdance.com/blog/instructor/ciara-callanan-ryan/

You could argue that she has had a more successful career after appearing on Most Haunted than Yvette Fielding has, after all Ciera only appears once on the show, and Yvette is still trying to make a living from pretending to see ghosts.

Ok I have lost my train of thought now, yes we were watching a program about fake ghosts.

We see some footage from Karl's camera, he is filming in the day, worth noting Yvette calls him "our producer Karl". He films a burning fire from afar. This is something that any good ghost hunter should do more often, just film a fire burning, with a bit of luck you will get at least a single frame of something in the fire that looks like a face, purely a pareidolia effect, but it would look great for your gullible fans.

Completely pointless segment and totally understandable why this got cut from the original airing.

Yvette is still wondering around doing pieces to camera, great to see them do some effort with production too, some nice shots with candles burning and so on.

Jason Karl announces that the battery in his camera has gone dead. He also clearly states that he has been using it all day. That's how batteries work mate, you charge them, you use them, they go dead. To try an make this some kind of paranormal event is ridiculous and just shows a total lack of intelligence, but then again it could also be that you are doing it deliberately as part of your "gas lighting" of the audience.

Rick Fielding of the Fielding family claims he has heard a whisper noise in his ear. Jason Karl then pulls out an EMF meter and says there is a high reading right where they are, the fact he is surrounded by people holding electrical equipment all giving off electromagnetic fields seems beyond him.

15 minutes in and the investigation proper finally starts, Derek has now appeared.

Derek looking smart gets straight into his act as they go up some stairs, and he claims he can see a figure, and is very descriptive of her.

I really had forgotten how good Derek was at describing made up ghosts. But there is also the problem that everything he says just sounds like innuendo.

Derek is now describing the ghost as not just spirit but as inter dimensional, whatever that is supposed to mean. The ghost is changing shape, so it's an inter-dimensional, shape shifting being. We then hear the owner of the Castle off camera getting a bit nervous and warning Derek about the elemental spirit.

Derek then comes up with the name "Sir Henry Darby", an on screen graphic confirms the name and that he was born at Leap Castle in 1749 and served as an Admiral in the British Navy.

The funny thing is that back in the day, when this show would air, you would have the believers quickly declaring that this was proof that Derek was legit, and you had skeptics quickly checking the internet to see how easy such information could be found out, and then the battle between the two opposing groups. I took part in such battles, and I am a bit embarrassed that I did now. It so obviously faked, and although I knew it was faked, I spent way too much time proving it was all fake. I was one of those skeptics.

If this was to air today, many many less people would believe in Derek as they did in the past, and only the hardcore would really get into arguments trying to prove it all one way or another. I think it is partly a shame that both believers and skeptics got so annoyed with each other, when realistically Derek was just playing the part of a character on a TV show, no different to Jason Karl playing the part of parapsychologist.

But we did take it all too seriously back in the day, non more so than me.

Now when I see him come up with a name, I really have no interest to check if it's a real name or not, or how easy it is to research, it really doesn't matter.

This guy starts talking about how some batteries are running down and how there was some audio issues, of course the presumption is that this is caused by the ghosties.

Derek has found a small room, which has a ghost monk in it. Derek is in full "Degsie Mode" here. Of course what he is saying matches up to some Monk who was at the castle hundreds of years ago.

Worth noting here how they regularly seem to switch from a black and white filter to REAL night vision mode.

Great way to spot night vision is the eyes.

Of course it is completely pointless as the area is well lit, there are candles lit everywhere, a big roaring fire. It is not dark in any way, so this is purely a production choice to make things seem more spooky.

Karl is with Rick and is desperately trying to get him to have a seance. Rick is not interested though.

We then get an "orb". I had forgotten about them, boy did they go on about them a lot back in the day.

Yvette does her best Blair Witch Project shot, but the problem is that in the Blair Witch Project, it was done with full colour.

We then get another orb shot, Yvette proudly declares on voice over that Orbs are the first signs of a ghost manifestation.

Karl and Rick are doing their seance stuff, but it comes across more as just two nervous blokes having a laugh on camera, which ironically is exactly what they were.

Yvette is now pretending to cry as a ghost is nearby, putting her trained actress skills to full use there.

Remember when Yvette pretended that Harry Styles tried to seduce her when he was 16? About as likely as Karl claiming to be the worlds last samurai.

I've started to get bored now, not enough Derek. Need a good possession to get me interested again.
Come on Degsie, you can do it.

Yvette is with Stuart, and Stuart closes a door and Yvette has a break down and starts crying because she is so scared. All very pathetic and over acted.

Karl is with Marcel, whoever that is.

Derek has seemingly disappeared as Karl heads off to the cellar.
And is filming orbs. I will not even waste my time explaining them, if you don't know by now what they are you never will.

The investigation ends, and we get the post investigation comments. I wonder if Derek went home early on the night after he did his little spot? Also in the post investigation comments, Jason Karl reveals that he told ALL of the crew where they were going before the investigation and wonders if the expectations of phenomena and that auto suggestion might have had an effect on people.

Jason Karl then summarises all of the nights events, and gives a skeptical opinion.

This shot of Derek really needs to be made into a meme.

Well the episode ends, and it was an ok episode, the lack of a possession by Derek really hurt the episode, and he hardly appeared in the episode. As such I can only score this a 3/10. Unlike the first few episodes of the season, this was definitely a filler episode.

Review by Jon Donnis

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By Jon Donnis