BARRY McCANN takes a look back at Most Haunted Live’s Halloween 2004 episode
Episode Title: Pendle Hill, Halloween 2004
Locations: Clitheroe Castle, Church Brow, Trinity Youth Centre, Lower Well Head Farm, Bull Hole Farm, Tynedale Farm, and Waddow Hall, Pendle Hill, Lancashire, England
Episode Number: 11 (three-part episode)
Originally broadcast: 30 and 31 October and 1 November 2004
Review: Possibly the most well-known of the live weekend specials, the Halloween 2004 broadcast from Pendle Hill, Lancashire, was orchestrated from the shadow of Clitheroe castle. In fact, Halloween Eve kicked off at the castle itself with Derek Acorah swiftly “possessed” by the spirit of Roger de Lacey, a veteran of the crusades who spoke of two friends dying in the grounds of the keep. From the physical injuries sensed, they were possibly executed and probably by dismemberment.
Intriguingly, Derek reported an energy from the brickwork that transported thoughts and memories of the holy land, possibly belonging to de Lacey. But then another spirit apparently made contact, claiming to be a lost woman trapped within the walls she walks and saddened at her sudden loss of life. Derek informed the others she viewed them as danger, a warning perhaps affirmed by the nearby computer lights suddenly playing up.
Following a noise coming a cupboard area, Derek declared “Energy in this room that is not of this earth,” describing it as alien, high intelligence and a group of them. Unfortunately, that is about all the detail we got, though the whole concept of alien ghosts was enough to virtually stop the show. The seance that followed in a nearby hall proved anti-climatic, despite contacting a child called Alison who decided to make the table move. Maybe they should have saved the castle until last.
Day two – Samhain itself – was the real dramatic highlight of the weekend. Arriving at Lower Well Head Farm, the team were informed that a psychic writing experiment by David Wells the night before had produced the ominous message “Wait until tomorrow.” And Derek added he already sensed an energy that did not want them entering or even talking about the farm.
Inside, he reported the presence of “cagey” individuals having hideous thoughts. In particular, two old ladies following, incanting and cursing, declaring they want to scalp their guests and break their fingers. One of them, Demdike, apparently took hold of Derek, spitting out words like “toad”, “out” and “fiddle,” while informing her visitors that they “do not belong.” Odd that Demdike had a scouse accent, though I guess the explanation would be that she was projecting her thoughts through him. Surprising, she then tried throttling him with an invisible noose. Perhaps it was revenge for the accent.
The gang moved onto Tynedale Farm, where Derek claimed that the ghostly group had followed them and were whispering to one another so as not to be heard. This took a disturbing twist when he reported they had grouped together for a ritual to send out thoughts and bring back absent friends. However, there was one bright light in Alice Nutter, who Derek pleaded is not a witch and was apparently trying to stop them. Furthermore a table tilt session resulted in the team being told there were nine in the room, who were presumably responsible for snapping table and choking some of the crew.
Night three concentrated on Waddow Hall and was more restrained, apart from Derek being occupied by Peg O’Nell, a servant who drowned herself in the nearby river. Ned King the Highwayman also put in a fleeting appearance while Derek and Yvvy were out in the grounds. Sadly the camera did not catch the white figure they reported.
Whether you accept the events of this Host Haunted investigation on face value, or question if Derek and the team were overcome by hysteria at times – and this was a particularly tense investigation – it certainly showed them to be gluttons for punishment. Only several months later, the cameras returned to Lower Head Well and Tyndale farms. But that’s another story.
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