DAVID SAUNDERSON takes a look back at Most Haunted: The Schooner Hotel

Episode Title: The Schooner Hotel Location: Alnmouth, Northumberland
Series: 3 Episode Number: 34 Originally broadcast: 2003
Main Medium: Derek Acorah  Parapsychologist(s): Dr. Matthew Smith & Dr. Ciaran O’Keeffe

The Most Haunted crew head to the Northumberland Coast to investigate the 17th century listed Schooner Inn, in Alnmouth, Northumberland.

The Schooner Inn is one of England’s most famous haunted places and has been the centre of paranormal attention for many years. It’s always interesting when Most Haunted goes to places we know.

From the outset of the episode, it is clear this coaching inn is one very atmospheric place. The place is ripe for haunted activity.

We hear that staff have reported noises and movements in corridors at night, with the manager she once thought it was a burglar before realising it was not of this earth.

Lots of ghosts at Schooner Inn?

The Schooner Inn is so haunted in fact, host Yvette Fielding tells us there have been 9000 sightings since 1998 (this was filmed in 2003, so that’s five years).

And to make it even spookier – there are 60 resident ghosts!

(At this point, you do have to ask how they differentiated between the 60 ghosts. Do the spectres come with different coloured hats, or do they clock in and out and have ID cards?)

Anyway, that’s a lot of ghosts!

As with all reality TV shows, the Most Haunted crew only have 24 hours to get to the bottom of all these hauntings.

Historian Richard Felix gives us the lowdown on this creepy coaching inn, which was used by sailors, smugglers and other maritime folk over the years, so it was the site of much murder and mischief. The town itself was known for its wickedness. There are tunnels underneath the property, so there are lots of places to go ghost hunting.

You can read Rick Hale’s article about Schooner Hotel here to discover all the legends about the place.

Almost all of the 32 rooms in the Schooner Inn have reported paranormal activity, but Room 28 is the epicentre of paranormal goings-on. A family is supposed to have been massacred there in the olden days. Room 17 ad 18 are haunted too.

Medium Derek Acorah is brought into investigate. He is immediately drawn to room 28 and picks up on residual energy. This is an interesting part of the episode, as Acorah – reasonably restrained at first – poo-poos the idea that there are 60 ghosts at The Schooner.

By the end of the investigation, Acorah points out that he believes there are only two spirits – elementals – who lurk at the Schooner Inn. Had there been 60 ghosts, you wouldn’t get moving. There are some intriguing happenings during the investigation.

The Schooner Inn is one of Most Haunted most eerie episodes – historian Richard Felix even gets the creeps in the cellars. Over the episode, the crew discovers warm versus cold spots in the building, and the radio alarm clocks seem to turn themselves on and off. Everyone is on edge.

All in all, Most Haunted dismissed most of the ideas that the Schooner Hotel is the Grand Central Station of ghost sightings – sure, there are at least two ghosts and they are probably felt a lot in the hotel. But there’s no where near as many as 60 ghosts as the folklore and publicity would have us believe.

Tell us what you thought of this Most Haunted episode in the comments section below.

David Saunderson
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