CHRISTINE MILLER takes a look at Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunt’s Bellaghy Bawn episode
As a settlement dating back to the 1600s, Bellaghy Bawn is reputed to be the oldest haunted house in County Derry/Londonderry. It is one of the original 12 Irish Plantation settlements and has many of its original features.
There is much activity within the walls of this ancient building. One staff member has heard court shoes walking the wooden floors, and upon turning round, saw no one.
Other unusual phenomena includes an employee returning to their office one morning to find that everything was covered in dust, no clear evidence as to why this occurred.
Strangely, one employee found themselves locked out of a room, and had to manoeuvre to get past a small gap in the door only to find it had been jemmied closed with a chair tightly (and strategically it would seem) placed making entry into the room almost impossible.
Andy first heads for the oldest part of the building – the tower room and senses a presence so he attempts to communicate with dousing rods which they affirm that Andy is not the only presence in the room. Reviewing the audio recording, Andy believes he has picked up on some interesting EVP which answers his questions. He asks, “are you here?” to which the response is “No”.
Marion is, as usual the final member of the team to come to the house. She smells smoke and burning and believes there might have been a catastrophe or massacre here. Is it turns out, in the 1600s, 200 horsemen surrounded the castle and raised the castle to the ground.
Marion also says she believes the house may have been used as a hospital. Although not wholly accurate, there was a Dr Thompson who did perform operations within the walls of the building in the early 20th century.
Upon entering the tower room, Marion says she senses a female energy, who appears to be a very gentle soul. She was witness to the fire that broke out and Marion is certain that she is not willing to leave Bellaghy Bawn.
Moving throughout the building, Marion picks up on a soldier who abruptly asks what she wants. She claims he is arrogant and angry. Climbing a flight of stairs, the soldier tells her firmly that she is not allowed to go there, but Marion pays no heed and continues. Small boy eight years old who hides in a room at the top of the stairs. He’s unsure and afraid.
Andy meanwhile attempts a controlled object test to see if any spirit will attempt to move a bottle he has placed on the floor. Left overnight with a series of cameras fixed on said bottle, it unfortunately does not move. As Andy says though, “it was worth a try”.
Later in the evening, the team set up a white noise experiment within the tower. They ask questions out loud and encourage any spirits who want to communicate to come forward. After analysing the tapes, they find that there is a few EVP that is picked up on audio. Asking for a spirit to knock twice, although not audible to the human hear at the time, very distinctive knocks (the type one might use to knock on a door) are picked up on audio along with a voice saying something that cannot be clearly understood.
Bellaghy Bawn sadly refused to give up its secrets to the team during their investigation.