CHRISTINE MILLER takes a look back at Drury Lane Theatre Most Haunted episode
Episode Title: Drury Lane Theatre
Series: 1 Episode Number: 10
Originally broadcast: 2001-2002
Medium: Derek Acorah
Parapsychologists: Jason Karl, David Scanlen & Vicki Purewal
A Ghostly Kick up the Rear
“The most haunted theatre in the world” – these are the first words uttered from presenter Yvette Fielding as she introduces us to the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, London.
A theatre has been on this spot since 1661, and the present building has stood from 1821, making it the oldest in the capital.
It is considered lucky to have a resident ghost reside in a theatre – the Theatre Royal, however, has five.
Jason Karl explains there is a “grey man” who is supposed to have been an actor in the 1700s.
Amazingly, Jason claims that 70 individuals have seen this ghost all at the same time. Other supposed ghosts seen backstage include a pantomime dame who died in 1904 and the “Lavender Lady” who is named so due to the smell of lavender she emits when she is close by.
The famous clown actor Joseph Grimaldi haunts the stage of the Theatre Royal and is quick to kick actors in the rear if he feels that said actor is not giving their best performance.
Is it too much to ask that Grimaldi gives the Most Haunted crew a similar fright tonight?
Jealousy, Murder, and Possession
Upon entering the Derek picks up on nothing, quite to the surprise of Yvette. As they walk, Derek warms up, and when they reach the auditorium, he senses a man who watches out from the circle. He is earth-based due to a murder he committed, which he feels a deep sense of guilt over. Immediately after explaining this to Jason and Yvette, Derek becomes supposedly possessed by the spirit of Charles Macklin, the murderer. It is safe to say that at this point, Yvette looks petrified.
As quickly as he was processed, he is back to normal again, but Yvette makes the mistake of asking who Charles murdered, upon which, Derek resumes into possessed form and gives the name Arnold Woodruffe.
The possession goes somewhat wrong, and Karl Beattie comes in to try and bring Derek forward. Derek looks exhausted after this, and he had been sweating profusely during the experience. He thankfully soon recovers, and it’s on with the investigation.
Disembodied Legs at Drury Lane Theatre
With the lights out the team split into two groups. Yvette’s group see a man with chains walking behind Karl; this is not on camera.
However, the clear audible sound of the chains rattling is, and it abruptly stops. The group attempt to find the source of this, but to no avail. The crew was all sure that there was no one else in the building.
The second smaller group, unaware of what has been happening to the others, get lost on their investigation and have trouble finding their way back.
Meanwhile, some of the team decide to set up a shot of them walking down a corridor; they slowly disappear into the darkness only to return into view at sprinting speed. They all, including parapsychologist Jason Karl, believe they witnessed two legs at the other end of the corridor and were quick to get as far away from it as possible.
At the end of the night, Karl, Rick, and Stuart return to the auditorium to see if they can see the man in grey. An orb was spotted where Derek made contact with the two spirits.
Most unnerving of all perhaps is the fact that one of the pull-down seats in the auditorium is in a sitting position where Rick has been previously sitting, he swears the seat was not in this position when he got up from it.
This was a fantastically entertaining classic episode of Most Haunted.
Shame it was only 30 minutes long.