Yvette Fielding and the team explore Edinburgh’s Mary King’s Close, encountering mysterious energies in plague-affected areas, writes JOANNA HAGUE
Episode Title: Mary King’s Close
Series: 4 Episode Number: 7
Originally broadcast: 4 May 2004
Mary King’s Close, Most Haunted Review
The beautiful Yvette Fielding opens the episode; beneath the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, dark figures, apparitions, and phantom body parts have all been seen. In 1645, the close was a breeding ground for the plague. In the 18th century, the Royal Exchange building was built on top of the seven-story close, and the streets were evacuated, closing the close.
Some of the homes on the close are still intact, and in one home, known as the Chesney House, staff members refuse to enter when on tours, and after lights out, shadows can be seen and an apparition of a man is seen in the doorway, along with footsteps echoing late into the night.
In the Murder House, a woman murdered her son-in-law, and his figure has been seen reliving his death over and over. In Annie’s room, staff have felt cold spots, heard voices, and seen shadows. The ghost of a little girl has been seen, looking for her mother. Visitors to the close often bring her toys to keep her company.
Phil talks to Yvette about his first impressions of the place, and he openly admits that it is dark and spooky. He then begins to talk about marsh gases that leaked into the close in 1645 and were known to cause hallucinations.
Derek Acorah is the medium for the episode, and as soon as he enters, he says he is picking up on the residual energy of several people; he can hear screaming and crying; he picks up on people being marked; and above all, he has a really horrible smell. He goes on to say that there are a lot of ill people who were not necessarily looked after like they should have been. He picks up on the plague in the close and talks about the decaying skin and flesh causing the smell down there.
In the Plague Room, Yvette openly admits that she hates the room, and while Derek is talking about the energy that he picks up on in the room, there is a moaning sound. He also picks up on the animals that were kept in a room off to the side, and information pops up on the bottom of the screen saying that this was the case. In this room, he picks up on a man’s energy that feels responsible for spreading the plague. In the close, further information pops up on the screen, saying that in 1645, a man named John Craig passed the plague on to his family.
Over in the Chesney House, movement and shouting are picked up on by Derek. He says some might pick up on the feeling of being unwanted, so they don’t want to come into the house. Derek says the man who moves in this area is responsible for causing this fear. He is unable to pick up on a name for this man but is adamant that he killed people in this area around 1651, even though he didn’t live in the house.
In the Long Room, Derek wrinkles his nose as he walks in and picks up on dismembered body parts rather than a whole person. He describes the parts and says if someone sees this, they might think they have gone crazy. Derek also picks up on a man named Thomas Weir, who was the major, but no links can be found to him or the close. Information comes up that this man was executed in 1670, not 1691, as Derek claimed.
During this investigation, they invited guest medium Derek Ogilvie, who begins to pick up on a woman almost immediately who he felt wanted to clear her lungs. Some of the spirit presences he feels are saying that it always feels like a circus, with lots of people coming and going. The name Derek picks up on is Sheila, but as always, without a surname, she cannot be traced.
Back with Derek Acorah in Annie’s room, he talks about the different energies that he can pick up on. He picks up on a little girl whose energy moves around as she is looking for her parents; he feels that she may have starved to death, but he does pick up on the energy of her mother too.
In room ten, Derek picks up on the residual energy of a man who lost his wife; he picks up residual screaming, and there is a murderer who is grounded in this area who causes lots of audible sounds and shadows that people have seen.
Cath has decided to visit the Chesney House, where she feels like she is being watched and begins to feel quite sick. Just as she is discussing how claustrophobic it is on the close, a huge light anomaly comes towards her on the camera. She also captures a couple of banging and crackling sounds while in the house.
Derek Ogilvie goes up to the plague room and immediately picks up on the energy of a man standing in the corner. He suddenly has to leave the room in quite a hurry, seeming to be overwhelmed, before he collapses on the floor.
In the main part of the close, Karl finds a tunnel that he wants to explore. In true Karl style, it is a small, cramped space, but he manages to squeeze through his feet first. Yvette can hear some banging coming from above them, which is also caught on tape, so they all go off to investigate, seeming to forget about poor Karl stuck down the hole. Karl finds the situation funny that they have left him; the source of the noises seems to be pipes creaking, nothing paranormal.
Karl, Alex, Tom, and Stuart go off to investigate in Annie’s room, where a teddy is seen by one of the crew members being thrown across the room. Noises can be heard at the same time this happened; the crew begins to feel scared; they don’t even want to look around the room.
Summing up the episode, Richard Felix says that the close is bound to be haunted due to all the tragedy that happened down there, and Phil says that even during the day there is a sombre feeling, but he would love to investigate it again.
Tell us your views of this Most Haunted episode, Mary King’s Close, in the comments section below!