AMY VAN DE CASTEELE takes a look back at Most Haunted: The Muckleburgh Collection
Episode Title: The Muckleburgh Collection
Location: Weybourne, Norfolk
Series: 3 Episode Number: 36
Originally broadcast: 2003
Review: The Muckleborough Museum in Weybourne, Norfolk, is a collection of guns, tanks and other war machinery put together to commemorate the wars in which they fought, and the brave men who defended Britain. As both Yvette and historian Robert tell us at the start of the show, Weybourne has a long military past stretching back almost 500 years, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that the Collection is said to be haunted.
In the office a certain chair is always left unoccupied as it is something of a cold spot, and even the office dog refuses to go near it. The office may also be haunted by the chair’s former owner and the Collection’s founder, who supposedly still returns in spirit to oversee his museum.
At night, Yvette tells us, voices of soldiers come from inside one of the tanks, and various other tanks have been heard ‘cooling down’ despite not having been used. As Phil Whyman, paranormal investigator states, any object can absorb energies and he thinks many of the pieces in the Collection may have done just that.
As night descends, “the building takes on a different feel” and the team introduce Derek Acorah to the museum. He is straightaway drawn to a tank where he says he feels a great spiritual yearning and residual energy, and goes on to say that a young American soldier is linked with it and he might, in spirit, make noises when anyone living comes near.
He also picks up on another male spirit which supposedly emits a frightening noise, and who took a woman’s life when he was still ‘mortal’ – interesting to me, as the crew (except for Derek) know at this point that a former member of the military (a sergeant) killed his wife a number of years ago and stuffed her body in a trunk – could this spirit be the murderer?
Later, in the corridor, Derek picks up on a ‘vortex’ and says that a particular spirit keeps coming in and shows as shadowy forms at the end of the corridor as it cannot properly manifest itself. He says there is a strong possibility that this apparition is the ‘murderer spirit’.
Derek then suddenly picks up that the murdered woman was placed in a box…a spookily accurate reading which sends chills down my spine.
In the office, Derek “sees” the museum founder, Berry Savory, and picks up on the significance of the chair. He goes on to say that Savory brings a friend back to the museum in spirit, a friend called Douglas Bader… which, again, is completely accurate as Bader was indeed a real-life friend of Savory’s renowned for his bravery in WWII. Derek says that Savory is annoyed, in spirit, as he is mistaken for the shadowy figure, but that figure is the murderer.
Acorah also picks up on the spirits of 6 “beautiful women who died in the defence of their country” (6 ATS women did indeed die due to a shell from their gun which unexpectedly exploded). Derek then sits in Savory’s chair and briefly seems to assume his character before the team all allow him to take a break.
The lights are turned off and the team move to a WWII ambulance, where a man’s voice has been heard screaming in agony. Derek feels there is one man who died in the ambulance, a man named Robert, who spends a lot of time in the vehicle and that when he died he was desperately screaming out, covered in blood. Derek says the spirit is not helping himself by remaining in this vehicle in spirit, but that he is punishing himself as he was responsible for a unit and he feels he let them down. Sadly there are no records of this name – somewhat disappointing but I can’t help but feel Derek is not fabricating this man.
The team then all convene in the kit room where noises and electrical disturbances have just occurred to some of the crew. Even Holly the dog is upset, though nothing comes of this disturbance…
Some of the team (Phil, Yvette and Derek) then head to the pillbox, which is supposedly haunted by the ‘orbs’ of the 6 young women who died. Derek immediately describes orbs which shoot up from the pillbox, which I find rather remarkable; he also goes on to immediately link these orbs to the women!
Back in the museum the team then split up. The team members in the office (including Derek) don’t encounter anything initially but Derek picks up on how Savory pulled a picture off the wall (a picture did indeed mysteriously leap off the wall, witnessed by museum staff).
In the haunted tank, three of the other team members also pick up nothing and find it too claustrophobic so get out after an hour.
In the meantime the museum historian, Neil, describes how he just saw part of a male figure and at the same time felt very cold. I want to believe him but find myself struggling to do so.
Later Karl the director heads back to the haunted tank and sits inside it, alone. In the Ambulance Hall Phil and Rick feel incredibly cold and hear strange sounds, including a footstep coming from behind one of the tanks. Meanwhile Yvette and Derek and the rest of the team head out of the office and into the haunted corridor, where they instantly hear an eerie noise and capture an orb on camera; they then go on to join Rick and Phil in the Ambulance room.
Derek calls on the spirit of Robert (who died in the ambulance) to come forward. They hear sounds and walk toward them to investigate, when Derek encounters a chill down one side and keeps calling on the spirit. Something nudges Phil’s shoulder – he thinks it is Yvette and then realizes it couldn’t have been… it turns out he was standing beside the tank which has been heard ‘cooling down’ even when it wasn’t… I find this rather spooky, though not of any real moment.
At 6am, when the rest of the team have left, Karl is still in the tank (admirable dedication to duty!) when he hears footsteps from a nearby corridor and rushes out to investigate. He finds nothing and the episode concludes with testimonials from the team and a comment by a parapsychologist who states that Derek’s ‘possession’ by Savory lacks any real evidence; he also states that Phil’s ‘nudge’ might have been mere imagination. The footsteps heard by Karl have no explanation…
AMY VAN DE CASTEELE is a freelance writer, devoted single mother and amateur “folklorist” of sorts who loves collecting tales of myth, legend and the supernatural from across the globe. She has spent most of her life overseas, in southern Africa, Thailand, Dubai and China and has gained all sorts of insights into these very rich cultures. Her most recent “supernatural” areas of interest are the Sidhe and Nordic folklore.
Tell us what you thought of this Most Haunted episode in the comments section below.