Paranormal: The Girl, The Ghost And The Gravestone is a four-part BBC series exploring haunted Penyffordd Farm in Wales. DAVID SAUNDERSON takes a look
Review of Paranormal: The Girl, The Ghost and The Gravestone
Penyffordd Farm, a 15th-century property in the countryside of Flintshire, Wales, is a subject of haunting fascination.
From 1997 to 2010, the farm became synonymous with spooky tales so eerie that it earned the title of “the most haunted house in Wales”.
Radio 1 DJ Sian Eleri is at the forefront of this new show, exploring the paranormal mysteries surrounding the farm.
Right from the start, Eleri unravels some chilling accounts.
The Gower family, residents from the late 1990s, witnessed more than 300 supernatural incidents, including inexplicable carvings on the walls, and even sightings of a young girl’s apparition.
The farm’s lore includes disturbing tales, like a monk’s spirit seen by one of the Gower’s children and an ominous hooded figure hovering over a baby’s cot.
One of the most gripping elements of the tale revolves around the relocation of a gravestone named Jane Jones.
This seemingly innocent act triggered an avalanche of ghostly encounters.
From matriarch Rose-Mary Gower’s vision of a distraught, pregnant girl to the walls etched with mysterious Welsh words, the anecdotes are nothing short of horror movie material.
Add to this, the unsettling account of the couple’s adult daughter Nicolette, who saw a monk looming over her baby, and you have a setting rife with unworldly occurrences.
Paranormal: The Girl, The Ghost And The Gravestone tries to transcend mere ghost tales.
The series delves into deeper themes, examining history, societal judgments and the impact of psychology.
At its core, it seeks to unravel the life and legacy of Jane Jones, whether as a ghostly presence or a historical figure, whose story remains interwoven with the farm.
I tend to like this kind of ghost documentary better than your run-of-the-mill paranormal reality TV shows.
Learning history and meaning behind hauntings is much more interesting than watching people faux ghost-hunting through dark rooms with night vision goggles.
This documentary series, however, is not without its problems.
Though Eleri has been granted exclusive access to the case files and attempts to piece together the mystery with interviews and evocative recollections, the series does feel stretched.
The emphasis on Eleri’s investigative journey, at times, feels overdone, making one wonder if the four episodes could have been tighter.
The series will appeal to die-hard paranormal enthusiasts, but for those seasoned in the supernatural, the recurring theme of “I don’t know if I believe in ghosts” might come off as redundant.
Yet, the essence of the show lies in its ambiguity.
Between Rose-Mary Gower’s forthrightness about her supernatural encounters and the idea of ‘priming’ introduced by psychologist Malcolm Schofield, the happenings at Penyffordd Farm are left open to interpretation.
This duality, the perpetual dance between belief and scepticism, adds layers to the narrative.
In the end, Paranormal: The Girl, The Ghost And The Gravestone is more than just a spooky tale; it’s a reflection on history, societal perceptions, and the thin line between reality and the unknown.
Whether you’re a believer or sceptic, the series encourages you to question, reflect, and remain engrossed in its narrative labyrinth, continuously challenging the boundaries between fact and fiction.
By the way, the whole “most haunted house in Wales” is amusing to me, given that Penyffordd Farm is competing for that title with Plas Teg Hall, which a short a 10-minute drive away. Clearly North Wales is a very haunted place to visit!
You can watch the full series on BBC iPlayer.
You can read Spooky Isles’ article Penyffordd Farm: Genuine Haunting or Hoax.
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