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DVD Review

DVD cover

Most Haunted
Series 13


Starring: Yvette Fielding
Universal Playback
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 12
Available 18 October 2010

Follow Yvette Fielding and the team as they venture across the UK investigating the eerie paranormal activity from Inverary Jail in Argyll, to Gaumont Cinema in Liverpool and Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire, where the ghosts of the castle are said to include everyone from prisoners to a princess - but who will visit during the Most Haunted investigation...?

Most Haunted: Series 13 was originally broadcast between 13 October and 27 December 2009. For those who haven't seen the series the show basically sticks close to the following format. Fielding and the team turn up at a famous historical building, do a daytime recce then wait until nightfall and wander around seeing if they can contact the dead.

Before I start to tear Most Haunted apart I thought it only fair to give you a little bit of background on my stance on the paranormal. I'm not a huge believer in ghosts and ghoulies. I currently live in an old converted barn which is haunted - something I didn't know until I'd moved in. Strange phenomena has occurred in the house to both my girlfriend any myself (I won't bore you here with all the details) but it was significant enough for me to talk to the old owners about it. They confirmed that it was indeed haunted. Before we moved in the building was the local tearooms and the owners, and nearly all of the staff, have stories to tell. Over the last two years I've met many of the locals who worked in the tearooms, many of whom were students who are now employed in respectable jobs - and certainly not the sort of people to benefit from lying about ghostly encounters.

All of these people have strange stories to tell and a lot of them tie in with our experiences of living in the house. We've learnt that all of the other strange events happen in the same parts of the building that we've experienced odd phenomena.

So, it's not as though I am a total sceptic and am coming to Most Haunted with blinkers on. I watched every episode on this three disc box set, and to be honest I might as well have watched one random episode and written my review from that - they're practically identical - and yes I apologise for reusing the same introduction for my review once again.

What is interesting about the episodes is that each one opens with some historical information on the location that the team are to investigate. Although at times this information is inaccurate. For example in one episode we are told of reports of a woman who's ghost is said to haunt a particular room and whose blood stains keep appearing on the floor. But later we learn that this is pure rumour and there is no recorded incident of any such sighting.

Locations for this series include Speke Hall; Inverary Jail; Layer Marney Tower; Gaumont Cinema; Inverary Castle; Kelvedon Nuclear Bunker; Tolbooth Prison; Cromier Pier; Castle Fraser; and Edward Jenner Museum.

What was of particular interest was that Dr. Ciaran O'Keeffe admits in the Castle Fraser episode that seeing any activity in any location is very unlikely as they may happen only once a year or once every hundred years, so for the team to actually witness anything is highly unlikely. I wonder then why (if you really believe that it's not the team throwing books around and pushing the glass on the ouija board) at every location the team witness so much active paranormal activity.

It was also amusing to note how well behaved some ghosts are. For example, in locations that are obviously owned and well maintained by the National Trust, or other historical preservation organisations, that the ghosts are very well behaved - just making tapping noises and throwing the odd stone or book. However, in the rundown buildings, like the Gaumont cinema, the ghosts manage to hurl tables around. It's good to see that ghosts too can be respectful of our nation's heritage.

As I've mentioned before the fact that these are famous historical buildings means that the guest psychic (who in this series seem to be from the surrounding area any way) can do a little background research before the recording begins.

In reality, all Most Haunted does is show Fielding and her team running around in the dark scaring the crap out of each other and pretending they are genuinely surprised when stones get thrown around the room. They never witness any real paranormal activity other than keeping this ghost of a show going for so many years. Thankfully it looks like 2010's series 14 is the final one.

There are no extras - thank God.


Darren Rea

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