Most Haunted is the popular ghost hunting and paranormal show on UK TV. Hosted by Yvette Fielding and her team of paranormal investigators, including her husband Karl Beattie, the first series of this program was screened on Saturday, May 25th, 2002.
Series 1 investigated seventeen haunted locations in the UK, including Chillingham Castle, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Michelham Priory and Derby Jail. Subsequent episodes have featured many more similarly haunted places, which have made compulsive viewing.
The usual format of the show is that the Most Haunted team travel around the UK and Ireland (and occasionally the United States, the latest visit being in October 2007 to Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, CA) investigating alleged paranormal ‘hotspots’ for 24 hours at a time.
Most Haunted generally features the main presenter (Yvette Fielding), a psychic medium and a parapsychologist. Essentially the latter two create an even balance between paranormal and scientific explanations for the various phenomena that occur. These are supported by some of the production crew, who appear in the show and generally have some interactivity with various parts of the investigation whilst performing their normal crew role. Most of these on-screen crew members also take part in séances, many of which have involved the use of the Ouija Board.
In addition to the normal weekly shows, there have also been quite a few Most Haunted Live shows. These are usually around three hours in length, and run for a total of three nights. After each of these live shows, viewers are given the opportunity to phone in to the show using call center software and comment on any paranormal activity they may have spotted on the various webcams the team have set up in each haunted location.
Most of the vigils featured in each episode involve the use of night vision cameras, giving each location a real spooky atmosphere. The photographic style of the series has changed considerably since series 1. In the first series, many elaborate shots were set up with an almost ‘theatrical’ style, with illuminated windows and dry ice. Locations were often illuminated outside at night time, with blue and green colours. From series 1 – 3 there was extensive use of the steadicam, which provided gliding shots during Yvette’s ghostly tales or for general views. In series 8 the team introduced a camera crane or ‘Jib’ system for elaborate aerial shots of both Yvette and the locations. Most of the photography in Most Haunted focuses on ‘general views’ of a location and its surroundings. Most Haunted is filmed with both broadcast Sony DVcams and Sony PC120 miniDV cameras with night vision facility.
The show has also featured guest mediums. So far these have been Derek Acorah, Ian Lawman, Ian Shillito, Gordon Smith, Uri Geller and Kevin Wade. Some episodes have also included at least one celebrity. So far celebrities have included Vic Reeves, Nancy Sorrell, Gaby Roslin, Scott Mills, Mark Chapman, Simon Gregson, Sue Cleaver, Carol Thatcher, Paul O’Grady and Lee Ryan.
As Most Haunted has enjoyed an ever-increasing surge in popularity, there have been many DVDs released of each series, details of which can be found below this article. In addition to DVDs of the normal Most Haunted series, there have also been DVDs made of the Most Haunted Live shows.
In addition to the DVDs, there have also been a couple of books released relating to Most Haunted, namely Most Haunted and Ghost Hunters by Yvette Fielding and Ciaran O’Keefe.
The most recent live venture of Most Haunted was a seven-night investigation at an old abandoned mental asylm in Denbigh, North Wales. The Webmaster of the True Ghost Stories site makes a special appearance on the first night of this show. The DVD of this show will be available soon
By Alan Toner