Most Haunted – Pioneers of the Paranormal
MOST HAUNTED: PIONEERS OF THE PARANORMAL
INTEREST in the paranormal has been prevalent across the world for almost as long as human beings have existed. Since the mid 1800s people have sought ways in which to communicate with the dead, coming up with wide varieties of techniques. The Victorians mastered this through the art of the séance: many would sit around tables in the dark and call out to spirits, inviting knockings, tappings and the light touch of disembodied hands. Whether these experiences were paranormal in nature or not, they carried through to further generations, lending inspiration to people who wanted to explore the idea of life-after-death and whether we can truly make contact with the other side.
In 2002, TV presenter Yvette Fielding and her husband, producer, Karl Beattie, came up with the idea to attend different locations and properties all over the world with just a small crew and a couple of hand-held cameras – in the attempt to capture genuine paranormal activity.
The idea was new, bold and original. Never before had a TV crew entered such unusual and legendary places for the sole reason of finding evidence of hauntings and spirits. Yvette and Karl began their journey into what would become ground-breaking investigation, reaching audiences across the world and starting a revolution of the ghost hunting industry.
There have been many people involved in the show since its conception, including Stuart Torevell (investigator and cameraman), historians, parapsychologists and demonologists. Despite the changing faces and teams in the evolving series, one thing has remained a constant: Yvette and Karl’s passion for the work they do. And, let’s face it – you have to have passion and dedication to work in the paranormal industry, because you’re always facing judgement, criticism and cynicism. In an interview with TV Choice Magazine, Karl said:
“The trouble is, sometimes when you catch something, people think it’s too good so it must be fake. And it’s fine to have that opinion, it really is. That’s the one thing about this show, it unites the haters just as much as it unites the fans.”
Over the years, Karl, Yvette and long-time Most Haunted team member Stuart, have attended some of the most beautiful and legendary places that have paranormal associations. Locations visited by the team have included Derby Gaol, Theatre Loyal Drury Lane, Edinburgh Vaults, Waverley Hill Sanatorium and Morcambe Winter Gardens – to name just a few.
Before the days of Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Paranormal Witness and The Haunted Collector, Karl and Yvette were bringing to the world an original format of paranormal investigation
Today, television is packed full of paranormal shows, yet Most Haunted was the first. Karl and Yvette brought to the world an original format of paranormal investigation, which was, from the start, unlike any other show out there. It has been going now for over ten years, to great success. It is to the credit of the team that paranormal investigation as we know it today has been deeply shaped and moulded by the show.
The use of traditional spiritualism techniques has been used by the team, such as table tipping and ouija board sessions, however Karl and Yvette have pushed boundaries within investigation to use the most up-to-date equipment in order to experiment and experience the paranormal. They were amongst the first on television to use items such as Electromagnetic field detectors, digital recorders, motion detectors and spirit boxes, and have been able, as a result, to capture impressive activity. The team do not shy away from science – and if anything, have used it to their advantage. In the most recent series, EVP expert and engineer Eamonn Van-Harris uses the most modern and relevant equipment in order to play back live whatever activity is captured during the recording of the show. We are able to hear the EVP captures at the same time as the team!
Through creating such a fascinating and positive show, the Most Haunted team have influenced the way ghost hunting is done – as well as planting the seeds of other popular shows that followed suit. And, whether you are a fan or not, few will be able to deny the cultural impact that the show has had in this regard. Horror movies as well as TV dramas and like-minded ghost-hunting shows have borrowed from the style of Most Haunted, to various degrees.
…few will be able to deny the cultural impact that the show has had. Horror movies as well as TV dramas and like-minded ghost-hunting shows have borrowed from the style of Most Haunted, to various degrees.
How the nature of paranormal investigation will shape up in the future remains to be seen, and with the development of impressive gadgets and theories, the changes ahead in the field are hard to predict – but it’s impossible to argue that Yvette Fielding and Karl Beattie have placed in motion an energetic and riveting approach that has had massive impact on paranormal investigation as we know it today.
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The new series of Most Haunted will be on late 2016.