I saw some of this year’s Most Haunted Live – not much different to previous years! I wrote this in the last days of my involvement with the old MH forum, and stumbling across it tonight I thought it might amuse, even though it is two years out of date now, I still stand by what I said then!
“I watched Most Haunted Live last night, and I found the experience extremely painful, excruciating actually. Now before people tell me to ‘get lost if you don’t like the show, you don’t have to watch’, I’ve actually been involved for quite a while with the whole Most Haunted scene – I worked briefly for HanrahanMedia, and ANTIX as a researcher, have appeared on the show as an “expert”, and then worked on a related contract with the LivingShop people, and have been involved in parapsychology and ghost investigation for twenty years now. Some of the older posters on this forum will know who I am. I’m not a nay sayer – I usually am supportive, and like many of the people involved and regard some as good friends.
This time however I was really depressed by it all. Firstly, there is this whole pentagram business. (Note: they were doing 5 nights, in 5 locations to form a huge pentagram across England) Now I’ll declare my prejudices – an ex-pagan who practiced ritual magick I’ve been a Church of England Christian for over a decade. I’ve already joked about the pentagram thing, but really, while not offended on a religious level, this is just silliness. Inscribe an inverted pentagram all over England and pretend that something bad might happen? Wow! Hammer House of Haunted!
Now look, let’s get this straight. The pentagram has a long history as a symbol, used by occultists, Christians, Jews, ancient cultures – drawn all over their text books by me as a kid – and in itself its a pretty star. With two horns exalted (upside down) it’s generally these days associated with teenage pimply heavy metal occult wannabes, pagans with wonky jewelery, and Satanism. So are Yvette and company actually advocating Satanism? Of course they aren’t – so why indulge in this amateur dramatics black magic crap? Are we going to have virgin sacrifices and inverted crosses next?
Now it’s ‘just entertainment’, I know that and you know that. That’s what hurts though – Karl and Yvette were completely sincere when they started out, and for a while the show was moving towards sound research. It was good TV. Now it has degenerated in to cheap schlock horror occult cliches. Worse than that, it’s become stupid. Why?
1. if you believe in this stuff, and real evil powers, and after purportedly being attacked by a demon in Edinburgh Vaults they should have every reason to, why on earth would you mess around with these things?
2. they don’t believe in any of it, and it’s strictly for colour, in which case why mess around with these things?
Now I don’t actually think that we are all going to be eaten by the Staypuft Marshmallow man on Halloween. If they had real style the last night would be a complete fake, misleading the viewers, a scripted drama a la Orson Welles War of the Worlds, and would apparently end with the casts messy demise and demon’s pouring out of the studio. Be hilarious, would go down in history, and end the show with a bang not a whimper. If you wanna go entertainment, that’s got to be the way to finish your amazingly successful run of series – and MH has been amazingly successful. I’d laugh, the regulators would slap Living’s wrists and for a while we would all be spooked and freaked – but it would be a great end to Most Haunted.
Now all this occult crap – and I’m sorry the line “David went with Karl and Stuart but they failed to use protection” still has tears running in my eyes with laughter, maybe you are all too young to recall the safe sex ads of the 1980’s? – anyway we now have spells. What was Yvette shouting? Malleus Decorum? That’s what it sounded like – Hammer Behaviour? Perhaps she was invoking the spirit of MC Hammer? I’m guessing I misheard and she was shouting Malleus Maleficarium – The Hammer of the Witches, Spengler and Kramer not Kramer versus Kramer, but a 14th century I think manual. “Whatever is done for the security of the state is merciful.” I dunno if a 17th century witch would know the implied threat though? It’s a book title guys, not a spell!
And what was this crap about witch trials often being suppressed, and covered up? I have never heard the claim before. It seemed a bit disingenuous to not mention the lady hanged in the State Records for 1684 and referenced in the episode was in fact hanged in Exeter as well – nowhere near Lancashire. Still that I can put up with. This whole “let’s play at being black magicians” and whitter on about “dark stuff” and ‘the Goat of Mendes’ – and do any of them know the origin of that phrase? (I mean the Egyptian one not Eliphas Levi). That practice would be worth seeing on TV, and definitely be the end of the show!
Now I’ve long pointed out the dangers of inviting spirits if you actually believe in them to use your energy,etc, etc, if you can’t tell what they are. When said spirits start going on about seriously dark stuff, surely the time has come to back out? Yet nope, they charge on, insulting, cajoling and demanding. That says to me you either don’t believe any of it –or are just plain daft. Draw your own conclusions.
So do I think it’s dangerous? Well it’s their souls not mine. A lot of people care passionately about the team, and probably are tearing their hair out in worry. I’m fairly relaxed, but it was not pleasant viewing,and I am nervous for them. I’m figuring at the end of the day its no more “real occult” than an Ozzy Ozbourne concert – one almost expected “Bark at the Moon” to start playing – but I have another reservation.
Ten years ago there were less than fifty ghost groups in the uK. Today there are I think over 600. Most Haunted is remarkably influential. The general public had I thought moved beyond a perception of parapsychology and ghost investigation which had overtones of John Constantine, Hellblazer. I know of six people who really know the occult, and happen to be ghost investigators, and four of them post on this forum – there may be more – and two of them (I’m counting myself) are Anglicans these days. Yet this is in no way representative of psychical research, and all this inverted pentagram silliness might be seen as bringing the whole thing in to utter disrepute.
Oh well – Most Haunted, still a great show I guess, nice people – but dark powers, penatgrams and all this beastliness? Knock it off! It’s not big and it’s not clever. It’s Wayne’s World meets the Exorcist.
Rant over. Normal service can now be resumed.