'Most Haunted' crew has a spooky visit to Pendle

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BELIEVERS and sceptics were gripped by a ghostly proclamation that alleged Pendle Witch Alice Nutter was innocent – from the "other side".

With the legacy of the infamous Pendle Witches and Pendle Hill's foreboding image, East Lancashire has always been a draw for believers and non-believers alike.

But when Living TV's "Most Haunted" broadcast live from Pendle Hill and some of the Ribble Valley's scariest spots, the ghosts of the Pendle Witches allegedly came out to play in their own inimitable way.

Members of the film crew said that they felt like they were being strangled, psychic medium Derek Acorah was "possessed" by Elizabeth Southworth and a glass and a table were smashed during a sance. Whether you believe that these were the work of ghosts is up to you.

Tales of the ghosts of Peg O'Nell, a servant who had an affair with her master and later died after falling from a wall into the River Ribble, Ned King, a highwayman and friend of Dick Turpin, who was shot and hung at Hurst Green and Richard Tempest, the destitute master of Waddow Hall, enticed the "Most Haunted" crew, which holds paranormal investigations in buildings and areas across the UK.

And the crew's curiosity and persistence paid off with three nights of unexplained occurances during nine hours of coverage. Millions of people tuned in with the final hour of the Hallowe'en show being the most watched programme in the whole of the UK. Also 13 million viewers logged on to the Living TV website to watch several webcams that had been installed in various locations.

Led by former Blue Peter presenter Yvette Fielding and presented by Dr David Bull, "Most Haunted" (pictured right) has developed a cult following over the past two years.

Viewers are a mix of sceptics, believers and those that sit on the fence.

And it has a variety of celebrity fans including Robbie Williams, Jenny Frost from Atomic Kitten and Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills.

A studio with an audience of approximately 200 was set up at the St Mary's Centre in Clitheroe and Yvette, Derek, paranormal investigator Ciaran O'Keeffe, producer Karl Beattie, lighting rigger Stuart Torvelle, make-up artist Cath Howe and director of photography John Dibley visited areas believed to be frequented by the Demdikes and Chattox.

And their expectations were high on Hallowe'en, which is apparently the most active night in the paranormal calendar. Their mission was to try and find an answer to the age-old questions about these women. Did they possess supernatural powers or were they caught up in a paranoia initiated by James I?

At Bull Hole Farm, near Sabden, which is believed to have been central to the witches' trial and was once owned by Alice Nutter, an alleged spirit named Alizon Device put an invisible rope around Derek's neck and began to choke him, as if he was being hung. It was then that the team began to be followed by up to nine spirits.

But the most sinister turn of events happened at the derelict Tindale Farm as crew members began to feel unwell and the alleged spirit of Alice Nutter proclaimed that she was not a witch. During a sance in the pitch black farm building, a glass began to move wildly around the table as Yvette called the spirits forward. They claimed to be communicating with a ghost called Elizabeth Southworth and that there were another nine in the background. Stuart began suffering severe breathing difficulties and had to be taken outside. Meanwhile viewers at home reported seeing black figures and ghosts on the webcams. As the drama unfolded, three other crew members felt like they could not breathe or as if they were being choked – which they believed was the angry ghosts picking them off one-by-one, wanting them to leave.

But it was when the live feed was cut at the end of the show that the really creepy things began to happen.

A tired, emotional and frightened Yvette screamed at the spirits, the glass flew across the room and smashed on the floor and the table rocked back and forth violently before tipping over. The legs had been ripped from the sockets.

Do you believe now?