Yvette Fielding is back with Season 19 of “Most Haunted.”
From the first episode (at the Abbey House Museum), it looks like she’s keeping the show authentic, with genuine frights.
Yes, she still startles easily. And shrieks.
But, she also resumes her composure quickly, and follows-up with an immediate second look at what might have caused whatever-it-was.
I respect her for that. (No matter how long you’ve been investigating paranormal sites, there’s always something new to startle you.)
“Most Haunted” airs on Fridays at 10 PM in the UK. (It’s on Really, also available through the UKTV channel on Roku and other US streaming services.)
I’ll be watching the second episode tonight. The location is likely to be the stables at Wentworth Woodhouse in South Yorkshire, England.
For background on the site, see Project Reveal – http://www.project-reveal.com/wentworth-ghosts/4540123959
I’m most interested in Wentworth’s “Black Shuck” legends. I have no idea whether the “Most Haunted” team will encounter one of those sinister creatures.
I wrote about the Black Shuck in Armchair Reader: Weird, Scary, and Unusual. (That book is out of print, but you can still find inexpensive, used copies at Amazon.)
The word “shuck” may come from the word “scucca,” meaning “demon.” Or, it might be from a local term, “shucky,” meaning shaggy or hairy. (See Black Shuck at Wikipedia.)
My research also connected the sinister Shuck to real dogs and to the English Civil War (1642 – 1651).
The Black Shuck appears in the truly eerie Cabell family legends (basis of Conan Doyle’s “Hound of the Baskervilles” story) in the town of Cromer, in Norfolk, England. That story had an English Civil War connection.
Likewise, the Yorkshire Wentworth family (in this new “Most Haunted” episode) faced tragedy during the Civil War.
For example, Thomas Wentworth, the 1st Earl of Strafford — shown at left, with one of his dogs — was impeached under the reign of Charles I, and executed in 1641 at Tower Hill.
(When King Charles I was beheaded several years later, he said his own death was a form of penance, because he’d allowed the execution of Wentworth.)
So, the Wentworth family history was turbulent. It’s the kind of story that often leads to hauntings. Any location associated with the Wentworths is a good site for ghost investigations.
Meanwhile, I’m not sure why these “shuck” stories seem consistently connected with the English Civil War. That will require more research.
However, similar spectral hounds have been sighted regularly:
- Near Blythburgh’s Holy Trinity Church (also called Cathedral of the Marshes),
- Along Shuck Lane in Overstrand (Norfolk), though some claim that was a hoax. (My research uncovered reports long after the 1820 “hoax” story. So, I’d take that location seriously.)
- And — through the 20th century — especially Coltishall Bridge, just north of Norwich.
Is the Black Shuck a ghost, or from the fae world, or something else altogether? I’m undecided.
Whatever it is, it’s disturbing. I’m not sure I’d ever want to see one. According to legend, anyone seeing a Black Shuck will soon die. (However, since there are reports by those who’ve seen a Shuck recently, I’m not sure I’d take the curse seriously. I’d just prefer not to test it, myself.)
I’ll be watching “Most Haunted” tonight (Season 19, Ep. 2) to see what Yvette & her team discover. Early reports suggest the ghost of Thomas Wentworth himself.
(Unable to watch on UKTV? Catch up on recent “Most Haunted” episodes at https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/shows/most-haunted/watch-online/?video=5325442486001 )
Also, if you’re a fan of shows like the Haunted Collector, they’re available on UKTV’s “Really” channel, too. (This week, the Haunted Collector has been airing at midnight in England, which is late afternoon or early evening in the U.S. See the schedule at the Really Channel website.)
And yes, the hashtag for this is #FrightDay (because it sounds like “Friday,” when new “Most Haunted” episodes air). I like that.