Now then...let's take a look at something I have been pondering this week. In my post on paranormal video viewing, I mentioned that Most Haunted's investigation of 30 East Drive's 'most violent poltergeist in the world' as one that closely mirrors the Bell haunting. You could have blown me over when I discovered that the MH guys ALSO did their live Halloween investigation there last week. I watched it last night--and you can too, on YouTube. The show is broken down into three parts, but should play back to back without you having to search for the next installment.
Now, can I say for certain that MH's whole show isn't faked? No. Do I buy into everything that happened? No, of course not. Anytime you evaluate a paranormal show, you have to include a healthy dose of skepticism even if you do believe in the supernatural. I'd be 100% skeptical if I hadn't experienced paranormal events personally. Heck, I'm still waiting for proof on Bigfoot and UFOs and psychics and all that fun stuff. However, that's for me--my own personal belief system is based on what I experienced, and it's not my place to destroy someone else's personal experiences just because I wasn't there. So whenever paranormal activity occurs in front of a camera and a live audience, I take it at face value.
And it's no secret that I've laughed a lot at Most Haunted in the past. Still do, to be honest, especially when some cadaverous-looking dude starts bellowing incantations to Satan in poorly pronounced Latin.
But I discovered something last night, after watching the show, that set my wheels to turning.
In the past few years, 30 East Drive has been investigated by numerous groups. Throw in Most Haunted's two regular episodes, and then add in the live Halloween investigation. Not only did you have the team in the house, but the incredible energy of multiple film crews and, for the live show, a horde of spectators outside on the street. Then figure in the millions of people who watched the event live internationally, thanks to their live stream on YouTube. That's an immense amount of energy, if theories regarding what fuels a haunting are accurate. But with this particular location, there's also something else that is both fascinating and disturbing.
30 East Drive, in Pontefract, Yorkshire is now a B&B.
You think I'm kidding? Take a look for yourself. 250 pounds per night. Yowsa! At today's exchange rate, that's $376.24 per person, per night. I'd better get a luxury suite for that price, not a semi-detached house furnished in 1970's style furniture that's been beat up by a poltergeist.
But then, it hit me.
This poltergeist is not only getting fueled by all these investigations, but now there are casual tourists booking that house every. Single. Night.
And they wonder why the house is haunted, and the intensity of the haunting has increased. If you take a look at the waiver all guests have to sign, you can pick up some interesting tidbits as well. Keep in mind that this is the entity that allegedly has been flinging knives around. The owner of the property is anxious to exploit the notoriety of the haunting, but is not anxious to take responsibility if some total idiot gets hurt in the course of the night. They also don't want anyone exorcising the entity because their cash cow would dry up. Additional digging on the site reveals that the owner of 30 East Drive is the producer of When The Lights Went Out--a fairly atrocious movie about the haunting from 2012.
So this house is getting constant and increasing attention, bringing more people within the sphere of the entity and resulting in more and stronger paranormal events.
What's going on around 30 East Drive is the twenty-first century equivalent of what happened on the Bell farm. Remember this from Richard Williams Bell?
This new development (i.e.--the entity beginning to speak) added to the sensation already created. The news spread, and people came in larger numbers, and the great anxiety concerning the mystery prompted many questions in the effort to induce the witch to disclose its own identity and purpose...The excitement in the country increased as the phenomena developed. The fame of the witch had become widely spread, and people came from all quarters to hear the strange and unaccountable voice...the house was open to everyone that came; father and mother gave them the best they had, their horses were fed and no one allowed to go away hungry; many offered pay and urged father to receive it--
There you go, Cursed: The Bell Witch idiots. Proof positive that John Bell was a horrible person that brought the curse upon himself and his family because of his lack of generosity and greed.
--insisting that he could not keep up entertaining so many without pay, but he persistently declined remuneration and not one of the family ever received a cent for entertaining.
We've already theorized that the growing number of spectators gave the entity the power and strength to continuously increase its ability to interact with witnesses. Right now, in Yorkshire, the exact same thing is happening with the same result--and the added advantages of money obviously outweigh any potential risk to visitors with the owner, whose motivation appears to be basic simple greed. So I have to wonder--what comes first? An entity's stronger displays of power? Or people, instruments, technology, gizmos, and gadgets?
I'm starting to see a strong case for people. Because IF the Bell Witch could talk from the beginning, why didn't she from the get go? And IF the Black Monk of Pontefract could apport knives out of boxes and throw them at people from the beginning, why didn't he chuck some butcher block innards at the Pritchard family back in the day instead of using marbles?
I'm thinking that within the anatomy, for lack of a better word, of a haunting, there is a finite point beyond which an entity cannot go UNLESS the energy it feeds upon is substantially increased. So in our curiosity to know more about the other side, we are inadvertently empowering that which we inherently fear.
So I started looking a little further. On my Scariest Paranormal Investigations playlist, (Note--there's a permanent link to the playlist now at the top of the left sidebar. Check back often; I'm always adding to it!) I've also listed two separate investigations by the Fourman Brothers' Living Dead group at the haunted Monroe house in Hartford City, Illinois. They were brought to the Monroe house as the result of an investigation conducted by DIGGS Paranormal that has more than FORTY videos of multiple investigations at that location. (I've since added one of their truly interesting and scary videos to my playlist) And just doing a swift check of the other groups and videos regarding that location, there is a substantial increase over the past six years from one video in 2009 to well over 50 in 2014-15 and at least ten different paranormal groups. In fact, in one of the Fourman videos, the owner of the house states that he's afraid opening up the house to paranormal research has increased the severity of the haunting--a haunting that most people consider to be demonic in nature.
It would be interesting to conduct a serious study of haunted locations to see if investigations or tourism actually increase paranormal activity, either in frequency or intensity. In fact, I'm kind of seriously considering doing just that once the Bell Witch haunting series is completed. I was planning to consult a few paranormal experts in regards to this project, but I may give that a whirl earlier than expected. There are a lot of folks out there that contact paranormal groups when something in their house is scaring them.
It would probably be important to them to find out that what they think is the cure is actually making their paranormal problems worse--and capable of much, much more dangerous things.