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  • Writer's picturePaul Jameson

BBC's Paranormal - The Girl, the Ghost, and the Gravestone

The BBC are producing some pretty good investigative paranormal programmes at the moment. The most recent is UNCANNY, a transition of a podcast into a television programme. Hosted by Danny Robins, it's translated pretty well into the televisual arena with what I assume was a pilot series of three episodes to test the waters. It approaches encounters with an open mind, investigates the history and background, and leaves final decisions on validity up to the audience.

It's a good format.

I'm hoping there will be more to come.

But it was after watching the second program of Uncanny, that the BBC iPlayer automatically decided I'd be interested in a series that had already finished:

Hosted by the radio presenter Sian Eleri, the program looks into the haunting of Penyffordd Farm in Wales. Once dubbed the most haunted house in the UK, more than 300 paranormal events have been reported at the location.

It all started when an English-speaking family moved into the house, with strange Welsh words and phrases, religious and rarely used, being seen to appear in the fireplace, carved in walls, and even embossed in plaster - in places nigh on impossible to get to. Words such as 'tagneffed', which means religious peace, and 'hir am aros' which means long-suffering, along with crude drawings that seem to resemble a monk. The ghost of a pregnant girl was seen to pet the family's pet, and a dark hooded figure lean over a baby's cot.

Sian Eleri investigates all these events, including the sighting of the Virgin Mary in a field behind the house, and a gravestone that once leant up against the wall of the house. Found on the farm in un-consecrated ground, this gravestone belonged to a girl called Jane Jones who died in 1778, aged just 15. In the course of her investigation - wonderful alone for the singing Welsh accents and language - Sian Eleri interviews witnesses from the family, locals, and uncovers sad history around the death of poor Jane Jones, in a style that moves with ease from funny, to spooky, to fascinating, and uncovers the more sinister prospect of a dark shadowy monk who inhabits the site, once a route of pilgrimage.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Indeed my wife (who is Welsh) and I binged the four episodes in one sitting. So, if you fancy an interesting and ghostly watch for Halloween, you won't go far wrong with this series about Penyffordd Farm.


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