Last Night’s TV – I Believe in Ghosts: Joe Swash

I was really interested to see this film, for several reasons; firstly, I used to be a member of a group of paranormal investigators myself so anything about paranormal activity interests me and second, because part of the show was filmed in Pembroke Castle where the group I was a member of – Spirit Level – recorded one of the world’s most creepy and ultimately inexplicable sounds.

Unfortunately, Joe didn’t stay very long at Pembroke and didn’t stay overnight, or at least if he did, it wasn’t on the film.

And I know it’s not actually anything to do with this show, but just apropos of Pembroke again, here’s a recording of what took place when Spirit Level were there…

Creepy eh?

Though getting back to the show, the only thing creepy about the supposedly “most haunted inn in Britain” was its owner, John Humphries. No, not the dude who reads the news and hosts mastermind; this guy looked like he might be very much at home on a street corner somewhere pushing a shopping trolley full of old newspapers and some random trainers.

And his Inn was in an appalling condition too. I doubt any part of it has seen a hoover or a duster for many a year. Joe did stay there overnight though and didn’t experience anything he could definitively state was paranormal.

Joe also visited a Spiritualist Church where he met with Britain’s youngest psychic medium who, I have to say, though a very pleasant young man, wasn’t specific enough in the ‘reading’ we witnessed in the film to convince me he was in fact communicating with a spirit.

But the show, like Joe himself, didn’t attempt to bias the viewer; points of view were offered from the clergy, from scientists, from paranormal experts and ordinary people who’ve experienced extraordinary events.

The show’s final scenes were of a petrified Joe spending four hours alone in the vaults that run under Edinburgh’s streets, and what a brave move. I’m not sure I’d have had the nuts to do so, even though I’ve been known to wander around graveyards at 3am, alone.

The final part of the film was given over to a sound recording that was made while Joe was in the vaults, and sound engineer Danny had isolated a male voice that seemed to be, as Joe put it himself, issuing a deep-voiced “monologue.”

Joe also suggested that it sounded as though the voice was reading, and Danny added that some who’d heard the recording had wondered if it was the last rites that were being spoken.

Danny informed Joe that though at first, it’d been thought the sound was coming from one of the many bars above the vaults, on further cleaning up of the sound and separating music and bass beat out, the voice continued to be distinguishable from other noises on the tape.

This stunned Joe and he – like I did when I first heard the Pembroke Voice – got goosebumps and felt the hairs on his body stand on end.

Overall, it was a very interesting watch and for me, Joe represents the epitome of the average Joe, so I very much enjoy watching anything he’s in. He’s so devoid of celebrity pomposity and ego, and that’s a very pleasant change in the world of ‘celebs’.

If you missed this show, you can see it again here on BBC’s iPlayer, and it’s well worth a watch.

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