Transcript from the Into The Night radio show, broadcast on Radio Redvale, Tuesday 31st October 2023
Thanks Trish! Hello folks, as you can hear I’m in the market square in Haggleton! We had a terrific lantern parade and the fireworks were truly spectacular! And as you hear they are still going off! Behind me the huge effigy of Dr Fell is being totally consumed by the bonfire and the atmosphere is simply terrific! However you are now listening to Into the Night Hallowe’en special with me Mike Nelson and the spooky fun isn’t over yet! Because I am not setting out on a ghost hunt and you are all invited! Don’t touch that dial, this is going to be a night to remember!
Ok then folks, we are just going into the not so secret location, it is the Mains Museum basement. Basements and let me get the door open. Here we go ,let’s get in, and just give me one moment and I’ll head over to the main mic. Let’s lock the door, there we go. Okey dokey folks, let’s switch over!
*spooky theme music plays*
And there we are! Sounding a bit more familiar, yes? Okey dokey folks! So then you are listening to Into the Hallowe’en Night with me Mike Nelson, and this is a very special live broadcast! Tonight we are out and about, away from the cosy studio and the tender care of Producer Raquel and on location as it were! So what’s the story, well, allow me to take you through our set-up and the plan for the night!
So then I will be ghost hunting here in the basements of the Mains Museum, formerly known as Mordyke House, and often still known locally as the Old Morgue! Apparently it's a bit of a hot spot for ghostly activity but I will fill you in the details in a bit.
Right then, tonight the museum has given us access only to these sub basement rooms, we are not allowed upstairs as the insurance for the exhibits do not allow for a local DJ bumbling about! But that's ok, as the museum itself isn’t where the main paranormal action is anyway!
So where are we exactly? Well then, I am set up in what used to be the night porter's quarters. It's just below the ground floor, and it's a cosy little room just near the back entrance. It's all wood panelled still, in fact unlike the rest of the museum which has been modernised, all the rooms down here are still Victorian. Well, not all quite original, for this lovely old building was disused for many years. But for example we still have the original fireplace and mantlepiece in here. In fact, we've got a cosy fire going in the grate. You can probably just hear the occasional crackle. Let's listen... There we have the tick of an old clock too. Very peaceful to be honest!
Anyhow, back when Mordyke House was the home of the Goodwin family, this was where anyone on night duties was stationed. The Goodwins were funeral directors and served as coroners too. But as the Grim Reaper never sleeps there was always someone on duty, ready to attend to anyone who had a bereavement during the night.And here is where they would have been.
But tonight this will be my, our, headquarters. As well as all the electrickery for broadcasting, and a relay to the main station I also have a special ghost hunting laptop. Now there are three other rooms on this level, just used for storage these days. And by all accounts as we will hear later, very odd things happen down here.
So how am I going to hunt ghosts on the radio I hear you ask! Well now, I must admit I did want to go the whole hog and have infrared cameras and a live video stream going out on the website and YouTube. But Them Upstairs said absolutely not, that would be way too expensive Michael! I was also up for staying the whole night down here, but they said I could only be on air for my usual slot! I know, some people have no Hallowe’en spirit!
So then, what kit have I got! Well, as some one, i.e. yours truly, blew the show’s budget on the prize for the Hallowe'en poetry contest, I had to improvise! But I think I found a brilliant solution. One that comes in the shape of video doorbells! I got a set of them and placed one in each key location. Now these little gadgets have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. Firstly I have a live camera feed from each going into the laptop here. Secondly they have microphones too so we can listen in too. Thirdly, they have night vision. And best of all, they have sound and motion detection. Basically if anything moves, or even makes a noise, these babies will not only alert me, but also automatically start recording! So if anything happens, we should get it on tape. And these things are very very sensitive! What's more they were very very cheap too, which got me back in the good books!
Now for your benefit, I've rigged up the alerts so each room has its own sound, as I will now demonstrate. Ok we have one in the main corridor -
*high pitched bleep*
And the next is Storage Area One -
*medium pitched bleep*
And then we have Storage Area Two
*low pitched bleep*
And finally, the room the staff have somewhat ominously dubbed “The Crypt” -
*deep pitched bleep*
There we are! So remember those sounds and listen out for them! Now then, if you are wondering, the crypt isn't in fact the old mortuary. That was on a level below this one! However, that was filled in and sealed up a long time ago, and there is a story about that I'll tell later.
Now then, my special laptop is totally portable, and the mic I'm using is wireless so this means I can actually go roving around to investigate if necessary. But as I'm not tied to this desk here, I propose that through the course of the evening we will go and do a little vigil in each of the rooms to see if we can experience anything paranormal!
Now I'm sure you've seen ghost hunts on the telly before and you know there's a lot of waiting about in the dark! But fear not, you won't just be stuck listening to me twiddling my thumbs! To begin with we have brought the Ghost Bag... Will the jingle work, yes!
*Ghost Bag jingle plays*
... Because we have had some letters about weird things that have gone on in this place! Furthermore we have the results of our spooky spectacular Hallowe'en Poetry contest to announce too. Now we had so many brilliant entries Producer Rach suggested we have not just a winner but a top three and through the course of the evening I will be reading out the winning three entries on air! How dare they say this show has no class! So then gang, we've got lots to keep us busy!
Ok, let's check in on the camera feeds. All dark and quiet in Storage One. Much the same in Storage Two, although there appears to be a moth or something flitting about. And yes, it is a moth. Definitely not an orb. Or dust as I call them. If this was a certain TV show we would be all running around screaming. Anyhow, all is well in the corridor, good good. And what about the crypt? Let’s see... Well, unfortunately everything is behaving itself in there.
Hang on, are we sure ghosts are aboard tonight? I mean, it's not their one night a year off or anything is it? If you know, do get in touch! Remember you can text or email the station as usual and Raquel will relay them to me here!
Now then, on a more serious note, I think I always knew that we could rustle up more than twelve ghosts. I've lived here all my life and there's always been ghost stories. Plus one of the nice things about doing this job, is I get to meet all sorts of people and it seems most folks have a spooky story or two. Which is why Ghost Bag is so popular I think.
But I did start wondering - are some places more haunted than others? And how do buildings get haunted in the first place? Well, last week I took a stroll down the library and I quizzed our resident history expert, my friend and yours, Mr Michael Dalby. Because there aren't many folks who know more about Haggleton history than him!
So then while I trundle down to set up in our first location, let's hear what he had to say! Roll the tape please Raquel!
Well folks there you have it! Very interesting food for thought. I must admit I do like the Stone Tape theory, where the spooks and spectres we see are just really well like film recordings. Sitting in here, alone, tonight, that makes it a little less scary! I mean, who's scared of old videos eh!
But in so many of the stories you have kindly and bravely shared with me over the last few weeks, the hauntings often sound, well, a bit more interactive, shall.we say. And in some cases, seem to be reacting to what we do. But enough of that for now! I'm spooking myself!
So then, I am now in the rather dark and to be honest rather chilly Storage One area! It's a rather big room with steel shelving units and lots of boxes. Nothing valuable down here though folks. Mostly cleaning and admin supplies, plus stock for the gift shop I understand. All very mundane and boring you might think. However let me tell you folks, being down here, in the dark on a Hallowe'en night, it doesn't seem quite so boring shall we say. I can't see too much, and even though we have night vision on your little camera gizmo in here, there's still lots of shadows and dark corners where something could be hiding! Brrrr! Come on, keep it together Mike!
Hang on, did you hear that? I don;t know if the mic will have picked it up. Some very low thudding. Like something big being dropped or moving. Let’s just check in on our cameras. No, they picked up nothing down here. Could well be something outside. Maybe a truck. Possibly there’s some post lantern parade packing up going on. Let me just listen for a moment... No…No, can’t hear anything, but it sounds like the wind is picking up a bit out here.
Right then, I'm just going to settle here and have a little vigil as it were. But so you aren't stuck with dead air, let me tell you about some of the phenomena reported down here. And as it happens, there's a letter in the ghost bag all about this particular area. It's from a staff member who would rather not be named! Apparently the head curator does like any talk of spooky stuff! Anyhow our gal on the inside writes -
Well, now that is very weird! Now I might be able to shed some light on that a bit later on! However funnily enough I also had another letter about this particular area. And this comes from a chap called Patrick Le Fanu. Now Pat is retired now but, in his younger days he apparently worked on the renovations on the building back in 2014. And he writes -
So there you go, apparently there is something with sticky fingers down here and has been for a while! But these reports have given me an idea! Before I toddle off to the next room, I'm going to set up what proper ghost hunters call a trigger object test. Now I got in touch with our gal on the inside, and she said this mischievous entity is particularly fond of moving toys about, so I picked out this fun little figure of a knight in armour and I'm doing to leave him stood up on a piece of paper and mark his exact position on it. And we shall see if that tempts whatever lurks down here into playing a trick on us!
So then, time to visit our second location, Storage Two. Now while I trundle off there, we are going to hand over back to the studio, where Producer Raquel has the announcement of who came third in our Hallowe'en poem contest!
Hello folks I'm Yesterday Mike! Yes, it's me Mike Nelson recording this for you Monday night in the studio! So while Future Me is wandering the haunted basements of the Mains Museum, I'm here to bring you the poem that took bronze in our Hallowe'en Poem contest! As I hope Future Me has explained, the standard was so high, and that we thought we would read the top three verses on the air tonight, plus rustle up some extra goodies for the other two winners! Now then in third place was a poem from a young lad named Sydney Newman! No, wait, I've got that wrong! A young lady by the name of Sydney! Just like Neve Campbell in the Scream movies! And her poem is called Haggleton Hallowe'en Party and it goes like this -
Wow! Incredible eh folks! And a very worthy winner! As I said, the standard was very high indeed! You folks are so talented! Congratulations Sydney! Your prizes will be in the post first thing tomorrow! Now back over to Future Me on the Into the Hallowe'en Night Special!
Thank you Yesterday Mike! What a great poem! And beautifully read out may I say too! So then, I'm now deeper into the depths of the basements, in what we call Storage Two. This is a bigger room I think, there’s a bit of an echo in here. Still got all the original wood panelling in here, and not much else, just a few old crates. Now back when Mordyke House was the Goodwins funeral parlour, this I am reliably informed, was the workshop where they made the coffins! So nothing that creepy going on down here over the years, just some woodwork and carpentry! At least that's what I'm telling myself now!
However the Goodwin family used to have a saying - “don’t go into the cellar!”. And why? Well, Mordyke House has been haunted for a very long time! Nowadays we tend to assume that the old place has a sinister reputation due to the activities of Dr Fell back in the 1900s, and after his capture, the old place was left standing empty for literally decades. And as well we all know, any old house left empty will soon be said to be haunted! But apparently this place was very haunted at least as far back as the 18th century. From letters held at the Local Studies Centre at the library, I discovered that patriarch Jonathan Goodwin picked up Mordyke House for a song as the previous residents had left citing “diverse manifestations of a distressing nature”. Now being a funeral director and a mortician, old Mr Goodwin perhaps didn’t spook very easily, and indeed the family both lived and prospered here for many decades.
But that’s not to say there wasn’t a haunting. Several family members in diaries, letters and memoirs spoke at length about the unusual events that were prone to occur at Mordyke House. The figure of a ghostly rector was often seen in the grounds. While it was said on certain nights of the year a phantom coach carrying the lost soul of Jacob Mordyke who was executed for his part in an ill-considered plot against Elizabeth I in 1575, returns to the grounds of his old home. But the main haunting was inside the house itself, and focused on the lower levels, a troublesome being the family nicknamed Old Peril. Now Old Peril was never seen, and is probably what we would call a poltergeist in the modern age. He slammed doors, threw objects, smashed crockery, and even pulled the children’s hair! And he was particularly fond of guess what? That’s right, stealing and hiding objects. One time -
*Storage Room One alert sounds*
Oh ruddy hell! That was Storage One! What was that? Ok, folks we have a situation here! Just looking at the cam now... And the little knight has fallen over... Just rewinding the footage now... Hang on, let’s see, bear with me for a moment folks..
*a distant thump is heard*
Ah hang on... Right then ,right then. I think I can see what has happened here. Sadly I don’t think we have got a ghost acting up here. There's no sound or motion detected before the knight topples over, but we did get an alert at the same time from the corridor cam, which picked up a noise. And that's the thumping I heard earlier. So then I think…I think, what’s happened here is that they are still doing something noisy outside, possibly related to packing up the lantern parade lights or something, and well, vibrations knocked over our little knight... Yes, there it is again. I’m guessing there’s a truck or some big vehicle going down the back street behind us, which is why the corridor cam picked up a noise. Sorry folks! That was really my fault, I shouldn’t have left the knight standing up as being at ground level there are bound to be vibrations from passing traffic outside. But have no fear, on the way to the next room, I will lay him down properly and mark the position and we will take it from there!
Ah where was I? Dear me, I have totally lost the thread of what I was saying! But yes, I was talking about Old Peril and the Goodwins. Now despite having a resident astral hooligan, the Goodwins seem to have reached some sort of accord with him or it. Apparently according to accounts several of the younger Goodwins wrote in later years, they quite enjoyed having a mischievous invisible playmate, and would leave things out for Old Peril to smash. And perhaps he is still here, and just wants to play again?
Well then I think we’ve had enough excitement in here! I’ll go and reset our trigger object, and make my way to the Crypt! And while I do that, we will hand back over to Yesterday Me with our next winning poem!
Thank you Future Me, hope it's not too scary for you buddy! Anyhow we have a rather scary poem taking silver! It's from Kevin Cole, and we thought it was the spookiest of the entries we received! It's called simply Hallowe'en in Redvale!
How about that then! Did that get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up? Well done, Kevin! That was super eerie, nearly a little horror story in verse! A bumper box of prizes are heading your way soon! Ok then back to Future Me!
Thank you Yesterday Mikey! I quite envy you sitting up there in that nice warm studio! Meanwhile I’m down here! Right our little knight is reset, and I’ve come to the deepest, darkest part of the sub basements. Well, the ones they will let me fool about in, at any rate! This is the last of the three adjoining rooms and it seems a long way back to the corridor and cosy night porters office!
So then, this is the room the staff have nicknamed “the Crypt” and to be honest I can see why! This is a smaller room, and at one time this was what they used to call a chapel of rest. Yes, the dearly departed who were ready for burial would be, well, resting in here, until the funeral hearse came and the pallbearers carried them away. And while much of the original furnishings are of course long gone, there is something about this space that makes you want to be respectful and whisper. Hence I’m trying to tone down my usual bouncy jovial manner in here.
Interestingly from what I’ve read, it seems in the Goodwins’ day even Old Peril respected the, what’s the word, sanctify? of this place. That’s something at least, I suppose. I don’t have to worry about any unseen hands chucking a vase at the back of my head! No, but seriously folks, there is something about this place that makes me want to rein in my usual inane chattering. And that’s quite something for a local DJ, believe you me! I mean it’s very spooky of course, I mean it’s dark, cold, and it’s Hallowe'en night, and I think I can hear it’s started belting it down outside. But more than that, there’s something well, sort of churchy about this room, but also something slightly sinister maybe? I’m not sure, but maybe this old place is starting to get to me!
But that might be because of the next story I have to tell you. And it is fairly creepy. Now as I have said, Mordyke House has long had a reputation for being haunted, way before Dr Fell took up residence in the 1880s. After 1922 and his arrest, the house lay empty for many years. Although it was used briefly during the war as a temporary HQ for the RAF, and again in the 1950s it was leased out for a while as temporary office space. However no one ever wanted to stick around long it seems. It’s around this time that we start hearing occasional reports of strange figures being seen in the grounds, or looking out of broken windows.
Of course, in many instances, it was simply probably just wandering tramps taking temporary shelter here. But interestingly, going over the local records, there has never been the usual problems associated with derelict or empty properties -no squatters, no use by druggies or vagrants. Even local vandals largely gave it a wide berth and... oh sorry folks, what are they doing out there, sounds like they got an elephant tramping about... Don’t know if you can hear that. Ah, seems to be dying down again now.
Right, where was I. Oh yes, local vandals. Of course, the windows would get put through from time to time, but there was remarkably little damage inside, no smashed furniture or defaced walls. It seems even the criminal element preferred to stay a stone’s throw away from here. Literally. And stories of strange faces and odd noises continued. And eventually tales of Haggleton’s haunted house reached the ears of a fellow called Thurston Wentworth.
Now he is largely forgotten these days, but back in the 1950s he was something of a minor celebrity. And he was a ghost hunter. From what I’ve read he was very much wanting to carve out a career in the limelight as a new Harry Price. However unlike Price, he was more interested in fame than actual investigations, and he styled himself as a big game hunter of spooks and spectres. He wrote several books full of wild claims, and his investigations tended to be more publicity stunts than proper ghost hunts to be honest.
Naturally a night in a former funeral parlour, that had been the workplace of a killer and graverobber appealed to his instincts for publicity. And so in October 1963 he came here -
*Corridor cam alert sounds*
Woah, what’s that! The corridor cam! Ok, let’s take a look. Pulling up the live view now, and switching on the sound. Now can I patch this into the feed you are hearing? Let’s see! Let’s get the volume up... Ah right, there we are, the corridor is totally empty, but let me just run a little sweep with the camera - yes, we can move it about 60 degrees either side... Let’s have a look... No, nothing down there towards the entrance door. Though it looks like the floor is a bit wet. But as I hope you can hear, it is lashing it down out there now, and there’s even a bit of thunder by the sound of it. Nice crisp night my arse, I ll be having words with weatherman Tim later... Anyhow, sweeping back the other way now, almost pitch black looking the other way, no, wait, I can see again. I think there might have been a glitch with the night vision function there, at first it was as if there was something large and black blotting out the view.
Ok all clear, I think. Let me just play back the clip the alert captured. Again can’t see anything, although the camera has picked up some sort of noise alert. Let’s listen... What is that? Rain leaking in somewhere. Very squelchy and distorted though. And what’s that, all went suddenly black again, like a huge solid shadow slid past the camera. Solid shadow? What on earth are you talking about Mikey? Hmm, I think perhaps we have got some very minor power outages. Just flicking off the power off for mere milliseconds, but enough to glitch the camera. I think we are ok. Right! False alarm again folks! As I said, these cameras are very sensitive. Possibly there was a little flash of lightning then that threw the night vision off and on again, as they automatically switch depending on light levels. Right, what about all the other cams? Ok all good too. All quiet. Well, apart from the odd roll of thunder in the background it seems.
So then back to the story! So Wentworth set up here, in this room on the night of October 3rd 1963. And he never came out again. No body was ever found. All his equipment was here, but no sign of the man himself. What happened to him? We just don’t know. Now at the time, there was more to this room. That wall over there is a new addition. Back in ‘63, behind there was a staircase leading down to the next level where the mortuary was. And according to old plans for the building, there were grates and manholes leading down into the sewers below. It’s been theorised that he ventured too far down and had some kind of accident. Hence in early 1964, the lower levels were permanently sealed off, to prevent any future unfortunate accidents. Anyway -
*alert for Storage One*
Hold on, what’s that? Storage One again folks! Ok, pulling up the cam feed now! My lord, the knight has gone. Not moved, not fallen. Just gone! Ok folks, going to check the recorded footage now. Rewinding... Damn, it! Looks like another glitch, a big wash of darkness over the screen again! But when it clears, our little guy in armour is no longer there! Things are certainly hotting up in here now folks! Right, I’m going to go and investigate, but while I do that, back to the studio for the announcement of the overall winner of the Hallowe'en Poetry contest!
Thank you Future Me! Well then folks, it’s the big moment! Time to announce the winner of our spooky seasonal poetry competition! As we’ve said, the standard was very high, and it was a tough call to pick an overall winner. But in the end we went for a verse by Ms. Sariah Hearn, which we felt summed up nicely all the fun we’ve had over the last few weeks delving into the Ghost Bag. And so then, here in all its glory is the winning poem which is called simply Into the Night!
Congratulations Sariah, and happy Hallowe’en! We hope you enjoy your all-expenses paid trip and we’d like to invite you onto the show when you get back to tell us all about it! So then, that’s all from me Yesterday Mike, back to the ghost hunt!
Right folks, I’m back in the cosy confines of the night porter’s office, and I am inclined, I’ll be honest, to stay right here for the rest of the show! I couldn’t find hide nor hair of our little Knight. I’m guessing he will turn up somewhere unexpected. But it has put the wind right up me, and no doubt! How much longer have I got here... let’s see over another hour! Ruddy hell! Perhaps things will start settling down a bit now. Gotta say folks, this isn’t turning out to be as much fun as I thought it would . Should I delve into the Ghost Bag? You know, I’m not sure my nerves can take it at the moment!
Ok, ok Mike, pull yourself together. Let’s check the cameras, ok all looking nice and quiet. Just as I like it! Right, that's better, calm ... calm. Ok we will do a letter! I am a professional after all! What have we got here! Ah yes, this one struck me as odd, but maybe some of you can help me out. It’s from a Mr Bob Block and he writes.
Well you heard the man! Do you have any idea what was going on there? Does anyone remember the number? Another time I might have been inclined to give it a ring on air for a laugh but I don't think I would try that tonight thank you very much! Ok, let’s have another... Now then... Hang on, what was that? What is it now? OK, ok, stay cool... I hope you can hear this folks, but I’m getting a knocking sound. But I’ve got nothing on the cams. Where is it coming from? It sounds like... it sounds like it's coming from below me somewhere. Oh lord, what the hell is going on! There it is again... Did you hear that... three knocks. I’m just bringing the mic closer to the floor... Can you hear that? Again Three knocks... but slower... Oh lord, I do not like this. I really don't like this... If you know any good exorcisms please email them into the station right bloody now!
Ruddy hell, there it is again... three knocks... oh... no... wait... wait! Three quick, then three slow, and three quick again... Ruddy hell, it’s SOS... Jesus! S. O. bloody S... but who could be down there... Let me reply... Hello... can you hear me... knock twice for yes... Yes, two knocks... It’s from over there... let me see, let me see... MY lord... Hold on folks, there’s going to be a bit of racket here... You wont’ believe this but I think I’ve found a secret door...
No, wait, it’s not a secret door... of course not it’s a dumb waiter, let me prise it open... Hello? Can you hear me? Muffed response... What’s that.. Ok! I got it. Get in, or grab hold and OK I’ll haul you up... . Ah, almost there.. C'mon... come on... oh lord, they are in a bad way... covered in mud and dirt... Oh lord... Dalby... it’s Mr Dalby! Michael! Michael, are you ok?
NEW VOICE - Michael.. Who is this Michael?. You are confused, young man... I think you are having some sort of an attack, my boy. But don’t worry, I am a doctor...