Uncanny (BBC Programme / Podcast)

GNC

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Much more like it this week! Proper ghost story weirdness, the message on the mirror could be man (or woman) made, but the detail of the rowing machine was priceless. I wonder what they saw in the little kid's bedroom? We'll never know, nor why they locked the door forever. Definitely one of the best episodes.
 

GNC

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Joke relevant to this week's instalment, from Kevin Eldon's comedy radio show recently (I'm catching up):

Why would a ghost haunt a toilet? Unfinished business.
 

Tempest63

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https://hayleyisaghost.co.uk/
Hayley Stevens is one of the ”experts” that appears in this episode and writes about this on her blog along with parallels to experiences in her earlier life.
Hayley used to produce the Spooktater podcast which, unfortunately, has been off-air for some time now.
 

Tempest63

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Thanks for that, @Tempest63 , she sounds a lot more even-handed than the sceptic label might indicate. She's right when she says the programme is a good "safe space" to tell these stories without any ridicule.
I understand she fell out with the sceptical movement in the last couple of years. Can’t remember what it was about but I’m sure it was posted earlier in the blog I linked to above
 

MorningAngel

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An interesting one from a very posh lady. The description that her mothers incident had something to do with time sounded really intriguing. Interesting she found proof of the murder.

I do wonder what position the dead boy was in to not have the bottom of his legs. Was he dead but standing? Most of it sounds like echos from the past except the gym enthusiastic spook.
 

Paul_Exeter

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Is Hayley Stevens on this forum...? I quite like her approach, somewhat like a believer's skeptical voice which is of course very necessary if we are to look objectively at paranormal witness reports or even our own experiences.
 

escargot

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An interesting one from a very posh lady. The description that her mothers incident had something to do with time sounded really intriguing. Interesting she found proof of the murder.

I do wonder what position the dead boy was in to not have the bottom of his legs. Was he dead but standing? Most of it sounds like echos from the past except the gym enthusiastic spook.
The dead child with no lower legs seemed strange to me. Some further description would have helped there.
 

GNC

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The dead child with no lower legs seemed strange to me. Some further description would have helped there.

I got the impression that's all they had been told, because the mother was subsequently so cagey about the stuff she saw to protect her kids. Must have been... interesting for her.
 

escargot

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I got the impression that's all they had been told, because the mother was subsequently so cagey about the stuff she saw to protect her kids. Must have been... interesting for her.
Yup, I thought that too. Half a story, though!
 

CharmerKamelion

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The fact the apparition had no visible lower legs makes you wonder if the room that was the small w.c. had had any structural alterations (such as walls moved). I agree that a fuller description of what the mother had seen would have been welcome. Did anyone mention (the obvious thing for a skeptic to suggest) that it happened in the middle of the night after the witness had been asleep (iirc) and could have been either a straightforward vivid dream, or a hypnagogic hallucination?

Something else that would have been welcome was any of the details of the murder (as reported in the newspapers that were found stuffed up the mysteriously-exposed chimney). Who was the victim? Were events anything like the violent scene that the 4-year old kid had apparently seen repeatedly re-enacted (by ghosts?) in the 'cold' bedroom? Surely that kind of info would have been something of a clincher?
 

escargot

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The fact the apparition had no visible lower legs makes you wonder if the room that was the small w.c. had had any structural alterations (such as walls moved). I agree that a fuller description of what the mother had seen would have been welcome. Did anyone mention (the obvious thing for a skeptic to suggest) that it happened in the middle of the night after the witness had been asleep (iirc) and could have been either a straightforward vivid dream, or a hypnagogic hallucination?

Something else that would have been welcome was any of the details of the murder (as reported in the newspapers that were found stuffed up the mysteriously-exposed chimney). Who was the victim? Were events anything like the violent scene that the 4-year old kid had apparently seen repeatedly re-enacted (by ghosts?) in the 'cold' bedroom? Surely that kind of info would have been something of a clincher?
The newspapers up the chimney detail ruins it for me. It's a corny Reddit-style clincher.
 

CharmerKamelion

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The newspapers up the chimney detail ruins it for me. It's a corny Reddit-style clincher.
It was very odd that so little was made of those newspapers. Didn't Danny ask for any more details? Maybe he did and they are saving it up for one of their follow-up episodes. I agree that did come across suspiciously like a pay-off - but one without a pay-off!

Danny isn't usually backward when it comes to highlighting the more incredulity-straining aspects of what people report (such as in this case the mirror with 666s and threats written on the back) so not enquiring further about the newspapers struck me as very odd.
 

escargot

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It was very odd that so little was made of those newspapers. Didn't Danny ask for any more details? Maybe he did and they are saving it up for one of their follow-up episodes. I agree that did come across suspiciously like a pay-off - but one without a pay-off!

Danny isn't usually backward when it comes to highlighting the more incredulity-straining aspects of what people report (such as in this case the mirror with 666s and threats written on the back) so not enquiring further about the newspapers struck me as very odd.
The 666 business is also claptrap. That number was not considered widely significant until The Omen came out in 1976.

As for the newspapers: as you say, so little was made of them. If they could be straightened out and dusted off enough to read after years up a smoky chimney, and then found to be so spectacularly interesting, you'd think someone'd at least sling them in a shoebox and shove it under a bed for future reference.

I'm half-expecting a revelation that the whole series is made up à la Ghostwatch. Maybe in the New Year when we all need a laugh. :chuckle:
 

CharmerKamelion

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I'm half-expecting a revelation that the whole series is made up à la Ghostwatch. Maybe in the New Year when we all need a laugh. :chuckle:
I don't know about you, Scargie, but I could do with a laugh now!

If the final 'Uncanny' episode centres on an interview with Sarah Greene about the spooky things that happened to her during a live tv broadcast from a supposedly haunted suburban house.... then the penny will drop! Probably from out of nowhere onto the middle of the living room floor.
 
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Paul_Exeter

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As regards the famous Broad Haven school sighting, I believe it was Jenny Randles who established that only a handful of the school kids actually saw the object. However, the Headteacher wanted the whole class to be involved with drawing what they had (or rather hadn't) witnessed. This explains the discrepancies and exaggerations (Mr Spock features in one child's account) amongst the drawings.
 

escargot

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As regards the famous Broad Haven school sighting, I believe it was Jenny Randles who established that only a handful of the school kids actually saw the object. However, the Headteacher wanted the whole class to be involved with drawing what they had (or rather hadn't) witnessed. This explains the discrepancies and exaggerations (Mr Spock features in one child's account) amongst the drawings.
I'm not in a position to judge how accurately any particular flying saucer sighting is reported, being sceptical about the whole alien/UFO malarkey.

The Broad Haven sighting sums it up: while something unusual may indeed have happened, exactly what it was has since been obfuscated by careless recording and bandwagon-jumping.
 

Paul_Exeter

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I'm not in a position to judge how accurately any particular flying saucer sighting is reported, being sceptical about the whole alien/UFO malarkey.

The Broad Haven sighting sums it up: while something unusual may indeed have happened, exactly what it was has since been obfuscated by careless recording and bandwagon-jumping.
At no time was the object seen in the air, so it was actually an Unidentified Land Object or ULO...!

It was clearly something unusual for that time and location and it made a huge impression on my then 8-year-old self. However, this case has suffered from some terrible 'research' and conformation bias both in the aftermath and years since. All we can be certain of is that they saw a 'something' and 1970s UFO hysteria did the rest....
 

Spookdaddy

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From the teaser at the end of the last episode I'm going to make a small bet with myself that the next takes place at either the Corrour bothy, or the Ben Alder cottage (sometimes confused with the former, being relatively close to a different Corrour).

Both have reputations.

The Corrour bothy is mentioned in Affleck Grey's, The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui. A little outwith the specific remit of that book, I seem to recall that Grey actually recounts an experience of his own, one which is somewhat more subtle than the theatrical shenanigans hinted at the the Uncanny teaser.

I too have been having reservations.

Setting those aside, and re the rowing machine mentioned in Case 9:

Although it's stated that the mother actually heard a rowing machine, I can't help wondering if the statement represents a nearest example rather than an actual claim that this is precisely what was being heard.

I wonder about this because the odd sounds that often accompany hauntings have always fascinated me. Rappings and knocking are the obvious and probably most common ones, but there are slightly less common dragging and rushing sounds. I heard of one recently which described the noise that might be made by a heavy tarpaulin being dragged in stages across a bare floor - which strikes me as both evocative (I can imagine precisely that sound just from the verbal description) but also somehow disconcertingly mundane.

And it's the disconcertingly mundane which I always think is more, well, disconcerting. Like some others here, I can't help feeling that some of these stories push too many buttons at once.
 

SimonBurchell

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Just caught up on the last two episodes. The ghost of a dead Victorian child... "in a small lavatory room", or what I like to call, "a toilet" or, alternatively, "the bog". Small lavatory room indeed! I sneer at your small lavatory room! Actually the whole episode sounds like a short story.
 
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Paul_Exeter

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The fact the apparition had no visible lower legs makes you wonder if the room that was the small w.c. had had any structural alterations (such as walls moved). I agree that a fuller description of what the mother had seen would have been welcome. Did anyone mention (the obvious thing for a skeptic to suggest) that it happened in the middle of the night after the witness had been asleep (iirc) and could have been either a straightforward vivid dream, or a hypnagogic hallucination?

Something else that would have been welcome was any of the details of the murder (as reported in the newspapers that were found stuffed up the mysteriously-exposed chimney). Who was the victim? Were events anything like the violent scene that the 4-year old kid had apparently seen repeatedly re-enacted (by ghosts?) in the 'cold' bedroom? Surely that kind of info would have been something of a clincher?
Just caught up with this latest episode.

That younger brother witnessed repeated ghosts acting out their little drama and very few people can claim to have witnessed anything like this in terms of the duration i.e. over a long period of time.

So where is he...? It seems he should have some memories of this happening:

https://www.livescience.com/17602-earliest-childhood-memories.html

Was there something about that room that would induce nightmares or night terrors...?

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/night-terrors/

"Night terrors are common in children aged between 3 and 8 years old.

A child who experiences night terrors may scream, shout and thrash around in extreme panic, and may even jump out of bed.

Their eyes will be open, but they're not fully awake.

The episodes usually occur in the early part of the night, continue for several minutes (up to 15 minutes), and sometimes occur more than once during the night."

As already pointed out, 666 was popularised by the Omen films, released in 1976
 

GNC

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And it's the disconcertingly mundane which I always think is more, well, disconcerting. Like some others here, I can't help feeling that some of these stories push too many buttons at once.

Did you prefer the one about the door lock where just one weird thing happened?
 

Spookdaddy

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Did you prefer the one about the door lock where just one weird thing happened?

To be honest, as far as that episode went, I simply couldn't get my head around how they could know the door had been bolted properly, or seen it unbolt itself - not from looking through a keyhole from the other side of the door; it seemed to me that the means by which they knew something inexplicable had happened were easily as inexplicable as those inexplicable events - but that element was never properly questioned.

I think a better example might be the first episode of Danny Robins older podcast, Haunted. In this episode The House That Had to be Sold - the build up, at least, is made of smaller episodes, none of which are necessarily inexplicable by means other than the supernatural, or even that dramatic - at least not when viewed at some remove from the events. Somehow that feels more believable to me. I think it was Escargot who mentioned a kind of reddit factor, and I can't help feeling that 666's written on mirrors and piles of old newspapers with articles on a murder smack of this kind of redditisation.

That said, it may even be that whatever causes these phenomena itself responds to the expectations of the observer, and the times the events are taking place within - that the reality (if we accept this is what it is) is a reflection of current mores and expectations, rather than something fixed and immutable.

I've often wondered if we don't entirely misunderstand the intercourse involved in such events. We automatically tend to view them as somehow one-sided - where the individual experiencing the events is effectively a passive audience, entirely at the mercy of an active phenomenon. But what if, rather than a performance, it's a conversation.

As you can probably tell, my own personal jury is very much still out. All I would say is that my personal feeling - right or wrong - is that less often feels like more.
 

GNC

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In the most recent one, I'd say there were obviously "manmade" elements mixed in with more inexplicable material, but once you're in the mindset "I'm being haunted" you will be grabbing anything from your life that seems odd and including it in your personal evidence file, even wind-ups or trivia. I suppose it's linked to confirmation bias.
 

SimonBurchell

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I must admit it sort of lost me with the whole 666 thing and death messaging, which sounds more like what people might have expected in the 1970s/early 80s rather than the kind of stuff that actually happens in paranormal events... It all seems a bit too Amityville for me.
 

Paul_Exeter

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To be honest, as far as that episode went, I simply couldn't get my head around how they could know the door had been bolted properly, or seen it unbolt itself - not from looking through a keyhole from the other side of the door; it seemed to me that the means by which they knew something inexplicable had happened were easily as inexplicable as those inexplicable events - but that element was never properly questioned.

I think a better example might be the first episode of Danny Robins older podcast, Haunted. In this episode The House That Had to be Sold - the build up, at least, is made of smaller episodes, none of which are necessarily inexplicable by means other than the supernatural, or even that dramatic - at least not when viewed at some remove from the events. Somehow that feels more believable to me. I think it was Escargot who mentioned a kind of reddit factor, and I can't help feeling that 666's written on mirrors and piles of old newspapers with articles on a murder smack of this kind of redditisation.

That said, it may even be that whatever causes these phenomena itself responds to the expectations of the observer, and the times the events are taking place within - that the reality (if we accept this is what it is) is a reflection of current mores and expectations, rather than something fixed and immutable.

I've often wondered if we don't entirely misunderstand the intercourse involved in such events. We automatically tend to view them as somehow one-sided - where the individual experiencing the events is effectively a passive audience, entirely at the mercy of an active phenomenon. But what if, rather than a performance, it's a conversation.

As you can probably tell, my own personal jury is very much still out. All I would say is that my personal feeling - right or wrong - is that less often feels like more.
I like 'redditisation'...!

I felt from the way she talked that the 'ghost' had almost become a family pet, kind to them but scaring new arrivals. It might be that a back story was constructed from half-truths based around some genuinely baffling experiences in order to validate 'their' ghost.

I'm not usually so skeptical but, as others have said, it seems to tick too many boxes.
 

CharmerKamelion

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I'm not usually so skeptical but, as others have said, it seems to tick too many boxes.
Well put. That's how I feel. It is hard to credit so much of that episode, but... I can't dismiss it. Maybe some embellishments have been added. Shame, cos even the basic weirdness would probably have been interesting enough.

One reason I can't feel too dismissive is because of a couple of odd 'ghostly' experiences that I have had, which I can't explain to myself and always puzzle me when I sit and ponder them. In my case both are not so much "I know what I saw" as "I know what I heard". Both were
random, isolated, spontaneous instances, not suststained or repeated or in any way expected or predictable.

In addition to this, I have a good friend - a sensible, mature, eloquent guy in his 60s - whose mother grew up in what was a similarly 'haunted house' to that which featured in this episode. Events occurred frequently and sometimes regularly (similar noises at specific times of night) and were experienced by many family members and others, to the extent that over the years the family all became accepting of them (though they had tried to have the house cleansed by priests on 3 occasions, earlier on). My friend did not experience any of it himself, as the family had moved out by the time he was born. He fully believes all the things he was told went on there, as all his relatives were all so adamant about it. He is as puzzled about it all as they were. It was just a part of all their shared experience of that house and he can come up with no reason why they would have made it up. So that makes me conclude that - for whatever reason - weird stuff sometimes does happen. Whether a mirror with 666s and death threats written on the back is just too corny to swallow is a different matter.
 
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