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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Believer and sceptic head to head after night in 'haunted' Cumbrian hotel

A sceptic and believer will go head to head on national television after spending the night at a ‘haunted’ Cumbrian building.

ghost sceptic photo
Josie Foster, left, and Ruth Wallace

Ruth Wallace, from Carleton Grange, Carlisle, and Josie Foster, of Ainstable, near Penrith, took part in the show, filmed at the spooky Edenhall Country Hotel, near Penrith.

Sceptic Ruth, 24, and believer Josie, 26, responded to an appeal for volunteers in the News & Star.

The programme, called Paranormal Minds Sceptics V Believers, is part of a series being aired on Sky channel 201 and Freeview 85.

For the first time the 3rd Eye Paranormal Investigations team are pitting sceptics against firm believers to try to find out if there really is life after death. Ruth and Josie, who will see their episode go out tonight at 9pm, had to spend the night at the ‘haunted’ house, taking part in a series of challenges.

Ruth said: “I think it’s all in the mind. I’m an atheist and don’t believe in life after death. But Edenhall is meant to be really haunted so if anything was going to change my mind it would be there.”

Josie added: “I’m definitely a believer. When I was younger I saw some things at my mum’s house – figures of people walking down stairs, feeling someone was watching me.”

The two women arrived at the hotel on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago. They were given a tour by the film crew and asked how they felt in different rooms.

Together with the 10-man crew they were the only people staying at the hotel that night – which is when the real tests began. Ruth, who works at Cumbrian Newspapers, said they first took part in a vigil with a medium, then had to spend time alone in some of the spooky rooms, with nothing but a hand-held camera for company.

“We had to go in the cellar alone in the dark for half an hour but I’ve worked in a pub so that didn’t bother me so much. But there was one room that’s meant to be the most haunted, the hotel’s honeymoon suite – that was quite eerie. Josie didn’t like it straight away.

“We had to do lone vigils in there and I have to admit I was a bit nervous. My heart was pounding.”

Josie, studying child and family studies at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle, added: “Even though I’m a believer and wanted to convince Ruth, it still freaks me out and part of me didn’t want to see anything.”

The pair, who have become good friends since meeting on the shoot, won’t give too much away but say there were several key moments that night which tested their beliefs.

Ruth said: “It was a brilliant experience. I wanted to be able to go in as a sceptic and if something happened, it happened. I found it really fascinating. What amazed me was how mine and Josie’s vigils were so different,” said Ruth.”

Josie added: “It was a good experience, but put it this way – I ended up having to share a room with Ruth when we finally went to sleep.”

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