“Tonight, on Bump in the Night!...” announced the over-enthusiastic narrator with a very fake (and completely unnecessary) American accent.
Tony flopped down on his sofa with all the elegance of a pillow hitting a brick wall, trying not to spill the overflowing bowl of crisps balanced precariously on his lap. A promotional photo for the series, which showed Jean and Andy standing back-to-back and Tony standing slightly apart from them by himself, was already up on the screen. As Tony looked at the photo from his sofa for the thousandth time, he thought yet again about how accurately it summed up the relationship between the three co-workers.
“The team pay a visit to Ledgely Military Hospital, which is haunted by the lost soul of a one-armed soldier named Tommy, who perished from an infected wound in the late First World War!”
Tony felt both amused and annoyed at the sound of yet another blatant lie. On the one hand, the producer had pulled the name Tommy out of his arse with no regard or care for the actual history of the hospital, which Tony would gladly have provided him with had he listened. On the other, he really found it hilarious listening to the ridiculously melodramatic narrator creating a storm in a teacup with every word he said.
“Jean, the team’s professional technology expert, gets more than she bargained for when attempting to communicate with Tommy through the EVP voice recorder!”
The interview montage used as a backdrop for the opening credits (which mostly consisted of Andy trying to look sexy and Jean trying to look professional) now changed to show a shot of Jean sitting on the floor of the hospital’s bathroom, accompanied by a blue banner reading ‘Jean Dartfield: Technology Expert’. The technology expert herself was wearing an inappropriately skimpy top artfully smeared with dirt, and Tony cringed as she leaned further forwards over the recording machine and towards the camera, leaving very little to the imagination.
“Which spirits haunt this hospital?” she exclaimed.
Without giving any ghosts even a moment to get a word in edgeways, Jean cried “If you are here, give me a sign!” and flung her arms wide like she was in a performance of Hamlet. In doing so, she wobbled uncomfortably on her knees, and Tony stifled an undignified giggle as he watched her on his TV screen.
During the second silence, Jean told the camera, “Now that I’ve recorded communication from any ghosts, we can listen to it through the headphones.” She put said headphones on her head, skilfully dodging the gigantic shark’s tooth earring in her left ear. From the sofa, Tony narrowed his eyes and listened intently for whatever the hell Jean was apparently hearing, but to no avail.
“Meanwhile,” exclaimed the narrator, “Andy, the team’s field operations expert, is out in the operating theatre looking for ghosts.” The display cut to Andy alongside his ‘Andy Page: Field Expert’ banner. Like always, Andy had dozens of random cameras and other miscellaneous pieces of equipment strapped to his torso, waist and head, and it wasn’t long before Tony realised that this was the same footage he’d seen in the conference room earlier that week. He couldn’t help but notice that Andy’s “what the flip” line had been cut from the episode, and that meant that Andy would be extra bitchy the next time the team was forced to meet up.
After twenty more minutes of Andy and his one-man slapstick routine, the overdramatic narrator piped up again.
Oh God, here we go, Tony thought, cracking open a can of beer.
“Over in the kitchen, Tony, paranormal scientist, is listening out for any signs of ghostly activity.”
Once again, Tony saw up his own nose as he watched himself shine a torch all around the hospital’s kitchen, accompanied as always by his ‘Tony White: Paranormal Scientist’ banner. There was a loud bang from the corner of the room, and sofa-Tony was surprised to see a quick flash of electric blue behind the table as it fell. It took him a moment of contemplation before he realised he was looking at Dave’s shirt.
“Oh my God, what the hell was that?” TV-Tony said in a monotone.
They’d used the original take. Tony began to wonder why they’d scrapped the retake, but then, suddenly, there it was. There was the table falling again (no slightly visible production worker this time) and there was Tony’s overlarge face, with widened eyes staring into the opposite corner.
This programme is getting seriously lazy, Tony thought.
As he watched, he fancied he could hear the soft plink of the mug hitting the floor behind the camera, but before he could be sure, a massively loud DUN, DUN, DUUUUNN! sound effect interrupted his train of thought. The narrator was back.
“Tony,” the voice said, “is frozen in terror.”
Tony, who’d been taking a swig of beer at the time, snorted so hard with laughter that beer came out of his nose.
“Man,” he said to himself between giggles. “I could’ve sworn this programme used to be good.”
He snatched up the TV remote from the floor and switched the television off just as the credits started and a song which sounded suspiciously like the Ghostbusters theme tune began to play.
Tony sat still for a while gazing at the clock, before his tired brain managed to register that it was ten past one in the morning. Instead of going to bed, though, he snatched up his laptop from where it lay face-down on the carpet and opened it. As soon as it had booted up, he loaded a search page and typed in Lansfield Hall.
Tony stuffed a few crisps into his mouth as he waited for the search results to load, which took at least one full minute. Tony backhanded the screen (which was already cracked in several places) in annoyance.
1,563 results found for ‘Lansfield Hall’
Welcome to Lansfield Hall- Organise a ghost tour!
Historical Society – Abandoned Sites – Lansfield Hall
Complete Paranormal History of Lansfield Hall
Tony clicked on the third option. The webpage, when it loaded, was obviously the work of an amateur- it had a black background with a border of gnarled branches and a title in a red, dripping font. Tony read on anyway.
Lansfield Hall, now considered one of the most dangerous haunted locations in Britain, was built in the late 1700s for Henry Lansfield and his wife Martha. The site was previously the location of a Medieval cemetery built for victims of the Black Death, so the land is considered cursed by many.
In 1819, Henry and Martha’s 17-year-old daughter Mary-Ann died in a kitchen fire, believed to be an accident. Thereafter, Henry’s memoirs told of countless nights where he was haunted by his daughter’s ghost, and he even claimed to still smell burning and hear screams in the kitchen after its reconstruction in 1820.
In September 1822, Henry Lansfield, driven insane by what he claimed was daily torment, murdered his wife with the axe they kept in the pantry for chopping wood. This gruesome act was witnessed by one of the family’s servants, who fled the scene immediately afterwards to get help. When the maid returned with the local policeman, they found Henry hanging dead from a tree in the mansion’s front garden.
Tony’s reading was interrupted suddenly by a poster-sized advertisement, which suddenly ballooned up to fill the whole screen. Cursing, Tony tried to cancel it and in doing so caused the bowl of crisps to tip over in his lap. Once the advert disappeared, he decided to clean up later and keep reading.
Later the same night that the murder-suicide took place, an enormous fire which started mysteriously in the kitchen, despite nobody having been there at the time, ravaged the Lansfield property and caused half of the building to collapse. That is how it stands today.
The house was never rebuilt due to superstitions involving a family curse, and ever since the night of the fire, visitors to the house have reported having strange paranormal experiences and seeing apparitions believed to be the ghosts of Martha, Henry and Mary-Ann.
The amateur article was succeeded by a parade of photographs, taken in the house itself, which supposedly depicted apparitions in various forms. Tony had seen most of them before; some he’d even printed off and stored in a filing cabinet in his bedroom.
He clicked the ‘back’ button and scrolled down the rest of the results.
Lansfield- Top 50 Family Curses!
Lansfield Hall TV Appearances
Paranormal Scientist Loses Sanity After Trip to UK ‘Haunted House’
The tragedy of Alan Fitzgerald: The man driven insane by Lansfield ghosts
As he continued to scroll, Tony’s blood froze. He drew in breath sharply, and then clicked on the final result.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE- Visit to Lansfield Hall Drives Ghost researcher to SUICIDE!
After another infuriating minute of loading, he read:
Wednesday 8th June 2016
Paranormal scientist Alan Fitzgerald, who tragically was driven insane after an excursion to Britain’s infamous Lansfield Hall, was found dead in his apartment this morning.
Tony shivered, in spite of his radiators being turned up a little too high. This had happened just yesterday.
Police are treating this tragic death as self-inflicted, after the discovery of a hand-written note, matching the handwriting of the victim, which claimed the 42-year-old could no longer bear the torment from torment from
The webpage crashed.
Tony swore in annoyance, slammed the lid of the computer shut, and went to bed.