A Night In Airbnb’s Most Haunted UK Property Is Terrifying-Amazing
We lived to tell the tale.
“We’ve had quite a few people walk straight in, say they don’t like the energy, and walk straight back out.”
As far as welcomes go, it’s a pretty startling one. But at least the people behind York’s The Haunted Chamber - said to be Airbnb’s ‘Most Haunted Property in the UK’ - are savvy enough to give you a heads up.
Your intrepid MTV reporter/gullible idiot was challenged to stay a night alone in an olde hauntede house-erm-e, watch a scary movie, and see if we could survive the night. It was too good an offer to resist.
The portents were there from the moment I stepped off the train at York station. As darkness fell, I strolled through the cobbled, ancient streets and marvelled at how little has changed since the city was founded (that’d be, ooh, 1945 years ago). It’s a city both beautiful and Jack-the-Ripper-y creepy. A feel not entirely helped by the abundance of Halloween decorations adorning the shops.
I pick up my keys from the fittingly named ‘Trembling Madness’ medieval pub and brewery, and are soon led down a hilariously dark, creepy, under-lit alleyway towards a glowing church (you couldn’t make this up).
Thankfully, we hook a right before walking into the church, and enter the chamber’s private courtyard. So far, so creepy. But things escalate dramatically the moment we walk through the front door, up the stairs and into the chamber’s lounge.
Its 600-year-old backstory is painted across every inch, with wood panelling and wonky angles in abundance. It’s also decked out in all manner of ghostly decoration, with taxidermy on almost every wall (snazzy), a ‘Beware Of The Ghost’ sign above the fireplace (cosy), a Ouija board on the coffee table (welcoming), and an actual ‘Ghost Detector’ by the armchair (erm, comforting?!).
I’m left alone in the apartment, and the first thing that hits me is the silence. Eerily still silence. That is, until I hear a bizarre, cooing rumble followed by a deafening bong. Not only is there a family of, erm, something nested right outside the window, but the view looks out onto a creepily lit York Minster, which clangs its bells on the hour, just in case being along wasn’t jumpy enough.
I open the Welcome manual and decide to acquaint myself with the local area.
“York is the most haunted city in the world, with a total of 504 recorded hauntings according to the Ghost Research Foundation International. It is also home to the ‘Ghosts of the Greatest Longevity’, the famous Roman Legionnaires of the Treasurer’s House”.
“Our own ghost is a man with long dark hair wearing a cap who appears over your shoulder. You can feel a chill in the room first.”
For no reason in particular, I decide to try out the Ghost Meter. I search for the on switch, pick it up, shake it a bit and still nothing. Then I realise I’m holding a Dyson blameless fan. Ghostbuster, I am not.
As I fumble around with the ACTUAL ghost meter, I feel a chill on my neck. As a freezing breeze rustles over me, I turn the meter on, and record a reading of…. nada. Then I realise the goosebumps are coming from the windows. Double glazing, it seems, was not a building standard back in the 1500s.
Now it’s time to strap on my second pair or underoos for a viewing of The Conjuring 2, a movie all about a terrifying UK haunting. As it begins, I have to move the ouija board out the way to get a better view of the horror to come.
Which is not a sentence I ever thought I’d write.
Here is my review.
Suitably weirded out, but still mercifully real-life-ghost-free, I turn off all the lights and head up to bed. ONLY TO BE CONFRONTED BY A TERRIFYING VISION.
I retire for the night, and as I get cosy in my four-poster bed, the world around me seems to take on an unearthly stillness.
While I’ve never seen this tactic used in a horror movie to date, I take ingenuity by the horns and decide to play a song to kill the tension. The first thing that comes on my iPod is Ariana Grande’s ‘Side To Side’.
Which is either going to scare or severely arouse whatever poltergeists may be lurking in the room. Whatever, it helps soothe my tensions, and I doze off into a deep slumber.
So while we’re a little sad to report that we encountered no spirits during our stay (bar the shart-inducing ones in the movie), we like to think we may just have discovered the ultimate anti-ghost deterrent.
The Conjuring 3 - Weapon: Ariana will be heading to cinemas Halloween 2019.
The Conjuring 2 is out on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download now.