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Paranormal UK: UFOs, Cryptids & Hauntings (2023) Review

Paranormal UK: UFOs, Cryptids & Hauntings is a new documentary from Warren Speed (Zombie Women of Satan, Coulrophobia) covering, as the title suggests, various paranormal and cryptozoological happenings in the British Isles.

The first segment is on Featherstone Castle. In the 11th century the story goes, Abigail Featherstonehaugh the daughter of the castle’s owner fell in love with Ridley Hardriding the son of one of her father’s rivals. He quickly arranged a marriage for his daughter. On the morning of the wedding, Ridley and his men attacked the wedding party, intending to steal Abigail away. Instead, it turned into a pitched battle that left everyone dead.

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Speed interviews Graham Burney and Kenneth Lown the only paranormal researchers to have been given access to the castle. We get a bit of history, lots of creepy footage of the castle accompanied by stories of things people have seen, but no ghosts show up to say hello.

It’s a quick and surface level look at what is supposed to be an extremely haunted location, but the director has a full length film about the castle, Abigail’s Castle: The Haunting of Featherstone Castle, due for release at a later date

Next up, he talks to Malcolm Robinson about UFOs, specifically those seen around Bonnybridge and Scotland’s so-called Falkirk Triangle. Again, this is mostly talking head footage of the two of them discussing a few of the stranger cases associated with the area, including abductions and sightings by military personnel There’s also footage of the “UFO Path” that’s been built through the forest complete with a replica of the craft two of the witnesses claim to have seen.

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Ghosts return for Paranormal UK’s third segment, this time in a more modern dwelling, 30 East Drive, Pontefract. Claimed as Britain’s most haunted house, it’s home to The Black Monk or Fred as the owners named him. Alexa De Strange, who has stayed there overnight, is interviewed and ends up talking more about another allegedly haunted tourist attraction, The London Tombs. Even Warren sounds bored during her rambling story.

Paranormal UK: UFOs, Cryptids & Hauntings goes to Galtres Forest for its final segment. Peter Moore talks about a variety of phenomena said to have occurred there. Despite Moore saying he was an expert on cryptids, ghosts and UFOs get the majority of the segment’s time. Apart from a brief mention of the phantom big cats and a briefer one of Pigman there’s nothing about them in the film. And that is all the mention they get in the film, which was a big disappointment for me because that was my main interest.

I was hoping Paranormal UK would have at least some of the manic energy that Speed’s horror films do. Unfortunately it’s a very low-key and sedate affair with nothing more exciting than two people talking. Some of the cases they mention sound interesting, but the film never goes into detail on any of them, apart from Ms. De Strange’s never ending story.

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The lack of detail combined with the lack of pictures or video proof or even a video recreation of the events means Paranormal UK doesn’t have much to offer in the way of information or entertainment. It might be of use to those who don’t know much on the subject as a starting point for further research, but others will already be familiar with the material covered.

Hopefully when he can concentrate on one location or topic he’ll get better results and his upcoming film on Featherstone Castle will be better. Unfortunately, Paranormal UK: UFOs, Cryptids & Hauntings dragged on way too slowly for something directed by a guy named Speed.

Paranormal UK: UFOs, Cryptids & Hauntings is available on DVD as well as on Digital Platforms from BayView Entertainment.

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