3 September 2023
Sian Eleri talks to Notion about her BBC Three documentary

Around 300 apparent paranormal phenomena have been documented at Penyffordd Farm: The secluded 17th Century house at the centre of Wales’ most chilling ghost stories. Muffled voices, messages carved on walls and a child’s gravestone are just a few eerie examples of creepy activity that the Gower family say they experienced while living there. The tale isn’t for the faint-hearted and many investigators have tried to make sense of it since the late 1990s. Attempting to solve the supernatural puzzle once and for all is Sian Eleri, the BBC Radio 1 broadcaster-turned-documentary-maker who’s filling me in on her TV debut, Paranormal: The Girl, the Ghost and the Gravestone, via Zoom.

Born in Caernarfon, Wales, Sian is no stranger to folklore. Learning The Mabinogion at school, a collection of mythological fables, the 28-year-old is aware of her country’s mystical allure. Penyffordd Farm has been told more as a ghost story, but it’s still widely believed to be the most haunted house in Britain. Being from North Wales, the Flintshire farmhouse has fascinated Sian all her life. Before filming, she was sceptical, but with multiple witnesses and still no rational explanation to be found, the presenter quickly realised that there’s more to the tale than meets the eye.

Before getting the bug for documentary-making, Sian was best known for her multiple shows on Radio 1. Hosting the BBC’s designated channels for soothing and sultry vibes, the 28-year-old hasn’t looked back since cutting her teeth in broadcast journalism at university. The Chillest Show and The Power Down Playlist are some of the station’s most important programs, offering listeners moments of catharsis at a time when almost half of young people experience mental health problems. Now presenting four nights a week, she’s blossomed into one of the BBC’s most respected tastemakers, interviewing artists as disparate as Jorja Smith and Disclosure. It’s this eclecticism she hopes provides listeners with an inclusive community who share her broad taste in music.

Nowadays, Sian can count herself as a true media multi-hyphenate, skilled in both broadcasting and documentary-making; she speaks about each expertise with equal fondness throughout our conversation. Digging deeper into Paranormal: The Girl, the Ghost and the Gravestone, here, the personality talks spooky filming experiences, finding peace in pottery and why everyone should be listening to Elmeine.

Full interview here: