Pant-Soiling Scenes #13: GHOSTWATCH

Go ahead…laugh. Ghostwatch was BBC’s hoax documentary for Halloween in 1992. I wasn’t quite a nipper but a lifetime of religious upbringing and “you mustn’t watch horror movies, for they are evil, now let us say grace,” made me one scaredy cat.

Hence, discreetly switching channels to experience the forbidden fruit, I was prompty terrified by what I saw. Legend tells us – and it’s confirmed by the inlay notes in the DVD – that some poor schmuck committed suicide a few days after the broadcast.

When it was released to DVD ten years afterwards, I had to take a look to see if I was damaged. And this moment, where plucky presenter Sarah Greene ventures into the understairs cupboard to look for one of the missing girls, gave me the uber-willies…

So you might not understand what you’re seeing, but the door slowly creaks open when the camera and sound guys go looking for her and reveals a glimpse of this freaky man’s face, who may or may not be the ghost – unaffectionately known as Pipes by the tormented family – eerily staring back at them.

The effect is lost over time to some degree; Michael Parkinson’s unintentionally hilarious possession and the rubbish acting of the bubble-haired psychologist lady but back then…woah, frightening stuff!

One comment

  • This one still works on me, too, although you probably have to be British. No wonder there was so much controversy at the time — has any spookfest ever used the TV medium (pun intended!) so utterly perfectly?!

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