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Halloween Day By Day: Ghostwatch

On Oct. 31, 1992, the BBC broadcast Ghostwatch, a Halloween mockumentary that "investigated" an alleged haunted house. It used real BBC personalities, including Sarah Greene, Craig Charles and Michael Parkinson, and loosely based the haunting on the famous Enfield poltergeist case.

The end result was so damn convincing -- and ultimately frightening -- that Orson Welle's War-of-the-Worlds level of panic was caused. Viewers were terrified, one person is rumoured to have died from fright, and Ghostwatch was banned, never to be seen again.

Fortunately, times have changed and the film has resurfaced. I caught up with Ghostwatch on Shudder, and was damn pleased with what I saw. Is it as scary as people said? No, as the likes of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity have stolen some of its thunder.

That being said, it's still an effective watch, not only as a piece of entertainment, but as a historic TV event.

Had I not known the lore behind Ghostwatch, it makes sense that viewers were taken in by it. Everyone involved with the production go out of their way to make this 100 per cent believable. And, when the scares happen, they are subtle and, dare I say, believable.

It's only in the last couple of minutes that Ghostwatch goes a bit crazy and, for experienced viewers, the gig is up. However, back in 1992, everyone was probably so steamrolled by what occurred up to that point, the "damage" was done.

If you're looking for something scary, and fun, to watch this All Hallow's Eve, I'd highly recommend Ghostwatch. It deserves its place in history as a true Halloween event. A Good from me.


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