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31 Days of Scares- #16 ‘Ghostwatch’ Who is Mr. Pipes?

Jason McDonald

The 31 Days of Scares isn’t a countdown of the best horror movies.  In fact, it’s not even about the best movies. It’s simply about some of my favorite “scares” or scenes from horror movies and they’re in no particular order.  So there’s no need to debate countdown order. It’s pretty random.  With that said: on to the countdown!

Alright, this is a bit of an odd one.  If you’re wondering what “Ghostwatch” is, that’s okay, it’s a little obscure outside of the UK.  “Ghostwatch” was a television event that aired on the BBC in 1992 on Halloween night.  It was billed as a real television event where real reporters were going to spend the night in a haunted house while experts weighed in on what was happening.  Instead of being a 3 hour “Ghost Hunters” live episode where nothing happened, it turned into full on “Paranormal Activity.”

In actuality the special was aired as a drama, but thanks to the production’s use of documentary-style filmmaking, a lot of people didn’t realize that they were watching a drama and took it as an actual documentary.  This caused a bit of an outrage as some people started freaking out and believed that the events they were witnessing were real. I won’t ruin the ending of “Ghostwatch”, because I know a lot of people haven’t seen it, but it’s easy to see how the ending might really catch you off guard if you think you’re watching a factual television show.

Some people have likened “Ghostwatch” to the UK’s version of USA’s “War of the Worlds” hysteria. I wouldn’t know if that’s an apt comparison as I wasn’t around for either event, but it’s pretty cool to imagine that this little BBC special caused people to freak the hell out.

It was hard to pick a scare for “Ghostwatch” that didn’t give too much away, so I decided to pick a scene near the end of the film where we start to realize things are going bad.  Up until this point, the paranormal expert on the show was operating under the idea that nothing traumatic had ever happened in the house.  She had researched the house’s history and hadn’t come across anything that would suggest it was haunted.  However, a man calls in with some chilling information that changes everything.

If this clip piques your interest and you want to watch “Ghostwatch” in it’s entirety you can find it on Amazon or maybe try checking YouTube.  It’s a great film to watch from a historical perspective and it’s actually still pretty damn creepy in certain parts.



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