As part of their ongoing “Childhood Terrors” series, Brutal As Hell has a post up about Ghostwatch, a faux documentary that aired on the BBC in the early Nineties:
If you’ve never seen Ghostwatch, here’s a brief synopsis. It’s a faux-documentary, originally broadcast on Halloween 1992, starring Michael Parkinson and Sarah Greene as TV presenters, conducting a ‘live broadcast’ of a properly haunted house. Except the house isn’t a Gothic mansion. Its a bog-standard 1930s Council semi, in a dreary street in a dreary suburban corner of London. Anyone could live there. You could. And the victims of this haunting aren’t a crabby old couple. They are a single mum, and her two teenage daughters. In retrospect, this was quite groundbreaking – single mums were the hate figures of the Conservative government of the day – the idea that single mums could be harassed, careworn, and trying to do the best for their children in difficult circumstances was a view the media preferred to ignore, and this particular single mum was at the end of her tether with her hideous haunted house. Jokes about the awful early 90s decorating soon dropped away as the real plot began to bite.
I watched Ghostwatch a while back, and it is quite effective. I imagine it was even better for domestic UK audiences at the time, featuring as it did actual BBC news personalities.
While it is tough to get one’s hands on a physical copy, some kind soul has posted the whole thing to YouTube, and it has, for whatever reason, not been taken down. Do yourself a favor and check it out: