to Vote

This one's been flying way under the radar which is a damn shame, but at least it's out there and we can now help spread the word - one of the more notorious hoax productions to have ever made it to air, the BBC's sublimely creepy Ghostwatch, has spawned an officially-sanctioned retrospective documentary - Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtrains.

Premiered on Halloween night in 1992, the telefilm purported to showcase a number of recognizable BBC personalities (including venerable presenter Sir Michael Parkinson) as they investigated what was rumored to be the most haunted house in all of Britain. As the "live" broadcast played out, strange events inside the home and studio itself transformed an otherwise routine 90 minutes of reality TV into an entirely original, tech-savvy "you-are-there" ghost story. A YouTube page, launched in early 2008, has collected a number of rare clips including scenes deleted from the broadcast and media reactions to the program's controversial one-time airing in its home country. Better yet is the production's official blog, which continues to track the project's status and highlights the on-going involvement of original cast members and creative talents.

Perhaps Behind the Curtains's eventual roll-out will spur the Beeb to re-release the long out-of-print original again on DVD. For fans who have yet to revel in its spooky splendors, here's hoping! We'll be training a much closer eye on this one going forward, and will keep you updated!

to Vote
Screen Anarchy logo
Do you feel this content is inappropriate or infringes upon your rights? Click here to report it, or see our DMCA policy.

More from Around the Web

Official blog
YouTube page

majorforceFebruary 17, 2009 4:52 AM

Aah, I remember it well - I never realised that the original BFI DVD release (as pictured above) was ever actually out of circulation; I bought that years ago and I'm glad I secured a copy when I did. I might watch it later tonight actually....

In todays culture of being sickeningly overwhelmed with reality shows and the like, 'Ghostwatch' seems all too twee and quaint but it's importance at the time should not be understated as, back in the days yo, 'real' TV events like this were simply far, far from the norm and the early part of the broadcast, at least, all too easily suckered the nation into thinking this was all for real.

It's a fantastic study in the power of the media, if nothing else; dress something up as convincing enough and folks will blindly follow suit even if there's a blatant 'Written By....' credit right at the start of the show for everyone to see to indicate that this is nothing more than a work of fiction!

For, what was at the time, a perceived 'stuffy' body like the BBC, of all people, to have the balls to go through with the broadcast was fantastic and I remember the newspapers having a typical furore of a field day in the immediate week thereafter amidst cries of 'irresponsibility!' and all that.

For one night, the entire country was had - and it was beautiful, because it'll never happen again.

whitechapelFebruary 19, 2009 3:42 AM

Ah, good ol' Pipes. SCREAM has played it a few times, that's how I saw it. It gets a little cheesy towards the end, but overall it was very well done and way ahead of its time.