Ghostwatch - The BBC gives over a whole evening to an 'investigation into the
supernatural'. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to
discover the truth behind 'The most haunted house in Britain', expecting
a light-hearted scare or two and probably the uncovering of a hoax.
They think they are in control of the situation. They think they are
safe. The viewers settle down and decide to watch 'for a laugh'. Ninety
minutes later the BBC, and the country, was changed, and the
consequences are still felt today.
Ghostwatch is a British horror-mockumentary television movie that was broadcast on BBC1 on 31 October (Halloween) 1992.
Despite having been recorded weeks in advance, the narrative was presented as 'live' television.
Due to the furore that followed its first and only UK television broadcast, the film is now widely regarded as being one of the most controversial British television events in recent years.
The film was produced for the BBC's Screen One anthology series by Richard Broke, Ruth Baumgarten and Derek Nelson. It was written by Stephen Volk, and directed by Lesley Manning.
As yet, Ghostwatch has only ever been repeated on television outside of the UK - on stations such as the Canadian digital channel SCREAM for Halloween 2004, and the Belgian channel Canvas in 2008.
Ghostwatch also currently holds the record for the highest rated single drama in the UK of all time with a peak audience of 11.5 million viewers, and an estimated 30,000 calls to the BBC switchboard in a single hour. In 2002, the British Film Institute released a 10th Anniversary edition on VHS and DVD.
A retrospective documentary (Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtains) based on the film's lasting impact has been in production since late 2007, and is said to be backed by many of the film's original cast and crew.