Remember Ghostwatch? It caused a tabloid furore when it was broadcast live on BBC1 on Halloween 25 years ago. Young ‘uns may find this difficult to believe, but although it was very clearly tagged as a drama in the Beeb’s Screen One series, vast numbers of viewers managed to convince themselves that they were watching an actual investigation into a haunting – just as a generation earlier Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds managed to trick the great American public into believing that space aliens had invaded.
Fronted in live broadcast documentary format by TV presenters Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene and Mike Smith (ask your parents), Ghostwatch was scripted by Bristol-based Stephen Volk – who also wrote the Bristol-set Afterlife series for ITV – with a storyline based loosely on the Enfield Haunting. At the Watershed on – ulp – Friday October 13, he’ll be joined by renowned horror expert Kim Newman for a Q&A after a full screening of the drama that the Beeb has resolutely refused to repeat (though it is available on DVD). Go here for tickets.