BBC Ghostwatch (1992 Television Pseudo-Documentary)




does anybody remeber this great programe on bbc2 in 1992,it was shocking and disterbing[because it pretended this was real and live]i wished i taped this now because i doubt this programe will be ever be relaesed on video and dvd.
Yes, I can remember it, but can't remember the title or many of the details .

Not much help, really, am I?:p

I remember it very well!

Absolutely scared the hell out of me!

I think one of the best things about it was the way the cameras would be filming the family members/presenters (actors) in the foreground, whilst catching glimpes of 'Pipes' (the name given to the spirit) in the background. I particulary remember the camera whizzing past the bathroom then suddenly whizzing back because 'something' was behind the door. Or when in the kitchen you could clearly see th ereflectio of Pipes in the window. Brrr, still gives me shivers now ;)

The Pipes character had supposedly hung himself in a cupboard whilst shut in with his cats, who fed of the corpse to stay alive.

Nothing IMHO has ever come close to this fantastic piece of horror TV. A true classic.

Seer :)
I remember this at least in outline. It has a certain rarity
value because it only went out the once and on Halloween
I think. Well I suppose the live illusion would not have worked
in a repeat.

It took on the whole Outside Broadcast method and applied
it to the manipulation of the audience with the events unfolding
in real time with familiar faces telling impossible things.

Topical really because it's exactly the same method Chris Morris
uses for satire on the Brass Eye shows. The recent scandal was
not just about the subject matter but about the spurious sense
of authority which the media would prefer us not to question. The
classic case till recently was the News Flash item in which Morris
announced the death of one celebrity at the hands of another. The
tone was so accurate that many viewers were said to have phoned
in with condolences, missing the small detail that the female reporter
was sporting a false moustache!

I think people seeing the Ghostwatch show at an impressionable
age were really spooked by it and I seem to recall reading that
one young lad suffered a breakdown. But I never believe a word
I read.;)
Oh god yeah, I remember it. I had a conversation about Ghostwatch recently with some mates... it seems that every single person in my agegroup (early twenties) remembers it and was scarred for life!
I remember it and man it scared me like nothing else, and I didn't even watch it all (was around 11 at the time). The only bit with the so called ghost I saw was a clip of the girls bedroom. The ghost was ment to be in there (so where the girls, or was it just one) and the girl was screaming cos it was touching her arm. At the time I thought it was real. I kept thinking ghosts are going to come and get me. I ate chicken soup saying to myself it would keep them away (thats how scared and crazy i got the night it was on). Then I heard later that it wasn't real and I thought how could the media do something like that. That thing must of scared a lot of my generation.

James Whitehead said:
I seem to recall reading that
one young lad suffered a breakdown

There was an article on this in FT some time ago. One lad was said to have hanged himself after seeing the show.
I remember watching it with a growing sense of bemusement. I hadn't seen any of the preamble so I assumed that it would be just another harmless spook program. The documentary style threw me and I went off to look in the paper and on the teletext to find out what it was that I was watching.
Despite the program makers claims in the aftermath all the details I could find while the program was on air were deliberately ambiguous as to the true nature of the program.
At the time I was a cynical old fart with a reasonable knowledge of spook tales and it was about three quarters of the way through the program for it get silly enough for me to decide it was fiction. On the whole though it was a job well done.
I remember it clearly. It scared the crap out of me and my brothers. It seemed totaly authentic right up untill the moment that the two little girls volunteered to go to bed. That spoiled it for me because as an older sister I know that it takes a crowbar to get young children into bed if there is anything in the least bit exciting going on.

That made us suspicious so we checked the Radio Times - which said nothing about it being a drama - which gave the game away because it mentioned that there were CEEFAX subtitles which meant that it was prerecorded, not live.

(hmmm I seem to be using the word 'which' an innordinate ammount today, I sense a conspiracy)
Why should the fact it had subtitles give it away? Many live programmes do.

Yeah, the News has subtitles, sometimes with hilariously bad spelling as the subtitlers quickly type up interviews as they're being spoken.
Thanks for those URLs, Aerial, the independent one is
very informative and the scene by scene account very
helpful to those of us whose memories had faded quite
a bit.

That site does have the Radio Times listing which makes
it clear the piece was drama. At the time, like many, I did
not take the RT and came across the show without much
pre-warning. I think it was announced fairly ambiguously.

As the scene-by-scene account reminds me, the show used
Craig Charles to play to type and act as a prankster to
give a roller coaster ride feel to it, undercutting the horror
with comedy then hitting hard with new chills. Parkinson
and Sarah Greene were also familar faces and played themselves.

The density of incident was too high for me and I did twig
early on it wasn't for real but then I wasn't a kid at the time.
The unleashing of a supernatural wind in the studio also seemed
to be OTT.

The sad case of the lad who hanged himself - he is named
on the site - puzzles me. There must have been other factors
at work as suicide isn't usually a response to fear so much as
James Whitehead said:
The sad case of the lad who hanged himself - he is named
on the site - puzzles me. There must have been other factors
at work as suicide isn't usually a response to fear so much as

He was, I'm not sure how it's described nowadays, mentally disadvantaged. I forget if any specific condition was quoted but he was apparantly deeply affected by the program. The article carried the alledged text of his suicide note, and to paraphrase from memory it talked about his fear and ended something like:-

'If ghosts is real then I will be one and be with you always.'

Perhaps with hindsight it wasn't suitable viewing material for him but I suspect that a lot of people would have assumed the program to be safe because of the personalities involved.
The BBC have a page devoted to it on the Cult TV section of their website. Don't have the URL to hand, but it's easy enough to find. Includes clips and everything; rumours abound of a DVD release for Halloween.

Incidentally; I've always wondered why everyone got so freaked out (myself included) as it started with the caption "Screen One Presents" and then gave the writer's name? Kind of making the point rather heavily from the start?

My girlfriend made me turn it off and still gets the creeps to this day when it's mentioned.

'Round and round the gaaarrrdddenn....'
DanHigginbottom said:
Incidentally; I've always wondered why everyone got so freaked out (myself included) as it started with the caption "Screen One Presents" and then gave the writer's name? Kind of making the point rather heavily from the start?

I have great faith in us not being that stupid. I didn't see the start so my pet theory is that there was something better on the other side for a bit. Also the presenters were presenter types rather than actor types which tended to reinforce the whole thingy wotsit.
Sorry, I missed a bit out; there's an interview with the author on the BBC site (yeah, I know, someone else had already given the link, try reading all the posts next time Dan).

It features a classic moment; a friend of his, who'd tuned in to watch *knowing* that it was fictional became totally freaked out to cut a long story short. He was puzzled and asked her why; she replied that even though she knew he'd been working on the show, as soon as she saw Michael Parkinson she thought it must be 'real'.

Power of the media and all that.

And, of course, conspiracy theories abound, quite genuinely.

You don't see Sarah Green much anymore, do you? Ah, she:
a) Died that night
b) Is in a mental institution
c) Is possessed
d) Is on daytime TV a lot.

No-one seems to be able to explain why the others seem quite happy. I guess it's not as much a giveaway as having Colonel Von Stromm out of 'allo 'allo in Alternative 3.
BBC Ghostwatch spoof

I remember on haloween 1992 BBC did a spoof documentary called ghostwatch presented by micheal parkinson and sarah green (I think), supposed to be based on the enfield poltergeist.

I was a student at the time and this program scared the life out of me, especially the bit towards the end when you see the thing in the upstairs bedroom.

But I have never seen a repeat of this program since??

Is there a dedicated website with photos???

:confused: :confused: :confused:
Can anybody tell me where to get this on tape or dvd,

I remember when it came on wondering should I video it or not and quite near the start recognising one of the actors and realising it was a fake so went to the pub and never saw it.

There were rumors about it being released by the BBC on video, any info most appreciated.
well in the website there is clips there and somewhere[i try and look for it] there is a website completly dedicated to the programe.i think also if you have got sky 1,watch the tv years on saterday on 20.00, it is about 1992 this time so it could have clips:)
This was also mentioned on the ghost watch thread on fortean culture.

I remember watching that Ghostwatch programme the first time round. It terrifed me too. I haven't seen it since, but at the time it seemed utterly convincing and was exceptionally well done by the BBC.

Didn't the BBC get hundreds of complaints from people who'd nearly had a heart attack watching it? :D
Ghost Watch...

I did not find Ghost Watch Scary at all....

Until my TV and video suddenly turned off...

It wasn't the power.. cos they went to standby...

It wasn't the remote... cos they were on the side.. well out of reach...

And it wasn't a timer.. cos the set was that old...

Just plain spooky... and it happened just after the real jumpy bit too!!

Geez i hate conicidence..
On the Childhood Terrors thread, there is a link to a site
where a bloke is petitioning the BBC for its release. You
can sign the petition online. :)
That show majorly freaked me (an 11 year old at the time) out when it was on. I mean I must of been really scared cos I made myself think that chicken soup would keep the ghosts away, chicken soup!!! But if they dedided to make anotherone now, I would be totally different. Nothing seem to scare me at all these days.

I remember watching this.

One of the children had been in some adverts and was thus an actor.

Also, I remember watching Pebble Mill where it was described the week before as a drama. It was also part of a season possibly called 'Screen One' of plays.

I was and still am amazed that people actually thought thought that this was a live Outside Broadcast.
I seem to remember there was a big kerfuffle because one guy (think he it was reported he may have been mentally handicapped) watched it and killed himself to find out if there really was an afterlife. He left a suicide note saying he just had to find out after watching the show. Any one else remember this?