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18 June 2014
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Classic TV | Ghostwatch

Welcome to Ghostwatch..."We don't want to give anybody sleepless nights"

The BBC broadcast Ghostwatch on the 31st of October 1992. It seemed to be a live cross between Crimewatch and the movie Poltergeist. The broadcast terrified Britain and caused outrage in the press.

Sarah Greene and Craig Charles reported from a reputedly haunted North London council house for the outside broadcast, whilst Michael Parkinson and Mike Smith stayed in the warmth and 'safety' of a BBC studio.

The Early family were allegedly being harrassed by the ghost 'Pipes'- so named as his banging and crashing were initially attributed to bad plumbing.

After a deliberately slow start the crescendo saw children speaking in tongues, Sarah Greene sent to her doom, and Michael Parkinson possessed by an evil spirit.

It was pure fiction, but the masterly combination of great scripting, intuitive direction and perfect casting made the supernatural pastiche appear frighteningly real. Despite being part of BBC Drama's Screen One series, the presence of one Michael Parkinson convinced thousands of people it was real. Viewers used to his chats with stars weren't quite ready to talk to the restless undead.


VIDEO CLIP:Did the BBC kill Sarah Greene?

VIDEO CLIP:Michael Parkinson possessed?

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