Horror Cinema: Our House
Ghost stories are my favorite, and I was excited to discover Our House, a full-on supernatural, ghost-story movie. While I love ghost stories, a good one is difficult to find, and I was impressed by this one. The incorporation of the ghosts into the narrative was natural and sympathetic at first, and their slow growth into sinister forces was suspenseful and interesting. A solid take on a ghost story and a good movie!
Scott Burns, Anthony. Our House, IFC Midnight / Elevation Pictures, 2018.
Go Beyond Hill House with Shirley Jackson | Rue Morgue Archives
Ghastly Appearance of a Headless Woman
Many popular Victorian newspapers regularly printed reports of spectral sightings and ghostly visitations, and one British publication that did this with particular gusto was the Illustrated Police News.
In January 1898, it was reported that a mysterious figure with
“the ghastly appearance of a headless woman” was haunting an isolated crossroad outside of Buckingham. The phantom was first witnessed by a well-known local farmer and his companion who had the misfortune of encountering the wraith while driving his “horse and trap.” “The night was well advanced and dark,” when suddenly the farmer saw standing a few yards in front of him a black object near a weather beaten hand-post at the corner of the cross-roads. He called out as the figure was blocking his path but there was no answer and the figure remained motionless.
As he got closer, he noticed the other worldly appearance of the woman and his horse began to “tremble like a leaf.” In shock, he called out again, “What do you do there? Move on, please.” Again, he was met with no response. The horse panicked and backed into a ditch, forcing the farmer’s companion to jump down to seize the reigns. Suddenly, “the queer visitant disappeared,” but, as the pair got back in the trap to flee, the “black sombre figure” appeared again “in the same motionless position as before.”
“Their situation was now getting positively serious. The farmer whose presence of mind had stood him in good stead, now finding his nerve on the point of giving way, asked the apparition in the name of God to speak. Then it was that the spectra slowly drifted away, and appeared to float through the thick set bordered hedge.”
Numerous others later claimed to witness the ghost and the reporter commented that it was “not a little surprising that the spot referred to has been less frequented of late.”
Read other Victorian reports of ghosts at Ghosts of the Past: Historic News Reports of Victorian Hauntings
Spooky Scary Ghost Videos!
A good collection of scary videos of ghost activity.
Graveyard Ghost Stories
Christmas Ghost Stories
I have a copy of one of these ghost stories, and I love it! A great gift idea for any fan of the literary paranormal.
Old School Halloween Stickers
From Click Americana
Horror Cinema: The Sentinel (1977)
I discovered the 1977 horror movie The Sentinel on late night tv as a teenager of the 90s. With its mix of ghosts and strangeness—like the birthday party for a cat—I was hooked. By the time I saw The Sentinel, I was already a fan of Rosemary’s Baby and the 1930s movie Freaks, so, when the movie ended with the heroine being forced into the role of the sentinel after being groomed for it like Rosemary as the mother of the anti-christ along with actors with deformities crowding the halls as the denizons of Hell, I knew that this movie would be a personal favorite. Over the years, I have revisited The Sentinel, and I always enjoy its quirkiness and creepiness.
Researching trivia on the movie, I was surprised to learn that it was fraught with problems. The story’s writer, Jeffrey Konvitz, did not like the director, Michael Winner, or what Winner did with the casting or film. Konvitz commented that Winner was “too pedestrian a director” to make the film a good horror movie like The Omen and called him an egomaniacal maniac in a bluray commentary. Konvitz did not like that the protagonist looked different than the protagonist from his story, and he would have cast an unknown in the part who looked more like the story’s character.
Winner himself was not happy with the casting. He originally wanted Martin Sheen to play the male lead, but he was told that Sheen was a “tv name,” so he could not cast him. The producer wanted Chris Sarandon because he had recently been nominated for an Oscar.
For how much I love this movie, I was also surprised to find out that it is not a popular film. In fact, most people hate it.
Despite its problems, The Sentinel tells a great ghost story with that slower pace common of 70s movies that builds toward a creepy ending.
Winner, Michael. The Sentinel, Universal Pictures, 1977.
Behind-the-scenes facts from IMDb Trivia: The Sentinel (1977).