“Rev. Ralph Hardy, a retired clergyman from White Rock, British Columbia, took this now-famous photograph in 1966. He intended merely to photograph the elegant spiral staircase, known as the “Tulip Staircase”, in the Queen’s House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Upon development, however, the photo revealed a shrouded figure climbing the stairs, seeming to hold the railing with both hands. Experts, including some from Kodak, who examined the original negative concluded that it had not been tampered with. It’s been said that unexplained figures have been seen on occasion in the vicinity of the staircase, and unexplained footsteps have also been heard.
“This photo isn’t the only evidence of ghostly activity at the Queen’s House. The 400-year-old building is credited with several other apparitions and phantom footsteps even today. A few years ago, a gallery assistant was discussing a tea break with two colleagues when he saw one of the doors to the bridge room close by itself. At first, he thought it was one of the lecturers.
“Other ghostly goings-on include the unexplained choral chanting of children, the figure of a pale woman frantically mopping blood at the bottom of the Tulip Staircase (it’s said that 300 years ago a maid was thrown from the highest banister, plunging 50 feet to her death), slamming doors, and even tourists being pinched by unseen fingers.”
From Best Real Ghost Pictures Ever Taken, ThoughtCo.
IndieWire: The story behind the reason you made “The Innkeepers” is almost as good (and scary) as the film itself. Can you tell it for those who aren’t familiar?
Ti West: Well the hotel that inspired the film is actually in the film. What happened was we were making my previous film The House of the Devil, and we were staying at this hotel called the Yankee Pedlar Inn because it was the best option to put the crew up. It was the cheapest and nicest place we could find and about 25 minutes from our location.
We would go and shoot this satanic horror movie nearby, but the weirder stuff would happen back at the hotel. It just started off kind of goofy, but it became this thing where most of the cast and crew started to think there was something up with the hotel.
The staff at the hotel believe it’s haunted. The whole town believes it’s haunted. So it has this kind of mystique to it. But what was charming to me about it, was that it’s this mixture of a historic, perhaps haunted building and totally bad ’70s renovation. The people who work there are in their twenties…part timers. So there’s this weird lore of the place. At the same time, the place doesn’t live up to it. So I found it really charming and interesting.
I wanted to make a ghost story. I was trying to think of how to do it cheap. Then I thought, “Why not make a movie we lived?” The place let us be there before, so they were likely to let us do it again. That’s kind of how it all came to be. They let us back in and we moved very quickly.
Read the full interview at IndieWire: Ti West On the Real Haunting That Inspired ‘The Innkeepers’
William Brent Bell’s The Boy
I started watching The Boy with very low expectations. With the iconic dolls of Chucky and Annabelle dominating the horror genre, I was not sure how this storyline of a possessed doll would play out another time around.
I was pleasantly surprised as The Boy unfolded with its creepy relationship between the main character and the doll, particularly those moments when the main character notices in a mirror that the doll has turned its head to watch her or when objects are seemingly moved around by the doll.
While the movie was a slow burn for the first half or so, once the identity of the doll surfaces, the action kicks into high gear until the end. One aspect of the movie that I especially liked was the strength of its storyline. The villain’s background, as it was revealed, was believable and logical—something I was definitely not expecting going into the movie. The fact that the narrative becomes believable as it unfolds makes the movie that much scarier than the Chucky and Annabelle movies where the villain is supernatural.
Bell, William Brent. The Boy, STX Films, 2016.
I visited my Mom last Sunday for Mother’s Day in her new space. It had a bit of a creepy 1960s time-warp feel, and I asked, “Do you see ghosts in this place?”
“Yes,” she replied. “This room used to be where the nun who answered the convent’s front door would sleep. I see her walk by in her robe.”
I was comforted to know that she’s not alone.
Ghost of 19th century nun appears in Galway photos