Part of our infrequent series detailing the top five greatest ever haunted house movies.
Amityville II: The Possession (1982) Dir: Damiano Damiani
Still from Amityville 2
Everybody’s favourite haunted house movie franchise is back! The sequel (or rather prequel) to 1979’s The Amityville Horror recounts the story of what happened to the original family who moved into the real life New York house. Built on a site of an Indian Burial ground the family start having strange occurrences round the house, nothing to get too alarmed about – every new house has it’s faults. The real problems start happening when the oldest son, Sonny starts to hear voices through his Walkman leading to him possession by an unnamed demon. All good stuff!
The film was helmed by Italian Exploitationer Damiano Damiani, usually at home with Spaghetti Westerns or Euro-cop thrillers which seems an odd choice but what he brings is that Italian style that makes the film feel a lot more raw and certainly a lot more close to the bone that the original Hollywood film. The film centres more around Sonny and his relationship with the spirit than it does the house and it’s grip over the family but this leads to a more interesting dynamic held together by Jack Magner who plays Sonny, strangely he only had one other bit part in 1984’s Firestarter after this.
The film looks nowhere near as slick as the 79 version and jump out of your seat scares are few and far between but the impending sense of dread as the family unit begins to disintegrate is nail tearing stuff. Where the film loses pace is three quarters through where we get into the legal ramblings of why Sonny did what he did but what we have to consider is this is based on an actual case and to leave out the follow up to the incident would seem inappropriate (no matter how far stretched the truth is).
A lot of people would argue that the original film is a superior film and it is true to an extent, certainly technically and narratively but all good haunted house films should suck you in and ratchet up the tension rather than opting for cheap I Know what you did Last Summer scares, in this case Amityville II stands head and shoulders above it’s counterparts.
Caught on tape is a ghost shadow moving across a living room wall. A brilliant capture of paranormal activity happening.
This is the last in the series (for now, at least) from the family that live in Northern England. This supernatural occurrence happened during the night. Due to all the happenings that have taken place in their home the father had taken to occasionally setting up a camera at night in different parts of the house. This footage is from one of those recordings. Enjoy.
This next video is a continuation from the video sent to us by the family living in the North East of the UK and consists of an incident where the father had been filming one of his children, placed the camera down without stopping the recording and managed to capture the following video. It’s a good job he checked the recording before deleting it from his camera memory or he may never have found the footage! You need to look carefully at the tent but around halfway through the video, a face can be seen to appear in the child’s tent! Took us a few attempts to see it but it’s definitely there. Enjoy.
This latest upload documents a ghost caught on tape and comes from a young family, living in the north east of England. They wish to remain anonymous so apologies if any of this comes across as vague. During 2010 they moved to a period property in a satelite town due to their expanding family (two young children, both under five).
Almost immediately they began to experience episodes of alleged paranormal activity. This promoted the father to document their experiences and this latest release is a part of a series of recordings they have made and which we hope to bring to you.
A camera was positioned at the top of the stairs during one evening in the hope that any activity would be caught on camera. As can be evidenced by the following footage, the family were not disappointed. A clear anomaly can be seen moving through the doorway to the kitchen, out into the hallway and then appears to make it’s way upstairs.
This will be an infrequent part to the blog, detailing the top 5 greatest haunted house movies.
Ju-On – Dir: Takashi Shimizu (2000)
The advent of the Ringu films in the 90’s brought about a spate of Far Eastern horror flicks at the turn of the century, commonly known as J-Horror. Ju-On is one of the most effective of the genre, leading to several sequels as well as an American remake that in turned spawned a series of decreasingly bad films. The premise (if there is one) follows a series of events triggered from a house in inner city Japan where a brutal murder of a wife and son took place. Each visitor and in turn individual caught up in the history of the house suffers an ever increasing creepy death centered around the apparition of the dead mother or boy as they become part of the Ju-On or Curse.
The plot is thread bear if I was to be generous but the set pieces are incredibly effective, we get all manner of contorted, long haired, meowing werido ghosts and they bleed so well into the real life of the characters that after you finishing watching you’ll walk about the house checking behind you every five minutes to see if there isn’t a pale Japanese Cat Ghost behind you.
Unlike the more westernized versions, the ghosts traditionally in Japanese horror are more tangible – they physically interact with characters which provides a far more scary scenario than a poltergeist just chucking a plate across the room (more of that later). Generally the J-Horror films did struggle with narratives but made up for it in individual scenes and general f*cking creepiness. Sometimes you just have to go with it even if it doesn’t make sense, J-Horror at it’s best.
Whenever ghost footage or photographs are taken, they are usually present in a house or building. This goes back to the idea of a spirit trapped in somewhere before it can move on and generally fits in with philosophy on ghosts. In saying that does that mean all ghosts that are out there are confined to four walls?
If you consider cemeteries, they have the biggest stigma about being haunted but by applying the above logic, no ‘spirit’ would ever realistically reside there, the idea being that the bodies (and souls) are laid to rest there and therefore why would a ghost ever haunt a cemetery (boredom perhaps?)
This is what intrigued me about this footage taken in an alleyway next to a cemetery near Halifax, it is significantly different to the footage taken of the rocking horse and could be explained in any number of ways but it got me thinking – are ghosts everywhere and do we only look for them in the most expected places or should we just open our mind to the possibility we are surrounded by them?
As a kid I was always fascinated by the existence of ghosts so much so that for a number if years I staunchly believed it. Nothing really that unusual about this as I also believed in UFO’s and the Kennedy conspiracy. As I got older though I found myself believing less and less, call it cynicism in my old age, call it maturity or plain common sense, whatever it was I never held fully onto that belief.
If we think about the traditional idea of ghosts and what they represent, they are widely believed to be spirits of the dead that are yet to pass over, usually believed to haunt an area where they have unfinished business or have suffered an extreme trauma. When people say they have seen a ghost to me nowadays I tend to smile and nod appreciatively but in my mind I’m thinking ‘you’re either deluded or a poor liar’. That was until I saw some evidence for myself.
Don’t get me wrong I was never slimed or possessed, if anything the ‘proof’ I’ve seen is second hand and from somebody I don’t know well enough to say I fully trust them. Obviously I’m not going to reveal any names or anything to compromise the identity of the family, they have given me full permission to talk about this though and post the video.
The video was taken in a friend of the family’s baby room early in 2011. The baby had been suffering with illness for quite sometime (think he was about one at the time) and had a high temperature every morning, although they could never put a finger on what the issue was as the baby seemed generally in good spirits during the day. The father had placed a camera in the room to see how the baby was reacting whilst he was asleep to see if there was anything in particular he was doing that was causing him to have a high temperature (can’t honestly think what he’d think he’d see the baby doing but I guess you’d try anything in that situation).
The video was taken whilst the baby was having his bath (ignore the time on the camera-technical issues were never their strong point) before bed and the dad had set the video recording so he wouldn’t forget. I must admit I am still skeptical but when you hear it from somebody you know and see some evidence, it’s the closest I have been to seeing actual evidence for myself all my life so I can’t help but be taken in by it.