On Halloween 1992, the BBC aired Ghostwatch once, and only once. The 90-minute drama was presented as a live investigation into a supposedly haunted house that aimed to prove that the supernatural was real. And British audiences took it at face value.
Most Brits understood that the show was pure fiction aired in a time slot that was traditionally reserved for other scripted programming. But others weren’t so lucky. As Ghostwatch writer Stephen Volk explained in a documentary about the program, “One woman wrote in to the producer at the BBC, and she demanded money from the BBC, because her husband, who I think was a paratrooper, had actually soiled his trousers he was so scared, and she wanted the BBC to refund her.”
The BBC received 30,000 calls about the program in a single hour, some parents filed formal complaints that their children had posttraumatic stress disorder from watching the disturbing content, and one family claimed the show contributed to the suicide of their son.
The BBC responded by officially banning the program from airing again, and it never has … until now. Shudder, the premium streaming service operated by AMC, has Ghostwatch in all its terrifying glory, but Shudder was sure to put the word “documentary” in quotations. For $5 per month, you can check out Ghostwatch; The Blair Witch Project, another movie hoax that was inspired by the BBC program; and hundreds of other spooky movies.
Ghostwatch is available to stream now on Shudder.
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Tell us what you think! Are you brave enough for Ghostwatch? And have you ever fallen victim to a hoax like this? Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Khail Anonymous, on Twitter.