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Ghostwatch DVD Review

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There's a few sites out there which list all the 'sightings' of Pipes. I have been meaning to get the video out (i'm pretty sure i have a copy from the original screening) and check if pipes 'really' was standing behind Craig Charles at one point with the outside broadcasting unit...

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one of the links is here [bBC]

there is another here


and here

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I remembered the 1992 screening well. Unfortunately I was out that night, but my mum taped it for me. She had seen the beginning, and thinking that my ghost story-loving brother and I might like it, taped the rest. You might think I'm about to tell you that because we missed the start we thought it was real - sorry, my mum made the cardinal mistake of telling me that it was fiction before I watched it!

I'd like to think that the quite bad acting by Dr Lin Pascoe and the Earlys would have given the game away anyway, but even now, safe in the knowledge that it was fictional, and ten years older, it still scares the hell out of me. I'm only sitting here reviewing it because I daren't go to bed!

I've just enjoyed the fun of being able to freeze frame the DVD when Pipes appears. The ones I definitely spotted were:

devil.gif The obvious one that plays in the main menu - the scene in the girls' bedroom where the programme makers played tricks on us by having the scientist insist that there was nothing there, while we sat and screamed "YES THERE IS!!!" at the TV.

devil.gif As Craig Charles walks back from the wasteground interview, Pipes can be seen fleetingly in the crowd of onlookers. It is very fleeting. but this is about the best shot you get of Pipes as far as I can see, apart from in the DVD extras, where there is a full colour shot of the actor in a makeup test (which sort of ruins the mystery a bit - but as the kid in the play says, "It's what you wanted, isn't it?!!")

devil.gif When the "Glory Hole" door opens, before the camera whips around to see that the sound man has been injured, you see half of Pipes' face and torso. The other half is obscured by the door.

devil.gif The other obvious one as the camera whips around to see Pipes, then whips back again for another look only to find Pipes gone.

Anyway, with a couple of poor acting performances aside, this is a brilliant piece of "reality horror" long before The Blair Witch Project. and a brilliant satire on the media, long before Brass Eye.

I've taken screen captures of the glory hole and wasteground Pipes if anyone would like to see them. I woul dput them here but you have to upload pictures to webspace first. Drop me an email if you want to see them and I'll send them to you.

I also recommend reading the script, which tells you exactly what the scary voices say, and exactly what is written in that exercise book. Both are spine chilling. There are also directions for when Pipes appears, although I haven't yet been back through the play to look for them all.

At least one of the Pipes sightings I've mentioned, the wasteground Pipes, isn't in the script, but is definitely there in the play. Note: I also spotted a figure in the middle distance at the point where Craig Charles and the man with the beard are oblivious to the chaos inside the house. It might just be a bloke in an overcoat, but there's someone there who might be Pipes, and he's there fleetingly enough for it to be intentional.

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