Newswire: Infamous BBC Halloween stunt Ghostwatch manifests on Shudder

Next to Orson Welles’ 1938 radio play of The War Of The Worlds, The BBC’s presentation of Ghostwatch is probably one of the best-known media-induced panics in broadcasting history. (And possibly more effective, as historians have recently concluded that the bedlam surrounding Welles’ broadcast was exaggerated by contemporary newspapers eager to discredit their radio-news rivals.) On Halloween night of 1992, the BBC aired Ghostwatch, a 90-minute faux-investigative report purporting to show evidence of real paranormal activity in a London house featuring real news and kids’ show personalities. The whole thing was a stunt dreamed up by screenwriter Stephen Volk, but the people of Britain didn’t know that. Thinking they were seeing a real ghost really taking over the TV airwaves, people freaked the fuck out, leading to national panic, soiled underpants, and, more tragically, a suicide connected to the incident.

And Ghostwatch is remarkably terrifying, not least because …

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