Presented as a live paranormal investigation with real BBC personalities of the time including Sir Michael Parkinson, Craig Charles and Sarah Greene plus phone ins from ‘viewers’, the scripted show’s apparent authenticity resulted in an estimated 30,000 calls to the BBC, with viewers believing the on screen paranormal investigation of a house plagued by a benevolent spirit called ‘Pipes’ was in fact real. The ‘mockumentary’ caused panicked phone calls from BBC viewers believing the on screen events to be really happening, and subsequent claims of post traumatic stress disorder to have been induced in some viewers. Never again aired on British television, the show has found cult status on internet forums, and an international fan base.
Ghostwatch has since gained acclaim as one of the most groundbreaking TV events of all time, preceding constructed reality TV series such as Most Haunted by almost a decade, and screening 7 years before the conception of the ‘found footage’ and mockumentary horror film genre kick-started by the success of 1999’s The Blair Witch Project. - Text Courtesy of Pilot Light TV Festival