10 Terrifying Halloween-Set Horror Movies

9. Ghostwatch

Trick 'r Treat

If you've ever seen WNUF Halloween Special, BBC's Ghostwatch is essentially the tonal opposite of the exact same idea. Both features center on a "live" broadcast exploring allegedly haunted abodes. But while WNUF follows a cheesy lead-up to a disturbing end, Ghostwatch precedes a somewhat tacky finish with some surprisingly effective tension building.

Writer Stephen Volk, who doesn't get nearly enough credit for The Kiss (comprising many unnecessary shots of a teenager swimming and featuring the best cat puppet in horror history), claims in the film's commentary that it mostly works because it debunks itself twice throughout the narrative. He's not wrong. Each time the film tanks its main authorities on the paranormal, the continued ghostly activity becomes increasingly mysterious in a very unsettling way.

Of course, if you've heard of Ghostwatch at all, then you've probably heard about its more meta scare potential. Many viewers believed Ghostwatch to be a real live broadcast when it came out, and one viewer became so obsessed with the existence of ghosts that he eventually took his own life.

Even some viewers who knew the film was fake were lured into a false sense of security by familiar faces such as Sarah Greene, Michael Parkinson and Craig Charles. The sometimes disturbing imagery and themes took them (and the children they'd allowed to watch) by complete surprise.


Kieran enjoys overanalyzing and arguing about pop culture, believing that heated debates can (and should) be had in good fun. He currently lives in Fort Worth, TX, where he spends his time chatting with strangers on the bus and forcing them to look at pictures of his dog.