Film & TV
Paranormal BBC Show Was Banned Because It Scared Viewers Too Much
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Clips from a paranormal BBC show (which was banned because it was deemed too scary for viewers) are circulating on TikTok and terrifying the nation once more...
On Halloween 1992, the BBC aired a paranormal TV special, Ghostwatch - a documentary-style investigation into supernatural activity occurring in a family home.
Unbeknownst to the public at the time, the documentary was in fact a mockumentary and the investigation entirely fabricated.
But viewers were unaware, with the BBC setting up the paranormal investigation as though it were a live news report, even featuring well-known news presenters such as Michael Parkinson.
The show left viewers shaken and received tens of thousands of complaints, with some viewers genuinely believing the mockumentary to be real.
The BBC switchboard reportedly received around 30,000 calls in just an hour, with a significant proportion coming from angry parents whose children had tuned in to the show and been left terrified.
And now, decades later, clips from the show are doing the rounds on TikTok, reminding us all of just how horrifying it was.
As a result of the controversy surrounding the show at the time, it was never again aired on television. But with clips from the mockumentary resurfacing on social media thirty years later, many who had originally watched it have been taken back to that dark place...
One TikTok user commented on a clip from the show: "It frightened so many people thinking it was real. It was shown on Halloween. It frightened me too. No wonder it was banned.”
Another wrote: "Terrified my sister and I and my mum was freaked out too! We thought it was real until the very end".
If you're wondering what made Ghostwatch so terrifying, it follows a Poltergeist who had been named 'Pipes' by the family supposedly being haunted by it, which becomes increasingly powerful during the 90-minute spoof.
'Pipes' makes various manifestations which become more bold and terrifying as the show progresses, eventually seeing host Sarah Greene dragged out of sight behind a door.
Believing the mockumentary to be real, a number of viewers were left traumatised by the scenes depicted, with one 1994 report in the British Medical Journal even detailing two cases of children suffering from temporary post-traumatic stress as a result of the show.
The BBC unsurprisingly distanced itself from the show.
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