Tuesday, December 16, 2014

6 Ghost Stories for Christmas on film

I've been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of my last post, about ghost stories - it's one of my most viewed posts ever in spite of only having been published last week. It's good to know that there are lots of fans of the classic ghost story out there!

I thought it might be fun to put together another list of scary stories, this time ones on film! So I've spent the last couple of days rewatching old favourites and watching some new films on Vimeo. (I probably should have been working on my book, but hey, it's nearly Christmas and we all deserve a bit of fun, right?) I wanted these films to be short ones, which can be watched in a few minutes, and ones that have touched me in some way - either moved me, or made me jump out of my skin! I also wanted to select films that can legitimately be watched free online, so all of these have been posted to Vimeo by their makers.

I think I have watched dozens of films but these are the ones I liked best! NB There are a couple of jump scares in these videos and I'm not saying which ones, so if you are of an excessively nervous disposition you might prefer to have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit instead of watching...

Lights Out Who’s There by David F. Sandberg - you may have seen this one already as it's a bit of a classic (if you did, I doubt you've forgotten it). A woman alone in her apartment prepares to go to bed, but feels strangely uneasy. And that's even before the lights start going on and off by themselves... Watch it here:

Ghost by Tobias Gundorff Boesen - this is hauntingly sad rather than scary, but also extremely tense in places. It's a beautiful film too, with excellent production values, and some wonderful visual metaphors. An interesting fact about this film is that it was shot in Viborg, the Danish town that is also the setting for M.R.James' story Number Thirteen. Watch it here:

Ghost Story by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - at just under twelve minutes, this is the longest of the six. Absorbing rather than scary, this film was shot in an abandoned house in Glasgow, a wonderfully atmospheric location. Watch it here:

Haunt Ed by Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes - vloggers have been in the news a lot recently, so this is a topical film (well, sort of)! An extreme vlogger decides to record himself passing the night in a haunted house, inadvisably supplementing the experience with drugs. This was never going to end well, was it? Watch it here:

Somnium by FotoShaadi - Grudge-style creeps in a call centre! I thought this one was slightly slow to start with, but the pace - and the scares - are ratcheted up as it progresses. I've fallen asleep in front of my laptop a few times - well, never again. Watch it here:

Lot 254 by Toby Meakins - I've blogged about this film before because I like it so much. At three minutes it's one of the shortest, but it really manages to pack a lot of atmosphere - and fright! - into those three minutes. An absolute treat and my personal favourite of all six - I'll be looking out for more by the same director.

I'd love to know what you think of these films, and I'm always pleased to hear other people's recommendations for further watching! Happy Christmas!

Scary shorts: watch them from behind the sofa!


  1. Thanks for posting these Helen, I have not seen any of them before and enjoyed all of them. Lights Out Who’s There by David F. Sandberg is superb! I nearly fell off my chair! my next favorite was Lot 254 by Toby Meakins, another excellent short film. I do have an old favorite I would like to recommend, it is not quite in the same genre but very sinister non the less, hope you enjoy it if you are not already aware of it.

  2. No, I hadn't seen that before. Yikes! Original and nasty!