->''"We don't want to give anybody sleepless nights."''
-->-- '''Michael Parkinson'''

In 1992, Creator/TheBBC made a Halloween {{Mockumentary}} styled as a live investigation into a supposedly haunted house inhabited by a woman and her two young daughters. The broadcast starts off with the cast and crew going over what the night will consist of, explaining the family's situation and inviting viewers to call in and share their own experiences with the supernatural, as well as giving name to the supposed entity, "Pipes". After that, you have to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHVqzRyaByM see it to believe it]].

Comparable to the US ''Radio/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' broadcast, ''Ghostwatch'' led to its own series of rash sightings and slight panics in England -- the British Medical Journal reported that it had actually induced [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostwatch#Psychological_effects brief anxiety reaction]] in at least two children, the symptoms of which were compared to those associated with posttraumatic stress disorder. A major factor in this response was the versimilitude of the show's presentation; despite taking place during a drama slot, much of the cast was made up of well-known TV personalities [[AsHimself playing themselves]]. Consequently, the show was subject to varying levels of censure, both internally and externally. It was attacked by the print media, who accused the BBC of irresponsible hoaxing. A married couple successfully filed for judicial review of then MediaWatchdog the Broadcasting Standards Commission, after the latter refused to hear their complaint (along with several others) alleging a link between the show and the suicide of their teenage son. The BSC in turn reversed its position and ruled that the broadcast was "a deliberate attempt to cultivate a sense of menace" and that more active efforts should have been made to clarify that it was not a genuine live show.

Meanwhile, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUyhN-gq8xk flustered parents piled onto BBC's Bite Back]] to voice their anger, while the BBC itself never made a repeat broadcast despite the obvious mileage available in terms of ratings, and supposedly withdrew its BAFTA nomination. In response, the creators pointed out that the broadcast had never been billed as anything other than fiction, that writing credits given both at the beginning and end of the show made this all the more clear and that they couldn't fairly be expected to flash regular disclaimers throughout the film for the same reason any other mockumentary writer wouldn't do so -- that is, it would ruin the flow of the story.

The fact that the show contained some admittedly ropey acting and content warranting only a [[UsefulNotes/MediaClassifications '12' certificate rating]] speaks volumes to the effective use of build-up and the [[NothingIsScarier power of suggestion]] employed by the writing.

Only people who knew their parapsychology recognised that the idea of a ghost terrorising two girls in an ordinary British semi-detached house was based on the "real" life case of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enfield_Poltergeist Enfield Poltergeist]], in which it turned out that the girls were making it all up to get media attention. (Years later, Creator/NewLineCinema would end up adapting a fictionalized version of these same events in ''Film/TheConjuring'' franchise.)

"31-10", a short-story sequel to ''Ghostwatch'' by the show's writer, Stephen Volk, can be [[http://www.stephenvolk.net/31-10.pdf downloaded from his home page]].
!!This broadcast contains examples of:

* AdultFear: Put yourself in Pam Early's shoes, and try to not be terrified.
* AgentMulder: Dr. Lin Pascoe, as well as the part-time exorcist.
* AgentScully: At first, both host Michael Parkinson and Dr Emilio Sylvestri, the American skeptic, second guess Dr. Pascoe at every turn. Then, [[spoiler: even as the studio is being actively destroyed by "Pipes" (or Raymond Turnstall), the host still cannot believe what's happening.]]
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Parkinson declaring that the sudden deluge of panicked phone calls are all pranks, [[spoiler:despite the fact that by this point something seriously spooky - supernatural or otherwise - has clearly hijacked the entire broadcast]].
* AsHimself: Mike Smith, Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene and Craig Charles. This was a principal factor in the confusion over whether the show was real or not. That all were associated with light entertainment and/or children's television made it an especially effective use of the trope, as there is a near-constant MoodDissonance from the start between the cheery Beeb personalities and the spooky backdrop. The cameraman and sound man are also played by a real-life BBC camera team and use their real names.
%%* [[spoiler:TheBadGuyWins]]
* BaldOfEvil: Kim describes Pipes as bald.
* BedsheetGhost: A portrait of one hangs in the main studio.
* BigBad: [[spoiler: as the show progresses, we eventually learn that Pipes is the ghostly progeny of Mother Seddons, the evil spirit of an infanticidal 'baby farmer' who has been making the estate 'England's answer to Amityville' for centuries.]]
* BigScrewedUpFamily: How the Earlys have unfairly come to be regarded due to unsympathetic media portrayal.
* BlackEyesOfEvil / EyelessFace: Viewers who phone in describe Pipes this way.
* BlowYouAway: Used when Pipes gets really riled up.
* BodyHorror: When Raymond Turnstall committed suicide, his cats got hungry and [[{{Squick}} ate his face]].
* CameraAbuse: Interference with the sound and visuals increase proportionally with the level of paranormal activity, to the point that nothing is what it seems by an hour into the film.
* CassandraTruth: A Welshman calls in towards the end of the second act to report a plate leaping off the arm of his chair and smashing, however his delivery is so comical that Parkinson dismisses it as a prank and even [[AgentMulder Lin Pascoe]] doesn't appear to take it all that seriously. [[spoiler: It turns out to be the first warning sign that the broadcast is allowing Pipes to invade the homes of viewers.]]
* CatScare: Played straight, [[spoiler:but keep your eye on the reflection in the glass door]].
* CrazyPrepared: The house is fitted with timecoded CCTV cameras that can be remotely operated as well as devices for outside monitoring of atmospheric conditions and light frequency. The cameraman's kit is also capable of thermal imaging.
** [[spoiler: The only times we see anything about the outside broadcasting, it's from much earlier than we think, and they're clearly having problems with it. Also, those timecoded CCTV cameras are all pretty much the eyes and ears of Pipes from very early in the show...]]
* CreepyBasement: The "Glory Hole", which is never actually seen, but the fact that Pamela Early boarded up the door proves how scary it is. [[spoiler: Sarah Greene and Suzanne disappear through the door and are never seen again.]]
* CreepyChild: As the film progresses, both Suzanne and Kim have moments of this.
* CreepyCrossdresser: Raymond Turnstall.
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: And how!
* DeadpanSnarker: Dr Emilio Sylvestri.
%%* DemonicPossession
* DrivenToSuicide: Raymond Turnstall.
** As noted above, the tragic suicide of a teenager in RealLife was attributed to the show, allegedly because he wanted to [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled preempt the evil spirits depicted]].
* DroneOfDread: [[spoiler: In the final scene, the ghostly wind and the cat yowling well up to create this effect just before the cut to black]].
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler: As more insight to Pipes' true nature comes to light, the theory is suggested that whatever it is may have started out as a spiritual entity that even predates humanity.]]
* EldritchLocation: It is implied throughout that Foxhall Drive is one.
* EvilDetectingDog: Mike Smith reports that one viewer called in to say that her dog won't stop barking and that several others are describing instances of their pets becoming very agitated.
* EvilSmellsBad: When detailing an incident where 'Pipes' attacked her directly, Pam Early mentions there was a thick, rotten-cabbage smell.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Pipes gives [[Film/TheExorcist Mercedes McCambridge]] a run for her money.
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: In-universe, viewers call in to report bizarre things happening in their homes since tuning in. [[spoiler: At the end, when Pipes possesses Parkinson, he directly addresses the viewer, saying "You didn't believe the story about Mother Seddons, did you?"]]
* FreezeFrameBonus: Several very spooky ones involving Pipes.
%%* GhostlyChill
* GoneHorriblyRight: A live investigation into the paranormal using flashy technology. Should be fun, right?
* HauntedHouse: You have ''no'' idea!
%%* HauntedTechnology
* ISeeDeadPeople: Kim has a few of these moments.
* IronicNurseryTune: ''Round and round the garden...like a teddy bear...one step...two step...''
* ItsQuietTooQuiet: The abrupt restoration of peace in the house during the final act arouses Lin Pascoe's suspicions and leads to the WHAMLine given below.
* {{Jerkass}}: Craig Charles does this quite well.
* JumpScare: Played straight. Craig Charles jumps out of a closet in a mask.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: If viewers are alert, they may spot Pipes' ghost standing in the background of several scenes during the programme.
* {{Mockumentary}}: Without much "mocking".
* MugglesDoItBetter: With a part-time exorcist having already failed to root out the spirit, this is the rationale that Michael Parkinson gives for the project in-universe, stating that the myriad technology at their disposal will allow them to go "ghost-hunting on an unprecedented scale". [[spoiler:Subverted, as the ghost commandeers all of it.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Dr Lin Pascoe wants to help vindicate the Earlys by exposing their ghostly tormentor to the entire nation. [[spoiler: As she herself realises, the broadcast becomes a 'massive seance', unleashing the evil spirit on potentially every household that tuned in.]]
%%* NothingIsScarier
%%* [[MadeForTVMovie One-off Drama]]
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: [[spoiler: Our ghosts can form onion layers, take control of the BBC and kill people with freakin' ''cats!'']]
* PluckyComicRelief: Craig Charles' role in the Ghostwatch team.
%%* {{Poltergeist}}
* ScienceHero: Dr Lin Pascoe is styled this way. She took on the Early family's case as part of her own ongoing research into the paranormal and regards her work as legitimate, if non-traditional, empirical inquiry.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[spoiler: Lin Pascoe and the rest of the in-studio cast when Pipes begins wrecking the joint. Only Parkinson remains behind.]]
* TheShowMustGoOn: Even after [[spoiler: Pipes has attacked the studio and everyone else has abandoned it, Parkinson stays put and continues to commentate on the action, or lack thereof... right down to [[WhamLine reciting the nursery rhyme Pipes is associated with]]...]]
* SkepticNoLonger: [[spoiler: Surprisingly averted, as Michael Parkinson is calm to the point of delirium right up to the point he is possessed, which is the last we see of him. According to the short story sequel, Emilio Sylvestri was unmoved by the entire incident, calling it delusion on a mass scale.]]
** Averted then Played Straight with Dr Emilio in the short story sequel. Who is at first unmoved by the events of th TV show, declaring it all to be mass hysteria on a grand scale, but then [[spoiler: is attacked by Mr Pipes and has his face horribly gashed open, and then witnesses Mr Pipes becoming the apparition of Sarah Greene and possessing the protagonist]].
* StoppedClock: The cameraman observes that his watch stopped at 9:30 pm, just as they went on air. Several viewers call in to note the same thing has happened with their household clocks.
* StylisticSuck: The entire faux-authenticity of the thing is compounded, rather than diluted, by the very cheap production values, which are incredibly close to CrimewatchUK episodes of the era, and abundant use of practical effects. A modern equivalent would likely use a lot of JitterCam footage and CGI, which would only cheapen the experience.
* TabloidMelodrama: The Earlys are victims of this, with the local media having made them out to be deranged kooks.
* TalkingHeads: In the form of members of the public contributing their own experiences with the paranormal.
* TitleOnlyOpening: It begins with a simple title sequence, with a generic font. The actual title sequence is a few minutes later, and at least has some StockFootage in it. [[spoiler:This is intended to act as SuspensionOfDisbelief, due to its nature as a drama.]]
* TookALevelInJerkass: Parkinson gradually grows more and more curt and dismissive as the film goes on. [[spoiler:Justified as he was slowly getting possessed the entire time.]]
* {{Watershed}}: Invoked in-universe by Michael Parkinson, who urges a distressed caller to tear her children away from post-watershed TV and send them to bed.
* WeAreExperiencingTechnicalDifficulties: A testcard reading "NORMAL TRANSMISSION WILL BE RESUMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE" appears onscreen when the feed from the house is cut.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: "This picture we're seeing now isn't live. This is some earlier footage, from earlier in the evening. This is just a cover, it's a dupe. This isn't happening now."]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The fates of both Craig Charles and the camera crew who accompanied Sarah into the house are not revealed either in the ending or the short story sequel, however, the fact they were effectively fleeing for their lives from the compromised outside broadcast unit...
* YouAreWhatYouHate: An ideological example. Lin Pascoe berates Emilio Sylvestri for his smug faith in conventional scientific methods, arguing that such approaches have left us in the dark when it comes to explaining large swathes of human experience, preventing mankind from understanding potentially harmful phenomena. She spends much of the the first couple of acts using knowledge gained from her own particular methods of study and investigation to confidently explain and analyse the history of incidents in the house right up to the present day. However, [[spoiler:as the ghostly activity in the house begins to escalate, she realises that utter complacency in her own methods have led to a very dangerous situation indeed and left her as clueless as the next person in trying to account for what is happening. When Parkinson calls her on this, she timidly concedes the point.]]
%%* YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost
''What big ears you have... what big eyes you have... fee, fi, fo fum... '''fee, fi, fo fum...'''''