What Publicity-Loving Ghost Hunters Looked Like in 1953

You might think that grown men entering creaky houses with camera crews in search of spooky ghosts is a modern media invention of the reality TV age. But these newsreels from the 1950s prove otherwise.


During October, the British Pathé YouTube channel is focusing on “things that scare us”—the creepy, the scary, the inexplicable. Hence this video following ghost hunters investigating a 200-year-old home. You’ll see some of their methods, such as rigging various windows and doors to protect against pranksters. One dude “strews sand and flour over the spot where the supernatural disturbances are claimed to have occurred.” But of course they brought a tape recorder, too. I would take modern ghost hunters at least 20 percent more seriously if they wore suits and trench coats.

Be sure to stick around for the second clip, about the (allegedly) haunted pub.

Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.



If anyone here hasn’t read Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, I highly recommend it! I bring it up because it’s about a woman who joins an academic who is investigating a supposedly haunted house, all set in the 1950s. It’s a great read for October.