The Haunted House on Film

An Historical Analysis


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About the Book

A popular phenomenon since antiquity, the image of the haunted house is one that has translated elegantly into the modern medium of film. The haunted house transcends genre, appearing in mysteries, gothic romances, comedies and horror films. This book is the first comprehensive historical and critical study of themes surrounding haunted houses in film. Covering more than 100 films, it spans from the Mystery House thrillers of the silent era to the high-tech, big budget productions of the 21st Century. Included are the works of such acclaimed directors as D.W. Griffith, Robert Wise, Mario Bava, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro. The book also covers the real-life “haunted house” phenomenon and movies based on paranormal case files, including those featured in films like the Conjuring series.

About the Author(s)

Paul Meehan is the author of several books on science fiction, film noir and horror films, and a contributor to the Noir City Sentinel, the journal of the Film Noir Foundation and to The Palgrave Handbook of the Vampire. He lives in San Francisco.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Meehan
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 222
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7458-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3820-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface: A Haunted House Near You 1
Introduction: Houses of Horror 5
One. No Ghosts Allowed: Mystery House Films of the Silent and Early Sound Period (and Beyond) 19
Two. Haunting Comedy: Dark Laughter in a Haunted House 36
Three. Love Amongst the Ruins: Haunted Romance 65
Four. The Classics 82
Five. A Haunting We Will Go: 1940s–1980s 111
Six. “Based on a True Story” 139
Seven. Haunted Houses for a New Millennium 158
Conclusion: The Haunted Screen 198
Filmography 203
Chapter Notes 211
Bibliography 212
Index 213