A brief synopsis ... Jeff and Pam Mason, a young couple in High River, Kansas (filmed in High River, Alberta) are certain the 19th century house they've moved into is haunted. They contact Derek (Beau Bridges), the director of a reality TV show called Sightings, to investigate. Derek and his crew move into the house and with the help of a paranormal investigator they uncover the house's history, tracing the original owners back to the last days of slavery. Although Derek is a disbeliever, after witnessing levitating toys, moving objects and strange apparitions, he concludes the house is indeed haunted by the ghost of the young girl Sallie. The movie is based on a True Story.
Before we begin, allow the insomniac to quell your fears by assuring you that no William Morris wallpaper was harmed in the making of this film. Well, with the exception of one small piece ... but the set decoration crew touched it up with some paint and it looks almost as good as new. We regard it as kind of a memento, really.
|We begin, as should all good ghost stories, with “It was a dark and stormy night ...”|
|Fake ivy leaves were found in the garden for, literally, years afterwards ...|
The movie took roughly one month to shoot, during which time the family moved into a nearby apartment building, allowing the offspring to continue attending school during filming which, as expected, they were not exactly overjoyed about. They were thrilled at having Cable TV for a whole month though, after having been deprived of that luxury for Practically Their Whole Lives. And at the end of the shooting, the eldest was quite pleased with his new BMX bike that was purchased with a portion of the earnings, and which he had been forced to live without for Far Longer Than Any of his Friends. As was the youngest, who was finally able to get the Sony Playstation she'd been wanting Since Forever.
|Looking horrifyingly similar to when it was first purchased ...|
This room (commonly referred to as The Fireplace Room) was repapered by the set dec crew with a lovely olive green Morris knock-off. And though the insomniac might be considered a bit of a wallpaper elitist, she decided to leave the knock-off paper up after filming as it was a considerable improvement over the original burgundy hand-printed Morris paper she had chosen. Through no fault of the wallpaper really, but more due to the fact it's quite difficult finding anyone with the skills necessary for hanging unpasted, hand-printed wallpaper.
|Little Sallie, the Heartland Ghost|
Note to the Offspring:
The clock on the mantel belonged to your great-grandparents.
Don't sell it.
|Spoiler Alert |
The semi-naked man was messing around with the scissor-wielding man's wife.
Which he now regrets.
The eldest offspring's bedroom shown decorated above for filming the turn of the century scenes, and below for the present day scenes during renovation by the Mason family. Throw a mattress and an Xbox in the middle of that mess and you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the film set and his actual bedroom.
|Rubbish everywhere. Yup, almost identical.|
At the time of filming, most of the rooms in the Gothic Mansion had already been papered. But the set decoration crew were very clever, creating fake walls with layers of peeling wallpaper which, when removed, left the original wallpaper intact. Well, except for that one spot where they attached the candle sconce.
After years spent stripping and staining the woodwork, it was coated with some sort of wax so as to look exactly as it did before all the years spent stripping and staining. Most of the wax coating was removed when filming was complete. Pretty much.
The insomniac overheard rumours of how the set dec crew achieved this dirty, dripping effect on the walls, but chose not to dwell too long on those stories. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.
|Only a fool who'd never seen a horror movie before|
would go up those stairs, right?
Here's a lovely shot of the eldest offspring's room going up in flames, which was hopefully achieved through the use of special effects and not actual fire. One preferred to remain in the dark about that particular technique, as well.
|A perfect example of why it's never a good idea to visit the set during filming.|
Because then you worry - as does your insurance company.
|Same room after being burnt to a crisp. |
The eldest thought it was cool and asked if they could leave it that way.
The insomniac refrained from visiting during the day while filming was in progress. Not only was it extremely disconcerting seeing one's home in that condition, perhaps even more unsettling were the hundreds of complete strangers traipsing in and out of it. But she made a point of popping by in the evenings with homemade cookies for the Security Guards. Her own form of insurance, if you will.
|It almost seemed as though fourteen years of restoration had never happened ...|
|One certainly wouldn't want to live in that haunted house ...|
The most horrifying shot from the movie has been saved for last. Prepare yourself, as this will undoubtedly cause you many sleepless nights for years to come. It would seem likely the reason for one's chronic insomnia can be attributed to this very scene.
|They painted the kitchen yellow! |
With stenciled apples!! And orange checkered curtains!!!
And is that a Kitchen Witch hanging on the wall? Oooohhh Nooooo ...
It was briefly debated whether to close this post with a photo of the insomniac and Beau Bridges in front of the Gothic Mansion, taken after filming was complete. But although Mr. Bridges was very charming and quite photogenic, the insomniac is not. Photogenic, that is. Oh, fine - not especially charming either.
This week's Giveaway is completely unrelated to this week's post, although one is certain she could locate the orange checkered curtains and Kitchen Witch somewhere in the basement, and would be overjoyed to include them with the winnings. Thrilled, even. Should you decide to waive this generous offer, the Giveaway does include a few items for that spooky October gathering you're planning for this month. Bear in mind, everything shown below would display much more advantageously with a pair of orange curtains and a Kitchen Witch thrown into the mix.
|Hallowe'en Entertaining Giveaway|
Black Raven Candle
The Raven Napkins & Paper Plates
Raven Candelabra (black tapers included in case you've run out)
Bats, Spiders & Moons (for artfully decorating your table)
The winners of last week's Giveaway are Rhonda S. and Becca N. Congratulations to you both, and please enjoy the fruits of your baking labours responsibly.
Until next time, the insomniac wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties ... and Good Luck in this week's Giveaway!
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