Do you like a good mystery with your ghost story? If so, let me recommend The Secret of Crickley Hall.
I came to know of it when BBC America aired a film version of it in October 2012 for Halloween season. (It’s based on a book of the same name by James Herbert.) I DVRd it and watched as I had time. Which ended up with me putting off doing other things and making time to watch all the way through pretty much. I instantly became invested in the characters and the plot.
WHAT THE SECRET OF CRICKLEY HALL IS ABOUT
Rather than reinventing the wheel, I’m just going to share the blurbs used on both the book and the film version to give you the gist of the plot:
From the Film Version:
- Episode 1: A year after their youngest goes missing, Eve takes her family to Crickley Hall to escape the anniversary. When they realize the place is haunted they try to leave but Eve hears a message that her son is alive and the ghosts know where he is.
- Episode 2: While her family is terrorized by a ghost with a cane, Eve desperately tries to discover the reason for the haunting that may lead her to find her missing son. She begs a psychic for help and a séance provokes the sadistic ghost to further violence.
- Episode 3: An expert on Crickley Hall arrives to help Eve and her family but the sadistic ghost has already put plans in motion to cause further grief for Eve. Just as she comes close to finding her missing son, her other children come under threat.
From the Book:
Would you stay in a haunted house for more than one night?
Would you live in a place where ghostly things keep happening? Where a cellar door you know you locked the night before is always open the following morning? Where hushed whimpering is heard? Where white shadows steal through the darkness? Where the presence of evil is all around you?
Would you? Should you?
The Caleighs did, but they had their reasons. They should have known better, though. As the horror rises, they realize their very lives are at risk…and so is their sanity. For the secret of Crickley Hall is beyond all nightmares.
REVIEW OF THE SECRET OF CRICKLEY HALL
In case you haven’t already guessed, I have nothing but glowing praise for The Secret of Crickley Hall…at least the film version. (Amazon has it broken down by episodes on Instant Video, but BBC America aired it all at once as a movie.)
To be honest, I haven’t read the book –yet. I plan to. I’m thinking it’s going to WOW! me like the film version did. In fact, I hate to assume anything, but you know how it is. Books are usually better, even when their film adaptations are stellar.
However, as for the film, I liked how the plot bounced between two story lines…one from the present day and one from 1943. Yet, both stories end up converging in the present day.
I also liked that it wasn’t as predictable as it seemed. I was engrossed watching at first, even though I thought I had it all figured out about what had happened in 1943 to cause the children of that time to haunt Crickley Hall. Ha! As the story unfolded, I found out I was wrong.
I like when that happens. So often it doesn’t. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed The Secret of Crickley Hall so much. Well, that and the actors were brilliant and the setting was perfect: Gothic and atmospheric and just the perfect environment for a haunting story to take place.
Again, if you like ghost stories mixed with mysteries, this is one supernatural thriller likely to thrill you.
Have you read the book or seen the film version of The Secret of Crickley Hall?