Creaky footsteps echo from an empty room. A mysterious woman’s voice whispers out when nobody is there. BEETLEJUICE action figures seem to twist and fall without the help of a human hand. Lights flicker on and off by themselves. A goose bump inducing cold spot appears and then seems to fade soon after. The trunk of a car just outside is unexplainably opened yet nothing is removed. The unequivocal sense that somebody is standing just beyond the shadows, watching from their own secret place, keeps you looking behind your back into the darkness. That is exactly what happened when Arrow in the Head decided to do a little ghost hunting before a private screening of the indie thriller HOUSE AT THE END OF THE DRIVE.
Welcome to Cielo Drive where one of the most brutal crimes in Hollywood history occurred. It is a small road in Hollywood, just off Benedict Canyon. And in February of 1969, director Roman Polanski and his beautiful wife Sharon Tate had rented a home at 10050 Cielo Dr. from Rudy Altobelli. One dark night, on August 9 of that same year, Tate and several of her friends were slain at the hands of what was known as Charles Manson’s “family.” They crept in during the night and viciously attacked Tate, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent who all fell victim to the heinous murderers.
Producer David Oman, who currently resides just a few yards away, knows the history of this area well. His father built the house on the private road leading up to where this horrendous event took place, not surprisingly they were able to purchase the acreage at a very reasonable price. Since then, Oman finds that the paranormal activity at his home is beyond anything he could imagine. While he doesn’t feel threatened, he continues to witness a plethora of strange occurrences. He even woke up one night to find Jay Sebring standing next to his bed, pointing towards the house at the end of the drive.
While the original house where the murders occurred has since been torn down, another was built in its place. Yet David feels strongly that the ghost of Sharon Tate and her guests visit him as well. After all, his house is only a few yards away. Desperately wanting to share his story, the producer made a film that was inspired by what he has witnessed throughout the years. HOUSE AT THE END OF THE DRIVE is a fictionalized account of that terrible night and his own experiences living just down the street. The horror film is part slasher, part fantasy and even a little science fiction as four friends sneak into a house where the murder of a young actress and her friends occurred – the names of the characters have been changed.
THE GHOST HUNT!
David had invited us several years ago to see one incarnation of the film (read the review here), yet since then he has re-edited HOUSE AT THE EDGE OF THE DRIVE and added a hauntingly good new score by Alan Howarth (one of John Carpenter’s regulars). The pacing and build-up is better due to re-edits made with several unnecessary scenes removed. The changes made have certainly improved this little indie feature that could. It is especially fun to see horror legend Lance Henriksen make a cameo – his scene hasn’t changed - as someone who had a ghostly encounter in the house when it was being constructed. This fictional encounter is based on a real life account of one of the many personal experiences had at David’s home. And during our private screening, we lived through a few of our own.
Along with a small crew, Psychic Medium Mark Christopher Nelson, his wife Barbara and of course David, we went in search of the unexplained. Throughout the night there were several mysterious moments where things fell out of place with nobody in the room. The house alarm even went off as we were about to leave saying that there was “Trouble” somewhere on the grounds. I am not one who automatically screams “GHOST!” when something doesn’t make sense. Yet that night certainly had me believing that we may not have been alone. Check out the video below and let us know what you think…
Do you believe in ghosts?