Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Bulwer Lytton's The Ghost of Rashmon Hall (1947).

In The Ghost of Rashmon Hall, a psychic investigator (The Man in Black's Valentine Dyall) grapples with the presence of three poltergeists in a London house. The film is adapted from "The Haunted and the Haunters" (1859) by Edward Bulwer Lytton, who wrote proto-mysteries such as Eugene Aram (1832) and is best known these days for this writing contest.

In this article for Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Mark Knight discusses Bulwer Lytton's interest in the occult and his revision of "The Haunted and the Haunters" that reflected his attempt to reconcile leading philosophical theories of his day. It is possible that he based his fictional house on the one at London's 50 Berkeley Square, long reputed as a hotbed of paranormal activity. The story also is notable for Bulwer Lytton's choice to set it in a urban environment rather than the then-customary remote locale of such stories.

Stills from the film may be viewed at this site devoted to the work of director Harold Baim

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