The Haunted Castle (1896)

The Haunted CastleTitle: The Haunted Castle (US) / The Devils’s Castle (UK)
Country: France
Year: 1896
Director: Georges Méliès
Writer: Georges Méliès
Stars: Jeanne d’Alcy, Georges Méliès

The Haunted Castle (original French title ‘Le Manoir du Diable’ – The House of the Devil) is probably the earliest film ever made dealing with the supernatural. The film lasts a mere three minutes, though this was relatively long for the time. Despite its brevity, writer and director Georges Méliès’s ingenious use of special effects and editing mean that this remarkable short film is years ahead of its time. In fact to some extent it retains a somewhat spooky atmosphere even today.  The Haunted Castle is one of an incredible eighty films produced by Méliès in 1896.

Brief Synopsis: The story begins as a bat flies into a castle, transforming itself into Mephistopheles (a demon in German folklore, the devil in the legend of Faust). Mephistopheles conjures up a magic cauldron, which enables him to produce a young girl and an assortment of supernatural creatures with which to torment the inhabitants of the castle. One of the noblemen grabs a large cross from the wall and confronts the devil, who swiftly vanishes into the night.

See the film here –