The Twilight Hour
Visions of Ireland's Haunted Past
An 80 Minute Documentary Feature
Since the dawn of history, people have believed in the existence of some form of ghosts. THE TWILIGHT HOUR is an unsettling encounter with the Celtic ruins, foreboding estates and restless spirits that haunt the landscape of Ireland.
This innovative documentary follows Sir Simon Marsden, the acclaimed photographer of the fantastic and the supernatural, as he immerses himself in the darkest corners of Ireland, many of them long uninhabited by living souls. His travels lead him to the country's most notorious properties, including Castle Leslie (site of Paul McCartney's recent wedding), where Sir John Leslie shares his ancestor's accounts of hauntings, as well as his own personal encounters with ghosts. He wanders the creaking corridors of a long-forsaken mansion known as the most relentlessly haunted house in Ireland, and visits such weird and desolate spots as The Hill of the Witch in County Meath. The chilling result has been described as "an atmospheric tour de force".
THE TWILIGHT HOUR reveals the stories behind the ill-fated castles and abandoned mausoleums, secret graves and gardens, and of the mysterious ruins and standing stones that have stood vigil through the ages across the Irish countryside. The film gives voice to the restless souls whose presence is both legendary and documented: the reckless child; the victim of a husband's jealous rage; the family of violent, butchering men; the simple housemaid who was terrified to death, and now returns to terrify those still living.
Director Jason Figgis joins Marsden as he intrudes on this daunting realm, interacting with tangible spirits who become almost visible as their pasts are unveiled. Marsden shares both his incredible store of paranormal folklore and his own innermost fears, while Figgis artfully recreates the alternate reality captured in Marsden's mystical photographs. Meanwhile, acclaimed actor John Hurt adds to the macabre atmosphere with readings of Edgar Allan Poe.
Marsden is capturing these ghoulish histories and haunting images for his eighth book, The Twilight Hour: Celtic Visions from the Past. Selections from Marsden's previous books are exhibited in London's Victoria & Albert Museum, The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. This film reflects the otherworldly approach of his highly sought-after, groundbreaking, infrared photos, while also drawing stylistically from such Gothic cinema classics as the Hammer House of Horror and the films of Dario Argento. And like those films, THE TWILIGHT HOUR provides some heart-stopping jolts.
THE TWILIGHT HOUR powerfully argues that unseen spirits can reside in the architecture of the past. It's a guided tour through ominous places that generations have felt to be haunted. This glimpse into a profoundly disturbing nether world reveals an Ireland where the line between real and unreal is as indefinable as that between darkness and light. THE TWILIGHT HOUR brings us face to face with the frightening events and sensations that can await anyone who ventures alone into the unknown. It is a truly haunting film.
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