When the Lights Went Out

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Not to be confused with When the Lights Go Out.
When the Lights Went Out
WTLWO Tasha Conner poster.jpg
Official poster featuring star Tasha Connor
Directed by Pat Holden
Written by Pat Holden
Distributed by Revolver Entertainment
Release dates
  • 31 January 2012 (2012-01-31) (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
  • 12 September 2012 (2012-09-12) (United Kingdom)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

When the Lights Went Out is a 2012 British supernatural horror film directed by Pat Holden. It was released in the UK on 14 September 2012. The film premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.[1]


According to the filmmakers, the story is "loosely" based on a claimed poltergeist haunting known as "The Black Monk of Pontefract", said to have occurred in the home of Joe and Jean Pritchard at 30 East Drive Chequerfield Estate in Pontefract, West Yorkshire in 1974.[1] According to Jean Pritchard's sister-in-law Renee Holden, alleged supernatural disturbances by a poltergeist given the nickname "Fred" included "throwing things around, freezing rooms down, creating water puddles and making noises". Pritchard's daughter Diane was supposedly dragged upstairs by her neck. Despite no first-hand evidence for the stories, the tale was locally popular but "largely unknown elsewhere" until Colin Wilson wrote a book about it in 1981 that gained notoriety among paranormal aficionados. Director Pat Holden stated that he "embellished the story to make it fit it into a horror movie template".[2][3]


In 1974, Jenny and Len move into a new home in Yorkshire where their 13-year-old daughter Sally is haunted by the ghost of a young girl, and the demonic ghost of a monk. Sally's parents seek out the assistance of a paranormal specialist and a local priest, who performs an exorcism that eventually halts the hauntings.



  1. ^ a b "When the lights went out". When The Lights Went Out. Rotterdam International Film Festival Websiter. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Applebaum, Steven. "A ghost in the house Pat Holden's cousins were at the centre of a notorious haunting in the 1970s. Now he has turned their story into the gritty horror film When the Lights Went Out". The Guardian. Guardian.com. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Youngs, Ian. "When the Lights Went Out revives 1970s ghost story". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 

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