When the Lights Went Out

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When the Lights Went Out
WTLWO Tasha Conner poster.jpg
Official poster featuring star Tasha Connor
Directed byPat Holden
Produced by
  • Bil Bungay
  • Deepak Nayar
Written byPat Holden
Distributed byBil Bungay
Release date
  • 31 January 2012 (2012-01-31) (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
  • 13 September 2012 (2012-09-13) (United Kingdom)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

When the Lights Went Out is a 2012 British supernatural horror film directed by Pat Holden. It was released in the UK on 13 September 2012.[1] The film premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.[2]


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 does not succeed in ending the hauntings.



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, Pontefract, West Yorkshire.[2][3] 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". The Pritchards' daughter, Diane, was supposedly dragged upstairs by her neck.[4] The incident 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".[5][6]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 22% based on 9 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 4.5/10.[7]


  1. ^ "Nostalgia: Spooky tale from Yorkshire's heart". Yorkshire Evening Post. Leeds. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2016 – via InfoTrac. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ a b "When the Lights Went Out". International Film Festival Rotterdam. 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  3. ^ Brown, Jonathan (12 September 2012). "It's fright night at Pontefract Poltergeist house". Yorkshire Evening Post. Leeds. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  4. ^ Laws, Roz (16 September 2012). "Horror film's a real scream". Sunday Mercury. Birmingham. p. 12. Retrieved 28 October 2016 – via InfoTrac. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ Applebaum, Steven (30 August 2012). "A ghost in the house". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  6. ^ Youngs, Ian (11 September 2012). "When the Lights Went Out revives 1970s ghost story". BBC News. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  7. ^ "When the Lights Went Out (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 October 2017.

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