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 by Pat Holden
Produced by
  • Bil Bungay
  • Deepak Nayar
Written by Pat Holden
Distributed by Bil 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
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 13 September 2012.[1] The film premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.[2]


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". Pritchard's 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]

In October 2015, the house was featured in the paranormal reality television series Most Haunted Live![7][8]

In October 2016, the house was featured on the Halloween special of the paranormal reality television series Paranormal Lockdown.


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.



  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. ^ "Horror house: Most Haunted Live film at 30 East Drive". Hemsworth & South Elmsall Express. Pontefract. 1 November 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2016 – via InfoTrac. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "'Haunted' semi-detached Yorkshire house at centre of live Most Haunted Halloween TV special". The Yorkshire Post. Leeds. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2016 – via InfoTrac. (Subscription required (help)). 

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