$40 Bounty: I Seriously Doubt Anyone Can Name This Movie, But Here it Goes

I saw this atmospheric film as a child, sometime in the early-1980s in New York. It might have been aired on either ‘Fright Night’, ‘Chiller’, or some other program that featured scary movies, but I’m not entirely sure.

I think it was a British* ghost story set in the 1800s, with flashbacks to the 1700s. There was a castle, a palace or a mansion involved. There were spirits and apparitions. There was also a beautiful woman, who might have been a witch, or something to that effect.

I remember seeing lots of distinctive period attire featured in this film-- long, ornate hoop skirts, and gentlemanly ruffled shirts. Maybe even knickers and buckle shoes (?).

I remember two very short scenes and that’s all:

1) The first scene shows a gentleman. He’s standing outside of a castle or mansion. He looks up and his eyes suddenly widen. He sees a brief apparition of a woman, with coiled (blonde?) hair, wearing an ornate hoop skirt. She’s walking on the balcony, with her back facing him. She turns the corner of the balcony, disappearing from view.

I think this scene was set in the 1800s, but the ghostly woman was from the 1700s. I remember this clip feeling very eerie to me as a child. It chilled me to the bone. Gave me nightmares.

2) The other scene involved a woman. She was in a room with several other people (I think) and a very bitter-looking, middle-aged man, who was facing her and talking to her. He seemed to be very critical towards her, and had a scowl on his face.

At one point, she said something that displeased him, and he gave her a big slap across her face, causing her head to turn away in pain and her eyes to get teary.

This enraged her, and she retaliated. I don’t know exactly what she did to him, since she made contact with the side of the man’s face that was not facing the camera, but she either dug her nails into his face, or she violently grabbed and twisted his ear. It was hard to tell. Whatever she did, she put all her strength into it, and made a strenuous facial expression while doing it.

This pissed the man off, so he removed her hand from his face and hit her again. This time, she surrendered.

FYI: This movie is NOT “Night of Dark Shadows”.

  • I’m not positive that it was a British film. It might have also been American, Canadian, or Australian, for all I know.
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Thank you much, Stjepan. I will browse through all these and award you the solution, should I find my movie. I browsed through some of them today, but no luck yet.

I wonder if it could be the 1974 British horror film Ghost Story (also known as Madhouse Mansion). That movie takes place in a large mansion in the 1920’s, but has many flash backs to an earlier era. There are women dancing in fancy hoop skirts. There is a scene where a man looks up at a second story window and sees a woman ghost who then turns and walks away. And there is a fight scene in a bedroom, though not exactly as you describe. I picked this title up on VHS at least 30 years ago because I saw Penelope Keith’s name listed in the credits; I knew her from British TV comedies like Good Neighbors and To the Manor Born. Though set in England, the film was actually shot in India.

The full movie is on youtube, should you want to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb-Y5mSg1OA

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I feel like it might be High Spirits maybe? From 1988. It seems silly but it has real ghosts too. There is some drama with one man falling for a spirit behind his wives back.

It’s kind of silly and seems like it is fake ghosts/spirits there are actual ghosts and spirits involved. There is a beautiful woman- Daryl Hannah who is a spirit and is in older clothing.

It presents as maybe Scottish/Irish (location/Characters) like, has a castle. Some of what you say reminds me of it.

And Now the Screaming Starts (1973)?

EDIT: I don’t remember the particular scenes, but i remember there is rape (maybe the scene You remember) and it is set in approximately the same ages You have mentioned.

I have asked on another forum and somebody suggested tis answer:
“Could be Dark Shadows. Like the tv show. They colorized some of it but some are black and white. Later on when they go back in time to Collinwood and whatsherface is a witch. Angelique. She was a witch in the 17’s and you see her again in the 18’s. That guy could be Barnabas”

Few more films were reccomended on other sites:
La cripta e l’incubo (1964)
The Black Torment (1964)
Moonchild (1972/1974)

Although I am not actively searching for this film anymore, there is an anthology film Twice-Told Tales (film) - Wikipedia I saw recently (namely the third story in the anthology)

It has middle-aged man beating a young blond woman (near the end), there is a mansion with ghosts involved. However, the scene about a man looking and seeing a ghostly woman is inverted: the woman looks from the window and sees a mysterious man in the distance.

Probably not the film, but I thought it won’t hurt to mention it.

Hi, not sure if you found it but have you tried, “The Awakening” (1980) It’s a British horror film by Mike Newell?

Few more films were suggested:

1.) La Frusta E Il Corpo - few gents suggested this film. I am not convinced, as it has scenes of aggression towards women, but I can’t remember the scene with the ghostly woman.
2.) One Minute Before Death (1972) - the scene of agression is milder than You have described, and a ghostly woman is not seen from the outside, but from the inside (the woman appears around 1 hour mark and later)

And two that I think are in the category of brainstorming, but maybe worth a look:
3.) The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe (1974)
4.) Nella stretta morsa del ragno (1971)