Since 1975, Midnight Movies have been dominated by “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Richard O’Brien’s standout musical about science fiction, horror, rock’n’roll, sexual subversion and excess. While the film is well known for its corny production value, ridiculous plot, and campy tone, the story behind its filming location is much more sinister.
Now the Oakley Court Hotel, “Frankenstein Place”, as it is called in the film, was once a favorite location for Hammer Horror films, but not before being the site of inexplicable events and tragedies. In the late 1960s parts of Oakley’s courtyard were converted into apartments, with many residents describing the castle as “evil”. There have been reports of inexplicable sounds, ghostly apparitions, misfortune befalling residents, and an overwhelming sense of dread, with many residents taking their own lives.
In 1971 a man drowned in the River Thames, his body washed up near the castle grounds, and the Gallerneault family tragically lost two of their four children in three years while living there. When the castle was turned into a hotel, workers fled the scene and many refused to work on the property after dark, reportedly saw ghostly figures, heard inexplicable moans, spontaneous shards of glass, tools missing and the electrical work seeming to have a mind of its own. Even today, hotel guests report seeing ghost images in the photos they take and hearing mysterious knocking sounds, but the alleged hauntings have become the biggest draw for guests. That, and being able to stay in the spaceship-turned house that invited so many people to come to the lab and see what was on the slab. (BJ Colangelo)