The Woman In Black: why did Britain’s scariest horror film disappear?

Herbert Wise’s 1989 TV gem wowed critics, inspired Oscar-winners and ruined Christmas for a generation. Then it was never seen again … until now

“I saw it when it was first shown,” says the film critic Kim Newman. “Christmas Eve with my mum and dad. We all just wanted to watch a spooky ghost story. But there were after-effects, a mood that carried on after the film ended. You wake up next morning, Christmas Day, you’re still scared …”

“That” scene from The Woman In Black

He laughs darkly. “The Woman in Black ruined Christmas.”

Few horror films have acquired the cult reputation of Herbert Wise’s TV production of The Woman in Black. Adapted by visionary British sci-fi screenwriter Nigel Kneale from Susan Hill’s 1983 novella,

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