Ghosts on the Underground
If you ever wanted a succinct example of the differences between British and American cultures, you could do worse than to follow up The Pantry Ghost Documentary with 2005’s Ghosts on the Underground as a study in contrasts. While Pantry Ghost fills its time with sensational ghost footage, reenactments, and a video effects expert assuring the viewer that there were definitely no edits made to that film, Underground looks positively sedate by comparison.
Ghosts on the Underground is a series of interviews with workers from London’s subway system, the oldest in the world, in which the workers calmly and clearly explain the strange things they have seen and experienced in their time working on the “choob.” No composited footage of what a ghost might have looked like, no actors, just real people with real stories. The closest the film comes to offering visual evidence of ghosts is a man in an electric chair that eerily and without immediate explanation appeared in the background of a photo of a little boy.
In the interest of impartiality, however, the documentary presents a man in a reflective vest with a little handheld machine ready to attribute every ghostly encounter to infrasound. “Cheer up, lads! It wasn’t really a ghostly woman in white walking down the tracks! It was just ultra-low frequency vibrations!” That said, the film does regularly intersperse title cards into the film reminding you just how many people have actually died down there, which is plenty spooky.