The Haunted Castle (1896)
About The Haunted Castle
Le Manoir du diable or The House of the Devil, released in the United States as The Haunted Castle and in Britain as The Devil’s Castle, is an 1896 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès. The film tells the story of an encounter with the Devil and various attendant phantoms. It is intended to evoke amusement and wonder from its audiences, rather than fear. However, because of its themes and characters, it has been considered to technically be the first horror film, as well as potentially the first vampire film. The film opens with a large bat flying into a medieval castle, circling a room, and then suddenly changing into the Devil. Producing a cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a young girl and various supernatural creatures in an effort to scare two cavaliers, eventually succeeding in causing one to flee. Ultimately the remaining cavalier is confronted face-to-face by the Devil before reaching for and brandishing a large crucifix, which causes the Devil to vanish.