‘My Ghostly Footsteps’: Filmmaker Guy Gilbert Tries To Get To The Bottom Of Childhood Haunting

Bafta-winning filmmaker Guy Gilbert’s new documentary begins with a straightforward disclaimer, stating, “This is a real documentary following genuine experiences people have had with the supernatural.” It explicitly asserts, “There is absolutely no fakery involved,” although Guy himself questions the veracity of that claim. Throughout the 47-minute film, he takes viewers on an intimate journey as he enlists the assistance of paranormal investigators like Richard Felix. The aim? To investigate a childhood experience that has indelibly shaped his perceptions of the otherworldly.

This British film offers a refreshing departure from the formulaic ghost-hunting documentaries that have saturated the genre. Instead of a team of investigators chasing spectres for the camera, Guy opts for a more personal approach. He uses the lens of his own unsettling childhood experience to frame his narrative, assembling a team of seasoned ghost hunters, including Richard Felix, a familiar face from the long-standing paranormal show ‘Most Haunted’.

The film’s storytelling dynamic is somewhat unconventional, as Guy himself is seldom seen on screen, barring a few photographs. This lends ‘My Ghostly Footsteps’ an atmosphere reminiscent of the early-00s BBC comedy ‘People Like Us’, where the voice of the rather inept interviewer, Roy Mallard, is heard from just off-camera.

This results in one memorable, if unintentional, humorous moment in the film when Guy finally makes an appearance on screen. However, the moment is comically obstructed as he is blindfolded during a paranormal experiment. As he finally removes his blindfold to reveal his face, Karin Beasant, a Bristol-based investigator and the film’s assistant producer, casually steps in front of the camera, inadvertently shielding him from the audience’s view.

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The inspiration for this documentary stems from Guy’s childhood visits to his grandparents’ haunted house. After being left alone one night, he heard footsteps echoing along the hallway, stopping just outside his bedroom door. This single experience sets the stage for Guy’s lifelong curiosity about the paranormal.

While the documentary does not definitively solve the mystery of those eerie footsteps, it does allow Guy to immerse himself in a variety of ghost-hunting scenarios. He grapples with dubious investigative tools like REM-Pods and encounters a psychic medium whose theatrics parallel those of Derek Acorah in early episodes of ‘Most Haunted’. Despite these over-the-top antics, Guy notes, “it was very dramatic, but it didn’t offer concrete evidence of the existence of ghosts.”

However, even Guy starts to question his own skepticism after viewing compelling video footage suggesting genuine paranormal activity. His intrigue continues during an emotional séance at the former George Jarvis school in Herefordshire. During this vigil, paranormal investigators believe they’re achieving intelligent communication with spirits. Guy is so taken by the experience that he’s left questioning its validity, but finds no evidence of trickery. Karin, who was a part of the séance, describes the experience as “what paranormal investigators live for.”

In an attempt to get to the bottom of his unsettling childhood memories, Guy returns to the very location where the mysterious footsteps were heard. He’s accompanied by Richard Felix and the ghost hunters, who expose Guy to some questionable methods, including table-tipping. Although the table’s movement doesn’t conclusively solve the mystery, it adds another layer to Guy’s complex relationship with the unexplained. They later set up motion detectors in the corridor, which do produce interesting results. Richard asserts, “the number of times the sensors went off was not coincidental,” implying some form of spirit triggered them. Karin described the encounter as being “so emotional and loving.”

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‘My Ghostly Footsteps’ is a refreshingly different addition to the ghost-hunting documentary genre. The film maintains a balanced perspective, appealing to both skeptics and believers in the paranormal. With its focus on the investigators’ experiences, it’s a compelling watch for anyone interested in the subject matter. However, be prepared for a journey that raises more questions than it answers.

‘My Ghostly Footsteps’ is available to watch now on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.

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