Title: The Haunters of the Deep
Starring: Amy Taylor, Bob Sherman and Gary
What is it? : The re-opening of an abandoned
Tin Mine stirs up ghostly phenomena.
Description: Directed by Andrew Bogle, for The Children's Film
Foundation. This, supposedly, haunting film is a bit of a mystery in itself.
I am unable to locate any copies, screens or official outline. So, I'll
publish what I've heard so far, in the hope that details emerge in the
future. The illustrations, above, are not from the film, but do show Cornish
Tin Mines and tunnels.
From the IMdB: "Being Cornish and brought up with
the history of tin mining, this film is quite special to me. Filmed in
and around various locations in Cornwall, it depicts the story of two
your children who get trapped down a mine with a group of miners.The 'Haunters'
of the title refers to the 'Spiggins' - ghosts of child miners who reside
in the mine and are said to bring evil to all that mine there. Events
take place with an American wanting to invest in local tin mining, but
when the young local kid Josh is plagued by sightings of the ghost of
a young boy, he and his american 'girlfriend' set out to unravel the mystery
behind his death, climaxing in the rescue of themselves and several miners
from almost certain death when a new shaft is opened and the Spiggins
save them. Top film, albeit low budget and short, but worth a look if
you're from Cornwall and/or into tin mining!" Original
(Spoilers) "Haunters of the Deep  was the
longest film to date [a whopping 61 minutes] from the aforementioned Andrew
Bogle, director of the quietly impressive Dark Water . Sadly, it
also seems to have been his last film. Made for the Children’s Film
and Television Foundation, it stars Amy Taylor as Becky Roche, the daughter
of the American president of Aminco Mining [Bob Sherman] who arrive in
Cornwall intending to reopen an old tin mine. Becky falls in with a local
boy, Josh [Gary Simmons] who sees the ghostly figure of a young boy lurking
in the local cemetery. The children learn that the boy, Billy Bray [Philip
Martin] was killed in a cave-in at the mine and is now trying to warn
that history is about to repeat itself. Sure enough, a cave-in traps Roche,
Josh’s older brother Daniel [Peter Larstrom] and two other men.
Thanks to local eccentric Captain Tregellis [Andrew Keir] and the ghosts
of those killed in the earlier accident, Josh and Becky are able to find
an escape route in the side of the cliff and lead the men to safety. As
the sea crashes in through the cave-in, Billy’s restless spirit
is laid to rest."
Original version: http://www.eofftv.com/shorts/?page_id=4
for Cornwall: Obviously. The Children's Film Foundation
was/is famous for it's lightly moralistic, but entertaining, stories.
I can imagine the film is a hoot, and shows Cornwall in a very good light.
Bad for Cornwall: Tin mining pops
its head up again. Screenplay writers really do love the idea that there's
something strange loitering at the bottom of the tunnels. The reality
is, the mines are ruins of a former industry, which are being reclaimed
by the land.
Real locations used: Most definitely. The Children's Film Foundation
was well known for its location filming, and spunky storylines. A whole
generation of kids, myself included, grew up on the foundations diverse
material. Mari, from Penzance, was kind enough to provide me with some
The village where Captain Tregillis' cottage is located is Portloe,
on the south coast. The cottage is easily located and is on the coastal
path. The path where the children chase the captain up the hill to his
cottage, and the seat on the way up, are actually on the other side of
the tiny harbour, but it's been edited to make it look as though the path
leads to the cottage. The Lugger Hotel is also featured at some point
in the film - I think someone is having a cup of coffee somewhere along
the line (can't remember exactly). The tin mines where the spriggins are,
are on the north coast - the name of them escapes me for the moment. The
lanes where Josh and his brother are riding their bikes are near these
tin mines. I don't know the location of the churchyard where Billy Bray
is buried. There is a lot of skilful editing in this film which wouldn't
be evident unless you know the various locations.
Further more, the mine used for location filming is known as the Ding
Dong Mine: website.
Horror rating: 8/10 (spooky goings on down the mine)