You might think that grown men entering creaky houses with camera crews in search of spooky ghosts is a modern media invention of the reality TV age. But these newsreels from the 1950s prove otherwise.

During October, the British Pathé YouTube channel is focusing on “things that scare us”—the creepy, the scary, the inexplicable. Hence this video following ghost hunters investigating a 200-year-old home. You’ll see some of their methods, such as rigging various windows and doors to protect against pranksters. One dude “strews sand and flour over the spot where the supernatural disturbances are claimed to have occurred.” But of course they brought a tape recorder, too. I would take modern ghost hunters at least 20 percent more seriously if they wore suits and trench coats.

Be sure to stick around for the second clip, about the (allegedly) haunted pub.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.