THE HAUNTED HOTEL (1907)
Article 3947 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by J. Stuart Blackton
Featuring Paul Panzer and William V. Ranous
What it is: Haunted inn trick film
A visitor has strange experiences at a haunted inn.
If anything sets this apart from the other trick films of the period, it is its extensive use of stop motion animation; the opening sequence shows the outside of the spooky inn, with the front of it eventually morphing into a sinister face, and the traveler watches as his meal prepares itself in front of him (though personally, I wouldn’t drink the coffee after I discover a clown lives in the coffee urn). Sadly, the copy of the movie I saw seems to be incomplete; I see reports of the appearance of demons at the end of the movie after the traveler has gone to bed, but the copy I saw ended with the traveler going to sleep, which is a disappointment. Maybe someday I’ll get a chance to see the complete version, but this will have to serve for now.