The Ghost Train (1901)
Article 5642 by Dave Sindelar
What it is: A special effect
A ghostly train is seen rolling down the tracks.
In essence, all we’re seeing here is a train passing by on the tracks, but like CATCHING AN EARLY TRAIN, this silent short becomes fantastically themed by the application of a single cinematic trick; the previous movie ran its footage in reverse, and this one runs its footage in negative photography. This renders the train a ghostly white color against a dark background. It’s tempting to dismiss the film, but in truth I have to say that it does make the thing look rather eerie; I’ve seen some horror movies that don’t have a single image as effective as the one here. So I’m going to give it credit; it may be a one-trick film, but the trick is effective.