“The Witch Behind the Wall” has an intriguing concept that it handles in, predictably, the absolute silliest way possible.
This recap of Haunted season 3, episode 4, “The Witch Behind the Wall”, contains spoilers.
I’ll tell you what’s an eerie sound — sawing. Although I suppose any noise is a bit weird when it’s created by a scruffy-looking old woman building a model of a house complete with little dummies, their faces made of cut-outs from photographs. Brandy claims to have been tormented by a woman who lived in her house behind an adjoining wall and judging by the state of her in that cold open, this might be a pretty believable episode.
Brandy’s mother was single, worked two or three jobs to make ends meet, and thus was never at home. The kids apparently stayed away from the mean old lady’s house, which makes sense, since when their ball goes over her fence she punctures it with a big pair of scissors, like that dude from the Clock Tower games. But old ladies do old lady things. When the family moves into her rambling old house, they just assume she died. It’s a big, exciting new place with room for everyone, so you’ve got to look at the silver lining.
Predictably, the “feeling” and the “atmosphere” in the room upstairs changed, and we creepily see the old woman on the other side of the wall. Then we see her telekinetically choke Brandy using her little voodoo doll, so scratch what I said at the top about Haunted season 3, episode 4 possibly being believable. (Imagine how much scarier this would be if there was no supernaturalism here at all and old girl just lived there, in the wall).
The old woman continues to torment the family by playing with her facsimile of the crib, noosing the dolls, rattling the walls, and so on. It’s not a bad horror concept, this, but the idea that it’s true is just silly. I’ve said before and I’ll say again that this show would work so much better if it was just short horror vignettes and not “real-life accounts”. The re-enactment stuff is so fun in “The Witch Behind the Wall” that I kept groaning every time we returned to the present-day roundtable.
Eventually, the kids follow an open door to the old woman’s creepy modeling room and find their faces stuck on the dolls. When she returns they have to hide under the table, inches from her dirty, sandalled trotters. When they make a noisy escape she blows smoke into the model of the house and lo and behold, her withered old face appears in a column of smoke, barking at them to get out. Apparently, the final straw for them to move was a minister coming to bless the house and claiming that the place was too evil for a cleanse. Bit lazy, on his part, right?