Are you feeling brave?
Silent Screams at the Whaley House is back in Old Town for the fourth year this Halloween. The festival, which usually shows a black and white horror shocker each Wednesday in October, has condensed the festival into one scary night.
The Whaley House will screen three silent shows starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25. Adding to the creep factor, the movies are shown on the upper level of the historical home in the former theater, which was the first theater in San Diego and is reputedly haunted by the spirit one of the original actors.
Thomas Tanner, the leader of the Tanner troupe (the theater’s first acting troupe) died backstage after a show 17 days after the theater opened in 1868.
Starting at 6 p.m., the Whaley House will screen “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” An icon of silent cinema, it is emblematic of early 20th century German Expressionism, which is known for contrasting dark shadows and overexposed light and surrealist, cartoonish sets with strange angles and shapes.
The plot follows the hypnotist, Dr. Caligari, who uses a sleepwalker to commit murders.
At 8 p.m., “The Phantom of the Opera” with Lon Chaney’s legendary portrayal of the phantom will show.
The film, which is also a Broadway musical, takes place at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris. Eric, a deformed man who lives in the sewers below the opera, is in love with a beautiful soprano named Christine.
Finally, at 10 p.m. the festival will close with “Nosferatu,” the original vampire movie.
The 1922 movie, which is based on “Dracula,” failed to get permission from the Bram Stoker estate. Stoker’s widow sued and the court ordered all Nosferatu prints burned. Luckily one copy of the film had already been distributed.
Businessman Thomas Whaley built the house in 1857 on or near the site where Yankee Jim was hanged for stealing a boat. Over the years the house has served as a private residence, general store, courtroom as well as a theater.
And if the hairs on your neck start to stand on end while you’re there, don’t worry, it’s only a movie.
Tickets can be purchased here.