Public Domain Movies

L’auberge-ensorcelée (1897) – Early Horror Film

L’auberge-ensorcelée – Film Review/Summary

L’auberge-ensorcelée (The Bewitched Inn) is a horror short from 1899, if you believe the Internet Movie Database, or 1897 if you put your faith in many other sources. I notice that IMDb give 1899 as the release date in the USA so it seems probable that the film would have been released much earlier than that in France, so 1897 sounds about right to me. Either way, this short film is an interesting piece of cinematic history.

The film, shot under the direction of Georges Méliès, is just over two minutes long and begins with a traveller entering a rented room at an inn. The poor bloke should have saved his money though. Better still, he should have gone somewhere else, because the room is haunted and things start going wrong the second that he steps foot inside it.

A scene from the film L'auberge ensorcelée (Directed by Georges Méliès)
L’auberge ensorcelée is an old film but the picture quality is surprisingly good

When the traveller puts his bag on the bed, he glances away for a second. When he looks again his bag has gone. Then his hat is thrown off the chest of drawers, lands on the floor, and starts sliding around the room. The man seems rather annoyed and the invisible forces at work in the room are only just beginning to get warmed up.

His candle disappears and then reappears that the other side of the room. Then when he lights it the candle explodes. His jacket flies around the room, the chair disappears when he wants to sit down and the bed does the same when he tries to turn in for the night. Something tells me he won’t be staying there again.

L’auberge-ensorcelée is an amazing little film. The filmaker’s art was in it’s infancy but Méliès still managed to achieve some very clever effects that must have amazed cimema audiences at the time.

L’auberge-ensorcelée is not, by any means, a shocking or frightening film. It’s more fun than anything else, but most experts class L’auberge-ensorcelée as a horror film. That’s my excuse for adding it to the site. Anyway, enough of this, just go back to the top of the page and watch the thing for yourself.