In 1985 I was shooting in an exercise chamber at the Northern Shaolin Temple in China that had never been photographed before. The monks allowed me and two other cameramen to shoot for a few minutes only. We kept shooting, I suppose, longer than the unseen “inhabitants” of the chamber thought acceptable.
Although all indications were that we were recording, there was nothing recorded on any of our tape beyond the first couple of minutes that the monks had originally designated. A similar thing happened while I was shooting a sub basement “tour” with a dancer/”witch” at the Market Street Cinema. We encountered several of her “friends” who did not like what I was doing. From that point on, nothing was recorded even though, by all indications, the camera was functioning properly.
That was just the beginning. Much of the strange tale told in the film actually happened in a slightly different form. Shots were moved around in the edit…not my doing. At times the movie DID change each time it was viewed…not just for me…others also. And none of us were “smoking” or drinking. The actors were “not themselves” at times. On several occasions when an actress was playing a fictional version of one of the ghosts, it seemed that the “real” ghost took over and enjoyed being “exercised” by a human host.
The dancer whose friends we disturbed on the basement tour told me that there were four ghosts who made the building “home” when we began shooting and only three by the time we finished. Somehow, she claimed, our actions in the theater had helped one of the spirits…the ghost of a stripper who was rumored to have been have been murdered in the basement…to “move on”…