We just received word that England's stalwart horror studio Hammer -- in the wake of its overseas success with the ghost story The Woman in Black -- will produce a film based on San Jose's Winchester Mystery House (pictured above), considered by many to be the world's most haunted house. More after the jump.
Here's the press release we received about Hammer's Winchester Mystery House movie: "In the first deal of its kind, the San Jose, California based Winchester Mystery House considered the 'world's most haunted house' is authorizing Hammer, an Exclusive Media company, the use of its unique property for a feature film based on its legendary story. Hammer has optioned all rights to develop and produce the feature film with Imagination Design Works (IDW) and Nine/8 Entertainment, it was announced today by Simon Oakes, Vice-Chairman of Exclusive Media and President & CEO of Hammer, and Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairmen of Exclusive Media."
"Production on the supernatural horror film currently in development will be overseen by Exclusive Media's Tobin Armbrust, President of Worldwide Production and Acquisitions, and Shira Rockowitz, Director of Development and Production. Brett Tomberlin and Antonia Lianos will produce for Imagination Design Works, Inc along with Andrew Trapani and Brian Gilbert for Nine/8 Entertainment.
"'The Winchester House has a rich and compelling history. The story behind how it was built has attracted a great deal of attention over the years and we are excited to bring that mythology to film,' said Tobin Armbrust. 'We are also thrilled, and terrified, that the House has allowed us to film on the premises.'
"'We are extremely excited to be partnering with Exclusive Media to bring the story of the Winchester Mystery House to a global audience. For many years, the mystique and history of this unique venue, and its owner Sarah Winchester, could be experienced only by those visiting the site. Now, with a film shot in and around the House, Sarah's spirit will be brought back to life, and the audience will see first-hand this stunning and bizarre house,' said Brett Tomberlin, President, Imagination Design Works.
"The Winchester Mystery House has a startling history and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. Popular belief holds that Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by 'the gun that won the west.' Following a Medium's advice, Sarah built a massive house in Northern California to appease the spirits. For the next 38 years, she never stopped building believing that if she continued, she would live forever, and if she stopped, she would die. Known as the "house built for the spirits," there have been many inexplicable ghost sightings and to this day, visitors share their terrifying stories of having been in the presence of these departed souls who continue to roam the grounds of the intricate and enigmatic house."