BBC One To Adapt James Herbert Haunted House Novel

The Secret Of Crickley Hall to be adapted and directed by Ultraviolet and Apparitions creator Joe Ahearne

The mighty Joe Ahearne is back in action. The writer/director who created the cult-tastic Channel 4 vampire drama Ultraviolet and the criminally underrated BBC exorcist serial Apparitions is set to adapt and direct James Herbert’s 2006 haunted house novel The Secret Of Crickley Hall.

BBC Controller Of Drama Ben Stephenson made the announcement yesterday amid a bunch of new drama announcements at the Broadcasting Press Guild lunch yesterday. And while the rest of the media is getting all excited about the Beeb turning the War Of The Roses into a lavish The Tudors-style soap opera (although, yeah, that could be good) it’s Crickley Hall that we’re more interested in.

The adaptation will be turned into three 60-minute episodes, set for broadcast (appropriately) around Halloween 2012. The story is about a family who relocate to a rain-swept house in a Devonshire town called Devil’s Cleave – which sounds like a bad move already. It turns out that during World War II, the village was decimated by a flood. Crickley Hall was home to a group of poor orphans evacuated from London to live in spooksville under the care of the sadistic Augustus Cribben, who terrorised, starved and beat them. The orphans were seemingly washed away by the flood and now their lost spirits haunt the hall, pursued by the monstrous figure of Cribben.

Ahearne also directed a number of episodes in the Christopher Eccleston series of Doctor Who, including the classics “Dalek” and “The Parting Of The Ways”. We wish he’d come back and direct some more…