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The Haunted Hotel or Strange Adventures of a Traveler

by Nicholas Sammond

In this J. Stuart Blackton's silent short, an old hotel is animated into life. The traveler's possessions are mysteriously dragged around the room, and in one stop-motion animation sequence, the breakfast serves itself, and a miniature figure comes out of the pitcher, taunting the traveler, hardly believing his own eyes. Trying to catch the tiny man, he instead finds a flying napkin that dances around the room like an animate ghost. This short utilizes techniques of trick photography to cut and splice together footage, and in one scene, overlays are used as well to convey the presence of ghosts. Using canted photography and exaggerated stage acting, the room seems to tilt from side to side, ending with the use of miniatures to depict the man being taken by a monstrous giant.

The Haunted Hotel

In this James Stuart Blackton short, a tourist visits a mysterious inn occupied by unknown forces. A mixture of live-action and stop-motion animation, Blackton was an earlier adopter of the lightning-sketch and 'trick' photography.

from The Haunted Hotel (1907)
Creator: James Stuart Blackton
Distributor: Vitagraph Company
Posted by Nicholas Sammond