Horror 101 Podcast – Episode 18: The Changeling (Spoiler Free)

Episode XVIII – The Changeling (1980) – Bouncing Balls and Wheelchairs!!! March 11th, 2013

Our 18th podcast features a terrifying Canadian haunted house movie. The Changeling (1980) stars George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere in the first film to pick up the Genie for Best Picture after the Canadian film awards were given that title. The Changeling represents everything done right with a ghost story. It is a perfect execution of haunted house and mystery. There’s no gore or nudity, making this a wholesome horror very much like the old Hammer Horrors or AIP Vincent Price Poe films. But the chills in this movie are so profound film makers are still paying homage to The Changeling in their works to this day. We make sure to NOT disclose any of the mystery in our podcast so NO SPOILERS on this one. The Changeling was based on a true story from the 1960s. We give you the REAL FACTS about the history on the grounds of Chessman Park, which is stranger and more morbid than the fiction it produced. Take it from us. When General Patton is afraid….you will be too!


01:05 Greetings
02:20 Introducing The Changeling
04:43 Directed by Peter Medak
06:00 The awards The Changeling won
08:00 Synopsis
08:55 George C. Scott was a great casting move
10:45 The house is a character in the story
13:30 The bouncing ball!
15:35 The best seance in horror history…
18:45 Trish Van Devere is charming and convincing…
21:12 The ‘real events’ and history of Chessman Park, Denver
25:15 Trish Van Devere being lured into the attic…
26:25 OMG! The wheelchair!
28:50 The Changeling was very influential…
29:55 Hats off to Cinematographer John Coquillon
31:17 Scoring the film out of 10 and Conclusion

The Changeling (1980)

Directed by: Peter Medak

Written by: Russell Hunter (story)
William Gray (screenplay)
Diana Maddox (screenplay)


George C. Scott as John Russel
Trish Van Devere as Claire Norman
Melvyn Douglas as Senator Joe Carmichael
Jean Marsh as Joanna Russell
John Colicos as Captain DeWitt
Ruth Springford as Minnie Huxley
Eric Christmas as Albert Harmon
Madeleine Sherwood as Mrs. Norman

Rick Wilkins (music composed by)
John Coquillon (director of photography)
Film Editing by Lilla Pedersen

All video, pictures and audio copyright© 1980 by Chessman Park Productions. All media used for educational and review purposes. No reproductions please.


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  1. Rob Spratt

    What can I say? This was simply the best review of The Changeling I have ever heard. It was absolutely superb. I have been ‘almost obsessed’ with The Changeling since I saw it when it first came out and, thanks to the internet, I can continue to seek anything ‘new’ I can find out about it. I’m actually toying with the idea of putting up a website specifically to do with the movie. For me, your review encapsulated and articulated so well what I think are the strengths of the movie and ‘the history section’ was a real bonus that I had never really heard much about before. All in all, listening to your review was one of the best 30 minutes I have spent for a long time. Thank you so much for putting together such a wonderful piece. I hope you don’t mind that I have downloaded a copy. All the very best, Rob

    1. cash

      Rob, Thanks for listening. The Changeling was a fun show to put together. One of our favourites. The score for the film added a creepiness that makes it a joy to listen to.


  2. Rob

    I did in fact buy the special edition Percepto 2-cd release of The Changeling soundtrack. For me, the soundtrack is as important to the film as everything else that makes it great – story, acting, sets, direction, etc. Of all the many, many things I have ever read about The Changeling, barely any have mentioned the significance of the soundtrack at all, and yet the film would not be anything like as good as it is without it. Anyway, again thanks for the superb podcast. If I ever get to build my The Changeling website, I would love to be able to include your podcast on there somewhere. I’ll be in touch. All the best, Rob

    1. cash

      Good luck on the website and feel free to embed any of our podcasts.

  3. Dave Girod

    Great show!! This movie is one that only gets better with age, both in terms of a well crafted film, but also as I’ve grown older and now have kids of my own, it adds a whole new dimension to the film. You guys hit this one out of the park!!

    1. cash

      This is Brian Stewart’s favourite show to date. I enjoyed finding the real history of the Chessman Park grounds and just how morbid it was. The score for this movie was endlessly running in my headphones while putting this podcast together and more than a few times I got genuine chills editing The Changeling show together. I was so happy with it I decided to make a small Youtube trailer for this podcast…


      1. Dave Girod

        Very cool trailer!

  1. Episode 18 – The Changeling (1980) » Horror 101

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