Haus of Horror Presents: 'The Exorcist' in a Haunted Gaol

Parramatta Gaol is turning into a cinema for one night only to screen one of the scariest movies ever made.
Sarah Ward
Published on February 23, 2023


2023 marks five decades since one of the scariest movies ever made first hit screens, with The Exorcist never losing its eerie power since. But whether you first got creeped out by it at home, have caught retro big-screen showings — including the director's-cut version — or somehow have never been spooked by the William Friedkin-helmed flick's unnerving wonders, seeing it in an old jail is set to be a whole new viewing experience.

Where's the best venue to host a special session of such a horror-movie giant? To put on a night of cinema that'll make heads spin? That location: Parramatta Gaol, which is turning into a picture palace just for one evening for the occasion, with horror event fiends Haus of Horror behind it all.

Clearly, the idea is for the night — which has been dubbed 'The Exorcist in a Haunted Gaol' — is to be as immersive as possible. Dating back to the 19th century and operational until 2011, Parramatta Gaol already hosts ghost tours, and is reportedly haunted by its former inmates if you believe in that kind of thing.

So, if you dare, that's where you'll be watching The Exorcist — aka the story of a young girl (Linda Blair, Landfill) possessed by a demon, and the efforts of two priests (Rudy's Jason Miller and Game of Thrones' Max von Sydow) to save her at the urging of her mother (Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman).

Held in conjunction with Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council, Haus of Horror's screening takes place at 6pm on Saturday, March 11, and includes two hours for attendees to explore Parramatta Gaol's morgue, cell blocks and showers. Also on the agenda: a bar serving beer and wine, vegan and non-vegan bites to eat, a live DJ spinning tunes while the sun sets, and an interactive photo booth that'll be set up like a scene from the film.

The movie will play at 8pm on a grassy field inside the site, showing outdoors under the stars — and picnics are welcome. Tickets cost $39, or $59 if you'd like to book a large bean bag to sit on.


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