As a child I had the fantastic opportunity to see films For artistic or cultural merit that many “stricter parents” may have had issue with. This brings me to Dracula: Prince of Darkness; a film which terrified me as a kid and left an indelible mark on my memory.

The film sees a group of travellers staying in the deceased Count Dracula’s castle (he was killed by Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing in the previous Hammer film). The castle is now maintained by the Count’s loyal servant Klove, who offers to put the group up for the night, supplying his master with some fresh blood which will bring him back to life. What affected me most was when one of the characters was killed behind a giant wall hanging which covered a hidden chamber containing Dracula’s tomb.

At the time (I must have been around ten years old) my family lived in quite an old, three-floored house. My brother and I slept in the top attic rooms, and on the landing below we had a large wall hanging. The wee hours of the morning arrived and I had to visit the bathroom – on the floor below. My mind went to the wall hanging (was Christopher Lee’s Dracula lurking behind it?); I wasn’t brave enough to make the trip alone in the dark. I spent the rest of the night terrified and desperately in need for the toilet – waiting for first light. I made the trip in the nick of time, but it’s a cinematic association that I’ll never forget.