“Oliver Twisted”

Films: The Devil's Backbone (2001)

Alias: None

Type: Mystical

Location: Haunted Home

Height/Weight: That of an average child.

Affiliation: Neutral, leaning on Good

Summary: You don't need Chupacabras or whatever to have some good Spanish horror. Sometimes, conventional ghosts are perfectly fine...as well as some interesting historical context.

History: It is the final year of the Spanish Civil War. There's a small orphanage with an undiffused bomb at the very center. Oh, and the place happens to be housing a large amount of gold. Something that has not gone unnoticed by the groundskeeper, Jancinto. On the day the bomb dropped, a young orphan named Santi became aware of Jancinto's greedy scheming, and the man had him killed and tossed into the pool. Year later, Santi's back, and quite intent on revenge as a spirit.

Notable Kills: See Final Fate.

Final Fate: After Jancinto's plan ends up alienating everyone and killing a few, the kids mob him and stab him before leaving him in the same pool that Santi was left in. Sure enough, the ghost shows up as he's being weighted down by the gold, and finishes the job. As for the other orphans, they're forced to find a new home out in the desert...

Powers/Abilities: Invincibility.

Weakness: None.

Scariness Factor: 3.5-The effects can be a bit dodgy at times, but Santi is still really creepy. That red mist coming from an injury on his forehead is particularly unnerving (it's the little things with us). But at the same time, he's only after folks who not only are benefitting the bad guys in the war, but would kill children to get more money. He's alright, and just plain sad.

Trivia: -Although their fates are left ambiguous at the end, del Toro confirms that this film's main child character and a friend of his make it to "Pan's Labyrinth"...as soldiers who die. Gee, nice cameo...

-Del Toro wrote the first draft before he did "Cronos", and it was a bit crazier. It had more ghosts, took place during the Mexican Revolution, and had Santi replaced with a messianic figure with three arms.

Image Gallery

An orphanage worse than anything Oliver Twist had to...nevermind.

It was the baby all along!
The 'I'm not talking to you' phase of hauntings.

Seems like Santi's brain let out some demonic gas. Do it privately next time!
And boy, it is a twisted backbone.

"Call this a Jesus metaphor and you'll never sleep again."

To run away from the past...useless.