In London for the premiere of The Lovely Bones – a film he has directed from Alice Sebold’s story in which a murdered teenage girl gives her viewpoint from heaven – Jackson said he did not know what a real soul was like.
But he told Britain’s Channel 4 TV that while he could not swear the spirit in the movie was 100 percent accurate, he had seen a real ghost.
“It was genuine,” said Jackson, who made a 1996 ghost movie, The Frighteners – co-written with his wife Fran Walsh – starring Michael J Fox.
His sighting was in an apartment he and his wife had in Wellington’s Courtney Place opposite the St James Theatre, when they first met 20 years ago.
“I woke up one morning and there was a figure in the room, she was very scary, she had a screaming face, very accusatory, she was a lady about 50 years old,” Jackson said.
“It was terrifying actually, a very scary image and she was at the end of the bed and she glided across the room and disappeared into the wall.
“I sat in bed and thought, have I really seen that?” said Jackson.
“Then Fran came in. I told her about it and the first thing she said was: ‘was it the woman with the screaming face?”‘ he said.
“Fran had seen the same woman in the same room about two years before.”
Jackson said that when the St James Theatre was being restored a few years ago, people talked about the legend of the woman who committed suicide after being booed off the stage after a bad show in vaudeville days.
“They say she manifests herself in the theatre with a screaming face. Sometimes she’s seen – the same ghost. She needs to learn to smile a little.”