Paranormal Activity's Most Iconic Scare Finally Explained in New Documentary

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When it was released in 2007 the original Paranormal Activity not only kickstarted a studio obsession with found footage horror, dethroned the Saw franchise as the king of Halloween, ignited a new franchise, but also freaked out audiences around the world. Though not built around a "Is it real?" campaign like The Blair Witch Project, the film still managed to scare film goers and make viewers question, 'Wait, how did they do that?' The limited budget on the project had many curious how it was able to pull off its most frightening imagery, like demonic footprints appearing in the couple's doorway, but its most iconic scare is one that has remained under lock and key....until now.

Along with the release of the most recent film in the series, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, on the Paramount+ streaming service, a feature-length documentary exploring the creation of the entire franchise was also released. Titled Unknown Dimension: The Story of Paranormal Activity, the film goes deep into the weeds about the making of the first six movies in the series including never before seen making of footage from the first movie, some of which reveal how one of the most iconic scenes from the entire series was pulled off, the moment when Katie Featherston is dragged out of bed and down the hallway by the unseen entity in her home.

"One of the trickier ones was getting Katy dragged out of bed. That involved a lot of us," franchise creator and original writer/director Oren Peli revealed in the documentary. "We had to figure out first of all the angle, how are we going to actually drag her? So what we did (is), I got a bungee ankle harness and tied it to her leg and we had my girlfriend pulling her out of bed towards the room, and then we had a simple pulley system where my friend Amir was pulling her into the hallway and the pulley would kind of get her exactly, directly through the doorway. And my girlfriend would close the door so that by the time Micah opens the door and my friend Amir can keep pulling her straight into the hallway."

(Photo: Paramount+)

Footage of this sequence being shot was shown off in the documentary as well, along with some test footage of a stuffed bear in place of Katy in the bed as well. 


You can watch both Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin and Unknown Dimension: The Story of Paranormal Activity on Paramount+ right now and subscribe to the streamer by clicking here.