The creepiest public information film EVER: Grim Reaper – played by Donald Pleasence – preys on children playing near water in scary 1970s film

  • Actor Donald Pleasence plays an eerie spirit who revels in drowning children
  • In the British public information film he taunts the 'unwary, the showoff, the fool'
  • Two boys appear to drown in the clip as the hooded figure watches on in glee
  • When one finally dodges death, he collapses and mourns his lack of power?

This is the terrifying public information film from the 1970s in which the Grim Reaper talks about drowning foolish children.

The British film features actor Donald Pleasence - who portrayed iconic Bond villain Blofeld - playing 'the spirit of dark and lonely water' in an effort to scare youngsters to safety.

In the spooky clip, called 'Lonely Water', he warns children of the dangers of drowning in water in what modern viewers have called the scariest public information film ever.

The chilling 1973 video shows the reaper preying on reckless youngsters who play near water.

Introducing himself, the eerie figure declares he is 'ready to trap the unwary, the showoff, the fool' before appearing to watch two young boys die.

Donald Pleasence plays the grim reaper, who delights in watching children drown in the public information film

Donald Pleasence plays the grim reaper, who delights in watching children drown in the public information film

The film was commissioned by the now-defunct Central Office of Information as a result of official concern over the high number of child fatalities in drowning accidents in the UK.

The mini-horror production clips starts with a eerie black-cloaked figure hovering over a mist-shrouded, murky riverbank declaring: 'This is the kind of place you'd expect to find me.?

'But no-one expects to find me here. It seems too ordinary.'

The clip then cuts to a group of children playing on the muddy edge of a pool, with one boy teetering on the steep, slippery bank while attempting to retrieve a football from the depths with a stick.

The hooded figure watches as 'showoffs' play beside the water in a COI film warning about the danger of drowning

The hooded figure watches as 'showoffs' play beside the water in a COI film warning about the danger of drowning

Donald Pleasence famously portrayed James Bond's arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice?

Donald Pleasence famously portrayed James Bond's arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice?

The spirit watches, observing: 'That pool is deep. The boy is showing off... the bank is slippery.'

Another boy is seen fishing in a duck pond, leaning out over the water as he holds onto a tree branch.?

The ghostly figure notes: 'The unwary ones are easier still. This branch is weak, rotten. It'll never take his weight.'

In the video two children appear to drown while the grim reaper relishes in their deaths

In the video two children appear to drown while the grim reaper relishes in their deaths

As the branch gives way, the boy tumbles into the pond and the spirit appears among the reeds

In the next scene, a sign reading 'Danger - No Swimming' appears on screen as the spirit happily discerns: 'Only a fool would ignore this, but there's one born every minute. It's the perfect place for an accident.'

Sure enough, a boy has gone swimming and has got into trouble, waving his arms and floundering.

Fortunately, the struggling boy is spotted by a group of children who find a big stick with which to help him out of the water, much to the spirit's annoyance.

The hooded figure watches from the reeds as children dice with death by playing next to the water?

The hooded figure watches from the reeds as children dice with death by playing next to the water?

'Sensible children,' he says the spirit in exasperation as his robes collapse into a heap on the ground and he reveals: 'I have no power over them!'

The boy is rescued, shivering. As the robes sink under the water, the spirit voices his famous echoing threat: 'I'll be back!'

The reaper mourns the success of sensible children who escape his clutches as he declares: 'I'll be back!'

The reaper mourns the success of sensible children who escape his clutches as he declares: 'I'll be back!'

'Lonely Water' is widely remembered in the minds of its viewers, who were mostly children at the time.?

Many of its viewers took notice of its message by not swimming in dangerous waters for safety's sake.

How the COI scared people into safety

Charley the cat taught children how to stay safe when crossing the road?

Charley the cat taught children how to stay safe when crossing the road?

The Central Office of Information was founded?in 1946 to succeed the wartime Ministry of Information and closed in 2011.

Its famous public information films include the iconic 'Charley Says', a road safety film encouraging children to stop, look and listen before crossing.

The character's voice was later sampled by The Prodigy for their hit single, Charly.

The bluntly titled 'Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives' series, which ran from 1987 to 1997, showed the devastation caused by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Among its other road safety adverts where the 'Amber Gambler' which conveyed the danger of speeding through traffic lights before amber changes to red 'when there is ample time to stop'.

1977's 26-minute long 'Apaches' aimed to warn about the dangers children faced on farms.

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