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‘The Ghost and the Darkness’: Netflix’s Best Hunting Film

When the idea came up about the best hunting films on Netflix, a quick search is all I needed. 

The Ghost and the Darkness,” the biopic of Colonel John Patterson’s book, “The Man-Eaters of Tsavo,” came up in my search for the best films about hunting.

Not only is this the best hunting film on Netflix, it is the best hunting film. Period.

“The Ghost and the Darkness”

In my opinion, “The Ghost and the Darkness” is the best hunting film ever because it is one of the best hunting stories ever. It is hard to imagine another story this scary, this strange, and this true.

The story centers around two male African lions that stalked a railroad work camp on the Kenya-Uganda railway between March and December 1898.

Patterson is the engineer sent to save a stalled bridge project over the Tsavo river. During the course of building this bridge, these two lions worked in unison to feed off of the workers gathered there.

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Netflix

What Makes This Story Special?

There are many great tales of adventure out of Africa but this one exists on a different plane. At least three factors combined to cause this to be, as far as we know, a one-time event: a drought, an isolated encampment, and a pair of lions that broke all the rules.

  • Lions are lone assassins, they are not known to work in pairs as these two did.
  • Their nicknames were given by the natives as the pair escaped all attempts to contain, trap, or kill them.
  • Some claim the lions killed for fun and did not eat all of the victims.
  • Colonel Patterson claims 135 victims. Others say there were only 35. Either is a terrible number.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Second_Tsavo_lion.png
Smithsonian 

Historical Accuracy?

As with any Hollywood creation, the film makes a few things up to keep the story interesting. Not all of the movie is true to the book. As far as that goes, most everything about these lions is disputed somewhere or another. These facts are known to be made up:

  • Michael Douglas’ character of Fredrick Remington is purely fictional as well as some other lesser characters.
  • The actual lions did not have manes as the lions in the movie do.

Other than that, the rest is based on eyewitness accounts or interpretations of events as reported by Patterson and other witnesses. Hollywood did not have to make things up to keep this story interesting.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Colonel_Patterson_with_Tsavo-Lion.jpg
Smithsonian 

Even accounting for disputed facts, “The Ghost and the Darkness” is still true enough to make it a staple in any hunter’s video library.

NEXT: Did You Know Golden Eagles Can Drag Mountain Goats off Cliffs? [VIDEO]

‘The Ghost and the Darkness’: Netflix’s Best Hunting Film