'The Mandalorian's Emily Swallow Is Ready for Spooky Season in 'Haunting of the Mary Celeste'

Emily Swallow is widely regarded for her role in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. But now, she’s taking on the biggest mystery in maritime history in the horror movie Haunting of the Mary Celeste. Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with Swallow over the phone about her starring role in the Shana Betz flick.

Emily Swallow considers herself a ‘fair-weather fan’ of horror movies 

Swallow’s acting portfolio begins with appearances on shows like Guiding Light and Flight of the Conchords. Today, she’s widely known amongst fans as The Armorer in the Star Wars universe. Others might recognize Swallow as Amora/”The Darkness” from Supernatural.

While Swallow has done a slew of other projects in the television and game realm, Haunting of the Mary Celeste is her first adventure in the horror genre. As a self-proclaimed “fair-weather fan” of horror, Swallow said she enjoys those types of films but she is “definitely not as well versed as some of [her] friends in the range of [horror].”

‘Haunting of the Mary Celeste’ is based on a real disappearance 

Haunting of the Mary Celeste is a ghost story. But it’s also rooted in truth. On Dec. 4, 1872, an American merchant brigantine called the Mary Celeste was discovered adrift and deserted off the Azores Islands coast. What happened to the passengers of the Mary Celeste remains one of the biggest mysteries in nautical history.

“[The disappearance of the Mary Celeste is] still something that hasn’t been solved,” Swallow explained. “[It] probably will never be [solved] because there’s just no way to know for sure.” 

There are several theories surrounding the disappearance of the Mary Celeste

Some theories say the ship was looted by pirates. Considering how the boat was found with the cargo and crew’s personal belongings intact, pirates are an unlikely answer.

“The really weird part about it was that they found the boat is like perfect condition,” Swallow said of the Mary Celeste. “All of the passengers’ belongings were still there. There was even food that was half-eaten. But the lifeboat was gone.” 

Per Swallow, the rope connecting the boat to the lifeboat wasn’t cut. Instead, it looked like it was ripped off. But if the Mary Celeste’s passengers escaped safely, why were those on board never seen or heard from again?

In the film, Swallow’s role dissects a more menacing theory — the idea that the supernatural had something to do with the disappearance of the Mary Celeste’s passengers. 

‘Haunting of the Mary Celeste’ presents the idea that rifts in time are possible 

Haunting of the Mary Celeste follows Rachel (Swallow), a concerned researcher, and her team who have set out to sea to prove that the disappearance of a family and crew from a merchant ship was caused by the supernatural. Rachel’s theory says the passengers on the Mary Celeste vanished into a “rift” between dimensions. 

Throughout the movie, supernatural happenings occur that lean into the idea that these “rifts” could be real. From crew members vanishing to electronic voice phenomenons (EVP) transmitting through the boat’s communication system, Rachel embraces this other dimension with open arms, regardless of who is at risk. 

Directed by Shana Betz, Haunting of the Mary Celeste arrives on VOD platforms on Oct. 23.

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