A trailer a day keeps the Boogeyman away! House on Haunted Hill (1959)


One of William Castle’s

most memorable classics of horror featuring one of Castle’s Barnumesque  gimmicks dubbed Emergo! An inflatable glow in the dark skeleton attached to a wire which floated over the audience during the final moments of the film.

Unfortunately instead of causing shivers and screams, the audience would hurl candy boxes, soda cups or any other objects at the poor hard working skeleton. So much for the amazing miracle of Emergo! Still William Castle knew how to engage his audience, and as far as I’m concerned his work is as relevant and captivating today, setting the stage for remakes and copycats abound.

The film stars the ever urbane Vincent Price as Frederick Loren who is now on his 4th wife, Annabelle played by the sultry Carol Ohmart.

Loren has invited 5 unrelated guests to a rented house for a ‘Haunted House’ party. He dares them to stay the entire night, in which all of them desperate for money, will receive $10,000 clams. Each guest is offered charming party favors…guns displayed in little coffins, what fun!

The house has a violent history as owner Watson Pritchard (the very familiar face of character actor Elisha Cook Jr.) terrified and gradually sotted, relates the history of the house to everyone. At midnight the caretakers Mr and Mrs Slydes will lock the doors there by trapping the guests in this frightening and treacherous haunted house on a hill.

Will they survive a night of mayhem, ghosts, mystery and murder!!!!!

Also starring Richard Long as Lance Schroeder, Alan Marshal as Dr. David Trent, Carolyn Craig as Laura Manning, Julie Mitchum as Ruth Bridgers, Howard Hoffman as Jonas Slydes and Leona Anderson as the iconic image of the blind Mrs. Slydes.

“Consult your doctor! Bring your seat belts!”

“Acclaimed The Super-Shocker Of The Century!”

“First Film With the Amazing New Wonder EMERGO: The Thrills Fly Right Into The Audience!”

Happy Trailers MonsterGirl!

6 thoughts on “A trailer a day keeps the Boogeyman away! House on Haunted Hill (1959)

  1. Monstergirl, your cheeky and affectionate post about THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL put a big grin on my face! I love your combination of humor and movie lore. Great post!

    By the way, are you going to participate in THE BEST HITCHCOCK MOVIES (THAT HITCHCOCK NEVER MADE) Blogathon that we’re doing in July on behalf of TALES OF THE EASILY DISTRACTED and CLASSICBECKY’S BRAIN FOOD? Your writing style would be a great fit for this blogathon, and I know I speak for Becky as well as myself when I say we’d love to have you join the blogathon fun, if you’re interested! Here’s a link explaining the blogathon, if you’re interested:


    Hope you’ll join us, but even if you don’t, keep those awesome LAST DRIVE-IN posts a-comin’!

    1. Hello Dorian! It’s such a pleasure to make your acquaintance…I do so aim to please. I know…I know I’m long winded,but apparently that hasn’t scared you off! In turn, I adore your blog Tales of The Easily Distracted. We seem to be birds of a feather.

      And if I can see my way clear in July I’ll be writing at the Drive-In with bells on for the Hitchcock blogathon.,it sounds like a gas.I’ve spent many a night and day curled up with ole Hitch and his tales of the mysterious and macabre. Though many have paid tribute, none have really come close enough to capture his charming and unique flare for SUSPENSE!

      In fact I’ve just recently finished watching all the Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Hitchcock Hour series. The slew of memorable character actors, writers and directors that participated in these shows make them profoundly effective still.

      Stay in touch, I’ll be thinking about my contribution to the cause…thanks so much for commenting and being a fan of The Drive-In, come back again soon…won’t you!!!!!

      Cheers-Joey (MonsterGirl)
      PS: Say hi and thanks to Becky for me too!

  2. Joey — or Monstergirl, if you prefer, beaucoup thanks for your kind words about TALES OF THE EASILY DISTRACTED (TotED for short)! By all means, feel free to come around and leave comments and generally join the TotED chat anytime! Aren’t these mutual admiration societies fun? :-)

    I’m happy to hear you’re interested in participating in our BEST HITCHCOCK MOVIES (THAT HITCHCOCK NEVER MADE) Blogathon! Keep in mind that you and our fellow participants won’t be writing specifically about Alfred Hitchcock movies, but rather movies that have Hitchcockian elements and an overall Hitchcockian feeling about them. For example, I’m writing about Henri-Georges Clouzot’s thriller DIABOLIQUE (it’s only fair, considering Clouzot was called “The French Hitchcock”), and my pal and partner in blogathoning Becky Barnes, a.k.a. ClassicBecky, will be blogging about GASLIGHT. In addition to classic movies, more recent Hitchcockian thrillers are welcome, too; for example, our pal Page from MY LOVE OF OLD HOLLYWOOD will be blogging about Roman Polanski’s THE GHOST WRITER, and my own dear hubby and fellow blogger Vinnie Bartilucci will be blogging about David Mamet’s sly, tricky thriller THE SPANISH PRISONER. See, there’s lots to choose from! The Blogathon fun and frolic will take place from July 7th (same as the upcoming 84th birthday of one of our favorite character actresses, Alfred H’s little girl Patricia Hitchcock!) through July 12th. Feel free to tell your friends and neighbors! :-)

    Whatever you decide, Joey, please feel free to stay in touch, and keep your awesome LAST DRIVE-IN blog posts coming!

    1. Dorian-!
      It all sounds fabulous! And yes I caught the theme of the blogathon, so no worries about any retreads of stale reviews from me on Vertigo or North by Northwest!

      I just know there is an obscure film out there that bares a resemblance to the Hitchcock canon. I shall hunt it down and drag it to the Drive-In!

      It is such fun to find like minded people such as yourself and to share thoughts,impressions and fond memories. I will absolutely keep in touch, and perhaps add my voice here and there as well!

      It’s been a pleasure, see ya soon!

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