MonsterGirl’s 150 Days of Classic Horror: #1 “13 Ghosts” (1960)


This post is part of Monstergirl’s 150 Days of Classic Horror “One photo, one paragraph challenge for long winded me!”

13 ghosts lobby card

13 ghosts

13 GHOSTS (1960)

Director/Showman extraodinaire William Castle brings us writer Robb White’s story centered around a quirky dilapidated mansion once owned by eccentric scientist/occultist Dr. Plato Zorba who collected ghosts from around the world, and invented goggles that enable you to see them. When Dr. Zorba dies he wills the strange house and it’s ‘contents’ to his nephew Cyrus Zorba (Donald Woods) and family, wife Hilda (Rosemary De Camp), son Buck (Charles Herbert) and daughter Medea (Jo Morrow). The Zorba family is broke, the bank has even reclaimed the last bit of furnishings. While blowing out the candles on his birthday, Buck wishes for a house with furniture that can’t be taken away. So the fortuitous inheritance comes just in time. Not long after moving in they discover that the house is haunted. Cyrus finds uncle Plato’s notes and learns about the 12 ghosts that inhabit the house, including Dr. Zorba himself who also leaves his housekeeper Elaine Zacharides (Margaret Hamilton) whom Buck constantly refers to as a witch, not a subtle homage to her role in The Wizard of Oz. Hamilton adds a nice bit of nostalgic camp to the creepy environment; floating objects, hidden panels, a bed canopy that closes up like a vice grip to crush the person sleeping in it, and lurking cob webby fiends who lunge from the shadows. Trapped within the walls of the house are the 12 manifested ghosties:  the crying lady, a feisty skeleton, a meat cleaving Italian chef who murdered his wife and her lover in the kitchen, a roaring lion along side its headless tamer, and Dr. Zorba himself. They need a 13th ghost to set them free. The family is in danger because of the fortune hidden in the house. Martin Milner plays Benjamen Rush, the lawyer who handles the estate for the Zorbas. Is there a flesh and blood killer among them looking for the hidden fortune. Well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself… A true William Castle fun house ride.

1 down 149 days to go… MonsterGirl

2 thoughts on “MonsterGirl’s 150 Days of Classic Horror: #1 “13 Ghosts” (1960)

    1. I don’t often write about the films that are on my list of favorites. I thought this would be a way to at least encaspulate my collection, and also force me to keep it short… teehee, that’s a challenge believe me…

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