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10.17.2017
13 Ghosts (1960)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
12.14.09

13 Ghosts (1960) Director/Producer William Castle introduces the movie, telling the viewer that by the time they finish watching the film they will believe in ghosts. Through "Percepto" and the ghost-viewer (3-D glasses) they'll be able to see ghosts. It's indicated throughout the movie when they are supposed to put on the glasses.

A museum curator, Cyrus Zorba (Donald Woods), inherits an old creepy mansion from an uncle he thought long dead. The uncle's attorney, Ben Rush (Martin Milner), tells him that he'll also inherit the ghosts his uncle collected. He's also given a box, which contains a weird-looking pair of goggles, which soon come in handy.

So the family moves in--Cyrus, his wife, his daughter Medea and young son Buck, who loves ghost stories. On the first day the boy finds a ouija board. They ask it how many ghosts are in the house and it says "13". However, Cyrus doesn't believe there are any ghosts until he sees them with his ghost viewer. There are the ghosts in the kitchen who re-enact a murder, the lion tamer who lost his head and others who burst into fireballs.

The recently dead uncle is the 12th ghost and the 13th is still to come, so someone is going to die. Their creepy housekeeper (Margaret Hamilton, who was the Wicked Witch of the West from THE WIZARD OF OZ) remains working, though they can't afford to pay her. She knows all about the ghosts. Buck even calls her "The Witch" behind her back. She reveals to the family that before his death the uncle converted withdrew all his money from the bank as cash and hid it somewhere in the house. No one has found it.

Of course, as with any William Castle film there's a twist ending the the most unlikely person turns out to be the villain. I much prefer this original to the 2001 remake. This is available on the WILLIAM CASTLE FILM COLLECTION DVD set.

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