13 Ghosts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

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Main Details

  • Released in 1960
  • B & W/ Color
  • Running Time: 85 min | 82 min (black and white version)
  • Production Co: William Castle Productions
  • Distribution Co: Columbia Pictures (1960) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Directed by William Castle
  • Written by Robb White
  • Starring Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner, Rosemary DeCamp, Donald Woods, Margaret Hamilton, John Van Dreelen
  • Produced by William Castle
  • Original Music by Von Dexter
  • Cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc
  • Film Editing by Edwin H. Bryant

Also Known As

  • 13 kummitusta (Finland) | 13 spöken (Sweden) | 13 spøgelser (Denmark) | Das unheimliche Erbe (Austria) | I 13 fantasmi (Italy) | Los trece fantasmas (Spain) | Ta 13 fantasmata (Greece) | Thirteen Ghosts | Tretten spøgelser (Denmark)


  • IT'S FUN TO BE SCARED BY 13 GHOSTS (original print ad - all caps) | 13 Times the Thrills! 13 Times the Chills! 13 Times the Fun! | A ghost for each member of your family! Pick your favorite spook!


As with several of his more famous productions, Castle used a gimmick to promote the movie. For 13 Ghosts, audience members were given a choice: the "brave" ones could watch the movie and see the ghosts, while the apprehensive among them would be able to opt out of the horror and watch without the stress of having to see the ghosts. The choice came via the special viewer, supposedly "left by Dr. Zorba." In the theaters, most scenes were black and white, but scenes involving ghosts were shown in a "process" dubbed Illusion-O: the filmed elements of the actors and the sets — everything except the ghosts — had a blue filter applied to the footage, while the ghost elements had a red filter and were superimposed over the frame.[1] Audiences received viewers with red and blue cellophane filters. Unlike early 3D glasses where one eye is red and the other is cyan or blue, the Illusion-O viewer required people to look through a single color with both eyes. Choosing to look through the red filter intensified the images of the ghosts, while the blue filter "removed" them.[2]


  1. Law, John W. (2000). Scare tactic : the life & films of William Castle. San Jose [Calif.]: Writers Club Press. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0595095445. OCLC 60884288.
  2. McGee, Mark Thomas, (2001). Beyond ballyhoo : motion picture promotion and gimmicks. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. p. 113. ISBN 9780786411146. OCLC 47037541.
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