Tonight on MeTV- we’re bringing back a favorite fright film from William Castle- that opens the door to a house inherited by a family that wastes no time in revealing that, among its features, besides spacious rooms, a live-in housekeeper, and antique furniture- are a creepy cadre of sinister spirits, strange secrets and deadly dangers! Count down the encounters with “13 Ghosts”!
This 1960 films begins with sad times for the Zorba family- dad Cyrus Zorba is financially strapped, resulting in his furniture being repossessed- unfortunately on the birthday of his son Buck. Buck makes a heartfelt birthday wish – which suddenly seems to be coming true! A message is delivered, bringing news that Cyrus’ uncle, who was deeply into the occult, has passed away- leaving his grand old mansion to none other than Cyrus! They’re inheriting a huge house, free and clear of any debt?! It seems like things are looking up- or- are they?
Cyrus and his wife Hilda meet with lawyer Benjamin Rush to get everything settled. Rush gives them an additional item willed to them by the late uncle -a strange-looking pair of glasses with a sort of “steampunk” feel to them. They accept this odd bequest and head to their new home. It is indeed fully furnished- and watched over the uncle’s creepy housekeeper. As they celebrate their good fortune- such as it seems- Medea,their pretty daughter, decides to play with a Ouija board that happens to be laying around. The parlor game with the “spirit board” takes a nasty turn, when it reveals that there are ghosts in the house that dear departed uncle supposedly collected from all over the world! And- these wraiths have a tendency towards being homicidal!
Those weird glasses they’ve inherited help to reveal the ghostly inhabitants of the house. Cyrus stumbles upon his uncle’s hidden room- infested by evil spirits! This encounter prompts him to visit an old friend at the museum Cyrus works at, in hopes that he might provide some answers. Meanwhile, the creepy old housekeeper has some answers as well- as the malevolent manifestations continue, and the legend of a hidden fortune somewhere in the house becomes of the source of more mortal danger!
This film was remade in 2001,in slightly more modern fashion- but the original is a good example of the typical gimmickry with which Castle loved to frame his films. This one bragged of being presented in the process of “Illusion-O” – utilizing Castle’s famed “ghost viewers” – which braver theatre goers could use to see the ghosts on screen- and which protected the more squeamish in the audience to avoid them. We’ll demonstrate how the ghost viewers worked, and introduce you to the cast, which includes familiar faces like Martin Milner, Rosemary DeCamp, and “Wizard of Oz” ‘s Wicked Witch of the West herself, Margaret Hamilton , along with the usual hammy cameos of Castle himself. Get set for our rundown of the list of the thirteen ghosts, as well as a Sven song!
"13 Ghosts" appears right before your eyes tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central- and, if you're not sure of the channel or time of the broadcast where you are, consult your local listings or www.metv.com . MeTV invites you to jump on Twitter during the show and live Tweet with the many fans using the hashtag #svengoolie - who keep us trending nationally. Our Chicago viewers get an encore of "4 D Man" at 11 am on the U – now at its NEW channel location- over the air ( with an antenna) on 48.1 and 26.2, and on cable and satellite dish at the former location of the UToo.
Appropriately considering tonight’s film, this afternoon in Bridgeview, IL, I’ll be appearing from 3-5 pm at the Unknown World of Paranormal Convention! Next Saturday, we hit the Elk Grove Library Comic Con -very appropriate in view of our “Svengoolie Meets the DC Universe” event! You’ll find information on both under the “appearances” tab here on our site. And my appearances with the DC superheroes begins with DC Comics books released on October 16th!
Be prepared to see the baker’s dozen spirits –without even needing ghost viewers- tonight on MeTV!