13 Ghost's Lobby Card

From one William Castle classic (see Part IV) to another! Released in 1960 and remade a few years ago, 13 Ghosts is by no means a masterpiece of this ghostly genre we’re exploring. It never appears on any list of the greatest horror films of all time. But does that matter (if it does anyway)? Not in the slightest! 13 Ghosts is easily the most fun you’ll have being scared. It’s cheesy, it’s silly, it’s camp and it’s kooky (and altogether ooky). But above all that, in all of cinema’s history it is the sole film (see what I did there? Ghosts…souls… I’ll get my coat) to use the incredible, the breath-taking and utterly silly Illusion-O

Yes, Illusion-O. Despite it’s short-lived involvement in film, Illusion-O was one of William Castle’s greatest gimmicks. Known as the master of gimmicks, Castle believed there was more to the film than just watching it. It was about the experience itself! Some of Castle other gimmicks include a skeleton flying across the theatre (House On Haunted Hill), life insurance policies (in case one of his films scares you to death) as seen in Macabre, vibrating cinema seats The Tingler, a fright break half way through the movie to regain yourself after all the horror (Homicidal), the ability to vote for how the film ends (Mr Sardonicus) and I Saw What You Did seat-belted seats. It’s no wonder that, despite directing a whole array of other genres, its horrors and thrillers this ingenious auteur is best known for.

The Illusion-O glasses

Back to Illusion-O! Illusion-O used 3D technology that was very popular at the time, to create something special. Providing a pair of special glasses, patrons could chose whether they want to see the ghost on screen or not, simply by looking through the red or the blue section of the glasses. Of course, it never really worked, but the idea was fun and original and drove people flocking to see it.

The 1950′s and 60s were not only treated to William Castle’s elaborate ghost film gimmicks, oh no, for a craze that was sweeping across America had taken ghost movies to a whole new level. The fascinating Spookshows! Around this time, spookshows would be put on – especially around Halloween – which blended film with real life action. Monsters would run amok in the audience, monsters seemingly come out of the screen, drag a (planted) patron out of their seats and back onto the screen, ghosts would haunt the auditorium and visitors would be rewarded with cursed shrunken heads and other grizzly novelty items.

So, the 1950s/60s were a swinging time to be a ghost fan!

Check out tomorrow’s blog for something a little more series.

Pre-order this incredible ghost thriller today!

Break-out horror movie smash of the year that has been electrifying hardened genre fans and non-horror fans alike, “The Pact” combines the supernatural terrors of “Paranormal Activity” with the tense atmospherics of a serial killer thriller to create a unique, modern-day take on the classic ghost story.

And it’s out on October 1st! Pre-order yours here.

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