Both the Range Busters and Rance and his outlaw gang are looking for stolen gold bullion. To scare people away from the ranch where the gold is hidden, Rance has his man imitating ghosts. ... See full summary »


(as Robert Tansey)


(original story), (screenplay) (as Harriett Beecher)




Cast overview:
'Alibi' Terhune (as Max 'Alibi' Terhune)
Elmer ...
Helen Weston
Rance Austin (as Glen Strange)
Henchman Chuck
Henchman Ed
Rex Lease
Sam (as Snowflake)
Henchman Danny
Marshal Hammond (as Steve Clarke)


Both the Range Busters and Rance and his outlaw gang are looking for stolen gold bullion. To scare people away from the ranch where the gold is hidden, Rance has his man imitating ghosts. The gold is in a steel cased organ but a certain combination of organ stops need to be pulled to obtain the gold. Written by Maurice VanAuken <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Western | Mystery





Release Date:

19 February 1943 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the card-playing scene, the shadow of an overhead microphone is visible on the wall behind Alibi. See more »


[referring to Alibi]
Jim, the bartender: Say, he's looking for a job.
'Dusty' King: Well, if you're interested, be sure and come out. I'll have a good job for you.
Elmer, Alibi's dummy: How about me?
'Dusty' King: Are you a cowhand?
Elmer, Alibi's dummy: Oh, I've been a roper and a rider, a bulldogger and a fighter, a bronco buster and a dynamiter. Yippee!
'Dusty' King: I'm sorry. You haven't had enough experience.
See more »


Follows Saddle Mountain Roundup (1941) See more »


Where the Prairie Hills Meet the Sky
Words and Music by John 'Dusty' King (as John King)
Performed by John 'Dusty' King (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

8 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Given that my two favorite genres are Horror and Western it's only natural that I would seek out the merging of the two, as rare as they are. Some, like "Curse Of The Undead," remain (to date) elusively unreleased while others, like "The Beast Of Hollow Mountain," seem to have employed the horror elements as an afterthought, and still others, such John Wayne's highly entertaining early oater, "Haunted Gold," have a Scooby-Doo type revelation in the climax that feels like a horror cheat. "Haunted Ranch" is somewhat in the league of the latter, though on a much more minimalist scale, i.e. the horror part was a blink and you'll miss it.

On the opening credits themselves it says this is the "20th Range Busters Picture," somewhat astonishing even for a B western series, but then again there is currently a DVD set out that features six vintage B westerns all shot in 29 days! I happen to love B westerns, despite their requisite sameness, but I had never seen anything in the RANGE BUSTERS series prior to this one and am not even sure who played the BUSTERS over the course of the films nor even how many were made in total. Regardless, this particular picture was all pretty conventional stuff and indistinguishable from most B western series.

Although enjoyable and well paced at 57 minutes, the title promised more than it delivered. The only "horror" aspect was the bad guys pretending to be ghosts so that people will stay away from a recently deceased owner's ranch that they are trying to steal. So an outlaw hides in the cellar and makes a lot of ghostly noise and, in the film's only real effective part, plays an accordion that sounds like an organ, which fools the heroes as they see no one sitting at the organ in the parlor. But the ruse merely flusters the good guys who are not prone to fear (of course!) and only really scares the, what else, nervous, bug eyed black cook, played by the ignominiously named actor, "Snowflake."

Frequent comic relief B western actor Max Terhune is in this one, playing his usual character, "Alibi," just as he did in countless installments of the 3 Mesquiteers series at Republic. Terhune's comic shtick was that he was a ventriloquist who always had his dummy, Elmer, with him, dressed exactly like he was and even riding with him on his horse, continually making allegedly funny comments. I have no idea if there were ventriloquists in the old west, but it does seem a bit off whenever I see this cowboy dummy hanging around. At least in this one he had a great scene where he was antagonizing the bad guys in a saloon, leading to the best line in the whole film: "That dummy knows too much."

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