Ghost Story (1981)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  18 December 1981 (USA)
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Four successful elderly gentlemen, members of the Chowder Society, share a gruesome, 50-year old secret. When one of Edward Wanderley's twin sons dies in a bizarre accident, the group ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricky Hawthorne
Dr. John Jaffrey
Edward Charles Wanderley
Sears James
Don Wanderley / David Wanderley
Stella Hawthorne
Eva Galli / Alma Mobley
Jacqueline Brookes ...
Miguel Fernandes ...
Gregory Bate
Lance Holcomb ...
Fenny Bate
Mark Chamberlin ...
Young Jaffrey
Tim Choate ...
Young Hawthorne
Kurt Johnson ...
Young Wanderley
Young James
Brad Sullivan ...
Sheriff Hardesty


Four successful elderly gentlemen, members of the Chowder Society, share a gruesome, 50-year old secret. When one of Edward Wanderley's twin sons dies in a bizarre accident, the group begins to see a pattern of frightening events developing. Written by Jeanne Armintrout <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The time has come to tell the tale.


Drama | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

18 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuento de fantasmas  »

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Company Credits

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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Interiors were constructed inside the abandoned Union Station, the former New York Central Railroad's passenger train station on Broadway in Albany, NY and included a two story set. The murder or death scene was filmed on the second floor of that set. Scenes were filmed in sequence and the two story set was significantly aged after the death scene so that it later appeared as the derelict house. After the movie, the old station was refurbished and restored to its former grandeur and served as office space for Fleet Bank and now Bank of America. See more »


When Ricky is having the car dragged up from the lake, it changes between day and night several times. See more »


Gregory Bate: Imagine her waiting for you all these years. Imagine her sleeping under ice and snow... waiting.
See more »


Referenced in Raising Cain (1992) See more »


Sweetheart of Sigma Chi
Written by F. Dudleigh Vernor and Byron D. Stokes
Performed by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
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User Reviews

Picturesque snow-covered Milburn. An old town with a dark secret.
25 July 2011 | by (the Doomed Megalopolis of Blasphemous Technoids) – See all my reviews

I initially wanted to rate "Ghost Story" a fine 7/10, but I figured since I (voluntarily) had to endure watching such heavy rubbish earlier this week, I'd just chip in an extra point. I feel no shame about this, as the film is actually very good. At the start of the '80s, the horror landscape was changing. Films got a lot crazier, partly due to many great sfx artists rising to the scene and otherwise because of the mindset of that era (fashion, trends, etc). Often filmmakers cared less about telling a coherent story and more about making their films go over-the-top in any way they'd see fit. So in a way "Ghost Story" really feels like if it was one of the last 'classic' horror movies at the time. From the orchestrated soundtrack over the slow pace of the film, relying more on mood, tension and atmosphere to the splendid performances of our veteran foursome Fred Astaire, Melvin Douglas, John Houseman and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The film is ingeniously structured, with various stories within the main story, nightmarish dream sequences and a great flashback story to the 1930's era. The settings provide some classic horror elements too, like the isolated snowy town, grisly frozen lakes and an old ramshackle haunted mansion. Sporadically, the film is also injected with some amusing scares provided by ghostly rotting appearances and the special visual effects by master matte artist Albert Whitlock are outstanding. Gorgeous actress Alice Krige has that icy cold mysteriousness over her that is fitting for her role. On top of that, she has more scenes with her clothes off then on. There are a couple subplots that could have been altered to make it an even better movie, but these are only minor problems. If you want a decent scary movie double bill with a classy feel to it for a dark & stormy night, I think teaming up John Irvin's "Ghost Story" (1981) with Peter Medak's "The Changeling" (1980) might work wonders.

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