20 user 34 critic

The Haunted Castle (1921)

Schloß Vogelöd (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 7 April 1921 (Germany)
In the castle Vogeloed, a few aristocrats are awaiting baroness Safferstätt. But first count Oetsch invites himself.. Everyone thinks he murdered his brother, baroness Safferstat's first ... See full summary »


F.W. Murnau


Rudolf Stratz (novel), Carl Mayer (adaptation)




Complete credited cast:
Arnold Korff ... von Vogelschrey - Schlossherr auf Vogeloed
Lulu Kyser-Korff Lulu Kyser-Korff ... Centa V. Vogelschrey - von Vogelschrey's Frau (as L. Kyser-Korff)
Lothar Mehnert Lothar Mehnert ... Graf Johann Oetsch (as Lotar Mehnert)
Paul Hartmann ... Graf Peter Paul Oetsch
Paul Bildt Paul Bildt ... Baron Safferstätt
Olga Tschechowa ... Baronin Safferstätt
Victor Bluetner Victor Bluetner ... Der Pater Faramund (as Victor Blütner)
Hermann Vallentin ... Der Landgerichtsrat a.D.
Julius Falkenstein ... Der ängstliche Herr
Robert Leffler Robert Leffler ... Der Haushofmeister
Walter Kurt Kuhle Walter Kurt Kuhle ... Ein Diener (as Walter Kurt-Kuhle)


In the castle Vogeloed, a few aristocrats are awaiting baroness Safferstätt. But first count Oetsch invites himself.. Everyone thinks he murdered his brother, baroness Safferstat's first husband, three years ago. So he is rather undesirable. But Oetsch stays; arguing he is not the murderer and will find the real one... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Horror | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The movie was shot in 16 days and released before the serialized novel's last chapter had been printed in the "Berliner Illustrierten". See more »

Alternate Versions

The National Film Museum, Inc. had Hypercube, llc, New York City, digitally restore the movie and provide English with the German intertitles. It has a piano music score composed and performed by Douglas M. Protsik and runs 74 minutes. See more »


Version of Schloß Vogelöd (1936) See more »

User Reviews

Murnau desperately seeks sound
19 March 2012 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

"The Haunted Castle" is one of the lesser known and rather unpopular – judging by the other user comments – earliest accomplishments by the great visual artist F.W. Murnau ("Nosferatu", "Faust", "Der Januskopf"). Personally I fail to comprehend why it's so obscure and neglected, because I watched an ambitious and even convoluted whodunit/mystery thriller with eerily atmospheric set pieces, intriguing characters and a few nicely elaborated moments of suspense. Okay, first and foremost, the English title is misleading and even downright irrelevant. The titular caste isn't haunted or besieged by ghosts whatsoever. It's merely the gathering place of a selected clique of prominent aristocrats on the evening before they go fox-hunting. The cozy ambiance is disturbed when the uncanny Count Oetsch shows up at the castle uninvited. Oetsch is accused, especially by the widow, of murdering his own brother. His former sister-in-law arrives later at the party, together with her new husband, and tension rises among the group. The countess goes to confession with another guest, namely the honorable Father Faramünd from Rome. When he mysteriously vanishes as well, Count Oetsch is suddenly suspected of two murders, especially since he behaves so arrogantly and strange. "The Haunted Castle" certainly isn't the visually astounding and hypnotizing expressionist masterpiece that "Nosferatu" was. It's more of a straightforward thriller relying on plot instead of Gothic atmosphere and experimental choreography. This movie is, in fact, released one whole decade sooner than it should have been released. The script is overly "talkative" and contains more interruptions to display dialog and descriptions than any other silent movie from that era I have seen. And then still it seems as if Murnau needed more opportunities for text, as too many sequences show characters talking without their conversations being translated in writing. I really think that F.W. Murnau craved for sound technology here, more half a decade before it became possible, to let his characters express themselves and to generate the apt mood. Nevertheless, a more than interesting and warmly recommended piece of antique for cinema fanatics to check out.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





None | German

Release Date:

7 April 1921 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Haunted Castle See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| | (video) | (DVD) | (2002 restored)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed