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13 Ghosts (1960)

Not Rated | | Horror | July 1960 (USA)
0:38 | Trailer

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A family inherits what proves to be a haunted house, but a special pair of goggles allows them to see their ghostly tormentors.


William Castle


Robb White
1 nomination. See more awards »



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A millionaire offers $10,000 to five people who agree to be locked in a large, spooky, rented house overnight with him and his wife.

Directors: William Castle, Rosemary Horvath
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Complete credited cast:
Charles Herbert ... Buck Zorba
Jo Morrow ... Medea Zorba
Martin Milner ... Benjamen Rush
Rosemary DeCamp ... Hilda Zorba (as Rosemary De Camp)
Donald Woods ... Cyrus Zorba
Margaret Hamilton ... Elaine Zacharides
John Van Dreelen ... Van Allen


Reclusive Dr. Zorba has died and left his eerie mansion to his penniless nephew Cyrus Zorba and his family. Along with the house, the Zorba family has also inherited the occultist's collection of 12 ghosts, who can only be seen through Zorba's special goggles. The family members, their lives at risk upon the discovery that Dr. Zorba's fortune lies hidden somewhere in the house, receive aid from unexpected quarters as the threat to their lives is revealed. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Spooky "Shaggy Dog!" See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

July 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thirteen Ghosts See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (black and white)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Film was released in 1960 - in a 1960 episode of "Leave it to Beaver" older brother Wally mentions seeing a haunted house movie with "about 15 ghosts running around" See more »


At about 14:10 it is evident that a puppeteer is manipulating the fly that drops down into frame to pester Mrs. Zorba as if it were a spider rather than a fly. Mrs. Zorba shoos the fly from her face and it "bounces" over to the ghost glasses where it is "zapped" by the power of the frames. The puppeteer allows the fly to bounce gently on the frame so that it settles neatly and visibly on the glasses. See more »


Buck Zorba: [to Ben] There's a witch in the house. Ring the bell; she'll answer.
[Ben rings the bell, Medea answers]
Buck Zorba: What'd you do that for? You should've let the Witch answer it.
Medea Zorba: You need to stop calling her that or she'll cut your tongue out.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original version was shot in black and white, but included a few color-tinted sequences. The ghosts were colored in red and shot on a blue background. These sequences were preceded by the message "Use Viewer" and followed by "Remove Viewer". In the prologue, director William Castle explain to the audience how the Illusion-O Ghost Viewer works (for the ghost sequences), while in the epilogue he invites the audience to bring the Ghost Viewer home to try to find more ghosts with it. See more »


Featured in Fright Night Theatre: 13 Ghosts (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

A Craptastical Good Movie
5 April 2008 | by jtyrolerSee all my reviews

Schlockmeister William Castle's "13 Ghosts" is one of his classic horror films of the late 1950s/early 1960s. Castle was known, at least during this time, for gimmicks - the gimmick for this movie was special glasses to see the ghosts.

Absent-minded paleontologist Cyrus Zorba (Donald Woods), not to be confused with the Dr. Zorba played by Sam Jaffe on the Ben Casey TV show, inherits his eccentric uncle's house. His uncle Plato Zorba collected ghosts. 11 ghosts, including a killer Italian chef, a headless lion tamer and his lion that for some reason is split in half, a few flaming ghosts, and, for ghost #12, the late Plato Zorba.

Uncle Plato (apparently suffocated in a canopy bed) was discovered by his housekeeper Elaine Zacharides, played by the late, great Margaret Hamilton (best known as the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz". Before Uncle Plato died, he converted everything he owned into cash and hid it in the house. His attorney, Ben Rush (Martin Milner) knows that there is a substantial amount of money, but he doesn't know where it is.

There are a few interesting things to ratchet up the scare factor - Ouija board that tells the Zorbas and Ben that one of them will be harmed, different ghosts causing objects to float in the air, these weird specs that light up inside the frames, a creepy housekeeper, a séance, and a hidden stash of cash.

Filmed in "Illusion-O". It's not a great film and by no stretch of the imagination is this on the same level as many other films from 1960, like "Spartacus", "The Apartment", or even "The Bellboy, but it definitely has its place in history.

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