6.1/10
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93 user 55 critic

13 Ghosts (1960)

Not Rated | | Horror | July 1960 (USA)
Trailer
0:39 | Trailer
A family inherits what proves to be a haunted house, but a special pair of goggles allows them to see their ghostly tormentors.

Director:

William Castle

Writer:

Robb White
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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 13 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

Taglines:

IT'S FUN TO BE SCARED BY 13 GHOSTS (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thirteen Ghosts See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,270,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (black and white)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The exterior of the Cyrus Zorba House that the family inherits is in reality the Winchester Mystery House located in San Jose California. This is not the main entrance "street view", but is from one of the other many entrances of the house. Notice the handrail running up the middle of the steps so that it's easier (and safer) for public use. See more »

Goofs

When the Ouija board planchette is flying around the room (from 21:58 to 22:08), you can see the wires that are holding it up. (This is not apparent in the 2005 DVD version from Sony Home Entertainment.) See more »

Quotes

Buck Zorba: That was Emilio.
Cyrus Zorba: Who?
Buck Zorba: Emilio! He killed his wife, his mother-in-law and his sister-in-law with a meat cleaver. Whack! Whack! Whack! You'd better stand over there
[points to wall]
Buck Zorba: .
Cyrus Zorba: Why?
Buck Zorba: He doesn't mess up the kitchen often, but when he does, WOW!
[meat cleaver hits the wall]
Buck Zorba: . Now Emilio is through.
Hilda Zorba: Now *I'm* through
[...]
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 »

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User Reviews

 
Spooky , Hokey Fun!
30 December 2004 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

This film by William Castle about a family of four moving into a house professed to have no fewer than 13 ghosts is a great deal of fun. Donald Woods is Cyrus Zorba, a paleontologist down on his luck. His furniture has just been removed from his flat and his wife and two children, Medea and Buck, seem used to being in continual dire financial straits. While sitting on the floor for Buck's birthday party, a creepy message comes telling Cyrus to see a lawyer in the morning. Cyrus and wife Rosemary Decamp go and discover that Cyrus has inherited a huge mansion from his Uncle Plato as well as a package containing some weird type of glasses. It seems that Uncle Plato collected ghosts. The rest of the story details what life is like in this house that has these ghosts. I did not have the pair of glasses so cannot tell you what it looked like in Illusion-O, but I bet it was even more fun. Castle always seems to do a good job at creating entertaining, fun films, though none of them ever seem to be much more than that either. The mystery is not hard to figure out at all. The acting is good all around with youngster Charles Herbert giving a nice performance as Buck. Woods is good as the family patriarch and Jo Morrow is just beautiful as daughter Medea. Martin Milner plays Ben the lawyer. And as a retainer in the house is Elaine, played by none other than Margaret Hamilton(always a joy to see her). When Ben first arrives at the house to see how the Zorbas are doing, Buck says "ring the bell and you'll see a witch." Of course the witch reference goes throughout the whole film as Hamilton looks witch-like and this is one marvelous inside gag about her Wizard of Oz performance. The effects for the film are pretty tame and very hokey, but this film is just good, old-fashioned fun. I liked it from beginning to end. If you loved the new one and decide to go back and see the old one - you will be very disappointed. Just as I was disappointed having seen the old one and moving to the new one. They have nothing except some threadbare incidentals in common and a producer named Castle(though a different first name for each).


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