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13 Ghosts (1960)

Charles Herbert , Jo Morrow , William Castle  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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13 Ghosts + House on Haunted Hill (Colorized / Black & White) + The Tingler
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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner, Rosemary DeCamp, Donald Woods
  • Directors: William Castle
  • Writers: Robb White
  • Producers: William Castle
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2001
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005N5RQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,612 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "13 Ghosts" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "The Magic of Illusion-O"
  • Theatrical introduction from William Castle on how to use the Illusion-O glasses
  • Note: "Illusion-O" glasses are not included with this DVD

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Donald Woods, Charles Herbert, Margaret Hamilton. A typical all-American family inherits a house from a recently deceased uncle-and it's haunted. 1960/b&w/88 min/NR/widescreen.

This terrific haunted-house thriller proved an unforgettable experience for 1960 audiences. Set in the mansion of a deceased scientist named Dr. Zorba, the story finds the late occult practitioner's nephew discovering a bunch of elusive spooks on the premises that can be seen only through Zorba's ghost-viewing glasses. Produced and directed by legendary showman William Castle, master of such garish, audience-pleasing gimmicks as flying skeletons and electric-shock theater seats, 13 Ghosts was hyped with an innovative process called "Illusion-O." Movie patrons were furnished with special, red-and-blue-colored glasses that allowed them to choose to see the titular specters or not. This DVD does not provide a working replica of the Illusion-O viewer (earlier copies did), but it offers both a straight, black-and-white version of the feature (no viewer necessary) and a version with the film's original tinted scenes requiring the viewer for extra fun. Also included is Castle's own introduction, in which he explains the Illusion-O technique. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Magic of Illusion-O In Your Own Living Room February 14, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
William Castle was reknowned for showman gimmicks to which he gave cheesy names, such as "Percept-O," "Fright Break," and "Emerg-O." Although some of these effects were pretty silly, some were fairly complicated--and most of them relied upon the communial nature of a theatre audience for effect. Consequently, a contemporary viewer sitting in the comfort of the living room simply doesn't have much opportunity to experience a Castle film as it was originally presented. But there is one exception. The gimmick for Castle's 13 GHOSTS was "Illusion-O," which required the audience to use color filters (available at the box office) similar to 3-D glasses to see the ghosts in the film. Until recently, all available prints of 13 GHOSTS have been shown in simple black and white with the ghosts always visible, but the recent DVD release restores the tint process, and now you too can have the fun of a William Castle film right in your own home.
Like most Castle films, the story is very basic. A financially strapped family inherits a house, and unless they actually agree to reside in it the property goes to the state. But the house is also residence to 11 ghosts "collected" by the previous owner, and his death raised the number to 12. Now all of them are out to add another to their number. Who will the victim be? The script, the design, the cinematography, and the story are just as hokey as they can be, but the cast--which includes Margaret Hamilton of "OZ" fame--plays it very straight and even without the Illusion-O process the film is a cult favorite. But Illusion-O puts the icing on top. Periodically, a caption flashes on the screen instructing you to look through the viewer. Look through the red filter, and Poof! There are ghosts galore. Look through the blue filter, and Poof! Ghosts be Gone!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from schlockmeister William Castle October 5, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this one at the theater waaaaay back in 1960, and was scared under the seat before the initial credits were done rolling. (Hey, I was FIVE!) I've seen some of today's jaded youth scared by it, too - IF you treat it right and show it in the proper atmosphere. The writer, Robb White, also did Castle's "House on Haunted Hill", and he seems to have a knack for the occasional creepy lines (like those from a pre-"Adam 12" Marty Millner describing the death of the previous owner of the haunted house - no graphic scenes can compete with your imagination, and that's how Castle gets his best effects.) Recommended for all ages, but the more sensitive (read intelligent and imaginative) youngsters *may* have a nightmare. It's GOOD for them! ;-)
Margaret Hamilton, the never-to-be-forgotten "Wicked Witch" from "The Wizard of Oz", plays the housekeeper. Poor Margaret - she HATED this movie, and yet - she just couldn't break away from that one role. She keeps her chin up here, but it's obvious her heart's not in it.
When this was first released to theaters, the lucky members of the audience were given "Ghost Viewers" - all part of the "ILLUSION-O" marketing campaign William Castle dreamed up to market this Saturday-matinee special. These "viewers" occasionally show up on some on-line auction sites as a reminder of a more innocent time, when a Saturday afternoon at the movies was cheap, fun, and something you'd always remember.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fun film, NOT fun without the viewer January 19, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Taking into consideration that the film is a classic, what i was rather angry about was the absence of the 'viewer' that was supposed to be included with the dvd. I am inclined to return the dvd to, and suggest those who may want to purchase this dvd to not do so for the reason that i did not get what i paid for.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 40 Years Later It's Still Campy Fun October 16, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
If you consider this movie's age, it holds up right well! William Castle, the reigning king of spook movies in the late fifties and early sixties, was in fine form with co-conspirator Robb White in this spooky tale of a family inheriting a house and it's twelve ghosts. Someone in the house has been marked to be ghost #13. The ghosts are hard to see without the special 3-D lenses issued in the theaters, but the atmosphere is appropriately frightening.
The dialogue is witty, yet wooden, and the acting is only as a film at this time could be---deadpan yet tongue in cheek. Margaret Hamilton plays the witch housekeeper, and she still looks like the Wicked Witch of the West. Martin Milner is cast in the role of the family attorney; Jo Morrow (I remember her from the delightful "Three Worlds of Gulliver") is a very pretty and effective ingenue, and Charles Herbert is a typical little kid, enamored with his ghostly surroundings. However, Donald Woods and Rosemary DeCamp as the parents are superbly cast. You can tell they were having fun with this, almost like they were in a community theater production.
All in all, this is one of those great low budget classics from the sixties and scares without nauseating. Enjoy!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware June 2, 2004
By A Customer
Movie is a lot of fun with the Illusion-O effect, provided you get the ghost viewer glasses. I ordered a copy from Amazon in May 2004 and it did not contain the ghost viewer glasses. I returned it and they sent me a new one that also didn't contain the glasses. I suggested that their whole batch was bad. They responded that the problem was larger than they thought and they would straighten it out, but couldn't provide me with a copy with the viewers at this time, and would refund my money. I ordered a copy from an outfit in Canada ( and it contained the glasses. I discovered that the flyer inside contained a panel for ordering more glasses that expired in December, 2002 that was not attached to the flyer that came with the Amazon copies. It appears that Columbia Tristar ran out of the glasses and are knowingly releasing copies of the DVD without them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a simplified tale of 13 ghosts where a poor family inherits...
Yes, Charles Herbert who plays the part of "Buck" (and is the star of this movie). I never learned the last name he played. Read more
Published 2 days ago by jackiepapertracer
5.0 out of 5 stars "13 Times the Thrills! 13 Times the Chills! 13 Times the Fun!"
It's a great time of the year to revisit some spooky old classics. This 1960 movie had been out a while before my parents allowed me to see it one Saturday at a matinee. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Bowman
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite ghost movie for the Halloween season. William Castle's...
If I had to name ONE movie that ALWAYS gets played in my house every Halloween season, that would have to be William Castle's original 1960 "13 Ghosts" starring Charles Herbert, Jo... Read more
Published 23 days ago by R. L. Matsui
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorite movies, not to be missed
one of my favorite movies,not to be missed.charles Herbert ended up being a substance abuser,i read it in monster bash magazine he gave an interview,where he addmitterd it it blew... Read more
Published 1 month ago by brandon d baur
5.0 out of 5 stars great old movie dated by good plays fine and is ...
great old movie dated by good plays fine and is quality product anyone into the 1950s horror movies this is a classic
Published 2 months ago by no
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thank you for the movie i liked it very much
Published 2 months ago by Howard Whitney Nakken
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie.
Excellent movie, in the OLD style...
Published 3 months ago by D. DuBois
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic black and white. A Must See for pre-blood gore shows
Saw this as a kid and loved it. Still love it even if the special effects seem hokey. New version is no comparison. This is a great, scary, suspenseful classic. 1960 style.
Published 4 months ago by L. Denktas
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 Ghosts
Loved it, saw this movie when I was a kid and was so and my sister even walked out of the movie theatre because it scared us so bad. Love it, this is a good movie.
Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth L. Moore
3.0 out of 5 stars All Too Visible Now......
Sadly now, the gimmick that would make this otherwise fairly corny movie such fun for enthusiasts seems no longer available. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Le Stryge
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