The 1960 Columbia ghost thriller feature was directed by legendary macabre horror-thriller feature film director William Castle. Some of Castle’s famous macabre screen thrillers include “House on Haunted Hill” (1959, with Vincent Price), “The Tingler” (1959, w/ Price), “Homicidal” (1961, with Glenn Corbett), “Strait-Jacket” (1964, with Joan Crawford), “The Night Walker” (1964, with Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor) and “I Saw What You Did” (1965, with Crawford).
The screenplay for Castle’s 1960 Columbia ghost thriller production of “13 Ghosts” was written by veteran Castle screenwriter Robb White; who also wrote the screenplay for Castle’s “House on Haunted Hill” (1959), “The Tingler” (1959) and “Homicidal” (1961).
William Castle’s ghost thriller was remade by director Steve Beck as a co-production between Columbia and rival studio Warner Bros. under the title of “Thir13een Ghosts” (2001). Beck’s re-make was a modern-day adaptation of Robb White’s screenplay with Tony Shalhoub (of TV’s “Wings” and “Monk”), Shannon Elizabeth, Embeth Davidtz, F. Murray Abraham and Matthew Lillard.
This will mark Sven’s second big broadcast of Castle’s classic 1960 Columbia ghost thriller masterpiece on Me-TV. He premiered “13 Ghosts” from coast-to-coast back in Oct. 2018. In his home area of Berwyn/Chicago, Sven previously aired “13 Ghosts” on his hometown television station, WCIU-TV (“The U”)* back in Nov. 2009; according to details from IMDB. According to fellow super SvenPal David Fuentes and his official “Terror From Beyond the Dave” YouTube site, when WCIU’s sister station, Me-TV was a local classic television station seen on Weigel Broadcasting’s Chicago and Milwaukee TV stations around 2010 (shortly before Weigel expanded Me-TV across the country to local TV stations from coast-to-coast). Sven also had a 2011 re-broadcast of “13 Ghosts” on WCIU-TV (according to Fuentes).
Who was in the Castle-Columbia production of “13 Ghosts” (1960)?
The players who appeared in the Castle-Columbia thriller production of “13 Ghosts” (1960) were Charles Herbert (as Buck Zorba, Herbert also played the role of David Barker in several episodes of “The Donna Reed Show” from 1958-60), Martin Milner (as Benjamen Rush, Milner played the role of Tod Stiles with George Maharis from 1960-63 and Glenn Corbett from 1963 to the end of the series in 1964 in the Stirling Silliphant/Herbert B. Leonard/Columbia-Screen Gems TV road adventure/drama series, “Route 66;” Milner was also known for his role of Officer Pete Malloy in the 1965-75 Jack Webb/Universal/NBC crime drama series with Kent McCord, “Adam-12” ), Jo Morrow (as Medea Zorba), Margaret Hamilton (as Elaine Zacharides, Hamilton was known for her roles of Miss Gulch/the Wicked Witch of the West in the mammoth 1939 MGM–Victor Fleming musical film adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz;” she also appeared in the role of Mrs. Jackson in A. Edward Sutherland’s 1940 Universal “Invisible” monster franchise film entry, “The Invisible Woman”), Donald Woods (as Cyrus Zorba), John Van Dreelen (as Van Allen), Jeanne Baker, John Burnside and Roy Jenson (in uncredited roles as the “ghosts”), David Hoffman (in an uncredited role as a messenger; Hoffman was known for his role of the “Spirit of the Inner Sanctum” head at the beginning of the majority of Universal’s “Inner Sanctum” thriller film adaptations).
A brief revival of a major studio “haunted house-themed” feature with Castle’s added gimmick
William Castle’s 1960 Columbia production of “13 Ghosts” marked a brief revival of a major studio “haunted house-themed” horror-thriller feature, according to film historian Clive Hirschorn’s retrospective book on Columbia Pictures, “The Columbia Story.” This was enhanced by Castle’s “Illusion-O” ghost viewer gimmick to attendees during the original 1960 theatrical screening of “13 Ghosts” from coast-to-coast.
Original working titles for the Castle-Columbia ghost thriller production of “13 Ghosts”
According to the American Film Institute’s database article on William Castle’s classic 1960 Columbia ghost thriller, the original working titles for “13 Ghosts” were “Ghost Train” and “Thirteen.”
A popular board game was featured in Castle’s Columbia production of “13 Ghosts”
In Castle’s Columbia ghost thriller production of “13 Ghosts,” the popular spiritual “talking” board game known as “Quija” was featured in the production. The “Quija” “talking” board game was originally introduced by novelty game manufacturer Charles Kennard and his Kennard Novelty Company of Baltimore, Maryland in 1891; according to Linda Rodriguez McRobbie’s Oct. 2013 extensive article on the history of “Quija” in Smithsonian Magazine.
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie and his big broadcast of William Castle’s “13 Ghosts” (1970), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Margaret Hamilton, Martin Milner, Donald Woods, John Van Dreelen, Jeanne Baker, John Burnside, Roy Jenson and David Hoffman; be sure to watch Svengoolie’s big broadcast of William Castle’s Columbia ghoul thriller classic masterpiece, “13 Ghosts” (1960); this Sat. on Me-TV! Be on the lookout for Sven’s additional fun facts (including the William Castle “Illusion-O” viewer), Doug Graves’ parody song and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! Highly recommended to all fellow super SvenPals and aficionados of William Castle’s ghost thriller masterpieces! You will not be disappointed! Don’t miss out on the big broadcast!
*Sven’s hometown station in Berwyn/Chicago, WCIU-TV’s “The U” has moved to WCIU-TV 26.2 since WCIU’s main channel; WCIU-TV 26.1 has become the new Chicago home of The CW (CBS-Warner Bros.) network according to the official WCIU website. –C.H.
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet with all fellow coast-to-coast super #Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere via Twitter this Sat. during Sven’s big Me-TV broadcast of William Castle’s “13 Ghosts” (1960)!
(As of this post): Few quantities are available of the official Svengoolie 40th anniversary T-shirt featuring Kerwyn on the official Sven/Me-TV online store (Small, Med., Large and 3X-Large sizes are all sold out)! To quote the famous official Sven/Me-TV online store motto, “no personal checks!” And only purchase official/authorized Sven items through the official online store of Sven & Me-TV!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago/Bridgeview/Elk Grove Village, Illinois and beyond!
Sven will be having a meet-and-greet autograph/photo appearance at the Bridgeview Park District “Unknown World of the Paranormal” convention festival (8100 Beloit Ave., Bridgeview, Illinois 60455) on Sat. Sept. 21 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. (local time)! Tickets are for purchase through ActivityReg (tickets are $12 per person). Alongside Sven’s Paranormal convention appearance, there will be paranormal-based activities, psychics, tarot readers, lectures and guest experts in the world of the paranormal at the festival!
Sven will also be having a free meet-and-greet in-person photo/autograph session at the Elk Grove Public Library’s Comic Con® event a (1001 Wellington Ave., Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007) on Sat., Sept. 28 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (local time)! According to the official site for the Elk Grove Library Comic Con®, photo cards of Sven will be provided for Sven’s autograph and Sven will autograph personal items (one per person) and official Sven merchandise will be available for purchase at the event! Plus, there will be comic book illustrators/artists, costumes/props from various comic book and sci-fi features/TV programs, a Hollywood film & TV automobile show, food trucks, face painting, and much, much more!
And in honor of Sven/Mr. Rich Koz’s 40th anniversary in television, Sven will be appearing at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications (360 North State St., Chicago, IL 60654) on Sat., Oct. 26 from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. (local time, doors are open for the general public at 6:30 p.m. local time) for the museum’s re-dedication of the Svengoolie exhibit (in time for Halloween)! Presented in conjunction with Me-TV (according to the official press release from the Museum of Broadcast Communications), a 40th anniversary Sven event will be held along with a costume contest, food/beverages and much more will also be on hand during Sven’s 40th/MBC event! General admission tickets are $50. Plus, a private VIP reception with Sven’s alter-ego, Mr. Rich Koz from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. (local time) at the museum (plus admission to the MBC’s Sven 40th event)! Tickets for the aforementioned Sven/Mr. Rich Koz VIP private event are $150. All proceeds (from the two levels of ticket sales) will benefit the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Tickets can be purchased online (via registration) through the MBC’s DoubleKnot online ticket platform!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Cameo mentions of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals!
Extra! Extra! Extra! During a recent outing to one of the book retailers in my neck of the woods, I purchased a copy of the Fall 2019 issue of “Scary Monsters Magazine” containing fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal David Fuentes’ retrospective article on Sven/Mr. Rich Koz’s 40th anniversary in television (titled “Svengoolie Stays Fresh in his Coffin.. for 40 years,” which includes a cameo mention of fellow super SvenPal Brian “B.A.” Bernardoni and his connection to the 2014 “Svengoolie Day” dedication in the state of Illinois), Nicholas Cara’s “Finding Svengoolie” along with art Scott Jackson’s “Werewolves” of film cover art along with the reverse cover art drawing of Sven (holding one of his coveted rubber chickens) with Jackson’s drawing of Lon Chaney Jr.’s characterization of Larry “Wolf Man” Talbot! The latest issue of “Scary Monsters” magazine is now available at your favorite bookstore, comic book retailer and/or supermarket!
And be sure to read David Fuentes’ recent “Terror From Beyond the Dave” blog article on the conclusion highlights of Sven’s “Flashback Weekend” 2019 celebrity interviews and Sven’s VIP party celebration at the Murray Bros.’ Caddyshack® restaurant!
Congratulations to Sven/Mr. Rich Koz, David, Brian/B.A., Nicholas, and the entire Sven production team, the “Scary Monsters” magazine team on the recent Sven 40th anniversary article! And glad to hear that you enjoyed Sven’s entire “Flashback Weekend” and 40th anniversary VIP celebration! Kudos/peace/two thumbs up/three cheers and “Hi-Keeba” from all of us fellow SvenPals everywhere! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! In commemoration of the upcoming Halloween season and the 50th anniversary of Hanna-Barbera’s “Scooby-Doo” series, fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee is currently looking for additional “Scooby” and “chase” songs from her fellow jammers via Twitter for upcoming Oct. Halloween-themed broadcasts of her Sat. morning WNUR-FM radio series, “Jammin’ with Jamie!” Send in links of your favorite Scooby-Doo or chase song suggestions to Jamie before the Oct. jam sessions! Jamie’s weekly live jam session radio broadcasts airs Sat. mornings at 6 a.m. Central/7 a.m. Eastern on the airlanes Northwestern University’s WNUR-FM 89.3 (throughout Berwyn/Chicago/Evanston) and simulcasting through WNUR.org and/or the TuneIn site/app!
And Jamie will be appearing with the Corn Productions troupe in the role of Tot in the upcoming Oct. 2019 horror-comedy stage show of “Nightmares on Lincoln Ave.;” beginning on Thurs., Oct. 3! Just in time for Halloween, the Corn troupe’s “Nigtmares on Lincoln Ave.” stage shows will take place on Thurs., Fri. and Sat. from early Oct. through early Nov. at Corn Productions’ Cornservatory Theatre complex(4210 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60618)! Note: Additional information and ticket information have not been revealed yet according to the official website of Corn Prroductions, stay tuned for additional information!
Congratulations to Jamie and to all fellow “Jammin’ with Jamie” jammers for the upcoming Oct. Halloween/Scooby/chase songs jam sessions and the entire Corn players troupe crowd on their upcoming Berwyn/Chicago stage horror-comedy productions of “Nightmares on Lincoln Ave.!” We’re all cheering for you and the entire crowd of fellow jammers and the entire Corn ensemble! We’re all proud of you! Kudos/peace/two thumbs up/three cheers and “Hi-Keeba” from the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere! –C.H.
And be sure to give generously /spread the word to help one of Jamie’s friends from the PM&L players ensemble through her friend’s official “GoFundMe” website (to help offset expensive health costs)! Any amount helps! –C.H.
In connection to William Castle’s “13 Ghosts” (1960):
“13 Ghosts” is also available on Blu-Ray as part of the William Castle/Columbia double feature (paired with his 1963 entry, “13 Frightened Girls”) and on DVD as part of the “William Castle Horror Collection” anthology set of select Castle/Columbia thrillers from Mill Creek Entertainment (by arrangement with Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc./Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).
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