Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2010 February 19 • Friday

On Monday night I decided to watch William Castle's 13 Ghosts in Illusion-O.

The DVD has been sitting on my shelf for eight years or so. The DVD is double-sided, one side containing 13 Ghosts with Illusion-O, the other without. As seems to be the case with every double-sided DVD ever made, the sides are labeled incorrectly. The Illusion-O side begins in color, then has an introduction by Castle.

Castle puts down the book and explains that when the screen gets blue, you should look through your ghost viewer.

Look through the red part if you want to see the ghosts…

and through the blue part if you don't.

I like his ghost-shaped ghost viewer. The one that came with the DVD looks like this:

The DVD only came with one of these ghost viewers, which is kind of a drag if you were hoping to watch the movie with somebody. (Apparently at some point the DVD no longer came with a viewer at all. And according to Home Theater Forum, Sony's latest reissue of the DVD only presents the black-and-white version without Illusion-O!)

Just in case the blue tint is too subtle for you, you're reminded whenever ghosts are about to appear. The main character in the movie also has to look through a ghost viewer to see the ghosts.

The red stuff, when viewed through the red part, seems to glow. The ghosts are very bright and it's a neat effect.

It doesn't look like much here—I took a photo of the screen with the camera pointing through the ghost viewer—but it works well when you're watching the movie. It's also fun to peek through the blue part and see the ghosts disappear.

It's not a great movie but I bet it was a lot of fun for kids who saw it in 1960.