Ghost Story (1972 series)

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Sebastian Cabot as "Winston Essex" hosting Ghost Story (1972 series) from his haunted hotel....


Ghost Story was an anthology horror series produced by over-the-top horror promoter William Castle and hosted for most episodes by Sebastian Cabot as "Winston Essex", proprietor of a spooky hotel called Mansfield House, and which featured stories by a number of writers including Robert Bloch, Harlan Ellison, and Richard Matheson; low ratings by mid-season forced a name change to Circle of Fear and a slight retooling in which the host and his haunted hotel were deemed unnecessary and supernatural elements were toned down in favor of a little more crime/thriller/mystery content.


  • Release Date: 1972-1973
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Fantasy, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Drama, Anthology
  • Runtime: (generally formatted for a 1-hour commercial television slot)
  • Starring: (various), hosted by Sebastian Cabot
  • Director: (various)
  • Writer: (various)
  • Producer/Production Co: William Castle, William Castle Productions, Screen Gems Television
  • View Trailer: (link), (link)
  • IMDb page: (link)
  • Wikipedia page: (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (not rated) (perhaps equivalent of a TV-PG for mild violence and occasional mild Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

Nothing particularly "Lovecraftian" here, except for a couple Gothic haunted house tales and the like which might suggest some promising plot ideas for Call of Cthulhu scenarios or stories; see the "Suggested Episodes" below for some of the "least non-Lovecraftian" examples.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • Scott Drebit at Daily Dead, (link) - "...Something that was unjustly tossed aside and forgotten because it didn’t pass ratings muster... it will never topple the shows at the top of the heap, but it’s nice to find something worthwhile near the bottom of the pile...."
  • (review needed)

Synopses of Suggested Episodes

  • "The New House" - A young family purchases a house that is standing on a site where an innocent woman was unjustly hanged. The woman's spirit eventually takes over the family's newborn daughter. By Richard Matheson.
  • "The Summer House" - A woman and her husband are trapped in a strange world between reality and nightmare: a vacation home possessed of its own malevolent personality, and disturbing visions of her husband drowning in a well hidden in the basement.
  • "Alter-Ego" - A bored, ill boy stuck in a wheelchair creates his own double, and soon loses control of the evil doppelgänger, which grows stronger as he grows weaker.
  • "House of Evil" - A deaf-mute girl receives the gifts of a doll house replica of her family's house and psychic powers from her evil grandfather, who uses the child as a pawn in his quest for revenge against his family. By Robert Bloch.
  • "Touch of Madness" - A young woman inherits a house after her mother dies in a mental institution. Her mother's family welcome her warmly, but neither they nor the house are what they seem, and she begins to fear for her own sanity as a terrifying past merges with an equally terrifying present.
  • "Earth, Air, Fire, and Water" - A collective of six artisans find a trunk containing six mysterious but colorful glass containers. Each chooses one, and soon, one by one, their art becomes more disturbing until the artist vanishes. By Harlan Ellison.
  • "Doorway to Death" - When a family moves into a new apartment, their young son starts exploring, and discovers the empty apartment upstairs. He opens a door and sees a cabin in the woods with a man chopping wood, who beckons to him, and expresses and interest in meeting the boy's older sister, who finds only an empty closet behind the same door. Soon, the family are haunted by strange noises and mysterious footprints from upstairs....


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • "The New House" - A young family contacts the investigators for help after their young daughter begins acting strangely after moving into their new house; research reveals that the house was the site of the hanging of an accused witch....
  • "The Summer House" - A young woman seeks help from the investigators when she begins having strange visions involving her husband and a mysterious well hidden in the basement of the couple's summer house in Innsmouth.
  • "Alter-Ego" - A family is troubled by their invalid son's disturbing behavior during his periods of sudden recovery and his terrifying stories of being replaced by an evil doppelgänger during his periods of illness....
  • "Touch of Madness" - A family in turmoil seeks help after their peaceful home life is disrupted following a visit from an evil relative bearing gifts for their deaf-mute daughter: a cursed dollhouse replica of their own home, and psychic powers.
  • "Earth, Air, Fire, and Water" - The investigators must stop a trail of destruction and death after a collective of six artists find a trunk containing six mysterious but colorful glass containers, which seems to be related to their increasingly more disturbing artistic output, leading to their disappearance.
  • "Doorway to Death" - The investigators intervene to help a family after they move into a new apartment and experience strange disturbances: mysterious sounds and footprints from the empty apartment upstairs, and a strange tale from their young son about a doorway to another world in the apartment's closet, and the "man upstairs" the boy claims lives inside it....

Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO

Keeper Notes