13 ghosts: every ghost in the black zodiac explained.
The Black Zodiac in Dark Castle's 2001 horror movie 13 Ghosts had some of the most imaginative and terrifying spirits ever seen on the big screen.
The black zodiac: why there are 13 ghosts in 13 ghosts explained, the first born son, the bound woman, the withered lover, the torn prince, the angry princess, the pilgrimess, the great child & the dire mother, the juggernaut, who is the 13th ghost in thirteen ghosts, thirteen ghosts original vs. remake: ghost differences explained, why 13 ghosts is still being discussed, a 13 ghosts tv reboot is on the cards.
- The 2001 film 13 Ghosts has gained a cult following due to the intriguing backstories and unique designs of its titular 13 ghosts.
- The Black Zodiac concept, which features 13 different ghosts, was ahead of its time and each ghost could be a horror movie villain on their own.
- The film explores the tragic pasts and deaths of the ghosts, and while the movie only delves slightly into their backstories, there is potential for future projects to expand on their stories.
The 2001 Dark Castle horror 13 Ghosts , also referred to as Thir13n Ghosts or Thirteen Ghosts, is a highly underrated cult movie. 13 Ghosts centers on the Kriticos family and their attempts to escape the 13 Ghosts held by ancient glyphs in the presumed-dead Cyrus Kriticos' glass mansion. Every ghost in the movie has a complete origin story and unique aesthetic design, making it possible for each ghost to be a horror movie villain in their own right. All the ghosts differ from how they look to how they kill, and the Black Zodiac was an innovative character concept that was wildly ahead of its time when the movie was released in 2001.
13 Ghosts gained a cult following largely because of the creative prosthetic special effects seen in the film. The set designs in 13 Ghosts are truly unique and the costume design of the 13 Ghosts themselves ensures each has a clear origin story and M.O. that sets them apart from the rest, from the First Born Son to the dreaded Angry Princess. The movie itself only expands a little on the 13 Ghosts' backstories, but future projects from Dark Castle Entertainment could finally expand on what's known about all 13 Ghosts. This is an incredibly exciting prospect for 13 Ghosts fans since what's already been revealed about the spirits of the Black Zodiac is terrifying, unnerving, and ripe for a sequel or spinoff.
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13 Ghosts' culminates when Cyrus Kriticos' "Basileus's Machine" begins to open up the Ocularis Infernum, which would grant Cyrus powers from Hell. The only way Cyrus could get the machine to work is if the spirits of the Black Zodiac were made complete. Cyrus had gathered all 13 ghosts in order to achieve his goal since the Ocularis Infernum would only open if the machine was powered by the spirits. Their presence not only powers Cyrus' machine itself but also helps power the mansion. All 13 Ghosts are connected through their tragic pasts and deaths, dying in a way that fulfills a certain set of criteria which is represented in their names such as The Juggernaut and The Withered Lover.
In 13 Ghosts , the 13 ghosts gathered by Cyrus represent individual members of the Black Zodiac. The reason there are only 12 ghosts despite the movie's title being 13 Ghosts is also revealed by the ending. Cyrus's initial plan was to force Arthur to sacrifice himself and become the 13th ghost called The Broken Heart. The 13th ghost in 13 Ghosts can only be created by a person sacrificing themselves in an act of love, which Arthur was prepared to do for his family. Luckily, he didn't need to, and the entire Black Zodiac is unleashed to roam free once again.
Of all the ghosts in 13 Ghosts, The First Born Son has one of the most sympathetic and tragic backstories. It would be unfair to label him as being an outright malevolent spirit like some other ghosts in the Black Zodiac. The First Born Son was a boy named Billy Michaels who had an unhealthy obsession with pop culture involving cowboys and Indigenous Peoples. Any attempt to rip him away from his fantasy life would earn rage, but that didn't protect Billy from a real arrow fired into his head by another boy during an ill-conceived duel. Billy is a relatively harmless child ghost and is one of the least harmless of the 13 ghosts, but he does scare them into the path of more violent demonic-like spirits.
Out of all 13 ghosts in 13 Ghosts, The Torso is the only one whose name directly describes what he is, a disembodied torso wrapped in cellophane. Prior to dying, the torso was part of a compulsive gambler named Jimmy Gambino. Gambino was also a bookie but his own gambling prevented him from being able to pay out the winnings of a "made man" in the mob. Goons killed Jimmy and dumped his remains into the ocean. Aside from having one of the most interesting backstories, The Torso is easily one of the most disturbing ghosts in the Black Zodiac with such a striking and unique design that he feels like something directly out of a more modern horror franchise.
The Bound Woman is one of the Black Zodiac that 13 Ghosts devotes notably less screen time to and gives less exposition on. The Bound Woman was named Susan LeGrow and had a privileged upbringing. She was a rich, popular cheerleader who dated the captain of the school football team. That was until the captain found her with another boy on prom night and had a rather horrific reaction, bludgeoning his romantic rival to death and strangling Susan with his own tie. Like the First Born Son and the Torso, she's more frightening than an actual threat and is perhaps the most tragic of all 13 ghosts in 13 Ghosts .
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The Withered Lover is one ghost in 13 Ghosts that's not a threat to the Kriticos family once they get trapped inside Cyrus' house of horrors due to her particularly tragic backstory. Cyrus found his ghost for The Withered Lover segment of the Black Zodiac from his own family. She was Jean Kriticos, wife of protagonist Arthur and mother to his children Kathy and Bobby. Jean died in a house fire that the rest of her family survived, and it's the only one of the 13 ghosts' backstories that's shown on-screen in 13 Ghosts . Her inclusion as one of the initial 12 spirits wasn't a huge twist, but it still helped add some personal stakes to Thirteen Ghosts' interesting premise.
The threat of the Torn Prince's can be missed when compared to the likes of The Jackal and The Juggernaut. The Torn Prince was a high school baseball star in the late 1950s, explaining the ever-present baseball bat weapon that he'll happily use to attack any of 13 Ghosts ' living characters. Named Royce Clayton in life, The Torn Prince died during a drag race, after losing control of his car in a horrific accident. He shouldn't blame himself though since his opponent had secretly tampered with his brakes. Though not the most dangerous of all 13 ghosts in 13 Ghosts , he definitely causes some havoc with his weapon.
Like The First Born Son and The Bound Woman, The Angry Princess's backstory is tragic and makes her a figure of empathy as much as fear. Born Dana Newman, The Angry Princess was an incredibly beautiful woman by all standards but her own. Sadly, she was unable to be happy with her looks, seeing imperfections others didn't and constantly trying to improve her appearance through surgery. After a self-administered but botched facial surgery left her disfigured, Dana died by suicide. In 13 Ghosts, the slimy lawyer character Ben Moss makes a rude comment about her nude ghostly appearance and pays for it accordingly.
Named Isabella Smith, The Pilgrimess was a victim of the Salem witch trial hysteria that gripped New England in the late 1600s. A local outcast, Isabella was accused of witchcraft, and when an attempted burning didn't work, the perception that she was evil only increased. In the end, The Pilgrimess was left to slowly die of starvation in the stocks her ghost remains locked in when she becomes one of the Black Zodiac in 13 Ghosts . She's one of the oldest ghosts trapped in the mansion and feels right out of American Horror Story: Roanoke . Of all 13 ghosts in 13 Ghosts , The Pilgrimess is the only one whose arms are bound. While she is threatening, there isn't really much she can do other than look scary.
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The Great Child and The Dire Mother are among the most creepy of the 13 Ghosts. Margaret Shelburne was a woman with dwarfism who worked in an American Horror Story- style carnival show. Her enormous son Harold was the result of a sexual assault by the carnival's tallest member of the freak troupe. Some of the other freaks later murdered Margaret, leading Harold to go crazy with an ax and kill most of them before he himself was killed by an angry mob. These ghosts in 13 Ghosts, especially The Great Child, are striking to behold, and arguably among the most memorable.
The Hammer is among the most terrifying of the 13 ghosts that 13 Ghosts contains. Born George Markley, The Hammer wasn't a bad person, working as a blacksmith in a small town. That was until he was falsely accused of theft by a white man and his family was brutally murdered. In a grief-fueled rage, George took his trusty sledgehammer and bludgeoned their killers. Of course, the townspeople blamed him and killed him by driving railroad spikes into his body. This is probably the only racial commentary made in the film, as 13 Ghosts and other early '00s horror movies weren't known for commenting on social issues, and horror films having a clear message is a relatively modern trend.
Easily the most volatile and unpredictable out of all 13 ghosts in 13 Ghosts , The Jackal was born Ryan Kuhn in 1887 and grew up to be a sick and twisted man. The Jackal is also one of the few of the 13 ghosts who was just as violent and sadistic before they became a spirit. Most of the 13 ghosts' names and stories hint at a tragic past, but this isn't the case with The Jackal. A vicious and compulsive sexual predator and killer, Ryan did actually seek help for his affliction, checking into an asylum. Before long he had completely lost what was left of his mind. He eventually died and became one of the 13 Ghosts when the asylum burned down.
Horace "Breaker" Mahoney, aka The Juggernaut, is definitely the most dangerous out of all the ghosts in 13 Ghosts. He can be considered almost a "final boss" of the Black Zodiac. A mountain of a man, Horace was a serial killer who would pick up hitchhikers or offer rides to the stranded, only to take them back to his junkyard and tear them apart with his bare hands. He'd then feed their bodies to his dogs. The Juggernaut is the first ghost that 13 Ghosts introduces thanks to a flashback of Cyrus and Matthew Lillard's Dennis capturing him for the Ocularis Infernum machine. Along with The Hammer, The Juggernaut sadly decimates friendly psychic character Dennis Rafkin.
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The thirteenth ghost in 13 Ghosts was supposed to be Arthur (Tony Shalhoub), at least according to Cyrus Kriticos' (F. Murray Abraham) master plan. By dying in the house, Arthur would have become The Broken Heart. This would activate Basileus's Machine, a device " designed by the devil and powered by the dead," the purpose of which was to grant Cyrus near-limitless power. However, Arthur survives.
While the 13th ghost in the Black Zodiac, The Broken Heart, never appears, the ghost of Dennis manifests after he's killed. This means that, technically, Matthew Lillard is the 13th ghost in 13 Ghosts. The movie does tease early on that Cyrus himself might be the 13th ghost, but then pulls an almost M. Night Shyamalan-level twist. Cyrus faked his own death and doesn't actually die until the movie's climax, after which he doesn't come back as a ghost.
2001's 13 Ghosts is a remake of a 1960 movie of the same name, but they're totally different especially when it comes to the ghosts. 13 Ghosts 1960 doesn't expand much on its titular ghosts and doesn't name the spirits in the house inherited by the Zorba family. They're also considerably less violent, both in terms of their actions and how they died. The spirits in the 1960 13 Ghosts don't look nearly as harrowing by modern standards, but this is to be expected.
There's no Black Zodiac in the original 13 Ghosts , although Cyrus is both present and the protagonist. The 12 ghosts in the remake also need someone to die in the house and create a 13th to free themselves. The inspiration this gave for the 2001 Thirteen Ghosts / Thir13n Ghosts/13 Ghosts , in which Cyrus needs 13 ghosts to activate Basileus's Machine, is obvious. However, that's effectively where the similarities end.
13 Ghosts is a cult gem of a 2000s horror movie, and its Black Zodiac of 13 ghost characters has gained a lot more attention in the age of streaming. The early 2020s have seen great success with horror reboots, with everything from Scream to Hellraiser getting some type of new movie. These endeavors have proven to be incredibly victorious, seeing great box office returns, and 13 Ghosts could follow suit. Despite being a box office failure, 13 Ghosts has garnered quite a cult following over the years making it a unique entry into the horror genre at large.
There simply wasn't a market for a movie like 13 Ghosts in the early 00s, but this very much isn't the case in the 2020s when audiences are eager for fresh and interesting concepts in their horror content. The production design in 1 3 Ghosts was ahead of its time and all 13 ghosts were horrifying to behold. 13 Ghosts deserves its resurgence in popularity, and the flexibility of the age of streaming feels like the perfect time to explore 13 Ghosts in a dedicated project.
The backstories of the 13 ghosts in 13 Ghosts are fascinating. They're the key reason the 2001 movie has managed to garner such a steady level of interest in the decades since its release. Dark Castle Entertainment may be resurrecting 13 Ghosts with the specific intent of exploring the names and stories of the 13 Ghosts. As reported by DreadCentral in August 2023, Dark Castle Entertainment is developing a 13 Ghosts TV series. The show will be written and developed by Patrick Mediate (Primordial Pictures) and Aaron McLane (Fear the Walking Dead ). It's expected will take an almost anthology-like approach with each episode dedicated to the story of a different ghost from the 13 Ghosts original film.
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Susan LeGrow , chosen to be The Bound Woman by millionaire Cyrus Kriticos , is a minor antagonist, yet a major character in the 2001 film Thir13en Ghosts .
She was portrayed by Laura Mennell.
- 1.1 Before death
- 1.3 Role in the movie
- 4 External links
- 5 Navigation
History [ ]
Before death [ ].
Susan was the daughter of the richest couple in town, making her the most popular girl in high school. She was also in the cheerleading squad, possibly, and presumably the leader. But her most defining feature was her infidelity, seducing many men and simply tossing them away, her friends always warning her she would regret it someday. During her school prom, she was dating the captain of the football team, Chet Walters , but once again she cheated on him with another boy, only this time Chet had his revenge. The following day, the other boy was found clubbed to death, and Susan went missing. She was later found buried under the 50-yard line in the local football field, bounded with ropes and strangled to death. Arrested and getting the death penalty, Chad's last words were "That bitch broke my heart, so I broke her neck".
Susan is still in her prom dress and crown, her arms tied behind her back. Her body hangs suspended by the belt used to strangle her, and she has many strangling marks in her neck. Even though she's dead, she still laughs in a sadistic and insane way.
Role in the movie [ ]
Susan is first seen luring Arthur's son, Bobby, into the basement of the Basileus Machine after she was released from her containment cube. Bobby follows her voice downstairs, and meets Susan's horrible figure in a hallway. She is only seen again at the climax, and finally leaving after the destruction of the Ocularis Infernum with the other ghosts and crossed over.
Gallery [ ]
- It is well known that Susan, as the Bound Woman, had her arms tied behind her back (hence her title). But she can be clearly seen in the climax lifting Cyrus towards the machine to kill him, even tough she was completely unable to move her arms.
- The whispers which signal The Bound Woman's presence appear to be insane screams and laughter.
External links [ ]
- The Bound Woman - 13 Ghosts Wiki
- The Bound Woman - Horror Film Wiki
Navigation [ ]
- 1 The Dealer (Buckshot Roulette)
- 2 Mrs. Tweedy
- 3 Oliver Quick
The Thirteen Ghosts with the Most
But why do all that when you can head over to 13thStreet.com and read about each of the ghostly characters there? Warner Bros. has given the aptly named site a nifty exclusive that details the back stories of 12 of the ghosts in the film. Yes, 12 – as the film's producer told 13th Street's Smilin' Jack Ruby, "Who is the 13th ghost?" could be the film's tagline.
The writers have done a nice job giving these characters life...errr...death. Each of the ghosties has a neat little nickname too! Here's a quick peek at histories of each of the ghastly apparitions:
The Juggernaut – a seven-foot tall serial killer that was finally shot to death by police.
The Hammer – an 1890s blacksmith that snapped and hammered a bunch of people to death. He was brutally killed by an angry mob out for justice.
The Jackal – a psychiatric patient that was locked up for biting women. He was disfigured after spending many years bound in a straightjacket. The Jackal died in an Asylum fire.
The Torn Prince – a '50s rebel without a cause that was killed in a fiery street race.
The Angry Princess – a looks-obsessed beauty that would never feel beautiful. Convinced of her own displeasing appearance, she took her own life.
The First Born Son – a little boy that accidentally shot himself with a bow and arrow.
Dire Mother – a midget woman who was imprisoned by a band of gypsy lumberjacks and forced to be part of a "freak show." Is there such a thing as gypsy lumberjacks? Who knew!?
The Great Child – The giant son of the Dire Mother who raised her son to be her body guard. He took revenge on the entire camp of gypsy lumberjacks by turning their own axes on them, before being captured by a torch-waving mob.
The Withered Lover – a loving wife and mother who died in a freak accident while racing to save her children.
The Bound Woman – a prom queen and cheerleader who was strangled by her boyfriend in a jealous rage.
The Pilgrimess – a young lady that lived in a small New England town in 1675. She was sentenced to death for "witchcraft."
The Torso – a scam artist and gambler that was killed by the mob for backing out of a bet.
These descriptions are just short versions of the expanded bios that can be found at 13thStreet.com . Visit them for all the gory details.
In This Article
Thirteen Ghosts: All the Ghosts of the Zodiac, Explained
Now a cult favorite among horror fans, renewed interest in 13 Ghosts has led to an exciting future for this once-forgotten horror film from 2001.
It's been well over 20 years since the memorably freaky horror film Thirteen Ghosts was first released. It was pretty underwhelming at the box office and fared horribly with critics, not even managing 20% with its critical rating. Given these disappointing metrics, it would be easy to give this one a pass if you've never seen it. However, for those who did watch the movie when it first came out, despite all the skewering it received from critics, many audiences will attest to the fact that there was a certain uniqueness about it that made it enjoyable.
Sure, it was cheesy at times and had some bad acting. However, what sometimes resonates with pop culture isn't always acclaimed, and so it was for Thirteen Ghosts. It seemed largely forgotten for a long time, until surges in Halloween popularity, and pop culture horror films saw horror fan pages and content creation platforms across social media begin featuring all manner of content that brought the film's very recognizable scenes vividly back to memory.
A remake of a classic horror from the '60s, the 2001 version of Thirteen Ghosts has since become a sleeper hit. Now a cult favorite, It was recently announced that the film is set for a spin-off series . Billed as a show that will give each of its spooky characters more attention this time, in preparation, here's a reminder of what the film was about, and some background information on all the ghosts of Thirteen Ghosts .
15 The Plot
Thirteen Ghosts sees a man named Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub) inherit a house from his uncle. In a precarious financial state, Arthur decides to move there with his children (played by Shannon Elizabeth and Alec Roberts) and their nanny. The house is unique but creepy since it's made of multiple glass panels, that are marked with Latin inscriptions.
It soon emerges that Arthur's uncle, Cyrus Kriticos, and his psychic partner, Dennis (Matthew Lillard) were ghost hunters. Cyrus and others were killed as they attempted to capture a particularly powerful ghost. The house, as it turns out, is actually an elaborately designed prison to keep the ghosts trapped.
Dennis meets the family at the house and realizes the Latin inscriptions are barrier spells that keep 12 captured ghosts sealed in their cells. However, a mechanism that keeps the seals intact is inadvertently released, allowing the angry ghosts to roam free and cause havoc. The family is later joined by Kalina (Embeth Davidtz), a ghost liberator, who helps them fight for their survival against the terrifying ghosts that can only be seen with specialized spectral glasses.
14 The Black Zodiac
As the film went on, we learned that Cyrus actually built an occult device that powered the entire house and was meant to open a gateway called the Ocularis Infernum. His goal was to use it to gain powers from hell, but needed to capture the ghosts, who all needed to have died under specific circumstances, in order to open it.
Their existence and their order were all part of a dark inversion of the astrological zodiac calendar. Known as The Black Zodiac, like the common zodiac, this one also features 12 signs. Only, whereas our zodiac is represented by the likes of Pisces, Sagittarius, and the others, commonly associated with their corresponding star constellations, the signs of the Black Zodiac are represented by the 12 ghosts from the film — with a 13th one that is meant to complete it.
The hook of the film therefore came from the novelty of there being so many unique spirits in it, but also that each ghost had tragic backstories that made them all interesting in their own way. So, in anticipation of the upcoming series, here's what you need to know about each of the ghosts of the Black Zodiac.
13 The First Born Son
Billy Michaels was probably one of the most tragic ghosts . He was a little boy who liked to play cowboy games. That was until another child challenged him to a duel. While Billy used a harmless cap gun, his assailant used a steel-tipped arrow.
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While Billy appears as the young boy he was, his appearance is frightening since he still has the arrow that killed him lodged in his head. He isn't particularly harmful, and mostly will just say, "I want to play." However, while he might not attack you himself, his frightening appearance is enough to scare you toward others who will.
12 The Torso
The stuff of nightmares and a cautionary tale for lovers of vices, The Torso is an aptly named ghost since that's exactly how he appears. Jimmy "The Gambler" Gambino lived during the early 1900s. His fondness for gambling would be his downfall when he made a boxing bet with members of the mafia. Unable to pay, he was hacked to pieces and had his body parts wrapped in cellophane.
He therefore appears as a shocking dismembered torso, often with his head somewhere close by. He can't actively attack you, but just the sight of him is terrifying enough.
11 The Bound Woman
Susan LeGrow may have been the epitome of a mean girl, but she still never deserved what happened to her. She was the quintessential rich girl, popular, desirable, and with many admirers. However, Susan was also narcissistic and thrived on the attention she received from boys.
Her flirtatious ways led her to toy with many of the boys from her school, and even men, seeking romantic encounters with many of them along the way. Naturally, she left many lovelorn boys in her wake. Her malicious games came to the fore on her senior prom night when Chet Walters, a star football player, caught her cheating on him.
In a jealous fit of rage, Chet took revenge. Her lover was later found bludgeoned to death and Susan disappeared. Her body would later be found buried under the 50-yard line of their school's football field; strangled with a tie. Like the first two ghosts, Susan isn't very dangerous, but can still scare the wits out of you.
10 The Withered Lover
If Jean Kriticos' last name sounds familiar in the film, that's because she's a ghost with a personal connection to the main family depicted in it. She was the wife of Arthur and the mother of his kids. Jean sadly died in a house fire while everyone else survived, leaving Arthur heartbroken.
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Cyrus Kriticos, rather than caring about his relatives' grief, realized the circumstances of her death made Jean an ideal match for one of the ghosts he needed to complete The Black Zodiac. Jean appears with burns on her face and wearing a hospital gown. However, she tries to actively help her family rather than terrorize them.
9 The Torn Prince
Royce Clayton once had it all going for him. He lived during the '50s and was a gifted baseball player as a teenager. His talent and fame caught the attention of colleges across the country and his future seemed set.
However, being young and famous also gave him a taste for reckless thrills. Back then, people of the lower classes were sometimes known as 'greasers' and one of them took a challenge for a drag race against Royce too seriously. Cutting his brake lines, Royce suffered a horrific death in the ensuing crash.
Still bearing his scars from the accident, his ghost carries a baseball bat, forever doomed to never fulfill his legacy as a star player. He may not be the most dangerous ghost, but won't hesitate to take a swing at anyone who gets too close.
8 The Angry Princess
By far one of the most popular of the 13 ghosts for obvious reasons, Dana Newman was a beautiful woman who lived up until the late 20th century. Despite her looks, she suffered abuse that tragically caused her to only see her perceived flaws but never her beauty.
Her obsession with plastic surgery took a dark turn when a clinic botched an experimental one. Left with a mutilated eye, Dana could not bear the sight of herself and killed herself in a bathtub at the clinic by stabbing and slicing up with a huge knife.
Her added cult popularity among the other ghosts from the film came from the fact that she was played by beautiful actress, Shawna Loyer. It's also pretty hard to miss her since she moves about with all her wounds on display. Her scars, the knife she carries, and her striking look should have made her far more frightening. Except, it's hard to focus on her frightening qualities alone since she's also a well-endowed woman who walks around stark naked in the film. However, pass a rude or racy comment at your peril as she won't hesitate to attack those who do — as the seedy lawyer in the film learned the hard way.
7 The Pilgrimess
An orphan from England, Isabella Smith traveled to the new world as a colonist. Seeking a new life, she found only rejection as she was ostracized by the close community she lived in. Soon accused of witchcraft , she was blamed when crops and livestock began dying.
Although claiming to be innocent of the charges, she was trapped in a burning barn but survived. This only offered more proof to her persecutors who then confined her to the pillory where she eventually starved to death. She still carries it around with her, giving her a haunting look, though inhibiting her ability to do much harm since her arms are bound.
6 The Great Child
Actually a grown man and enormously built, Harold Shelburne was a person with neurological differences. These stunted his emotional development and left him with the mind of a child.
Even as an adult, he was forced to wear diapers and was spoonfed by his mother, Margaret, who was a little person. After his mother was brutalized, and he was tortured, Harold later massacred most of the residents of the carnival performers they lived with.
5 The Dire Mother
Margaret Shelburne was a part of a previously so-called "freak show" carnival. A little person, after being attacked and sexually assaulted by the tallest member of the carnival, she was left with her son, Harold, but loved and raised her child on her own no matter how difficult their circumstances were.
While Harold was mercilessly mocked and taunted his entire life, Margaret was later kidnapped and murdered by other members of the carnival, and the carnival owner had Harold mutilated. Harold's rage caused him to use an ax to avenge the atrocities against him and Margaret. A pair of frightening figures, Harold appears in a diaper, covered in slime and vomit, with his mother at his side and his ax at the ready.
4 The Blacksmith
George Markeley lived during the 1890s. He was an honest man, simple, and hardworking as a blacksmith. George was also a family man and lived a decent life. Despite all this, he was later accused of stealing by a man of higher standing named Nathan.
Threatened with exile from his town, George stood up to Nathan and refused to accept the accusations. As retribution, Nathan and his brutal friends later accosted George's family and brutally murdered them. George was driven to rage and later used his blacksmith hammer to beat Nathan and the others to death.
For his troubles, he was chained to a tree by community members and had spikes driven into his body. His hand was severed, and his hammer was crudely attached to it. Sadly, as kind and gentle as he once was when he lived, George's ghost is one of the angriest, most vengeful, and most dangerous ones around.
3 The Jackal
Born in 1887, Ryan Khun was the son of a sex worker. He grew to develop a terrifying and morbid taste for women that later led him to sexually assault, brutalize, and murder stray women and other sex workers.
His one redemptive feature is that he wanted to cure himself of his sick perversions and compulsions, so he voluntarily committed himself to a medical facility. However, the doctors there left him in solitary confinement for years, causing his mind to slowly break down.
He was also bound in a straightjacket that was made tighter and tighter whenever he acted out. By his end, his physical deterioration from years of injuring himself and being abused left him with his head locked in a cage to stop him from biting at the jacket. Left alone in a basement, he grew to hate humanity and when the facility later burned down, he chose to stay behind as everyone else escaped.
His ghost still wears the remnants of the jacket and his head is still in the cage. The most violent and aggressive of the ghosts, he will brutally kill anyone in his vicinity without hesitation.
2 The Juggernaut
Horace Mahoney was born with physical differences that left him disfigured and forced him to live as an outcast his entire life. Abandoned by his mother, he was forced to work in a garage by his father from a young age.
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He had unusual strength, but after his father died , lost his faculties and went on a murderous spree where he would target hitchhikers and other motorists. Using his strength, Horace would tear his victims apart limb by limb. He was later killed by a SWAT team and left riddled with bullets. Haunting the junkyard where he lived, he's known for having the highest kill count of all the ghosts.
1 The Broken Heart
After featuring the first 12 ghosts of the zodiac, the film's finale threw up a huge twist. As it turned out, Cyrus was alive all along and needed one more ghost. Arthur, his own nephew, provided the perfect person to be "The Broken Heart", since he was left heartbroken by the death of his wife.
However, this ghost was never seen since Arthur survived and Cyrus was unable to complete The Black Zodiac . Although Cyrus does die in the end, he never returns as a ghost.
With all the reinvigorated interest in this cult film, fans are now eagerly anticipating what the spin-off series will be like. While Dark Castle's plans are ambitious and, frankly, sound great, between the recent strikes in Hollywood and a deal that hinges on Sony, there are still some kinks to work out before we get to see it.
"If Sony and Dark Castle can come to some kind of agreement – either Sony joins forces with Dark Castle on the series or they merely give Dark Castle the green light to do what they wish with the property – the plan on Dark Castle’s side is to essentially use the ending of the 2001 movie as the springboard for a deep dive into the mythology of each of the monsters."
The concept for now is certainly intriguing. After all the drama with Cyrus and his evil plan is revealed, the film ends with all the ghosts being released and wandering off. With an ending like that, there's plenty of scope to now build an amazing horror franchise from this once-forgotten movie.
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- User reviews
- When Cyrus Kriticos, a very rich collector of unique things, dies, he leaves his house, fortune, and his prized collection of ghosts.
- Arthur and his two children, Kathy and Bobby, inherit his Uncle Cyrus's estate: a glass house that serves as a prison to 12 ghosts. When the family, accompanied by Bobby's Nanny and an attorney, enter the house they find themselves trapped inside an evil machine "designed by the devil and powered by the dead" to open the Eye of Hell. Aided by Dennis, a ghost hunter, and his rival Kalina, a ghost rights activist out to set the ghosts free, the group must do what they can to get out of the house alive. — ahmetkozan
- Ghost hunter Cyrus Kriticos (F. Murray Abraham) and assistant Dennis Rafkin (Matthew Lillard) lead a team on a mission to capture a spirit, called the Juggernaut, in a junkyard. Several of the men are killed during the ensuing fight, including Cyrus himself. However, the team is able to catch the ghost. Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub), a mathematician who is also a widower, is informed by the estate lawyer of his uncle Cyrus, Benjamin Moss (JR Bourne), that he has inherited a mansion. Arthur and his financially insecure family plan to move into this mansion with his two children, Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth) and Bobby (Alec Roberts). Their babysitter/nanny Maggie (Rah Digga) accompanies the family. Dennis Rafkin, disguised as a power company employee, meets the family and Benjamin as they tour the mansion. The residence is made almost entirely of glass. It contains Latin phrases etched on floors and movable glass walls, along with priceless artefacts. Arthur and his family are eager about inheriting this new home, and while Arthur is discussing financial matters with the attorney, Kathy and Bobby venture off on their own to explore the mansion. After seeing several ghosts in the basement, Dennis frantically runs upstairs to warn Arthur about the home he is about to own. Benjamin assures Arthur that Dennis is crazy and should be ignored. Dennis tells Arthur that there are twelve spirits are imprisoned in the house, held captive by the spells written throughout the residence. Benjamin Moss is seen sneaking off to collect a valise of money which was intended to be payment. However, upon taking the money, he activates a mechanism set up by Cyrus that seals the entrance and releases the ghosts, one by one. Consequently, Moss encounters one of them, the Angry Princess, and backs up into an open doorway, which snaps shut and slices him in half. Later the existence of ghosts is proven to the skeptical Arthur, when he witnesses an attack on his daughter by the ghost known as the Jackal. Bobby, the younger of the two children, disappears after getting separated from Maggie and he wanders into the basement. There he encounters several spirits, including the Torso and the Bound Woman. Arthur manages to find Kathy, and the two battle the Jackal. Kalina Oretzia (Embeth Davidtz), a spirit liberator, helps Arthur free Kathy from the Jackal's grip, only to be lost again a few moments later. After this, Arthur's objective is clear - to find his children and leave this house as soon as possible. This becomes problematic for two reasons: only those equipped with special glasses are able to see the ghosts; and the walls continue to shift, making navigation difficult. Kalina explains that this is not a house - it is a complex machine built by Cyrus, known as the "Ocularis Infernum" (Eye of Hell.) Created by the Devil and powered by the dead, once completed, this demonic device would allow its user to see into the future. To Arthur's horror, he discovers one of the ghosts powering this machine is the spirit of his dead wife, Jean. Kalina goes on to tell Arthur that his children are in grave danger, and the only way to ensure their successful return is to offer his soul in exchange. If Arthur takes his place as the 13th ghost, his sacrifice of pure love would combat all of the evil contained within the machine, thus shutting it down. Cyrus is revealed to be alive, having faked his death in order to lure Arthur to the house; Kalina turns out to be his secret partner and lover, and knocks Maggie unconscious. Cyrus has orchestrated the previous events, including the abduction of Kathy and Bobby, so that Arthur will become the 13th ghost not to stop the machine, as Kalina had claimed, but to trigger it. Cyrus then turns on Kalina and crushes her between two glass walls, claiming "greatness requires sacrifice." Arthur and Dennis make another attempt to save Kathy and Bobby with the help of a detached wall. Facing the Hammer, Dennis pushes Arthur into a corner where he is then protected by the wall, sacrificing his own life in the process. After combating the Hammer, Dennis finds himself cornered by the angry spirit and the newly released Juggernaut; he is brutally beaten and dies when the Juggernaut breaks him in half. Trapped behind the glass, Arthur is visited by Jean's ghost. Then, all the ghosts disappear from the basement, responding to a tape-recorded summons played by Cyrus. Kathy and Bobby have been placed at the center of a set of whirling, razor-sharp rings. Arthur and Cyrus have a violent confrontation , which is interrupted by the sound of Maggie beginning to destroy the machine. Due to this breakdown in equipment, the ghosts are released from their trance. All the ghosts except Jean immediately grab Cyrus, and hurl him into the spinning rings. Dennis' ghost then appears, telling Arthur to go to his kids. Waiting for a break in the razor rings, Arthur jumps to save his children, making the leap without dying. The house's glass walls shatter, releasing the spirits from captivity. A peacful-looking Jean lingers briefly to say goodbye to her family, then departs with the others. The film ends with a battered Maggie walking through the wreckage yelling, "I quit!"
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The Bound Woman
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The Bound Woman is the ghost of Susan LeGrow , and the third ghost in the Black Zodiac .
- 1.2 After Death
- 3 External Links
History [ ]
Susan was privileged, a cheerleader at her school, and her parents were the richest people in town. Thus, she was the most popular girl at school.
However, Susan also had a highly defining feature; her infidelity, which left many of Susan's ex-boyfriends heartbroken. Her friends warned her she would regret it someday, but she didn't listen, and sealed her fate.
During the school prom, Susan dated the captain of the school football team, Chad Walters, and, like all her ex-boyfriends, she cheated on him with another.
But when Chad discovered this, Susan finally had her comeuppance when Chad clubbed her new boyfriend to death, tied Susan up, strangled her with his tie, and buried her body under the 20-yard line of the school football field.
The symbol of the Bound Woman
After Death [ ]
Following her death, Susan's earth-bound spirit was captured by Cyrus to become the Bound Woman.
The Bound Woman was then moved to the basement of the house .
The Bound Woman was the second ghost to be released. Right after her release, the Bound Woman lured Bobby into the basement, and approached him from behind, scaring him off.
Later, a Latin chant caused the Bound Woman, along with the other 11 ghosts, to go to the centre of the machine and power it up.
When the Bound Woman and the other ghosts were freed from Cyrus's trance, they threw Cyrus into a rotating crest of rings.
When the house exploded, destroying its walls, all twelve ghosts escaped the house and into the woods.
- The Bound Woman's hands are almost always tied behind her back. However, when she and the other ghosts kill Cyrus, her hands are untied.
External Links [ ]
- The Bound Woman - 13 Ghosts Wiki
- The Bound Woman - Villains Wiki
- 1 The Farm (2018)
- 2 Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 (2024)
- 3 Sam Carpenter
All the Ghosts in Thirteen Ghosts, Explained
Thirteen Ghosts features plenty of terrifying ghosts. Each has its own traits and unique backstories that are hardly explained in the movie.
The 2001 cult-classic horror movie Thirteen Ghosts features just that: thirteen ghosts. Starring Scream 's Matthew Lillard and Tony Shalhoub of Monk fame, it's a remake of the 1960 film of the same name. The movie is hectic, to say the least, so it's understandable that many viewers don't know anything about the ghouls tormenting their screens.
Thirteen Ghosts follows Arthur Kriticos after the death of his beloved wife. He moves with his children into the house of his estranged uncle Cyrus, where they're soon forced to survive the ghosts haunting their new home. Here's a breakdown of the Thirteen Ghosts ' backstories and the astrological signs they represent.
Updated on August 29, 2023, by Ajay Aravind: D ark Castle Entertainment, the movie production label responsible for creating Thirteen Ghosts , is rumored to be planning a television series adaptation. That said, fans know very little about this upcoming TV program, but they can certainly enjoy rewatching the iconic horror film over and over again. Despite failing with critics, Thirteen Ghosts has since become a cult classic. As such, we've updated this feature with more information regarding all 13 ghosts in the movie.
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The First Born Son
The First Born Son is the first ghost in the film's Black Zodiac. This sign is equivalent to Aries in the traditional Zodiac wheel. Aries are plagued by negative traits, including irresponsibleness, stubbornness, immaturity, and recklessness. The First Born Son is the ghost of a boy named Billy Michaels. During his short life, Billy loved Western films more than anything. Upon being taunted by a neighbor, Billy initiated a duel with the boy. His weapon was his favorite toy cap gun, which proved useless against the real arrow that eventually pierced through the back of his head.
The Torso is the second ghoul in Thirteen Ghosts . This person is the representation of the traditional Taurus, whose negative features include materialism, greed, and stubbornness. The origin of the Torso can be traced back to a man named Jimmy Gambino, who was extremely greedy and, unfortunately, developed a gambling addiction. He also gained a reputation due to his serious debts, eventually catching the attention of the mob. When he made a hefty bet, lost, and couldn't pay what he owed, the mobster and his gang cut Jimmy into pieces. They wrapped his limbs in cellophane before dumping them in the ocean.
The Bound Woman
On the Black Zodiac wheel, the first female ghost is the Bound Woman. In Thirteen Ghosts , the Bound Woman is a dark depiction of the classic Gemini Zodiac sign. The Black Zodiac traits of Gemini include manipulation, being two-faced, and inclined to play mind games. This damned soul was named Susan LeGrow, and she lived a very privileged life. Her parents were the richest people in town, which made them very popular. On prom night, however, her boyfriend murdered Susan after catching her with someone else. Susan was strangled with his tie after being tied up, which is precisely why she appears as a bound woman.
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The Withered Lover
In Thirteen Ghosts , the fourth ghost on the Black Zodiac is one of the saddest spirits in the house. This spirit is that of the Withered Lover. Her traditional Zodiac counterpart is Cancer, a sign supposedly known for its overly emotional characteristics. Jean Kriticos was the beloved wife and mother of the three main characters — Arthur, Bobby, and Kathy, respectively. Her death came as a shock to her family. When she and Arthur were asleep one night, a fire accidentally started. So, Arthur, believing that Jean would wait outside, saved their children. Unfortunately, she perished from the resulting burns, becoming the Withered Lover.
The Torn Prince
The next spirit on the Black Zodiac, and one of the angrier ones, is the Torn Prince. He represents Leo in the traditional Zodiac. Leos have the negative traits of vanity, pride, and being overly demanding, as evidenced by the ghost's violent nature. Originally known as Royce Clayton, he was an extremely gifted baseball player and a guaranteed all-star until he was challenged to a drag race. His superiority complex couldn't resist, and he didn't realize that his brake line had been cut. The accident caused a large portion of flesh to be torn from his face and chest. Other sources speculate that his car exploded, but all agree that he's one furious guy.
The Angry Princess
The Angry Princess is the sixth ghost on the Black Zodiac wheel featured in Thirteen Ghosts . She's the beautifully tragic depiction of Virgo. Virgos traditionally possess the negative traits of over-criticizing themselves and holding others to an unreasonable standard. Dana Newman was an incredibly beautiful woman with horrible self-esteem. Her self-criticism and insecurities were further fueled by her numerous abusive relationships. This led to a string of unnecessary plastic surgeries. Eventually, Dana got so desperate that she performed a botched surgery on her face, forcing her to take her own life with the knife she wields as the Angry Princess.
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Perhaps the oldest of the spirits in the house, The Pilgrimess is the seventh ghost on the Black Zodiac wheel in Thirteen Ghosts. She is the Libra of the group, meaning she's known for traits like deception and trickery. During the 1600s, Isabella Smith settled in a New England town and was immediately treated as an outcast. After the colony's animals started dying, she was (likely wrongly) accused of witchcraft . The townsfolk refused to believe Isabella, and attempted to burn her alive. After she survived the fire, Isabella was humiliated in the stocks for days before ultimately starving to death.
The Great Child
The Great Child is the eighth ghost of the Thirteen Ghosts . He's the personification of a Scorpio on the classic wheel. The negative characteristics of a Scorpio include aggression and obsessive behavior. Harold Shelburne was raised in a carnival as an attraction due to his large stature. He was spoiled greatly by his mother, so much so that Harold weighed nearly 300 pounds and retained the mindset of a child. And when his mother was killed by his fellow circus workers, he went on a rampage. His death was reportedly very brutal. Despite his large, intimidating stature, the Great Child is practically harmless.
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The Dire Mother
The ninth ghost is nearly always seen with the eighth ghost. However, she's the representation of a Sagittarius, who may be impatient, insensitive, and a bit controlling. Harold's mother, Margaret, had a hard life. Standing at only three feet in height, she was constantly mistreated. This would sadly continue with the circus' Tall Man, who sexually assaulted and impregnated her. That said, she was probably a good mother trapped in a hellish environment. She continuously spoiled Harold, going as far as keeping him in diapers. Her death by suffocation was originally just a cruel prank on Harold.
One of Thirteen Ghosts ' most dangerous entities is the tenth one. The Hammer isn't a friendly ghost, and his backstory is very tragic, too. He fits as the Black Zodiac's Capricorn, with negative traits like pessimism, insensitivity, and arrogance. George Markley was an honest blacksmith until he was accused of theft by a racist white man . He was given an ultimatum to move or else — and, unfortunately, his staying put led to the man's gang beating George's family to death. George was understandably enraged by this and beat the men to death with his sledgehammer. He was then lynched and subjected to railroad spikes being nailed into him before his hand was replaced with his trusty hammer.
If the Hammer is bad, it's following sign should be considered horrible. The eleventh ghost, The Jackal, is referred to as " the Charles Manson of ghosts ." He's a terrifying personification of an Aquarius, marked by emotional distance and often causing pain. The original Ryan Kuhn was an unbalanced man throughout his life. Having developed a taste for violence, he became a serial killer and sexual predator. For help, he went to an asylum where he lost his sanity. Due to his behavior issues and the period in question, he was put in a straight jacket and a head cage. He grew to hate humanity and later died in a fire that broke out in the institution.
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The twelfth and final official ghost on the Black Zodiac is the Juggernaut. Thirteen Ghosts ' scary opening scene starts with him being captured, making him the only capture the audience gets to watch happen onscreen. As a Pisces, he represents negative features like indecisiveness and self-pity. Horace Mahoney suffered ostracization due to his shocking appearance. Raised by his father, he was put to work at his junkyard, where he began crushing cars. After his father died, Horace became a serial killer, ripping his victims apart and feeding them to his dogs. He was eventually shot several times by SWAT.
The Broken Heart
It's often referenced throughout the movie, including in the title, that there are Thirteen Ghosts. However, the Black Zodiac, like the traditional Zodiac wheel , only has 12 signs. Because of this, the Broken Heart character is not associated with any negative signs. He doesn't have a traditional Zodiac counterpart either. The Broken Heart is a personification of true love and is marked by self-sacrifice. So, Cyrus brought Arthur and his children to the house to turn Arthur into the final ghost, knowing that nothing in the world would stop him from protecting his family. Luckily, there is never an official 13th ghost, and the Kriticos family survives Thirteen Ghosts .
- 2001 Characters
- 1960 Characters
- View history
Ghosts as seen in the 2001 film Thirteen Ghosts
Ghosts are the disembodied spirits (or spectral entities) of people who have died. The exact reasons as to why this phenomenon occurs is unrevealed. One hypothesis is that ghosts and earthbound spirits remain bound to the Earthly dimension due to unresolved issues from when they were alive. Ghosts are also often linked to objects and locations associated with them in life; Cyrus Kriticos (and possibly Plato Zorba in the 1960 movie) was able to gain dominion over twelve ghosts by their possessions, using specially-designed prisons to keep them under his control.
Ghosts have appeared in the 1960 film 13 Ghosts and the 2001 remake Thir13en Ghosts among countless other movies.
- 1.1 Creation
- 1.2 Appearance and Abilities
- 2 Personality and Emotions
- 3 Weaknesses
- 4 Differences between 1960 and 2001 versions
Characteristics [ ]
Creation [ ].
In the films, while it isn't fully specified how they are formed, a deceased person's soul might remain bound to the plane of the living when it's unable or unwilling to cross over to the next plane of existence after death, typically due to unresolved issues. The duration of their stay is indefinite, lasting years or even centuries (such as with Isabella Smith , who's been earthbound since the 18th century). It has been suggested their formation may be the by-product of a high concentration of great, emotional intensity upon their moment of passing.
Appearance and Abilities [ ]
In the 2001 film, according to Dennis , most ghosts can't harm the living nor do they really have the desire to, but there are exceptions, such as the ghosts that make up the Black Zodiac , and the ghosts imprisoned in Dr. Zorba 's mansion. These ghosts had enough spectral energy to be capable of interacting with the physical world; moving and projecting objects and could actually attack and even kill a living person.
Their appearance as a ghost may vary, though they mostly range from the most recent state they were in when, after or very shortly before they died. Additionally, special objects and devices relating to their persona or circumstances of their death may actually become as part of their apparition such as Jean Kriticos ' IV rack, Royce Clayton 's baseball bat and car, George Markley 's hammer, Harold 's axe, Dana Newman 's knife, etc. And like the ghosts, these objects can also interact with the physical world as well and may become weaponized without a moment's notice. Therefore, with or without a weapon, they are very dangerous and avoidance was emphasized.
For the 1960 film, the ghosts imprisoned in Dr. Zorba's mansion varied widely in appearance, as some weren't even human. One was the ghost of a lion while the others were merely floating, disembodied limbs and other appendages.
Ghosts are invisible to the human eye and can usually only be seen through specially-made spectral viewers , though there have been some exceptions. In the 1960 film, the ghosts were semi-transparent when seen, while in the 2001 film, the ghosts were fully opaque when viewed through the glasses and faint whispers could be heard whenever they were present.
Personality and Emotions [ ]
Ghosts as seen in the 1960 film 13 Ghosts
The ghosts that were imprisoned in Basileus's Machine and Dr. Zorba's house respectively (particularly the former group of ghosts) were shown to be extremely violent and prone to attacking and killing without conscience or reason. According to Dennis in Thirteen Ghosts , this is because ghosts who died violently are left in a tortured realm/state if they do not cross over, and thus they eventually come to know nothing but rage and violence as a consequence.
Weaknesses [ ]
As strong as these ghosts could be, they're not without frailties. For example, in Thirteen Ghosts , for reasons unknown, ghosts are forced to obey Latin spells and whatever they say, whether spoken or written, though a ghost can resist the spells if they are strong enough. Ghosts were not able cross barrier spells , and spells that command them to travel to a nearby location will force them to go directly to that place.
Notably, in the 2001 film, ghosts such as The Jackal retreat from quicksilver flares and briefly disappear. According to the script, this is because burning metal temporarily disrupts ghosts' spectral energy. Also, in the 1960 film, when Dr. Zorba and the other eleven ghosts were placed in his mansion, they were trapped in the house and could only leave and move on when a thirteenth ghost joined them. The ghosts in the 2001 film, on the other hand, were presumably confined by none other than the barrier spells of Basileus's Machine and were free to roam the Earth once again upon its destruction.
Differences between 1960 and 2001 versions [ ]
- The ghosts in the 1960 film, when visible, were semi-transparent, while the ghosts in the 2001 film were opaque when they were visible.
- In the 1960 film, ghosts could become trapped in buildings in which they were placed (until enough other ghosts joined them). In the 2001 film, this rule does not appear to technically apply.
- The noises which are heard when a ghost is present are screaming, gasping and moaning in the 1960 film (the sound of their earthly torment); while in the 2001 film, it is faint, eerie shrieks and whispers (possibly from their colluding with each other).
- 1 Black Zodiac
- 2 The Angry Princess
- 3 The Jackal