Invisible Ghost

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Invisible Ghost
A promotional film poster for "Invisible Ghost."
Directed byJoseph H. Lewis
Produced bySam Katzman
Pete Mayer
Written byAl Martin
Helen Martin
Based onstory by Helen and Al Martin
StarringBela Lugosi
Polly Ann Young
John McGuire
Music byJohnny Lange
Lew Porter
CinematographyHarvey Gould
Marcel Le Picard
Edited byRobert Golden
Monogram Pictures
Banner Pictures Corporation
Distributed byAstor Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • April 25, 1941 (1941-04-25)
Running time
64 min
CountryUnited States

Invisible Ghost is a 1941 American horror film starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Joseph H. Lewis. It was the first of the nine movies interpreted by Bela Lugosi for Sam Katzman at Monogram Pictures.[1]


Charles Kessler (Bela Lugosi) is plagued by homicidal urges. His wife (Betty Compson), who had left him for another man, gets into a car accident that leaves her brain damaged and is kept in a cellar in secret, by Kessler's gardener. When an innocent man is executed for a murder Kessler committed in the house, his twin brother visits and tries to unravel the mystery. He discovers that Kessler is the killer and doesn't know it. His brother subdues him and contacts the police, who arrest Kessler.


L. to R.: Polly Ann Young, Bela Lugosi, and Clarence Muse in Invisible Ghost - cropped screenshot


It was originally known as Murder by the Stars then The Phantom Monster.[2] During filming it was called The Phantom Killer.[3]

Filming took place from 20 March to April 1941.[4] As soon as the film was completed it was announced Lugosi and Katzman would make two more films together;[4] they eventually wound up making nine in all.


The Los Angeles Times said the film was "head and shoulders above the average horror picture. It's superiority is based on the fact that spine-tickling qualities stem from a psychopathic and psychological situation rather than a purely physical one, imparting a Poe-ish flavour... Lugosi is, of course, superb in his work, being master of all the horror tricks but never overdoing them".[5] Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film two out of a possible four stars, calling it "Better written and directed than most of Bela's 1940's cheapies, but still a far-cry from Dracula".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gary D. Rhodes, "A House Where Anything Can Happen and Usually Does", The Films of Joseph H Lewis p 81-97
  2. ^ Of Local Origin New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 14 Mar 1941: 17.
  3. ^ Lugosi-Katzman Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 02 May 1941: 29.
  4. ^ a b Tom Weaver, Poverty Row Horrors! Mongram, PRC and Republic Horror Films of the Forties, 1993 p 26-35
  5. ^ Lugosi Opus Real Thriller G K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 12 Apr 1941: A9
  6. ^ Leonard Maltin (2015). Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 331. ISBN 978-0-14-751682-4.

External links[edit]