The Ghost of Slumber Mountain

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The Ghost of Slumber Mountain
The Ghost of Slumber Mountain.jpg
Theatrical poster to The Ghost of Slumber Mountain
Directed by Willis O'Brien
Produced by Herbert M. Dawley
Written by Willis O'Brien
Starring Herbert M. Dawley
Willis O'Brien
Music by Tom Luis
Release dates
  • November 17, 1918 (1918-11-17)
Running time
19 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent films
English intertitles
Budget $3,000
Box office $100,000

The Ghost of Slumber Mountain is a 1918 film written and directed by special effects pioneer Willis O'Brien, produced by Herbert M. Dawley, and starring both men; Dawley played Uncle Jack Holmes, while O'Brien played the ghost of Mad Dick the Hermit. It is the first movie to show live actors and stop-motion creatures together on the screen.[1][2] Although most of the film itself is lost, it is often cited as a trial run for The Lost World.


The remaining footage
Photograph (1919)
Advertisement (1919)

Most of the plot is unknown. The Ghost of Slumber Mountain originally took up 3000 feet of film and three reels, equivalent to approximately 40 minutes. After the film premiered at the Strand Theater, manager Walter Hayes ordered Dawley to cut the film down to about one reel because it was too long.[3] A restored version runs approximately 19 minutes.

In the version available today, Holmes (Dawley) is telling his nephews about an adventure he had in the woodlands around Slumber Mountain, near the Valley of Dreams. He finds the cabin belonging to the late hermit Mad Dick, who Holmes's friend Joe once saw carrying a strange telescope-like instrument. That night, Holmes searches the cabin and finds the instrument. Upon doing so, the ghost of Mad Dick (O'Brien) instructs him to use it to look at the peak of Slumber Mountain. When he does, he seemingly looks back into the past, seeing a Tyrannosaurus and a Triceratops doing battle. The Tyrannosaurus proves triumphant, and after killing the Triceratops, somehow breaks the time barrier (unless the instrument does that itself) and begins chasing Holmes.

But it is all just a dream...

Prehistoric creatures[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Ghost of Slumber Mountain was a box office hit, grossing over $100,000 on a $3,000 budget.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Switek, Brian. "The Ghost of Slumber Mountain". Smithsonian. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 
  2. ^ Fristoe, Roger. "The Ghost of Slumber Mountain". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 
  3. ^ O'Brien vs Dawley. The First Great Rivalry in Special Effects by Stephen Czerkas. Cinefex #138 R.B Graphics. 2014. Pg.22
  4. ^ Willis O'Brien-Creator of the Impossible by Don Shay. Cinefex #7 R.B Graphics. 1982. Pg.13

External links[edit]