The Haunted House (1921 film)

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For the 1913 film, see The Haunted House (1913 film).
The Haunted House
Haunted house1921.jpg
Theatrical poster for The Haunted House (1921)
Directed by
Produced by Joseph M. Schenck
Written by
Edited by Elgin Lessley
Distributed by Metro Pictures
Release date
  • February 10, 1921 (1921-02-10)
Running time
21 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles
The Haunted House

The Haunted House is a 1921 short comedy film starring comedian Buster Keaton. It was written and directed by Keaton and Edward F. Cline. The runtime is 21 minutes. One of the more memorable sequences of the film involves bank teller Buster spilling glue all over his counter, reminiscent of a scene in his first film The Butcher Boy.


Keaton plays a teller at a successful bank and unbeknownst to him, the manager at the bank and his gang are planning on pulling off a robbery and hiding in an old house which they have rigged up with booby traps and effects to make it appear to be haunted. After a mishap that afternoon with Keaton getting glue all over the money and himself, he almost thwarts the gang's robbery but when the owner of the bank walks in and sees Keaton armed with a gun he assumes it was he who tried to rob it. Keaton flees and takes refuge in the old house, however a troupe of actors from a theatre production are currently seeking refuge in the house and are still fully clad in their scary costumes from the production (ghosts, skeletons etc) leading Keaton and the gang of robbers to believe the house actually is haunted. After running from the "ghosts" and overcoming the house's booby traps, the scam is finally revealed and the manager is revealed as being behind the robbery. As he is about to be taken away, the manager hits Keaton over the head and knocks him out before escaping. Next we see Keaton being awoken by two angels at the foot of a large stairway which he ascends all the way to Heaven. He asks Saint Peter to be let in but is denied and is sent all the way down to Hell. However, this is all revealed to be a dream sequence as Keaton regains consciousness in the house seconds later.


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