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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

William Castle Tribute VII: Life After William Castle

On May 31, 1977- after a career spanning 34 years, William Castle was laid to rest in Glendale, California's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.  He passed away at the age of 63 due to a heart attack.

The end of an era had come... or did it?

William Castle's influence still resonates today.  The character of Lawrence Woolsey, played by John Goodman in the movie, "Matinee" was inspired by William Castle and the ways that he promoted his movies- as seen by the use of "Atomo-Vision", and "Rumble-Rama".

In 1999, a new movie production house was founded.  It's original intent was to remake most- if not all, of William Castle's movies.  This company is called, "Dark Castle Entertainment" and did produce two remakes before going onto their own original material.  The first film to be remade was "House on Haunted Hill", and was promoted with scratch and win tickets given to the audience.  Dark Castle Entertainment then remade, "13 Ghosts," and wanted to do it in 3D- giving the audience special glasses... as wad done with the original release.  These plans fell through, however, and "House on Haunted Hill" was the only remake to ultilize a William Castlesque Audience Participatory Supplement.

But William Castle's afterlife didn't just stop there.  Oh, no, indeed.

It seems that the spirit of William Castle lingers on here on earth.  My friend, Jay (from "Film Reviews From the Basement"), met this spirit online last year... on Facebook of all things!  Since it was nearing Halloween at the time, the ghost of William Castle agreed to be interviewed "live" on Jay and Shawn's radio show.  In keeping with Mr. Castle's love of Audience Participatory Supplements, followers of the show were invited to ask questions of the spirit on the show's Facebook page.  I, as "guest medium" would then pass on his answers.  We all had a blast talking with Mr. Castle during the show!

In addition to a Facebook page, the ghost of William Castle also has a blog page at WilliamCastle.com.  On his blog, you'll find pictures from his life, and the thoughts that may run through a spirit's mind as it observes the world we live in.  And to show that he's an entertainer even after death, he also conducted a multi-writer story session called, "Scare it Forward"- which Jay took part in himself.  I'm hoping to partake in the next one as it sounds cool and fun to do.

There are some people who think that the ghost of William Castle on Facebook and his blog is actually someone from the William Castle estate, and is doing it as a type of memorial.  If it is, then it's one of the most touching ways to keep his memory alive... not to mention, uses a promotional technique that I think William Castle would be proud of.

Me?  I kinda prefer to think that William Castle has managed to survive death, and is still making things engaging and entertaining for his fans...


  1. I am sending you a big, fat hug. Thank you so very much! You have done me proud.

    My spine is tingling!!!

  2. That's an excellent tribute my friend. Well done!