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Ghost Story (later retitled Circle of Fear) is an American television anthology series that aired for one season on NBC from 1972 to 1973. Executive-produced by William Castle, Ghost Story initially featured supernatural entities such as ghosts, vampires, and witches. By mid-season, low ratings led to a title change and a shift—for the most part—away from paranormal themes.

Ghost Story / Circle of Fear
Ghost Story aka Circle of Fear DVD.jpg
DVD cover
Genre Anthology
Presented by Sebastian Cabot (1972)
Theme music composer Billy Goldenberg
Composer(s) Billy Goldenberg
Robert Prince
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 + 1 pilot (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) William Castle
Producer(s) Joel Rogosin
Running time approx. 50 minutes
Production company(s) William Castle Productions
Distributor Screen Gems
Sony Pictures Television
Original network NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release

March 17, 1972 (pilot)

September 15, 1972 (1972-09-15) – March 30, 1973 (1973-03-30)



Ghost Story was hosted by Sebastian Cabot as Winston Essex, the owner of a mysterious hotel named Mansfield House.[1] Cabot's introductions were filmed in the Hotel del Coronado near San Diego, California.[2] Ghost Story dealt exclusively with ghosts, vampires, witches, and other supernatural elements.[3]






Guest stars included Helen Hayes, Jason Robards, Patricia Neal, William Windom, Gena Rowlands, Carolyn Jones, Melvyn Douglas, and Jodie Foster.[4][5]


The episode "House of Evil" was an original teleplay by Robert Bloch (written as "The Doll's House"). [6]

Renaming to Circle of FearEdit

After 13 episodes, Ghost Story was renamed Circle of Fear beginning with the January 5, 1973, episode.[7][8][9] The change was necessary, according to executive producer William Castle, because of low ratings. He attributed the title change to the head of the production company, Screen Gems. Additionally, Cabot was dropped as the presenter.[8] This reworked version lasted nine further episodes.[7][10]


The series consisted of a pilot and thirteen episodes as Ghost Story, and nine more episodes as Circle of Fear.


A pilot episode aired in March 1972 as one half of an NBC Friday night double feature, shared with "Movin' On";[11] the series premiered in September.[1][12] [7] The show's format and tone drew comparisons to NBC's Night Gallery and ABC's The Sixth Sense.[12][4]

Home mediaEdit

Two episodes of the series were included as bonuses in the 2009 DVD box set The William Castle Film Collection. On May 1, 2012, Sony released Ghost Story (a.k.a. Circle of Fear) - The Complete Series on DVD through its manufacture on demand (MOD) program.[13]

Name Ep # Region 1
The Complete Series 23 May 1, 2012


  1. ^ a b "Brian Keith, Sebastian Cabot Back in 2 New Series". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 1972-09-15. p. 10. 
  2. ^ Perry, Jeb H. (1991). Screen Gems: A History of Columbia Pictures Television from Cohn to Coke, 1948-1983. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 91. ISBN 978-0810824874. 
  3. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9 ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 533. ISBN 978-0345497734. 
  4. ^ a b "'Ghost Story' Is Eerie New Series". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1972-08-20. p. TV Week-9. 
  5. ^ "'Ghost Story', 'Banyon' Best". The Item. 1972-11-10. p. 7B. 
  6. ^ Randall Larson. The Complete Robert Bloch: An Illustrated, Comprehensive Bibliography. Fandom Unlimited, 1986, p. 76
  7. ^ a b c Clute, John; Grant, John (1999). The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 408. ISBN 978-0312198695. 
  8. ^ a b Buck, Jerry (1973-01-02). "Television's Fascination With Ghost Stories Ends". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. p. 16. 
  9. ^ Berard, Jeanette M.; Englund, Klaudia (2009). Television Series and Specials Scripts, 1946-1992: A Catalog of the American Radio Archives Collection. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company. p. 58. ISBN 978-0786433483. 
  10. ^ Jones, Stephen; Ackerman, Forrest (2000). The Essential Monster Movie Guide: A Century of Creature Features on Film, TV, and Video. New York: Billboard Books. p. 163. ISBN 978-0823079360. 
  11. ^ IMDB
  12. ^ a b Buck, Jerry (1972-03-01). "Television Shows on Supernatural Lure Viewers; More Due Next Season". The Telegraph. p. 26. 
  13. ^ Lambert, David (2012-03-26). "'Ghost Story' - The Show Also Known as 'Circle of Fear' is Getting a 'Complete' Release!". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 

External linksEdit