Invisible Ghost

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]

Invisible Ghost
A promotional film poster for "Invisible Ghost."
Directed byJoseph H. Lewis
Produced bySam Katzman
Written byAl Martin
Helen Martin
Story byHelen Martin
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


The home of Charles Kessler (Bela Lugosi) is beset by a series of unsolved murders. Kessler, who lives with his daughter and servants since his wife left him, is shown to be the murderer, unbeknownst to himself. His wife (Betty Compson), who became brain-damaged in a car accident not long after leaving him, has been visiting the grounds of the house and the sight of her through his window puts Kessler into a trance-like state which makes him homicidal. Ralph Dickson, the fiancée of Kessler's daughter, is convicted and executed for one of the murders. His twin brother Paul arrives and, through a series of events, including Kessler's wife finally entering the house and being seen by others, Kessler is seen to go into the trance and the mystery is revealed.


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 1940s cheapies, but still a far-cry from Dracula".[6]

See alsoEdit


  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. Mar 14, 1941. p. 17.
  3. ^ "Lugosi-Katzman". Los Angeles Times. May 2, 1941. p. 29.
  4. ^ a b Tom Weaver, Poverty Row Horrors! Mongram, PRC and Republic Horror Films of the Forties, 1993 p 26-35
  5. ^ G. K. (Apr 12, 1941). "Lugosi Opus Real Thriller". Los Angeles Times. p. 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 linksEdit