October Fright Nights: Spend the night with Night Flight in “House on Haunted Hill”

By on October 24, 2017

Every Tuesday night in October, Night Flight and Stone Brewing are teaming up to present “Dr. FrankenStone’s Fright Nights”! We’ll be sharing free live streams of classic cult horror flicks on our Facebook page — and we continue TONIGHT, October 24th, with William Castle’s beloved House on Haunted Hill (1959).

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This black & white thrill-fest was a real nailbiter back in the late ’50s, particularly because theater audiences didn’t know that, suddenly, during one of the scariest moments in the movie, a skeleton was going to “emerge” from the side of the screen and fly over their heads, scaring the bejesus outta everyone below!

That shocking gimmick — called “Emergo” — was the idea of producer/director William Castle, who thought some his films would be even scarier if audiences didn’t know what was going to happen to them in the darkness of their neighborhood theater.

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The plot of this 1 hour, 15-minute b-movie classic feels pretty familiar now, but at the time, trust us, this was a pretty novel idea: an eccentric millionaire psycho, Frederick Loren — played by the always great Vincent Price — has rented the house on Haunted Hill so that he can host a party in honor of his fourth wife, Annabelle.

He sends out invitations to five people to come and spent the night in Watson Prichard’s mansion, which Prichard insists is haunted because, get this, seven murders have occurred there!!

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Among those who get an invite from Loren are a doctor, a newspaper gossip columnist, a pilot, a secretary (she works for one of Loren’s companies) and Prichard himself (played by the always great Elisha Cook Jr.).

If they stay until daybreak the next day — after all of the doors are locked at midnight, making sure that no one can escape — Loren says he’ll pay each of the survivors $10,000 (that’s about $84,000 in today’s dollars).

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Loren gives each of his guests a loaded pistol, housed in a tiny coffin, for their own protection! Annabelle tells the guests that her husband is insane, but they decide to stay anyway!

The plot moves swiftly along, and there are lots of twists and turns along the way, and occasionally disembodied heads pop up on screen, but if you want to know what happens in the end (it’s a surprise!), you’ll just have to watch the free streaming movie on our Facebook page tonight!

We’ve read that the exterior shots of the house were filmed at the Ennis House in Los Feliz, a suburb of Los Angeles, and were designed in 1924 by the great architect and designer, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Most of the interior scenes, however, were done on a soundstage dressed up like an 1890s-era Victorian home, with gas chandeliers throwing off an eerie light.

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The film starts at 8pm PST / 11pm EST on Facebook LIVE and will be available to watch free for 24 hours on Night Flight Plus streaming apps -– Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV –- as well as Night Flight Plus.

Invite some friends, grab a Stone mixed 12-pack, tune in to the movie, and brace yourself for a creepy vintage Halloween flick!

Be sure to check out the Facebook page page (and subscribe for lots of great Night Flight photos and links to our blog stories) TONIGHT, October 24th, for the third of our four free streaming October Fright Night movies!

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, assistant editor for the When You Awake blog, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.