Thirteen Ghosts

Question: How did they remove the dead worker's body from the juggernaut's cube when they finally trapped him?

Question: At the end, is Cyrus a ghost or a real person? If he's a ghost, why can he be seen without the glasses?

Answer: He's alive. He faked his death at the beginning of the movie to get Arthur and his children into the house, because only then would he be able to force Arthur to engage the 13th Ghost. When Cyrus is seen at the end of the movie, he is disguised with the blood patch to make it appear that he is dead to a casual observer with the glasses (everyone is wearing them at this point) and prevent Arthur from being able to figure out his plan.


Question: In the film we see one ghost that is more of a neutral spirit. It is never seen harming anyone and the only time it scares someone is when it walks towards Bobby, but his head is near Bobby. Is the Torso a murderous spirit or not?

Answer: They all have the potential for danger, however some of them are not dangerous. I would say the Torso is not a murderous spirit, though potentially he could be one.

Answer: No, it isn't that they're evil, but all were victims of violent crime. They're all tortured souls.

Question: Cyrus wanted Arthur to take the leap and become the thirteenth ghost. But, wouldn't that short-circuit the system, negating everything the Cyrus was trying to do in the first place? It's like he decided to go through all that trouble just to have his device shut down as soon as it was activated.

Answer: It would not short-circuit the system because Arthur's sacrifice would have completed the ritual, therefore giving Cyrus the power he desired. Unbeknownst to Arthur, Kalina was working with Cyrus when she lied to him about there being a fail-safe that would turn off the machine. She hoped it would convince him to sacrifice himself to prevent hell on Earth from becoming a reality. Cyrus did not believe it was enough and placed Arthur's kids in the center to ensure he would be willing to make the jump. However, Cyrus did not plan on Maggie being there to tinker with the controls of the machine. It was her actions that overloaded the machine, which allowed the ghosts to go free, and cause it to have a catastrophic meltdown as she pushed it beyond its limitations. It can be safe to assume if Maggie was not there, the machine would have never broken down.


Answer: Kalina had lied to Arthur about the thirteenth ghost being the failsafe that would shut down the machine. In actuality, if he had sacrificed himself and died, he would have completed the ritual and activate the device.

Question: How were they able to see the withered lover at the end without using glasses?

Answer: She was a trapped soul in a house full of magical spells forcing her into a pivotal configuration. When it was destroyed, she was free. Like at the end of the movie, "Ghost," a bright light shined upon her to say goodbye to her loved ones.

Question: How did the Jackal originally die? I can tell how the other ghosts died (e.g. the newborn baby having an arrow through the head, etc) but how did the Jackal die?

Answer: According to the special features on the DVD, after being committed due to his violence against women, The Jackal went completely insane in the asylum, crying out and attacking any thing and everyone until he was locked in solitary with his now signature cage on his head. When a fire broke out in the asylum, he chose to stay behind and meet his fate,.

Question: Dennis says that all the ghosts are violent. Well, then why are the First Born Son, the Torso, and the Withered Lover the harmless ones? Now, the 1st and 2nd ghosts had some danger to them, but not much - the Torso is only seen crawling to its head and doesn't even lift Cyrus, while the First Born Son seems to be more of a prankster than actually malicious and doesn't lift Cyrus. Is this a movie mistake or just the side result of poor movie filming?

Answer: I'd say it's more a case of Dennis being overly confident and not really knowing what he was talking about. He made generalized assumptions that all ghosts are violent, when they are not.


I should also add the Dire Mother and Great Child. The Great Child is dangerous but only as a protective spirit, while the Dire Mother on her own seems harmless, like the first 2 ghosts and Jean.

Question: Cyrus faked his death to lure his nephew Arthur and his family to his house so Arthur could could sacrifice himself to become the thirteenth ghost. So that means Cyrus must've gone to the extra effort to put prosthetic make-up and fake blood on to make it look like he had his throat cut out. But why? So if Arthur and his family saw him wandering around the house, they'd just think he was another ghost? But by that point they would already be caught in the Rubik's cube of a house, and his plan set in motion, so why would he care if they found he wasn't really dead? Why go to all that extra effort to get made up like a corpse?

Answer: Because the family would have been confused, bewildered, curious and mad as to why did this and would fight or run away. Remember the book said, it needed a willing victim to sacrifice themselves.

Answer: It could simply be that his obsession with ghosts is the reason why he wants to be seen as a ghost by his nephew, as a fetish. Also he wanted to be witness to Arthur's sacrifice and Arthur thinking he was a ghost made it simpler if he was spotted.


Question: How come the Hammer runs to Arthur when he is climbing up the wires to get upstairs, when Arthur is innocent?

Answer: He didn't know Arthur was innocent. The spirit had been hunted, captured and imprisoned in that house. He probably thought he was part of the crew that grabbed him.

Question: I don't get how the 'baby' or the 'dire mother' died, all you can see is the mum feeding the overgrown baby.

Answer: These are from the Ghost files from the DVD: The Great Child; One of the strangest ghosts I caught had to be Harold Shelburne, The Great Child. His 3-foot tall mother, Margaret Shelburne, was wildly overprotective of her son, smothering and spoiling him from infancy, and never stopping as he grew. Harold could barely care for himself and as a result, remained in diapers his entire life. Mocked at every term, they sought refuge with a traveling freakshow runned by a man named Jimbo. But even the life in the circus was no escape, as they were continuely taunted and tormented by their own twisted kind. One night, some of the freaks kidnapped Margaret as a cruel joke. In a panic-fueled rage, Harold destroyed the entire carnival in search of his mother. When he finally found her, she had died of suffocation. Filled with hatred, Harold grabbed an axe and had his revenge on the freaks. Displaying what was left of them in the carnival for every paying customer to see. When Jimbo found out what had happened, he had Harold mutilated beyond what you and I can comprehend. Well, maybe you. And you thought your family was weird! The Dire Mother Margaret Shelburne, The Dire Mother, was a shy woman who could never stand up for herself, partly because she rose to only a mere three feet in height. Since childhood, she was stared at for her pint size. Her own mother would even sometimes dress her like a doll. Margaret didn't care, aslong as she found some perverse form of acceptance. A carnival barker named Jimbo put her on display in his freakshow. Life was horrible, being an attraction for people to gawk at. One night while sweeping up a donkey pen, she was raped by the "Tall Man". She spawned a beastily offspring of her own. Oh, she loved her dear son Harold, more than life itself, never letting him out of her sight. The circus workers teased and tormented them relentlessly, a conflict that played itself out with a bloody resolve that left nearly the entire circus free of life.. including poor Margaret and Harold. Well, as they say, "there's no business like show business."


Answer: The 'baby' was an abused mentally disabled man named Harold Shelburne who was abused so much at an old timey circus that when his mother the Dire Mother, who raised him poorly, was kidnapped and killed, he slaughtered the circus. With an axe. Soon after a mob torn him to shreds.

Question: Why did it say "I'm sorry" on the bathroom floor?

Answer: It's the angry princess' suicide note.


Question: After Cyrus dies, why don't the ghosts turn on the others, such as Arthur who is nearby them? A couple of ghosts such as the Torso and Withered Lover didn't kill Cyrus and are more or less harmless, but some of the bad ones like the Juggernaut, Hammer and Jackal did. Was this a minor overlook?

Answer: The ghosts are not stupid; they were trapped inside that house by Cyrus. They just punished him for that and then they leave. They have no quarrel with Arthur or the others, probably even realizing they were freed by them.


I do remember the Angry Princess wanted to stab a couple of the ladies, and the Jackal was pure insanity, but with those two they could simply have been tired of the whole mess. We see just before they cross over that the Jackal was howling with laughter.

They were really pissed off being trapped in that house, and not really rational thinking people, being ghosts and all. Anyone alive would be a potential target as long as they are trapped.


Question: I am wondering how are all of the ghosts "caught?" The only answer I can find is for the juggernaut.

Answer: The Juggernaut is the only one ever made known how it was caught. The only thing known is that the other ghosts did not need bait like the Juggernaut needed.


Question: Throughout the movie, Diana Newman (the angry princess) says nothing else except, "I'm sorry". Why does she say that? And why does she almost stab Arthur's daughter? Does she not know she can only be seen with the special glasses?

Answer: She says I'm sorry because that was her suicide note on the mirror. She almost stabs Kathy because all the ghosts in the house except the fourth are murderous spirits.

The second one (the Torso) may also have been harmless, but it's hard to say.

I think she almost stabs Kathybe cause she's jealous of her natural beauty, as she wasn't a murderer in life, and the only reason she had the knife is because that's how she killed herself.

Question: Considering how varied their backstories were, it's hard to say how evil some were. Who is the most evil ghost?

Answer: The Jackal is bad, as a sadistic rapist and murderer, but he also recognized this in himself and had himself committed for treatment. When his asylum burned down, he intentionally chose to stay behind. I'd say the worst is the Juggernaut, an unrepentant serial killer.


The Bound Woman wasn't much better. She never killed anyone, but she also was an abusive jerk who got killed by an ex. In the film she lures Bobby down where there is grave danger and she thinks it's funny, much to the chagrin of the wife of the family.

Answer: Well it's mentioned the jackal is the Charles Manson of the ghosts. I'd say that's he most evil one, probably the most angry one.


How evil is the Great Child and Dire Mother? The first committed a massacre but was also trying to do the right thing and was severely handicapped; the latter helped raise her son horribly but also suffered from a lot of mental and emotional issues like PTSD it seems.

They aren't half as bad as the jackal. They are both estranged, traumatized, angry ghosts but not necessarily evil. These ghosts are together for the fact they have had bad experiences, either self made or happened to them, not because they are bad themselves. In order to understand it more there should be more information about the book and ritual they are involved in.


What about the Juggernaut?

Well that one killed Dennis along with The Hammer. I'd say that one is pretty evil, also considering his history of being a serial killer before his death. Not as maniacal as the Jackal though.


Good thing you mention the Hammer. I don't think he's really evil, misguided yea but he seems to be after the ones responsible for the evil plan which involved him being trapped. We see he seems calm towards Maggie. In life he was an honorable person who only killed his families' murderers and the law was corrupted, hence why he was brutally killed but not the higher ups responsible for his families' death.

Basically the Angry Princess was tragic, Great Child excusable because of mental handicaps and good intentions, Hammer is justified, Jackal and Juggernaut are unexcused, though some sympathy for them because they went insane.

I actually think it's the Juggernaut, as even the Jackal showed remorse for his crimes while he was alive. While the Juggernaut was just a murderer who only stopped because he was shot down by police.

Question: I was just wondering, why isn't Jean violent? The psychic said that all the ghosts are violent because they died a violent death and that's why Cyrus wanted them, so why is she the only one who isn't violent?

Answer: She didn't die a violent death. Jean is the Withered Lover, meaning that she died after a long, wasting illness. This is the only ghost that is not violent, because the pain it causes is emotional, not physical.


Except Jean didn't die from an illness but was instead killed in a fire, hence the burns on her body.

Could be since Jean died as a result of saving her family and was an accident, she isn't that bad. We can tell this makes sense with some other ghosts: the kid with an arrow was an accidental death, the handicapped man was protecting his mom, and that mom was meek and calm in life and was quickly killed anyhow. The two that avert this trend are the torso, who was brutally killed though is more or less harmless, and the bound woman who was a jerk but quickly killed as well, and lifts Cyrus to his death.

Wasn't the Torso a harmless ghost? We never see it attack anyone, and when Bobby runs off scared it is because the torso is moving to the head which happens to be near Bobby. Then we don't see the Torso lift Cyrus and to help matters the Withered Lover is seen standing on the Torso's place at the end.

Answer: For that matter the Dire Mother didn't die a painful death either, she just died of suffocation. Her mentally disabled son did, though.

The dire mother was kidnapped and put in a sack. I'd say that's a violent death.


Well, somewhat. But not nearly as bad as most of the other ghosts. Except for the First Born Son who was instantly and quickly killed by accident.

The Juggernaut died quickly too.


And the Torn Prince.


Yes, but not quickly to the brain - the Juggernaut took dozens of bullets, and the Torn Prince ate pavement.

Question: The box art for this film shows all 12 ghosts in the scary face-except for the Withered Lover. Is the screaming face the Withered Lover?

Answer: Possibly. I remember seeing some version of the box art have blue clothing at the end. Not much, but you can barely see it near the mouth. That, and the bits of hair we see are brown, similar to the Withered Lover.

Other mistake: When everyone is looking for Bobby, Matthew Lillard says that it is no use shouting because the glass is 100% sound proof. Yet when he is trapped in the cage, he hears Maggie screaming directions for him to dodge the ghost - not sound proof at all then.


More mistakes in Thirteen Ghosts

Rafkin: There are ghosts in the basement.
Maggie: This basement?
Rafkin: Of course this basement! What is it with you people? If it was the basement next door I wouldn't give a shit, would I?

More quotes from Thirteen Ghosts

Trivia: At the end of the film, the Withered Lover is standing on the place where the Torso sat. Both of these ghosts were rather harmless, and the Torso, while described as dangerous, never attacked anyone, including Cyrus, and walked to his head near Bobby. The only other ghost seen that is more or less harmless is the First Born Son, who is more of a taunter and prankster. This ghost died a quick death, being shot in the head by an arrow by another kid accidentally.

More trivia for Thirteen Ghosts

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.