House on Haunted Hill is a 1959 American horror filmdirected by William Castle. The film was written by Robb White and stars Vincent Price and Carol Ohmartas eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren and his wife Annabelle, who have invited five people to the house for a “haunted house” party. Whoever stays in the house for one night will earn $10,000. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors.
The film is perhaps best known for a famous promotional gimmick used in the film’s original theatrical release called “Emergo.” In some theaters that showed the film, William Castle placed an elaborate pulley system in the theater itself, which allowed a plastic skeleton to be flown over the audience at the appropriate time. In August and September 2010, the Film Forum in New York City had a revival of the film (with several other Castle pictures) that included the original gimmicks. This was the first time since the late 1980s Film Forum had done this.
In 2017, another remake of the film is in development.