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Thirteen Ghosts

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The Ghosts Summarized [edit] Edit

The first twelve of the thirteen ghosts that make up the fictional "Black Zodiac" each have their own unique background stories. Although these stories were not described in the film, the production and make-up teams explain their guidelines on the DVD special feature "Ghost Files". Cyrus narrates each ghost's back story. They also seem to increase in danger as their numbers increase.

1. The First Born Son – The First Born Son is the ghost of Billy Michaels, a boy who loved cowboy films. A neighbor challenged him to a duel, using a bow and a real steel-tipped arrow against Billy's toy gun. Billy died when the neighbor shot the arrow through the back of his head. Billy's ghost is dressed in his cowboy suit and holding a tomahawk, with the arrow still protruding from his head. His ghost whispers "I want to play" or "play with me".

2. The Torso – The Torso is the ghost of a bookie named Jimmy "The Gambler" Gambino. When Jimmy found himself unable to pay off a Mafia-connected client's large winning bet on a boxing match, the client cut him into pieces, wrapping them in cellophane and dumping them into the ocean. His ghost appears as his decapitated, legless torso, trying to walk around on its hands as the head lies screaming on the floor.

3. The Bound Woman – The Bound Woman is the ghost of Susan LeGrow, a girl with a wealthy background and a penchant for playing with boys' affections. On the night of her high school prom, a football player she was dating caught her with another boy; the next morning, the boy was found dead and Susan went missing. She was later found buried at the 50-yard line of the school's football field, strangled to death; the player was convicted of her murder and executed. Her ghost is wearing her prom dress and is hanging from the ceiling with her arms tied.

4. The Withered Lover – The Withered Lover is Jean Kriticos, Arthur's wife. She was burned severely while saving her family from a devastating house fire, and died of her injuries in the hospital. Her ghost initially appears in a hospital gown, hooked up to an IV pole and showing severe burns on her face. However, after the destruction of the machine, her ghost is wearing her normal clothes and her burns have vanished. Unlike the other ghosts, she is not a vengeful spirit and tries to help her family.

5.The Torn Prince – The Torn Prince is the ghost of Royce Clayton, a 1950s high school baseball star with a bad attitude and a superiority complex. During a drag race, he died when his car spun out of control. His ghost carries a baseball bat, and parts of his face and body are torn to shreds from being dragged underneath his car. He uses the bat as a melee weapon, and while inside his containment cube, he sits atop the wreckage of the car.

The Angry Princess – The Angry Princess is the ghost of Dana Newman, a young woman with striking physical beauty but the inability to recognize it. Driven to depression by a string of abusive boyfriends, she began to work for a plastic surgeon who paid her in cosmetic procedures. One night, she tried to perform surgery on herself, but the attempt left her blind in one eye. She committed suicide in the bathtub by cutting herself with a butcher knife until she bled to death. Her ghost is naked, still holding the knife and showing all the self-inflicted wounds, and her cube is drenched in blood.

The Pilgrimess – The Pilgrimess is the ghost of Isabella Smith, a 17th-century New England colonist who was shunned by other settlers. Accused of witchcraft by the town preacher after livestock began to die from an unknown ailment, she fell under further suspicion when the preacher himself succumbed. The townspeople trapped Isabella in a barn and set it on fire, but she emerged without any injuries; they then locked her in the pillory and left her to starve to death. Her ghost still has the pillory's yoke locked around its hands and neck.

8 and 9. The Great Child and The Dire Mother – The Dire Mother is the ghost of Margaret Shelburn, a woman whose diminutive height constantly attracted stares from others. She joined a carnival freak show, but was raped by one of the other members and gave birth to a son, Harold (The Great Child). Margaret spoiled Harold throughout his life, so that he always wore diapers and had to be spoon-fed even as he grew to a vast size and weight. Carnival workers kidnapped Margaret as a prank, but she suffocated to death by the time Harold found her. He flew into a rage and killed the culprits with an axe, putting their remains on public display, and was in turn killed by an angry mob. Their ghosts are always together, with Harold wearing a food/vomit-splattered bib and carrying the axe, while Margaret sometimes feeds him.[a]

10. The Hammer – The Hammer is the ghost of George Markley, a blacksmith who lived in a small town in the 1890s. He was wrongfully accused of stealing, and refused to leave town when threatened with exile. A gang led by his accuser hanged his wife and children; in revenge, George used his blacksmith's hammer to beat his accuser and the other culprits to death. The townsfolk executed George by chaining him to a tree, driving railroad spikes into his body, severing one hand, and attaching the hammer to it. His ghost is still pierced with the spikes and wrapped in the chains, and he wears the hammer in place of his missing left hand.

11. The Jackal – The Jackal is the ghost of a 19th-century man named Ryan Kuhn, who began attacking prostitutes as an adult. He committed himself to an asylum in search of help but eventually went insane. The doctors kept him permanently bound in a strait jacket, causing his limbs to contort horribly until he gnawed through it. Ryan was then confined to a basement cell, with a metal cage locked around his head, and grew to hate all human contact. When a fire broke out, everyone but Ryan escaped; he chose to remain behind and let himself be burned to death. His ghost wears the loosened straitjacket and head cage, whose front bars have been snapped apart.

12. The Juggernaut – The Juggernaut is the ghost of Horace "Breaker" Mahoney, a serial killer of enormous height and grotesque appearance. Abandoned as a child by his mother and ostracized by everyone, he eventually got a job crushing cars in his father's junkyard. After his father died, Horace went insane and began bringing hitchhikers and stranded drivers to the junkyard, breaking all their bones and tearing them apart with his bare hands. One of his potential victims was an undercover police officer, who called for backup and brought a SWAT team to surround the junkyard. Horace killed three officers before being shot to death by the team. His ghost still wears the bullet-riddled clothing from the night he was killed. Dennis Rafkin and Cyrus Kriticos note that Horace killed nine people while he was alive, then 31 more as a ghost; Horace kills several of Cyrus' assistants in the attempt to capture him, then later kills Dennis as well.

13 The Broken Heart – The thirteenth ghost would have been Arthur Kriticos himself. Cyrus planned for him to sacrifice himself out of love for his family, the final step needed to activate the house's machine.

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