Thir13en Ghosts (2001) Explained
13 Ghosts (2001) also known as Thir13en Ghosts is a supernatural-slasher horror movie directed by Steve Beck which is a remake of the 1960s movie 13 Ghosts. Although many aspects of the movie are quite weak, its story is still widely discussed and acclaimed.
Thir13en Ghosts movie plot story & ending explanation in details
* * * Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, turn back now! * * *
The movie starts with a ghost hunter named Cyrus & his team. The team is on a mission of capturing their 12th ghost named Juggernaut.
The psychic of the team Dennis confirms the presence of Juggernaut by his ability.
Cyrus & his several fellows get killed by the spirit. But finally, they were able to catch Juggernaut.
The scene cuts to Cyrus’s nephew Arthur. Cyrus’s estate lawyer named Moss informs Arthur that he has inherited Cyrus’s house. He is not financially well off. Therefore, he decides to take the opportunity and move to the villa with his two children, Kathy, Bobby & Maggie.
Kriticos’s family finds the mansion is built with glass sheets. There are many sentences written on the glass in Latin. They look like some kind of magic spell rather than home décor.
Dennis also enters the house as a falsified electrician and discovers the Latin chants are barrier spells. All the 12 ghosts that Cyrus & Dennis captured, are sealed in the mansion with barrier spells. He becomes afraid and advises Kriticos’s family to escape the place as soon as possible. But as usual in every horror movie, Arthur doesn’t pay attention to him.
Moss unintentionally pulls a switch that sealed the whole mansion and releases the spirits from their cells. Now the ghosts can harm humans who are inside the house. Later Moss dies cutting him in half by sliding doors.
Bobby starts roaming in the house and finds Dennis’ eyeglass which they called Spectral Viewers. The glasses are used for observing the ghosts. Bobby wears that and starts seeing the ghosts. Then he slips and turns unconscious.
Read more, Legion (2010)
One of the most dangerous ghosts Jackal attacks Kathy & Arthur. Suddenly Kalina comes to the place and saves them. She introduces her as a spirit liberator which means she frees trapped ghosts. Middle of the chaos Kathy disappears.
Then all of them come to the library room sealed by a barrier spell thus ghosts cannot come into the room. Kalina explains the mansion is a captive ghost machine by which its users can see the past, present & future of anyone. To activate the machine, it needs 13 ghosts. The final ghosts should be a sacrifice of love, and Arthur realizes that the last one is himself to save his children.
In hell, there is an eye that sees everything, the past and the future… …Heaven and Earth, the blessed, and the damned. If knowledge is power, then the man who controls the Ocularis would be the most powerful man on earth.
– Kalina about the Ocularis Infernum.
Then Arthur goes to the basement to find his children and there he discovers that Cyrus is still alive. Very soon he realizes that Cyrus faked his death to bring him into the house. His actual plan was to convert him into the 13th ghost so that he could run the captive machine. He also reveals Kalina is his partner in the plan to trigger Arthur into suicide.
Later Arthur finds the children middle of a swinging machine, and 12 ghosts are surrounding the machine. They are bound to some kind of spell which is activated by the spinning of the wheel.
Maggie disrupts the machine controls which remove the barriers of ghosts. They attack Cyrus and throw him into the machine which leads him to death instantly.
The mansion starts collapsing, and the Kriticos family manages to come outside. Arthur & children see Jean’s spirit for the last time saying she loves them.
Maggie angrily declares she is quitting the nanny job and the movie ends here.
What is the 13 Ghosts’ house?
In the movie 13 Ghosts (2001) Arthur moves to his uncle’s house with his family. He inherited the house after Cyrus’s death. The house is made of glass sheets called ectobar glasses and several barrier spells are written on the glass wall in Latin languages. Cyrus sealed 12 ghost spirits in the house that he captured before.
The mansion is very much known as Cyrus Zorba House and as the plot goes deeper the real purpose of the building was revealed. Although it looks like a house, it is a black zodiac machine.
Kalina explains the house is Basileus’s Machine. The house is designed by the devil and powered by the dead (spirits).
It is made to reopen the Eye of the Hell (AKA Ocularis Infernum) by the power of 13 powerful & dangerous ghosts. Once the Eye opens, the summoner can see everyone’s past, present & future. That will be a godlike power.
What is 13 Ghosts Latin chant?
In the movie Thir13en Ghosts, Latin chants are written on the wall here & there in Cyrus’s mansion. At the first sight, the chants don’t seem like any home decoration but are similar to some kind of spells. Later it reveals Latin phrases are Containment Spells AKA Barrier Spells.
These spells are encrypted in Latin phrases which make the ghosts uncrossable through them. Cyrus uses Barrier Spells to conceal imprisoned ghosts.
Some Containment Spells are visible to naked eyes, but some are not. To see the hidden spells people have to use spectral viewers.
There are several rules & regulations in the other world or death realm that the dead must follow them. Barrier spells are one of those rules which ghosts cannot obey under any circumstances.
What is the book of the movie in Thir13en Ghosts?
The name of the book is Arcanum. The book is recorded by a possessed astrologer Basileus in the early 15th century. He was possessed by the devil and under that condition, he wrote the volume. There are complete processes & instructions written about opening the Ocularis Infernum, necessary spells, profiles of all 13 ghosts, and the mechanism of the machine.
What is the Black Zodiac in the movie 13 Ghosts?
Cyrus wants to activate Basileus’s Machine with the power of 13 ghosts. The devil designs the machine, and the mechanism is reversed from the standard zodiac methodology.
The black zodiac works based on all sorts of negative powers and in this way it demands 12 reversed white zodiacs. Since every positive energy is more powerful than dark, 12 black zodiacs are insufficient to overcome the white one. Therefore, Basileus’s machine requires the 13th sinister power to activate, and that is the broken heart spirit. Thus, the power of innocent love instead of infelicity.
A complete description of 13 Ghosts all ghosts’ names with Black Zodiac signs
1st Ghost: The First Born Son
The First Born Son is the first ghost of the Black Zodiac which is the soul of a little boy named Billy.
Firstborn is symbolizing immaturity, reckless & irresponsibility.
One day he was challenged by another boy, and the boy shot him with a steel arrow and Billy died.
After his death, his ghost was captured by Cyrus & imprisoned in a cell.
2nd Ghost: The Torso
The Torso is the second ghost of the Black Zodiac which is the ghost of a gambler Jimmy. This spirit represents the poker card and Taurus of the zodiac sign.
The Torso symbolizes stubbornness and a lazy sign.
Alive Jimmy was a 1900s man of serious gambling. He gained the attention of the Mafia and lost betting in a boxing match. But he wasn’t able to pay money to Mafia. Therefore they cut his head apart from his body. Later wrapped his body with Cellophane and threw it into the river.
After his death, Cyrus captured Jimmy and imprisoned him in a cell with other ghosts.
3rd Ghost: The Bound Woman
The Bound Woman is the third ghost of the Black Zodiac which is the spirit of a woman named Susan LeGrow. She is the first female ghost in the Zodiac.
Alive Susan was a rich girl in her town and very popular at school. She was caught cheating with another guy by her lover and he killed her breaking her neck. Later he buried her body under the football yard.
After her death, Cyrus selects Susan as The Bound Woman.
4th Ghost: The Withered Lover
The Withered Lover is the fourth ghost in the Black Zodiac. Cyrus chooses his niece-in-law, Jean, as the Withered Lover.
She represents the motherly, caring, sensitive card in the Black & Traditional Zodiac.
In the Arcanum she is mentioned as “Amator Marcudus” meaning “Languid Lover.”
Jean Kriticos died in a fire accident at Christmas. After six months following her death, Cyrus captured her ghost.
5th Ghost: The Torn Prince
The Torn Prince is the fifth ghost of the Black Zodiac and this is Royce Clayton’s soul. In the Arcanum, his symbol is mentioned as “Eques Scissus” which means “Rent Knight.”
While alive Royce was a basketball player in the 1950s. His greaser challenger set him up to get a car accident by cutting the break and this led to Royce’s death.
Afterlife, Royce’s ghost woke up with his basketball.
6th Ghost: The Angry Princess
The Angry Princess is the sixth ghost of the Black Zodiac and the soul of Dana Newman.
In the Arcanum Angry Princess is mentioned as “Sibi mortem consciscere” which means “she commits suicide.”
Dana was a beautiful girl with an attractive body, but she wasn’t satisfied with her look. She was obsessed with being prettier through plastic surgery.
One day she performed a bumbling surgery on her face and destroys one of her eyes. She becomes extremely angry and cuts his throat with a butcher’s knife.
After her death, Dana’s ghost woke up with her suicide knife.
7th Ghost: The Pilgrimess
The Pilgrimess is the seventh ghost of the Black Zodiac and the dissembled soul of Isabella Smith. This represents the outsider, stranger & mysterious in the Zodiac sign.
Isabella was an outsider to the tight-knit community in North America. They imprisoned her in jail and accused her of witchcraft. Mysteriously that time crop, animals & a few humans died. This triggered the people to kill Isabel by poisoning her in a slow & painful death. Till the last moment of Isabella’s life, she heard insults and curses from the villagers.
After seven days of her death, Isabella’s ghost appears and later Cyrus captured her. It is unclear in the movie that was Isabella was a witch or not.
8th Ghost: The Great Child
The Great Child is the eighth ghost of the Black Zodiac and the spirit of Harold Shelburne. He is the second innocent ghost on the list as The Withered Lover.
Harold was an overweight man with an immature mentality who was overly protective of his mother.
In Zodiac, he might symbolize the combination of recklessness & innocent.
9th Ghost: The Dire Mother
The Dire Mother is the ninth ghost of the Black Zodiac. She is the soul of Margaret Shelburne, mother of the Great Child.
The Dire Mother is considered the evilest ghost on the list. She never stopped bullying Harold which handcuffed his mental growth.
10th Ghost: The Hammer
The Hammer is the tenth ghost of the Black Zodiac and the spirit of George Markley who is the only African-American soul in the movie. He is one of the most dangerous & violent ghosts on the list.
George was an honest blacksmith who lived contentedly with his family. But one day he fell victim to racial prejudice by Nathan.
George is accused of stealing and warned of abandoning the town. But he didn’t and it made Nathan furious. Nathan went to George’s house with fellows & slaughtered his family.
Spleen George took a sledgehammer and executed those responsibly.
Later townspeople took Nathan’s side and George was hanged on a tree. They cut off his hands and brutally attached the hammer to that place. George died in that way.
In the Arcanum the Hammer is mentioned as “Malleus Ignis” which means “Fire Hammer.”
11th Ghost: The Jackal
The Jackal is the eleventh ghost of Black Zodiac, wearing a metal cage in his head. He is the ghost of Ryan Kuhn.
In the movie The Jackal symbolize the sign of Hell’s Winter.
In the Arcanum, The Jackal’s symbol is mentioned as “Canis Aureus” which means “The Golden Dog.”
Ryan was born in 1887 and from childhood, he was frantic for women & physical pleasure. He went to Borehamwood Institute for treatment as a volunteer. But sadly, the treatment went in the wrong way & he became insane after several years of practice. Later he had locked in a straitjacket, and his head was in a metal cage.
One day he broke the straitjacket and at that moment a fire set on the institute building. But he stayed inside the building and left the living world full of hatred.
12th Ghost: The Juggernaut
The Juggernaut is the twelfth ghost of the Black Zodiac and the spirit of Horace Mahoney aka The Breaker.
He is the tallest, strongest, ugliest & most violent ghost in the movie.
Horace Mahoney was born in a very disturbing environment. His mother left him in youngling. His father was also abusive and put him to work in a junkyard. After his father’s death, Horace became an insane serial killer. Horace’s physical strength & cruel mentality made him the evilest & brutal serial killer in that era. He would take many motorists & hikers and tear them apart with bare hands. Then feed the rest of the body parts to dogs.
Horace became a terror in the town and was named “The Breaker.” A SWAT team shot & killed him.
13th Ghost: The Broken Heart
The Broken Heart is the final & thirteenth ghost of Black Zodiac in the movie 13 Ghosts.
According to Arcanum the symbol of the Broken Heart is “Corda Tacita” which means “The Silence of the Heart.”
This ghost should be died by leaping into the core of Basileus’s Machine and he should be sacrificed himself for pure love.
Cyrus chooses Arthur Kriticos to serve the Broken Heart for Black Zodiac. But ultimately, Arthur survived.
Did Arthur survive in the end?
Yes, at the end of the movie 13 Ghosts Arthur survived the disaster. His children and Maggie also pull through and stay alive.
Original Title Thir13en Ghosts
Other Titles 13 Ghosts
Genre Supernatural/ Horror
Runtime 1hr 31min
Original Language English
Directed by Steve Beck
Written by Robb White, Neal Marshall Stevens, Richard D’Ovidio
Tagline Terror has multiplied.
Release date October 26, 2001 (USA)
Origin Country United States, Canada
Official Website Warner Bros. – 13 Ghosts
Cast of Characters
|Actor/Actress Name||Characters Name|
|F. Murray Abraham||Cyrus|