From The Grindhouse Cinema Database


Emergo was promotional gimmick used for William Castle's House on Haunted Hill original theatrical release. [1] In some theaters that showed the film, exhibitors rigged an elaborate pulley system near the theater screen which allowed a plastic skeleton to be flown over the audience during a corresponding scene late in the film.[2] Several modern repertory cinemas including the Film Forum and Loew's Jersey Theatre have hosted revival screenings of the film during which the "Emergo" gimmick has been recreated.[3][4]

In Videohound's Cult Flicks and Trash Pics, 3-D came in at #5 on the "Film Gimmicks" list, and "Emergo" was mentioned.


  1. Law, John W. (2000). Scare tactic: the life & films of William Castle. San Jose [Calif.]: Writers Club Press. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0595095445. OCLC 60884288.
  2. Hal Erickson. "House on Haunted Hill (1958)". Allmovie. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  3. Village Voice, 25 August 2010
  4. Cinema Sentries, 30 October 2011
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