Back to IndieWire

William Castle is Back From the Dead and He Brought the Recipe for His Movie Blood

William Castle is Back From the Dead and He Brought the Recipe for His Movie Blood

William Castle, the horror-movie showman whose work included “The Tingler,” “Mr. Sardonicus” and”13 Ghosts,” is coming back from the grave courtesy of his daughter, who is reviving William Castle Prods.

First up is the the publication of “House on Haunted Hill: A William Castle Annotated Screamplay,” along with two young adult horror novels, “From the Grave: The Prayer” and “FearMaker: Family Matters.”

“House on Haunted Hill,” which will be released on Halloween, contains hand-written annotations by William Castle and its own version of Emerg-O, the gimmick in which a glow-in-the-dark skeleton floated over the heads of the audience to parallel the action on the screen.

“From the Grave” is credited to the late William Castle, while daughter Terry Castle wrote “FearMaker,” which sounds like a fantasy borne out of being the daughter of a famous horror director: It’s the story of a Beverly Hills 12-year-old who discovers his dad is a homicidal maniac Mom is his accomplice.

Terry Castle says the decision to target tweens stemmed from her father’s most loyal fanbase. “Dad loved watching the kids in his audience,” she said. “Even as adults, they remain dedicated fans who continue to be thrilled by his work.”

Also in the works are “Spine-Tingler: The Musical,” which centers on her father and horror films, as well as a feature adaptation of the ’60s sci-fi novel “The Mind Thing” (originally optioned by her father). She’s also developing “The Toothless Dead,” a screenplay she wrote with Dan Dillard, and the sci-fi/thriller TV series “Animus,” based on the last story being developed by her father before he died in 1977.

Of course, the entertainment industry hasn’t gotten any easier since William Castle died 34 years ago and it remains to be seen when the development projects will be produced. However, Terry Castle is also making another, assuredly meaningful contribution to her father’s legacy: She’s releasing his formula for stage blood. (Many thanks to Terry for sharing.)

William Castle’s Movie Blood


Karo Corn Syrup
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring
Chocolate syrup


• Combine 1 part water with 3 parts Karo Syrup (Maple or Corn Syrup can be used as well)

• Add drops of red food coloring; mix gently by stirring. Continue adding drops until the shade resembles that of real blood. (Always err on the side of adding less.  It’s a lot easier to add more red food coloring than start all over again.)

• Add a teeny, tiny amount of blue food coloring. This helps the blood achieve a much more realistic hue.

• If the blood is too thin (“Dad always thought it was”), add chocolate syrup until you get the desired consistency. The brown color also helps add to the realism of the fake blood. And it tastes good, too.

• Wait 15 minutes; this gives the blood time to thicken. (“Dad never had the patience. Once the blood was made, mayhem commenced.”)

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox