Guy and Margaret Thornton (Dermot Walsh and Hazel Court) have recently moved to England and are looking to purchase a small steamship to live on instead of renting an apartment.  The ship they are interested in is the “Cyclops”.  The yard manager (Joss Ambler) tries to talk them out of it telling them that the ship is haunted.  Guy and Margaret don’t believe the rumor and tell the manager that they still want to look at the ship. 

The couple loves the ship and believes they can fix it up and live on it.  The yard manager balks about selling the vessel and tells them some of the history of the ship.  Three years ago, the ship was purchased by Professor Mansel Martineau (John Robinson).  He and his wife (Joan Carol) would sail from place to place.  One day the Martineaus and a seaman, Peter (Hugh Latimer) sailed off and were never seen again. 

Days later the ship was found abandoned in the middle of the sea.  It was brought back to port.  After a while the ship was sold to another buyer.  It’s then when the stories of the ship being haunted started.  The ship was again sold until eventually no one wanted it.  The Thorntons decide that the stories are just fables and so they buy the ship.

Soon Margaret begins to smell cigar smoke in various places on the ship.  The engineer that Guy hires to run the ship quits saying he saw a ghost.  Then Guy sees a man in the engine room smoking a cigar.  Margaret calls in a paranormal expert, Dr. Fawcett (Hugh Burden), from the IIPP, the Institute for the Investigation of Psychic Phenomenon.  Fawcett goes over the ship and believes that there may be something paranormal going on.  He calls in a medium, Mrs. Manley (Mignon O’Doherty).  Mrs. Manley goes into a trance and through her; the Thorntons discover the secret of what happened on the “Cyclops” years ago.    

“Ghost Ship” was released in 1952 and was directed by Vernon Sewell.  It is a low budget British horror thriller.   The film is based on the play “L'Angoisse” by Celia de Vilyars and Pierre Mills.

It was an interesting story but not much of a horror yarn.  Parts of it were creepy but parts were less than appealing.  For example, the party that the Thorntons have on the ship was slightly cringe worthy with a really hammy drunk.  Other parts were creepily atmospheric, and the story was good.  There were two flashback sequences that told the tale of what happened to the ship and its occupants.  It wasn’t exactly a nail-biting film, but I was basically entertained all the way through.

Dermot Walsh and Hazel Court were married in real life.  The ship used in the film was the “Gelert”.  It belonged to Director Sewell. 

Many people point out that Director Sewell used the same or very similar plot in four of his films, “The Medium” 1934 (short), “Latin Quarter” 1945, “Ghost Ship” 1952 and “House of Mystery” 1961.

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