Theme music composer Billy Goldenberg
Original language(s) English
First episode date 15 September 1972
Presented by Sebastian Cabot (1972)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
Final episode date 30 March 1973
Number of seasons 1
Cast Sebastian Cabot
|Composer(s) Billy Goldenberg
Similar Night Gallery, The Sixth Sense, Tales from the Darkside, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Movin' On
Ghost Story (later retitled Circle of Fear) is an American television anthology series that aired for one season on NBC from 1972 to 1973. Executive-produced by William Castle, Ghost Story initially featured supernatural entities such as ghosts, vampires, and witches. By mid-season, low ratings led to a title change and a shift—for the most part—away from paranormal themes.
Ghost Story was hosted by Sebastian Cabot as Winston Essex, the owner of a mysterious hotel named Mansfield House. Cabot's introductions were filmed in the Hotel del Coronado near San Diego, California. A pilot episode aired in March 1972 as one half of a NBC Friday night double feature, shared with "Movin' On"; the series premiered in September. Ghost Story dealt exclusively with ghosts, vampires, witches, and other supernatural elements. The show's format and tone drew comparisons to NBC's Night Gallery and ABC's The Sixth Sense. Guest stars included Helen Hayes, Jason Robards, Patricia Neal, William Windom, Gena Rowlands, Carolyn Jones, Melvyn Douglas, and Jodie Foster.
The episode "House of Evil" was an original teleplay by Robert Bloch (written as "The Doll's House").
Circle of Fear
After 13 episodes, Ghost Story was renamed Circle of Fear beginning with the January 5, 1973 episode. The change was necessary, according to executive producer William Castle, because of low ratings. He attributed the title change to the head of the production company, Screen Gems. Additionally, Cabot was dropped as the presenter. This reworked version lasted nine further episodes.
Two episodes of the series were included as bonuses in the The William Castle Film Collection 2009 DVD box set. On May 1, 2012, Sony released Ghost Story (a.k.a. Circle of Fear) - The Complete Series on DVD through its manufacture on demand (MOD) program.