Producer-director William Castle was something of a P.T. Barnum.
The master showman took out an insurance policy from Lloyd's of London for his 1958 thriller "Macabre," supposedly just in case anyone died of fright during the film. He created an even more elaborate gimmick for his 1959 classic, "House on Haunted Hill": Emergo, a skeleton that flew across the audience. For another 1959 chiller, "The Tingler," frightened audiences encountered Percepto, buzzers placed under theater chairs that would go off at the creepiest moments.
FOR THE RECORD
5:36 p.m.: An earlier version of this post...