Series: Our Gang

Director: Robert F. McGowan
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard C. Currier

Stars: Allen Hoskins, Joe Cobb, Elmer Lowry, Mary Kornman, Johnny Downs, Jackie Condon, Jay R. Smith, Bobby Young
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 08 August 1926
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: K-10
Filming dates: April 7-28, 1926
Rating: 4/10

Shivering Spooks

Farina and Skooter are being chased down the street by a gun-shooting detective. But when the camera angle changes we see the detective is actually shooting at a man running away, and the boys are caught up in the middle. The rest of the gang who are hiding in a secret cave witness the robber go into the back room of a grocer's store and go to tell him but the grocer buys their silence by giving them apples. The robber is actually Professor Fleece, a fake spiritualist who runs séances from the store. A large crowd of 'suckers' have sat down in the dark room as the professor dons his attire for the ceremony. His assistants in the back room operate controls to make tables rise and ghost-like figures appear in the air.
Mary reads a horror story to Farina and Skooter in the cave where some innocent pre-21st century racism is expressed between Farina and Mary when dealing with white ghosts. Outside the boys are playing baseball when one of them hits the ball into the séance which brings the professor charging out looking for them with a sword. But the kids retreat into their cave before they can be caught. Inside, a sudden rock fall traps the gang in the cave as they cry for help. The boys decide to dig their way out and encourage Farina to go through the hole first with the reassurance that if he dies then the others will be okay. When all the candles go out the kids start to panic and they begin calling out for their mamas, and the police. The professor and his 'suckers' hear the voices coming from beneath them and think they are the voices of spirits. It's too much for them and everybody runs out of the séance looking for the nearest exit.
All of the kids escape their cave and find themselves in the back of the grocery store. Skooter repeatedly tries to get Joe's pants off but Joe isn't having any of that nonsense! The professor eventually realises that the disturbance is being caused by the kids and vows to teach them all a lesson. As Farina makes his way through the secret panel in the wall which leads into the professor's main control room, the others follow behind. The professor begins messing with Farina by making ghost sounds and raising a table up in the air with him on it. The other kids also get to hear the ghost sounds being made by the professor and it scares them into hiding around the house; meanwhile Joe ties Skooter's sleeves together after he keeps touching him!
The scares keep coming and Farina turns white with fright when he sees a ghost. He and Joe are chased around the house by ghosts (the assistants dressed in KKK costumes!) until the boys end up in an upstairs bedroom where Mary, Johnny and Jackie are hiding inside a bed (it must be remembered that they were only 10 years old at the time so Johnny and Jackie wouldn't have been taking liberties with Mary!) The final few scenes are just chaotic with everyone running around, bumping into chairs draped with white sheets and fleeing the so-called ghosts and a skeleton in a closet. The professor and his colleagues think they have done enough to scare the kids into never returning but the kids hear their boats and pelt the men with objects from the house which they throw down at them from a balcony. The detective from the beginning of the film shows up, captures the villains and all ends well, except for Joe who loses his pants again....

Favourite bit
Really hard to choose a favourite scene from this film but I'm going for this scene as Mary stumbles through the wall to be with Johnny.

Copyrighted July 26, 1926.
The 52nd film in the series.
The film is currently in the public domain.
Premiered July 4, 1926 in New York City.
The film begins with the detective chasing two young boys down the street and firing his gun. How responsible.
Mary reads a story called Graveyard Ghosts from the book Ghost Stories written by R.M. Young.
What in god's name is THIS?
My opinion
A good idea for a simple plot but it's really nothing more than twenty minutes of harmless fun. What starts out as something mildly interesting quickly fades away to predictability and the usual mediocrity of an Our Gang comedy by the time we reach the second reel. Nothing special, and it does get a bit silly towards the end, though I did admire Skooter's backwards roll up after Joe pushes him over!

Allen Hoskins
Joe Cobb
Elmer Lowry
Mary Kornman
Johnny Downs
Jackie Condon
Jay R. Smith
Clifton Young
George B. French
Professor Fleece
Harry Bowen
Professor Fleece's assistant
Ham Kinsey
Professor Fleece's assistant
Hugh Fox
Professor Fleece's assistant
Clara Guiol
Woman at séance
Tiny Sanford
Jack O'Brien
Milton Fahrney
Man who wants success

UNIDENTIFIED CAST (click image to enlarge)

INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

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Acknowledgements: (Bob Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)

This page was last updated on: 13 August 2023