Thoughts On: Keaton’s “The Haunted House” (1921)

Happy Buster Keaton’s Birthday!! In his honor I’m reposting this piece I wrote on one of his classic shorts. It also makes me nostalgic since I headed to my first Damfino convention shortly after writing it. Ah, memories!


Not only was yesterday Buster’s birthday, but this weekend I’ll be heading to Muskegon, Michigan for the official Damfino convention! This will be my very first time at this event (I’m giving a presentation too, so wish me luck!). Thus, it only seemed fitting to start out this Halloween month with one of Buster’s more well-known shorts.

There seemed to be certain plots and tropes that all silent comedians tried out in turn. Everyone did food preparation gags, everyone went to the beach, everyone (everyone) from Harry Langdon to Chaplin himself showed up as a white-clad street cleaner at some point. In 1921, it was Buster Keaton’s turn to try his hand at the familiar gag-rich setting of The Spooky Haunted House.

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5 thoughts on “Thoughts On: Keaton’s “The Haunted House” (1921)

  1. I LOVE Buster’s The Haunted House!! And I’m with ya on the skeleton costumes…THE BEST!!! 😀

    I, too, am heading to Muskegon for my first Damfino convention! I’m so glad you’ll be giving a presentation!!! Hopefully our paths will cross for a quick hello!! Safe travels!!

    • Oops, to be clear– this piece was written back in 2017. I sure wish I was going to the convention again, but it won’t be this year!

      I want a skeleton costume as good as those, ha ha!

  2. I also wish one of these costumes.
    And would love to see the convention in presence even if it is quite far for me. Following the online one for the moment 🙂

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