I remember seeing (part of) this movie on American television in the early 1970s -- I saw it in black and white, but that may have been due to a B&W TV set rather than being filmed in B&W. Dialog was in English, not dubbed as far as I recall, and the modern potagonist had an eastern US accent.

In a prologue, set during the American revolution, two men were killed by, IIRC, a Redcoat firing squad and their bodies dumped down a cliche well (round brick casing, windlass for a bucket, small roof over the casing).

The movie then picks up in the "present day" (cars looked like 1960s or so, as I recall, but it's been nearly 50 years).

The modern protagonist is a teen (looks like 18-19), and there's a scene I recall in which he's in a bar in New York City and orders a beer; the bartender asks him his age and he responds "Forty-two," but his father comes into the bar and stops him before he can actually drink any.

I recall the movie as being at least partially comedic; the ghosts were rather slapstick, but I don't have any other details immediately at hand. I'd love to find this on Netflix or other streaming service, or YouTube, and watch all of it.

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    reminded of parts of Disney's "Ghosts of Buxley Hall" and and older Abbott & Costello "The Time of their Lives"
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:10
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    Pretty sure it was too new to be Abbot & Costello -- but not completely certain. Ghosts of Buxley Hall is from 1980 -- much too new, we had a color TV by 1974. Plot summary of The Time of their Lives looks like the right opener, though. Write that up as an answer, please!
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


You may be conflating two movies. The well scene is from Abbott and Costello's film The Time of Their Lives.

But American troops on their way to arrest Tom overrun the estate, loot it and set it ablaze. Melody and Horatio are mistakenly shot as traitors, and their bodies are cast into a well. Their souls are condemned to remain bound to the estate until their innocence can be proved.

You can watch it on youtube. Well scene from 14m45s

The bar scene comes from a different film. I can't say for sure, but maybe Blackbeard's Ghost, which is a comedy ghost film partly set around an old inn, and has a hero of around the right age.

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    Very possible -- I was between ten and thirteen when I saw this.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:18
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    Blackbeard's Ghost is a good call Pete - I had forgotten about that one, but was definitely getting mid-century live action Disney from the description :D
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:22
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    I've seen parts of Blackbeard's Ghost too, but I'd have recognized Dean Jones from Love Bug and Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and other Disney fare of the time, and Peter Ustinov as well (I'd seen lots of trailers for that one).
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:23
  • I keep wanting to say the father was played by Jack Klugman and the protagonist was Roddy McDowall, but I'm not sure of that...
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:24
  • Anyway, Abbot & Costello seems correct for the well sequence; I may never know where I saw the other bit. I'll give 24 hours or so for other answers, just in case, but likely accept this one then.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 22, 2021 at 16:32

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