Spook Ranch

Spook Ranch is a 1925 American silent western film directed by Edward Laemmle (Carl Laemmle's nephew) and starring Hoot Gibson. It was produced and distributed by Universal Pictures.[1] The film featured a white actor in blackface (Ed Cowles) playing Hoot Gibson's black sidekick, George Washington Black.[2]

Spook Ranch
Lobby card
Directed byEdward Laemmle
Produced byCarl Laemmle
Written byRaymond L. Schrock (story, scenario)
Edward Sedgwick (story)
StarringHoot Gibson
CinematographyHarry Neumann
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 20, 1925 (1925-09-20)
Running time
6 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle persuaded his nephew Edward to enter the family business in 1915, after which he specialized mostly in directing westerns. Actress Helen Ferguson retired from acting in 1930 and became a Hollywood publicist. Hoot Gibson enjoyed a sensational career as a major Western star in the 1920s and early 1930's, but wound up dying penniless in 1962, from cancer.[3]


In a small mining town in the West, the sheriff orders a cowboy named Bill Bangs (Hoot Gibson) and his Negro sidekick to investigate a haunted ranch. They discover that the ranch is not haunted, but rather is inhabited by a gang of criminals who have kidnapped the ranch owner's daughter to ransom her for her father's gold. The cowboy defeats the gang and winds up with the girl.


Preservation status

This film is preserved in the Museum of Modern Art and Filmoteca de Catalunya, Barcelona.[4]


  1. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: Spook Ranch
  2. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 293. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  3. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p.293. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  4. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Spook Ranch

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