Glimpy’s (Huntz Hall) sister, Betty (Ava Gardner) is marrying her sweetheart, Jack Gibson (Rick Vallin). Glimpy’s friend Mugs McGinnis (Leo Gorcey) and the rest of the gang are on hand to sing at the service. In preparation for married life, Jack has purchased a small house for him and his wife-to-be.
Before the service Jack is approached by Tony (Wheeler Oakman), the agent who sold him the house. Tony tells him that the people who own the mansion next door are interested in buying his house and are offering double what Jack paid. He tells Jack that his house is haunted and that the neighbors want to buy it only because they like privacy. He gives Jack a five hundred dollar down payment and tells him to use it for a honeymoon. When they come back, they can sign over the house.
After the wedding Jack and Betty head off to a nice hotel instead of to the house. Instead of telling everyone that he sold the house he tells everyone that the house needs work, so he wants to take Betty on a real honeymoon before settling down.
Glimpy and the guys decide to go to the new house and clean it up for the couple. When the guys get there, they mistakenly think that the large mansion is the house that Jack bought. They see the smaller house next door with a “for sale” sign and decide to take the furniture from the small house to decorate the big house.
Unbeknownst to the guys the mansion is the lair of a German Spy Ring led by a sinister man named Emil (Bela Lugosi).
“Ghosts on the Loose” AKA “Ghosts in the Night” was released in 1943 and was directed by William Beaudine. It is a comedy and an Old Dark House mystery with some thriller elements. It is the fourteenth film that features the East Side Kids. The movie boasts both Bela Lugosi and Ava Gardner.
There are no ghosts on the loose here. In fact, most of the movie is wedding scenes and a bunch of skits where the “East Side Kids” abuse each other. They don’t even get to the haunted house until halfway through the film. Even then there is very little spookiness going on. It is your basic East Side Kids slapstick comedy. Unfortunately, Lugosi is reduced to not much more than a bit part. Still, it is enjoyable if you are a fan of 40’s style silly comedy or the East Side Kids in any of their manifestations. I liked watching these films on TV when I was a kid so boomers may be fonder of it than others.
At one point in the film, Lugosi is supposed to sneeze. Many have pointed out that the sneeze sounded like he was saying “Oh Shit”. Others point out that he was saying the Hungarian version of “Achoo” which is “Hapci”.
Leo Gorcey's wife Kay Marvis has a bit part as a bridesmaid in the wedding ceremony.